© Timeless Paris Photography
A Paris elopement wedding captured by your elopement photographer in Paris is a wonderful way to celebrate your love in the most romantic city of the world!
You can get married at the Eiffel Tower or near another famous Parisian landmark, all surrounded by the beauty of Paris... You can also continue your Paris elopement wedding with a photo shoot that leads you to the most iconic, stunning and gorgeous spots in Paris.
Also a Paris elopement wedding is an intimate celebration just the two of you or with just a handful of guests – so it will be especially romantic!
Then keep reading! Your Parisian photographer we’ll guide you through the planning process and share with you everything you need to know to elope to Paris.
Here are 6 good reason why you should elope to Paris
Already the idea of planning a big wedding with all the bells and whistles makes you feel nervous and stressed? You feeling anxious just thinking about guest lists, table plans and reception entertainment? Then you should consider to elope to Paris. Planning a Paris elopement wedding is by far less complicated and your stress level will surely and instantly decrease.
Planning a big wedding costs a lot of money. The biggest price points are usually renting a wedding venue and feeding and entertaining your guests (the more guests the more expensive). A Paris elopement wedding is a lot less costy simply because you don’t need a venue. And even if you get one for your ceremony and photo session with your elopement photographer in Paris it will be less expensive as there won’t be a reception. Moreover because it’ll be just the two of your or if you have guests it won’t be many.
Many of our couples say that they decided for an elopement in Paris because they wanted this day to be about the two of them and their love. They felt that a Paris elopement wedding would allow them to focus on what is most important on their wedding day: Each other. Taking a moment just the two of them to fully focus on this key moment of their relationship when exchanging promises and without any distractions is absolutely essential for them – how about you?
You love to travel? Well, that’s already a great reason to elope to Paris. Because elopement by definition means that you get married somewhere else than where you live. And if Paris and France are on your bucket list, then you are more than ready for a Paris elopement wedding.
Maybe the city of love is the only reason you need in order to get married in Paris. Paris means love and romance and is the perfect place to create unforgettable moments. So if you dream about traveling to the city of love and to experience romantic and magical moments here, then a Paris elopement wedding is the perfect way for your to get married.
Some of our couples also say that they decided to elope to Paris because the weren’t happy with their wedding back home. Either they felt that they had to follow traditions or fulfill expectations that they did not identify with. Or they only had a quick civil ceremony and were missing that it wasn’t personal or romantic. So they travel to Paris to do it again – and this time they did it their own way!
First of all elopements in Paris usually take place outdoors. So when choosing your Paris elopement date you need to be aware of the seasons and weather conditions in Paris – that may very much differ from your hometown. There is not the one good season or month to elope in Paris, every time of the year has it’s charm but also challenge. Feel free to have a look at the average temperature and rain fall in Paris to get a rough idea of the seasons here .
Summer: Many couples elope in Paris in summer, because of the warm temperatures. So you clearly won’t freeze outdoors when wearing a bridal gown!
However in Paris we also often experience heat waves that are not very agreeable. And Paris in summer is packed with tourists and Parisians alike enjoying every outdoor spot in the city. So finding calm for your wedding ceremony and Paris elopement photo session may be a little harder.
Spring: Also a popular season! Temperatures are on the rise and experiencing spring bloom in Paris is absolutely gorgeous.
Paris is especially famous for cherry blossoms and magnolia trees. Many couples dream of a cherry blossom wedding. However timing is always a gamble. Cherry blossoms only bloom 7-14 days sometime around mid/late March to mid/late April – so you need some luck.
Also temperatures still drop over night, so mornings and evenings can still be pretty cool. And you’ll learn soon that sunrise and early morning are the best time for your Paris elopement wedding (see below – choose your time!)
Autumn: It may not be obvious but fall is a great season for eloping in Paris! Early fall still has warm and mild temperatures but the city is not so packed anymore. And later in fall you can experience autumn foliage which is extremely beautiful in Paris.
However temperatures are starting to drop usually around mid October. And if you come to late and miss autumn foliage then all the leaves will be gone, usually by the end of November.
Winter: Now winter may not sound like the ideal elopement seasons. And you are right when it’s about temperatures...
Winter in Paris can be pretty cold and you will freeze if you show up in a summery bridal gown. However adequate winter bridal fashion (long sleeves, fur stoles etc.) can keep you warm. Because there are also some advantages of winter elopements!
The main advantage is that Paris will be rather empty (with exception of the Christmas and New Year holidays). Sunrise is a lot later in winter, so you won’t have to wake up so extremely early to have great light for your Paris elopement photo shoot. And especially around Christmas time Paris is magical with all the decorations, blinking lights and Christmas markets (starting from beginning of December)!
You also should consider French holidays when picking your date. Most holidays are based on Christian celebrations, so the same as in many other Western countries: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost etc. However France also has specific holidays: One of the most important holiday is French National Day. You may know it as Bastille Day, we French call it le 14 Juillet (July 14th). It may actually interesting and fun to travel to Paris on National Holiday to experience the large celebrations and great fireworks.
But if you plan your Paris elopement around July 14th it also means that you may encounter a few obstacles: Trocadero, the main place to shoot Eiffel Tower weddings as elopement photographer in Paris, will be closed for a couple of weeks, as the fireworks are set up here. Also many other places in Paris are blocked because of the celebration, so getting around Paris will be a little harder.
There are many other holidays and festivities taking place in Paris. So do your research before and you can always also ask me, your experienced elopement photographer in Paris, because as a local I know my city well!
Apart of the season and French holidays you of course also need to consider your own and personal availability. When can you both take time off to travel? When is a good moment for you to elope in Paris? If you take a long distance flight, you may want to stay a little longer than just a weekend. Many couple also combine their Paris elopement wedding with a honeymoon trip – traveling allover France or even visiting other places in Europe.
Whereas Paris destination weddings or other traditional weddings take place in a private venue, most Paris elopement weddings take place at an outdoor public location. Meaning somewhere outdoors at a beautiful spot for instance near the Eiffel Tower. However you can of course also book a private venue or choose an indoor location for your wedding ceremony and Paris elopement photoshoot. If in doubt, just ask me! As your elopement photographer in Paris I know all the pros and cons ;)
Most Paris elopement weddings take place outdoors at a public place. So that means you can get married near the most iconic and most romantic spots in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tuilerie Gardens, Alexander III bridge, Seine riverside, Luxembourg Gardens – you name it.
Have a look at all the beautiful Eiffel Tower elopement ceremonies and Paris elopements that I shot as Paris photographer for elopement weddings. Or feel free to have a look at the places to elope in Paris that recommends the Paris celebrant Laura Montorio. We often work together and I really love these elopement locations! they are great not only for your ceremony but also for your elopement photo session in Paris.
One great advantage of these elopement locations is that they are public: that means you can just show up (no need to book in advance) and use these elopement locations free of charge. But that also means that anyone else can do that.
So your Paris elopement wedding won’t be private. There will always be other people around. You can limit this risk by getting married very early in the morning (see part III. TIMELINE). But you just cannot plan that there won’t be anybody else but you :)
Also these public elopement locations are outdoors. As elopement photographer in Paris I love shooting with natural light! It's the most beautiful and flattering light for your Paris wedding elopement photos. And it’s beautiful to experience for instance sunrise or spring bloom – you can only have that outdoors!
However you are also depending on weather conditions. Whatever the season you can always encounter bad weather in Paris. So if the weather forecast doesn’t look good on your wedding day, you need to be a bit flexible and either change your date, time or possible simply your elopement location.
You can also elope in a private wedding venue in Paris. There are many beautiful wedding hotels, where you can combine your stay with your Paris elopement wedding. But you can also elope on a riverboat, in a private garden or in an AirBnb. You got an endless choice of private elopement venues in Paris.
The biggest advantage of these venues is of course that they are private. That means your Paris elopement wedding will be intimate with just the two of you and your guests if you have some. No passersby watching your ceremony, no tourists taking photos of you, no groups chatting loud in the background.
However you have to pay for this privacy! Paris is an expensive city and so are most private wedding venues. So you may need a bit of time to research and compare to find a good fit for you.
Private Paris wedding venues can definitely free you from worries about the weather and about crowds. Because they are either already indoors or do have at least an indoor backup location.
In addition you also don’t need to get married at sunrise but can have a smoother and later start into the day as crowds and busy places won’t be your concern. But here again you have to pay for this privilege.
The truth about the timing of Paris elopement weddings is simple but maybe not easy – at least for those of you who are no morning persons. Because for a great Paris elopement wedding at an outdoor public location the starting time is crucial. The earlier we meet the better. Ideally your elopement in Paris starts at sunrise. Depending on the season sun in Paris is rising as early as 5.46 am in summer and as late as 8.44 am in winter. That’s why a winter wedding can be attractive if you are not an early bird. Feel free to have a look at all sunrise & sunset times in Paris.
Why do we need to get up so early for our Paris elopement wedding?
Paris is a densely populated city and also very popular among travelers. So our biggest problem in Paris are crowds. You surely don’t wont to share such a private moment as your wedding ceremony and your wedding vows with a whole bunch of strangers!
Also as elopement photographer in Paris I know that my couples don't love to have plenty of strangers in the background of their romantic Paris wedding photos. So the only way to beat the crowds and enjoy an intimate moment for your Paris elopement ceremony and Paris wedding photo session is to get up early and enjoy the city before it gets busy.
Another good reason to elope in Paris early in the morning are the light conditions for your Paris wedding photos. Not only will it look amazing if we catch a great sunrise for your elopement photos! But the light in general is softer and more flattering in the morning.
The closer we get to noon the harder the light and the harsher the contrasts, which simply won’t look as good. The light is getting softer again in the evening, but by then the city is extremely busy and crowded. That’s why as elopement photographer in Paris I recommend mornings, as it is simply the best time for your wedding elopement in Paris.
Now that you know everything about choosing the ideal date, location and time to elope to Paris, it is time to get yourself a great team of Paris elopement vendors! They will not only make your Paris elopement wedding an unforgettable experience but will also guide you with many tips and useful advice during your elopement preparations. So choose your team well: the more experienced and talented, helpful and passionate your Paris wedding vendors are, the easier your planning and the greater your allover experience.
Any questions about your Paris Elopement? Please drop me a message!
The most important vendor for your big day is your elopement photographer in Paris. I don’t say that because I am an elopement photographer in Paris. But simply because your Paris elopement photographs will be your main keepsake of your wedding day in Paris!
You will be able to share your Paris elopement wedding with your loved ones back home through your photographs. As elopement photographer in Paris I can capture these fleeting, sweet and unique moments of your elopement day and make them unforgettable.
Below a few tips about how to choose your elopement photographer in Paris:
Most importantly you need to love the style of your elopement photographer in Paris.
If an elopement photographer in Paris has great deals, but you don’t like their photography style, you won’t be happy with your Paris elopement pictures.
So think about what’s important for you and don’t make compromises when choosing your elopement photographer in Paris.
Of course your elopement photographer in Paris needs to be within your budget. But don’t just compare the hourly rate alone! Sometimes the hourly rate decreases if you book a longer Paris elopement photographer package.
Also check what is included in the package of your elopement photographer in Paris: number of edited photos, online gallery, black and white photographs, etc. Because sometimes the hourly rate of an elopement photographer in Paris maybe lower, but they also provide a very small number of photos, no black & white images, etc...
It is important that you get along well with your elopement photographer in Paris, so that you can trust them on your wedding day and completely relax. You will communicate with your elopement photographer in Paris a lot in order to prepare your Paris elopement wedding.
As your elopement photographer in Paris I am happy to give you advice for your special day and answer all your questions! I also want you to have a romantic, relaxed and fun experience when eloping to Paris.
Your elopement photographer in Paris should have experience: not only knowing the technical side of photography, but the artistic side too. He also should specialise in elopement weddings, because capturing a wedding is very different from shooting, for instance, landscape, fashion or travel.
You don’t want to have such a unique occasion as your Paris elopement wedding photo shot by someone who has never done this before. And of course your elopement photographer in Paris needs to be talented and professional! Elopement photographer in Paris needs to be their main job. And their portfolio needs to show that they can created beautiful results when shooting your elopement wedding in Paris.
This is very important, because when eloping to Paris you will need some guidance. It may be your first time in Paris, you may not speak French and may not know much about the local conditions and circumstances – especially for something as specific as say Paris elopement photography spots and Paris elopement ceremony locations. So you will need some support and advice from your Paris elopement vendors, namely your elopement photographer in Paris and your officiant in Paris.
Your elopement photographer in Paris as well as your wedding celebrant in Paris definitely should have local knowledge - meaning they work and live in Paris and know their town well. Your elopement photographer in Paris should also be able to speak French. Managing the local language is key in case anything unexpected happens and you need to communicate. As your elopement photographer in Paris at Timeless Paris photography I do speak English and French (as well as Russian). Also as a local elopement photographer in Paris I know this beautiful city very well.
Beside your elopement photographer in Paris, your officiant in Paris or celebrant in Paris will be your most important wedding vendor. They will not only create a beautiful ceremony for the two of you to exchange your vows and get married in Paris. But they will also support you finding a great elopement ceremony location, creating a beautiful wedding ceremony for you, helping your writing your wedding vows or simply answering you all questions around getting married in Paris.
As elopement photographer in Paris I love working with English speaking Paris celebrant Laura from The Paris Officiant. She is absolutely amazing! Laura will help you preparing everything around your Paris elopement, will write the most romantic and personal ceremony for the two of you and make your Paris elopement wedding truly an unforgettable experience.
Don’t break your head, it’s the same. In France a Paris celebrant is doing exactly the same thing as a Paris officiant. There is absolutely no difference, but the name. That also means that a Paris celebrant as well as a Paris officiant can only officiate a symbolic wedding ceremony for your Paris elopement wedding.
In France you can only get married with a legally binding ceremony at your local city hall (mairie). First this is impossible if you are not living in France, meaning you are resident in another country. If you still want to have a civil wedding ceremony in Paris you need to live here at least for 40 days prior to your wedding and will face bureaucratic challenges proving your French residency.
Secondly it is not so attractive to get married in a city hall, because that also means you cannot choose your Paris elopement location. So if you want to get married at the Eiffel Tower or Tuilerie Gardens, you can only make this dream come true with a symbolic ceremony officiated by a celebrant in France or officiant in France. Also civil ceremonies at the city hall are most of the time short, standard and anything but personal and romantic.
Your wedding ceremony is the heart of your Paris elopement wedding. As elopement photographer in Paris I will capture your wedding day so that you can look back at it later. And your wedding celebrant will widely influence how you will experience your elopement in Paris. Your wedding officiant is the person who enables and celebrates your transition from engaged couple to married – a moment that will change your life and relationship forever!
So you should make this moment matter by trusting an experienced professional as your wedding celebrant in Paris. Creating a ceremony does not mean downloading a script from the internet and reading it out loud. It means creating an unforgettable moment that makes you husband and wife - or husband & husband / wife & wife. You will also need local guidance for your Paris elopement ceremony and your professional Paris celebrant or Paris officiant is the perfect person for it!
Whether you need a Paris elopement planner or not really depends on your expectations and your vision. Most of the time it is not necessary to hire a wedding planner for your elopement in Paris. A Paris elopement wedding is usually rather simple to plan as you won’t have many vendors, many guests or a reception to coordinate.
So usually your elopement photographer in Paris and your wedding celebrant in Paris will be able to help you with vendor recommendations, elopement photo itinerary, ceremony location, timeline etc. It will be especially easy to coordinate Paris wedding vendors that are used to work together.
Please feel free to ask me for recommendations! I will be happy to send you the contacts of my trusted vendors.
For example if you would like to elope at a private wedding venue and are looking for a very specific feel/place/budget. Or if you want someone to create a wedding design for your elopement day.
Also if you need help organizing other parts of your elopement day that are not in the frame of Paris elopement photo session and wedding ceremony anymore, such as a candle light dinner or romantic picnic etc. And last but not least if you simply don’t want to worry about a thing on your wedding day and want someone on your side who is taking care of all little details and possible hiccups!
Your wedding elopement photographer in Paris and wedding officiant in Paris may be your main vendors that you are most in contact with and that help you with everything around getting married in Paris. But there are a few other Paris elopement vendors that you may consider hiring for your big day in Paris:
Your elopement photos are covered by me, your elopement photographer in Paris. But a wedding video provides you with a different kind of keepsake that many couples appreciate.
In your wedding film you will be able to hear yourselves exchanging vows in Paris, you will see yourself walking around in Paris and these emotional moments of your elopement ceremony... So a Paris elopement video captures your special day in Paris in a different way and can be a great additional way of sharing your experience with your loved ones back home and to treasure forever your Paris elopement wedding day!
Hiring a hair- and makeup artist can be a great help for the bride on her wedding day! It is reassuring that a professional is taking care of your hair and makeup, making sure that you look your best on your wedding day.
Also beauty artists know how to use makeup that looks especially great on photos and to have your hair done in a way that it holds through your entire elopement photos shoot and outdoor wedding ceremony. In addition how much nicer it is that someone is taking care of you while you can take the time to relax and enjoy the anticipation to soon get married in Paris!
The most beautiful bridal accessory is of course your bridal bouquet and, why not, a boutonniere for the groom!
Most brides choose to have wedding flowers when eloping in Paris. Not only because it is a tradition to have a flower bouquet. But also because it adds freshness and maybe a pop of color to your look!
Most brides and grooms wear the classic wedding colors white and black for their Paris elopement wedding. So flowers may just be the only color on both of you, which always looks great on your Paris wedding photos – especially on cloudy days.
If you are planning a very short Paris elopement wedding only with a quick elopement ceremony and a wedding photo shoot at one location you don’t need to hire private transportation: getting an Uber or a cab will be enough.
But if you are planning a longer Paris elopement photo session at several different locations in Paris then it would make things easier if you hire a private car with chauffeur. This way you don’t loose time of your photo shoot while waiting for your Uber or cab to arrive and you are more flexible if you need to quickly change location.
When renting private transportation you basically have two choice: either you rent a car or van with a chauffeur. Or you rent a vintage car, that you can also use as a prop for your Paris wedding photos. As elopement photographer in Paris I love shooting wedding pictures including a French classic car!
So you have set your date, venue and timeline and are regularly in touch with your elopement photographer in Paris and your other Paris wedding vendors. Now you need to get ready and prepare a few things back home before you elope to Paris!
In general, I wouldn't recommend buying a wedding gown in Paris. Usually it takes you several fittings and you need to order your wedding gown months in advance...
So unless your are traveling regularly to Paris, you should rather choose and buy your wedding dress back home.
Here are the advantages of buying a dress and traveling with it to Paris:
If you intent to wear your dress several times (e.g. for your Paris elopement wedding and then again back home for a little party or reception with your loved ones) then you should buy a dress. Also if want to keep your dress to remind you of your wedding day, maybe even show it to your children one day or wear it again for your vow renewal in Paris (of course;), then buying a wedding gown make more sense.
It may take you a little while until you find the wedding dress of your dreams, the bridal gown that seems to be made for you. And even then you still may need to have it changed to make it fit perfectly. All this takes time: Time to go to different bridal shops and try on different dresses, time to take a decision and then time to order and fit the dress. You usually don’t have that much time when traveling to Paris (unless you are here on a regular basis).
Most likely you won’t be staying in Paris for months, but maybe more like a few days or a week. Maybe it is even your first time in the French capital. So you should enjoy any minute doing what you can only do in Paris: visiting the famous sights, strolling the Parisian streets, eating lots of croissants and cheese, sharing this super romantic moments. Don’t loose time in Paris (and get stressed) looking for a bridal gown, you can do that just as well back home.
You can also rent a wedding dress in Paris!
However, you still would need to plan some time in Paris to find the right dress, take dates at the rentals and maybe have some small alterations done. Also if you don’t find a great dress until your Paris elopement date you will run out of time and would have to settle on a compromise.
There are a few shops in Paris that offer wedding dresses or evening gowns for rent. This can be a great alternative to buying a dress for some brides eloping to Paris!
On average it will be cheaper to rent a bridal gown than to buy it. However renting a bridal gown in Paris is not as cheap as you may hope for.
Also if budget is an issues there are also many young brands that offer more affordable wedding dresses to buy.
If you are sure that you only want to wear your wedding gown this one time on your Paris elopement wedding day and if you don’t want to keep your bridal gown as a memory then renting could be a sustainable option for you!
If you don’t want to worry about how to transport your wedding gown to Paris and then back again, you could consider renting your dress instead. Especially if you plan a longer trip with more destinations than just Paris.
However it is possible and not as hard as you may thing to travel with your bridal gown (read more below!)
Pretty much the same arguments apply for the groom’s outfit and whether to rent or to buy a tux or wedding suit. However there are a few differences:
There are more places in Paris renting tuxes and suits than bridal gowns. So you have more choice to find what you need and renting is not extremely expensive. Also usually it requires less time to find and fit a tux or wedding suit for the groom, then it requires for a wedding dress.
Whereas a bridal gown is easily recognizable as such and you can therefore only wear it for one or at most a very few times, things are different for grooms. For grooms it is easier to use their wedding suit or tux again at many other occasions e.g. as a wedding guests, for all kinds of other life celebrations, sometimes even for business events. Simply because a suit doesn’t shout wedding as much as a bridal gown does. So buying a tux or suit can be cheaper and even very useful on the long run.
If you consider buying your wedding outfits and traveling with them to Paris, here are a few tips to make it safer and smoother for you:
Never put your bridal gown or tux with your checked luggage. Not only can your checked luggage be delayed or even worse get lost. But also as a bridal gown falls under valuable items, so the airline’s insurance or your own would never compensate any damage or loss.
Keep your wedding dress and tux with you in the cabin luggage. Ideally call the airline before to tell them that you will have an additional slipcover with your bridal gown. They will find room for it.
If you have a longer trip in Europe planned, you may not want to keep traveling with your bridal gown and tux. So plan your elopement towards the beginning of your trip, so that you can then send your wedding outfits back via (insured) post mail.
However never send your wedding gown and tux to Paris via post mail. It often gets delayed and you need to find someone that will received your parcel in Paris and store it if it’s early – otherwise it will return to sender.
As mentioned above, your Paris elopement wedding ceremony will be a symbolic ceremony.
If you want to be married before the law as well you need to have a quick civil ceremony back home before or after your elopement in Paris. It does not matter whether you do it before or after, that is your decision.
Some of my couples like to combine this civil ceremony back home with a little celebration including their close families and friends. This way their loved ones feel that they still can celebrate with them, even if they won’t join the main event: your Paris elopement wedding.
But as elopement photographer in Paris I will make sure that you can share beautiful wedding photos with the!
Your decision to elope to Paris may be perfect for the two of you. However not everybody from your family or friends may see it the same way.
That’s why it’s very important to communicate with your loved ones. You know them best and can tell when is the good moment to announce your Paris elopement wedding plans. I recommend to tell them, sooner than later!
Guest who travel with you:
Most of my couples elope in Paris just the two of them, but sometimes they also invite a small handful of guests. Sometimes they bring their parents, sometimes their best friends who love to travel as well. Tell these people as soon as possible that you plan to get married in Paris and that you want them to join you, so that they can make themselves available and plan their trip.
Closest loved ones:
Also even if you decided to elope to Paris just the two of you, tell your close family and maybe your best friends well before your elopement date. First they simply want to know the good news and not feel left out from such an important event in your life. Secondly you can explain why you decided this way and make them feel that their opinion matters – even if you won’t change your decision to celebrate a Paris elopement wedding just the two of you.
Remoter family, friends that you didn’t see in a while, acquaintances, co-workers and the like are also happy to hear about your adventure. But here you can wait a little longer, it may even be enough to tell them after your elopement in Paris – totally up to you.
Ready to start planning you Paris Elopement? Please drop me a message!