Kelly & Mark | Touching Paris elopement at Palais Royal
It’s never too late for love wedding elopement in Paris at Palais Royal! Finding love is not easy. At least not for me. Some people seem like they find love very easily. But finding love can become more challenging the older we get. Or at least that’s how it seems. That’s why, when you hear about beautiful love stories like the one of Kelly and Mark, it really makes you feel hopeful, joyful, and like anything is possible.
Kelly contacted me to plan a Paris elopement ceremony. She and her fiancé Mark met in one of the most modern ways possible, online. They both love Paris and come to Paris many times a year. Mark used to live in Paris in the 1990s. Paris holds a very special place in their hearts. Their love story is inspiring. Kelly said she messaged Mark first, that he looked really interesting, that he was a great writer and had a great sense of humor. After writing a bit, they decided to speak on the phone. Kelly says their conversation on the phone seemed so short, but in reality they’d spoken for hours. It went by so quickly. So much in common and so much to talk about.
But Kelly wasn’t sure, there was quite a bit of distance between them, but Mark said that it wasn’t really that far, because he really wanted to meet Kelly. They met in person and have been together ever since, that was five years ago. They each have a history, both have demanding careers and families, but they’ve blended their loves together in the loveliest way. Now, many of Kelly and Mark’s children are beginning their married lives, and Kelly and Mark wanted to begin theirs too. They could not have selected a more wonderful place than Paris to celebrate their love and start their marriage. It’s a great place for a honeymoon too!
We discussed what Kelly was looking for, and she ideally wanted to have her ceremony at the Eiffel Tower, with some wedding photos around Paris after the ceremony. She was also looking for an officiant, flowers and a musician. I connected her with a great Paris officiant, along with flowers and violinist. Then, it was time to discuss the day we’d spend together. First, we’d meet at the Eiffel Tower and have the ceremony in the Trocadero Gardens, with a view of the Eiffel Tower. After the ceremony, we’d create some beautiful memories of the now married couple at the Eiffel Tower, and then head to the Louvre for some more gorgeous photos.
But Mother Nature seemed to have other plans.
Rain, rain go away
The forecast called for partly cloudy skies and a high of 64F in the days leading up to Kelly and Mark’s wedding. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in Paris, it’s that you cannot count on the weather forecast. The atmosphere had been very unstable all week, with intermittent showers. Yet, I was sure that the sun would be shining on Kelly and Mark’s wedding day. Our Paris officiant, Rev Michelle Wahilia, was a bit concerned, because the violinist cannot play in the rain, the instrument can become wet and damaged, and we didn’t want that. So we came up with a Plan B, and that was that if there was a chance of rain, we’d have the wedding ceremony at the Palais Royal gardens, which have some cover. I was sure this wouldn’t be necessary, but once in a while, I’m wrong!
Kelly and Mark loved the look of the Palais Royal, so we decided not to tempt fate and do things a bit out of order. Instead of starting the day at the Eiffel Tower with the ceremony, we’d just do some photos there to begin the day. The issue is that the Eiffel Tower gets super busy later in the morning with tourists, making beautiful photography almost impossible. Especially on a Saturday. We’d begin at Trocadero, then move around to some great locales with views of the Eiffel Tower, and then head to Palais Royal for the ceremony. Afterward, we’d finish our magnificent photo session at the Louvre. Kelly liked the sound of the plan, so we went for it.
I was so thrilled to meet Kelly and Mark, we had emailed so many times, but to meet them in person was wonderful. Kelly wore an elegant and smart pantsuit with attached cape, and Mark looked handsome in his suit. The couple also brought along some very good friends from the United States to share in the happiness, and it was wonderful to meet them!
The morning started off just cloudy, but then we moved into the dampness. Mist turned into showers. Why is it that weather forecasts don’t seem correct? No one wants to take photos in the rain. No one. But unfortunately, we cannot control the weather and the show must go on. That said, some of my prettiest work has been in the rain, under umbrellas, and it also gives you an excuse to canoodle with your sweetie.
Kelly and Mark did the right thing and purchased a clear umbrella, which would help keep them dry but still allow us to see the Eiffel Tower in the background. Clear umbrellas can be purchased on Amazon ahead of time, or at any of the tourist shops in Paris or department stores. I photographed Kelly and Mark in the rain, with umbrellas at Trocadero and along the river, as well as a few photos on the bridge of Bir Hakeim. Sometimes the bridge provides cover from the elements, but depending on the wind, it can still be rainy, and that was the case this day. Despite the images being rain-filled and misty, I do think they are very romantic!
After we completed our photos with the Eiffel Tower, we headed in a taxi to Cafe Nemours in Place Colette, where the officiant and the violinist, Camilla, were waiting for us. We all took a coffee break and relaxed for a bit, and did some touch ups in the rest room. Mark’s suit had also gotten quite soaked, so this allowed him to dry off a bit too, before the big moment!
Time to get married!
Just behind Cafe Nemours is a garden called Palais Royal, near the Louvre Museum. It is magnificent, and has covered columns that provide both beauty for photos, as well as cover from the elements. It’s a wonderful place to have a Paris elopement ceremony, especially when a view of the Eiffel Tower is not mandatory. We set up a space with a beautiful view and pleasant spot for a Paris wedding. Reverend Wahilia crafted a personal and meaningful wedding ceremony, and Camilla played the most heavenly music on the violin. Kelly and Mark exchanged vows and then rings, as Reverend Wahilia pronounced them married. It was a very joyous moment, topped with a kiss and a champagne toast. Then, it was time for the first dance. I absolutely loved photographing Kelly and Mark, so in love and in sync with each other, and so blessed to be spending their lives together.
After the dancing, we spent a bit more time in the gardens photographing some of the fall colors, by now the rain had returned to a mist. We also headed across the street to the famous Louvre Museum and captured the newlyweds set against the backdrop of the celebrated pyramid. But I couldn’t let Kelly and Mark go before popping next door to the Tuileries Gardens, which they both love, to photograph them with the autumn flowers. They looked so happy and despite the fact we had a bit of a soggy day and things got a little muddy, a little rain falls in Paris but it can’t change the beauty of the love between two people, and these newlyweds shined all day long.
Sometimes I can’t believe my good fortune, in that it’s my role to document these very special moments in a couple’s lives. The wedding ceremony of Kelly and Mark was touching, emotional and made me want to hug everybody! Love is grand, and doesn’t matter your age, or where you’re at in life, when it touches you it’s precious and you want to grab it and hold onto it forever.
Kelly and Mark already have a wonderful life together, but now, as a newly married couple in Paris, they’ve taken their love to the very next level. It was a joyful experience meeting them and photographing their wedding day in Paris, and I wish them a lifetime filled with happiness and laughter, and can’t wait to see them back in Paris!
f you’d love to have your wedding ceremony, elopement ceremony or vow renewal in Paris, I’d love to not only photograph it for you to cherish, but help put you in contact with professional vendors who’ll make your day spectacular in Paris!
Contact me here about your Paris wedding, elopement or vow renewal, and see you soon in Paris!