An elegant and romantic Paris destination wedding at Hotel Marignan Paris
This was an elegant and romantic Paris destination wedding at Hotel Marignan Paris, on a perfect Friday in September and I’m bursting at the seams because I had the honor of photographing it!
I was contacted by Stephanie, who lives in New York, about her Paris wedding. Stephanie and Pedro planned to come to Paris in September to be married, and had invited their closest family and friends to join them.
Stephanie’s venue was to the elegant five-star hotel just off of the Champs-Elysees, the Hotel Marignan. The ceremony would be on a balcony/terrace, with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the background. Stephanie and Pedro had fallen in love and also in love with Paris, and could not wait to have their symbolic ceremony in Paris. Most Americans and visitors from countries outside of France, realize that it can be a bit challenging to legally get married in a foreign country. That’s why most couples get married in their home country legally, usually at a courthouse, and then come to Paris, Provence, or other regions of France for their symbolic and very meaningful wedding ceremony, celebrated by family and friends. Destination weddings are very popular because it allows a couple to have a very special and meaningful wedding in a very special place.
I’m a destination wedding photographer based in Paris, but I travel all around France, Europe, and even my home country, the United States, to photograph and document this most precious of days in a couple’s life.
I was so excited to work with Stephanie and Pedro, but life can get so busy. While we did speak on the phone, Stephanie and I also traded a lot of Whatsapp messages, and this was a great way for us to keep in contact with details leading up to the big day. Stephanie shared that she and Pedro would be legally married when they arrived in France, and that for them it would be perfectly fine to see each other before the ceremony.
Stephanie wanted to organize a Paris wedding photo session and I selected the Eiffel Tower, bridge of Pont Alexandre, Tuileries Gardens and Louvre Museum for their Paris wedding photo session. In order to have the very best light for photos and less tourists to contend with, we started very early. These can also be done in the afternoon, but it’s a bit more challenging, especially with bright sun, and there are hundreds of tourists out later in the day, which isn’t ideal. A Paris wedding photo session I believe is essential for every couple getting married in Paris. It’s simply such a beautiful city with so many romantic and detailed backgrounds, I do believe wedding photos in Paris are among the prettiest one can have as a memory of their special wedding day in France.
I met Stephanie and her lovely mother and friends at their hotel early in the morning, to capture the wedding preparations. This is part of each bride’s story, the anticipation of a special day and preparing with the ones you love. Paris has so many wonderful makeup artists, and I’m always happy to work with Joleen Emory, who makes my clients look like movie stars. This wasn’t too hard to do, really, as Stephanie is a petite and beautiful lady.
Joleen had created beautiful, soft curls in Stephanie’s hair, adorned with a metal clip that was so pretty, especially when paired with her earrings and necklace. I nearly lost my breath when I saw her gown, it was a divine off-white color with delicate lace and buttons up the back. We started the day with the gown bustled, but let down the train for much of the day. We saved the floral bouquet for the ceremony.
After some touching moments with her mother, Stephanie and I were ready to go to the hotel lobby and wait for Pedro for the First Look. When Pedro came down the stairs and met Stephanie, I knew we’d have a great day! Pedro looked incredibly handsome in his tuxedo, which perfectly matched his style. Even the hotel staff were impressed and wished us all well. In Paris, weddings are a big deal and very happy occasions.
Paris destination wedding photo session
We began our Paris wedding photo session at the Trocadero area of the Eiffel Tower, in the garden there and also above, with tremendous views of the Eiffel Tower. This vantage point never gets old! Then we headed east to the most ornate bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III. I absolutely love this bridge and all of the detailed ironwork. Back in the car, we headed again east to the Tuileries Gardens, which were in full and beautiful bloom.
The colorful trees lining the garden make a pretty frame with the Louvre in the background. Stephanie and Pedro were elegant and their love evident in every frame. It was such a pleasure to photograph them. We finished the morning at the Louvre Museum, and with the filtered sunlight coming over the former palace of the monarchs, created wedding magic!
Wedding ceremony and celebration at Hotel Marignan in Paris
The big event of the day was to be held at the chic and modern Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysees. Located on Rue Marignan, this hotel was renovated in the last few years’ and is in an excellent location. It also has an Instagram worthy view of the Eiffel Tower from the private terrace, which is connected to a suite, and this is where the ceremony would take place. I was thrilled to see the lovely Laura Montorio, the Paris Officiant, who would be officiating the ceremony and infusing so much meaning into Stephanie and Pedro’s wedding.
I also met the kind and gracious staff of the hotel, as well as the friendly violinist. As we made our preparations for the wedding, I couldn’t help but gawk at the million-dollar views of the Eiffel Tower. I’m at the Eiffel Tower nearly every day for Paris photo sessions with amazing couples from around the world, but you can never get enough of this famous monument. Here, on the balcony, it seemed to sprout up from behind the Haussmanian buildings.
Oh yes, Paris, we love you. It’s so easy to love this gorgeous city! The balcony was set with elegant white chairs and rose petals. There were also two large bouquets of fresh flowers, which of course I had to sniff. I can’t pass roses without smelling them. At the back of the balcony was a table set up, where later the champagne toasts would be served. One by one, Stephanie and Pedro’s guests started to arrive, and they were super friendly and kind. I absolutely love meeting the guests at the weddings I photograph because they’re also an important part of the wedding story. As Stephanie’s family is originally from Ecuador, and Pedro’s family from Portugal, it was a lovely mix of Spanish, Portuguese and English language and I never tire of trying to practice my Spanish, it’s such a fun language.
Guests all seated, it was time for the big entrance. Leading off the processional was a precious 5-year old flower girl and another precious little girl as the ring bearer. Absolutely adorable in their floral dresses. Stephanie’s father walked her down the aisle and she met Pedro, her handsome groom, and Laura began the ceremony. Her words were infused with love and a reminder of the bond of marriage and how strong it is. A wedding is such a beautiful thing, the love between two people and the promise of eternal devotion, and support to that person. It gets me every time, but for once, I didn’t cry. I was too busy capturing the raw emotion and the smiles from the guests and family present. Before we knew it, Laura pronounced Stephanie and Pedro married in Paris!
The newlyweds walked back down the aisle and greeted guests with a champagne toast, as the violinist serenaded us in the background. I captured the happy smiles and laughter of all of Stephanie and Pedro’s guests, numbering just around 30. After the greetings and celebration on the balcony, it was time to take the party to the first floor event restaurant, a comfortable room for Paris weddings.
The dinner provided by the Hotel Marignan was both beautiful to look at and smelled divine. Guests enjoyed fine wine, great conversation, delicious food and Stephanie and Pedro’s favorite music playing in the background, while the flower girls played in the comfortable lounge, just next to the dinner area. Stephanie and Pedro spent time at each table, thanking everyone for coming to Paris and expressing their love to each person.
The finale of the evening was the presentation of the cake. What a magnificent celebration of love and family at this Paris destination wedding! I feel so blessed to have been included in Stephanie and Pedro’s wedding day in Paris, and I wish them a lifetime of happiness! A Paris destination wedding is always a great idea! As an American, I love to work with other Americans getting married in Paris, Provence, or any other region of France.
My goal is to be friendly, professional, fun, and to capture your wedding day from an artistic and journalistic standpoint. My work is a mix between traditional portraits and casual moments between friends and family, to tell your entire wedding story from beginning to end. You can see more about my wedding packages here, and don’t hesitate to contact me, I’d love to learn more about your French destination wedding!