Gavin & Jennifer | Paris Wedding Photographer Ritz Hotel
This was the most joyful morning in Paris, photographing Gavin and Jennifer, a dynamic couple living in Los Angeles, California.
Gavin and Jennifer contacted me to talk about what they hoped to be a vow renewal/elopement in Paris. Their situation was a little unique, in that they’d only been married four years. They shared with me that four years’ ago they’d had the most amazing wedding with friends and family in Italy. They loved their wedding day, but as wedding days go by so incredibly fast, they felt that maybe they missed out on a bit of the intimacy of the ceremony between them.
This, in fact, is so common. When we plan our weddings, it’s not only about us getting married. We want our friends and family to enjoy themselves, and be a part of our special day. Of course we do. But sometimes in the excitement of our wedding day, the intimate moments become forgotten, because the day passes so quickly and we are focused on so many things. Gavin and Jennifer wanted to renew their vows in Paris to capture those special, intimate moments between them and just them. They shared with me that like most of us, life had had its challenges and rewards, and so they also wanted to celebrate their unbreakable partnership and overcoming obstacles, to be happier than ever.
Gavin gushed about Jennifer. When I asked what he loved about her, he at first said, well look at her, she’s like a super model. She is so beautiful. But then he went on to talk about her inner beauty and her strength, and how strong of a team they were together and how he couldn’t imagine going through life without her and how important she was to him.
For Jennifer’s part, she felt the same about Gavin. Surely he’s a handsome and successful man, but a great father and husband too, as well as best friend.
Needless to say, I was feeling the love! Sometimes I feel the love so strongly between a couple that I literally feel it somehow transported through my camera lens, and it’s those very special, tender moments that I aim to capture.
Jennifer opted to wear her original wedding gown, which was a gorgeous white lace gown with buttons all down the back and a removable shawl. It was divine. Gavin looked dapper and elegant in a suit and bow tie.
Gavin and Jennifer elected to use one of the many wonderful celebrants and officiants in Paris to celebrate their vows. They had each written their vows out, and the officiant said some very beautiful, personal words to remind them just how important they are to each other and how fortunate we were to be in this beautiful city of Paris.
The next part really gets me–the reading of the vows. There were tears of love and joy both from Gavin and Jennifer. I’m an emotional person, it never, ever gets in the way of my work, but I am also wiping away tears at the same time my couples are, this is why I love what I do so much. I actually feel these emotions on a deep level, which helps me capture these moments I hope my clients will treasure forever.
When you add the emotions of the day and mix it with the Paris backdrop, it is simply magical. We had the ceremony in the Trocadero Gardens, with a glorious view of the Eiffel Tower. The gardens are undergoing extensive renovations through 2024, but they’re a great place for a ceremony (and there are other wonderful places as well).
After the ceremony, there was a celebratory toast, followed by photographs around the Eiffel Tower. Then, we set off for the most beautiful bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III. The statues are so intricate on this bridge, and I adore photographing couples here. We had a private driver, which is essential on your wedding day or vow renewal day. This allows us to be whisked around Paris, not having to worry about traffic, which can be heavy in Paris, weather, or finding a taxi or Uber. We travel in style, no stress, no worries.
The next stop was the drop dead gorgeous gardens called the Tuileries. I love this garden and as I also try to incorporate a lot of nature into my work when I can, usually photograph couples in the garden and also with a view of the famous Louvre Museum.
We headed to the Louvre courtyard itself after the gardens for a stunning view of the Louvre architecture (it used to be a palace) and of course, the very popular glass pyramid. By this time, in the summer sun, it was time to wind down our photo session and I could think of no better place to do that than at The Ritz Hotel, where Gavin and Jennifer were staying.
The Ritz Paris is one of the grandest hotels in the world. It’s a luxury five-star hotel that’s hosted the very rich and very famous, and everyone in between.
The hotel was founded all the way back in 1898 by César Ritz and the French chef Auguste Escoffier. It’s a little known fact that the hotel was constructed behind the façade of an 18th century town house and was one of the very first hotels in Europe to provide en suite bathrooms, electricity and telephones in each room. My how times have changed!
Because of it’s luxurious surroundings, it wasn’t long before royalty, politicians, writers, movie stars and music stars began staying there. Both Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway were guests, and Coco Chanel lived there for some time.
When you stay in a hotel in Paris, you expect luxurious surroundings, but what makes The Ritz Paris special is the staff. They truly make you feel like a king or queen. Inside, I photographed Gavin and Jennifer on some of the gorgeous and elegant staircases, we had a bit of fun in the parlor, a dance on the regal blue rug, and went to the garden for some photos with the fountain.
All good things must come to an end, so I said goodbye to Gavin and Jennifer as they went to their room, but photographed them on their balcony before leaving. They were an amazing couple to photograph and spend time with, I feel so incredibly fortunate.
Whether it’s an elopement, wedding, or vow renewal, as a Paris wedding photographer, its my absolute honor and privilege to work with clients to create their most magical day in Paris. A day to never be forgotten in the City of Light!