The city of lights and the city of love—what better place to tie the knot than Paris? This dream location sounds enchanting, but planning for a wedding abroad can overwhelm any bride. Thankfully, wedding planner Élodie Decaix-Nicolas from La Fabrique À Rêves gives advice about the ins and outs of arranging for your Parisian wedding.
Élodie Decaix-Nicolas, wedding planner of La Fabrique À Rêves, Marseille France
MW: What are the top five things a bride should know before beginning to plan her Parisian wedding?
Élodie Decaix-Nicolas: Paris is the ideal city to get married! The most romantic city in the world. There are many ideas: Everyone has the opportunity to organize a ceremony like this. Seriously, you should know that it often rains—even if it does not take away the charm of the city, always think of places that are covered. Because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, wedding venues are booked well in advance, so you have to start early to have a choice. Whatever the chosen place, it will provide a fairly substantial budget. And finally, we must know that it is possible to organize a ceremony in Paris with an officiant who speaks English or another language. There are also the English churches!
MW: During the planning process, what do you see brides stress over the most?
EDN: During the scheduling process, the bride is not really stressed. The secret to not stressing is confidence in the wedding professionals. However, a few days before the wedding, the bride is always stressed. She is afraid of the weather. Is it going to be nice? Is it going to be cold? She doubts her choices. ‘I should have chosen another hairstyle; I should have requested more flowers, I should have arranged three photographers!’ Don’t worry! You made the good choices. Take advantage of the most beautiful day of your life!
MW: What is the most important factor in choosing a venue?
EDN: You have to have a love at first sight! It has to look like you and you have to feel good inside. Of course, it must be consistent with your number of guests and your budget.
MW: How far in advance should brides begin planning for their Parisian wedding?
EDN: Generally, I would say that 10 to 15 months is very good timing. But there really is no rule. Some contact me only three or four months before.
MW: When all is said and done, what makes a Parisian wedding unlike any other?
EDN: It’s Paris! There is a kind of magic in this city. Quintessentially France, Paris is the destination romanticism. Elegant and full of history, this city of love is a perfect environment to celebrate your union—the famous Eiffel Tower, the magic of Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur, the grace of cobbled streets, the book sellers on the docks, the old neighborhoods, and the architecture.
MW: Are there any special design details or cultural customs brides can include that make the affair feel particularly Parisian?
EDN: Paris, it’s Parisian chic, you can dare to use shining gold, silver, crystal with white, red, blue, black or pink. Table names of streets of Paris, museums, or monuments. For your table plan, do not hesitate to give names to your tables such as Sacred Heart, Champs Elysées, Quai d’Orsay. An invitation with a simple Eiffel Tower, or old photos of Paris. You can also make a save the date video to be produced in Paris. Macaroons at Ladurée or a miniature Eiffel Tower for the guest gift. Create a bright and intimate setting with garlands, candles, and chandeliers to make it romantic. Musical entertainment with French cancan or a Parisian orchestra singing Edith Piaf. Candy bars with macaroons, cupcakes, the Paris-Brest, and sucre d’orge.
Venue: Pavillon de Musique de la Comtesse du Barry / Hôtel de Crillon / Yachts de Paris / Le Pavillon Dauphine / Shangri-La Paris / France-Amériques
Wedding Planner: La Fabrique À Rêves
Floral & Décor: Frederic Garrigues / Madame Artisan Fleuriste / Canopea Design
Photographer: Studio Cabrelli
Videographer: MG IMAGE
Caterer: Potel et Chabot / Butard Enescot
Wedding Cake: Sugarplum Cake Shop
Invitations & Signage: Papier et Poésie / Nabefabric / Atelier du Bilboquet / Véronique Deshayes / Mister M Studio
Wedding Dress: Celestina Agostino / Delphine Manivet / Rime Arodaky