Justin & Kelsey | Windy winter Montmartre engagement
When you’re in Paris, you can’t let a little wind get you down! The truth is, it really isn’t very windy in Paris compared to other cities in France. In the south of France, for example, there are strong winds that blow down the Rhône valley called the mistral, and they can gust upwards of 50mph, and they are COLD! In Paris? Not so much, usually accompanied by a low pressure system or storm of some type, high winds aren’t super common.
Justin had contacted me about his surprise proposal in Paris, and had selected the beautiful hilltop Parisian village of Montmartre. It’s one of my very favorite spots, it’s filled with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and used to be the hangout spot for many a famous artist. Van Gogh? Renoir? Degas? Toulouse Lautrec? Picasso? Yep, all of them frequented Montmartre, and if you ask me, you can still feel their spirit. As a Paris surprise proposal photographer, and Paris engagement photographer, Montmartre has long been one of my favorite spots to photograph couples in love, and it’s the perfect place for a proposal.
Many of my clients like the idea of attending mass at Sacre Coeur Basilica. This is an easy ruse then, to get your loved one to Montmartre. There are several pretty spots for a Paris surprise proposal in Montmartre, but one new favorite the back of the basilica. The back? Why not the front?
Well, Montmartre, particularly in summer, draws thousands of people. It’s quite touristy. Hundreds of people sit on the stairs in front of the basilica, and it’s neither private or pretty. But around back, it’s more calm, and the architecture from the back is also beautiful.
The weather forecast was looking dire. In mid-March, heavy rain was expected along with fierce winds and cold. There isn’t much we can do about the weather. I know it upsets a lot of my clients, who envision their proposal will go a certain way, but Paris is not a good weather city, it rains a lot and honestly, I embrace the rain. I find it very romantic and very Parisian.
The wind we could do without, but this day we had actually no rain like they’d predicted, and just had gloomy skies and a strong wind. Still, it would be a morning to remember!
Justin took the love of his life, Kelsey, for a walk around the back of the basilica. Visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina, neither had been to Montmartre before. Justin got down on one knee, Kelsey was super surprised! She was also surprised to see her loving sister and brother-in-law, who came to Paris to surprise her!
What happened next was a wonderful, windy walk around Montmartre, all four of us (plus me). I loved this family, so warm, friendly and inviting, and I so enjoyed chatting with them as I pointed out some of my favorite Montmartre landmarks.
Kelsey felt a bit uneasy as the wind was blowing her hair around quite a bit. Yes, this wouldn’t be a formal type photo session with perfect hair, but rather an emotional, raw and wind blown affair, which I thought was really pretty!
We walked from the basilica to an overlook of Paris, then to the Place du Tertre, where artists still paint to this day (and of course you can have your caricature drawn, too). Then, down to the cute-as-can-be restaurant, La Maison Rose, which was made even more famous by the hit Netflix show, Emily in Paris. I love this street so much!
Then, to my other favorite spot, the charming cabaret of Au Lapin Agile, which looks like a little country cottage. From there, we went back up the hill to grab a coffee and warm up a bit, everyone had cafe cremes. The final stop of the morning was lunch at one of the original windmills in Montmartre, the restaurant Moulin de la Galette. It’s authentic and beautiful, and before I left, I had to capture Justin and Kelsey here.
What an absolutely delightful morning this was, with this joyful, happy couple and wonderful family! If you’re thinking of becoming engaged in Paris, Montmartre is a wonderful choice!