This week marks six months since we got married on a drizzly day in Paris, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share a bit about our experience (and hopefully convince you to just consider a destination wedding)! Below is our entire wedding party in one photo.
To kick the celebration off early, the Needham family and I headed out to Bordeaux for a few days of wine tasting and relaxing. My favorite was Chateau Mouton Rothschild - they have a really beautiful gallery of their wine labels (each years is created by a different artist, friend, or noble). Also, if you're in Bordeaux you must check out the wine museum, La Cite du Vin! It was truly so good to spend a few days relaxing before the festivities really got started.
Thursday my family and best friend, Kelli (the only non-family member) finally arrived! Everyone had the afternoon to explore and relax, so the girls naturally headed to the croissants and the Louvre where an elderly gentleman in a fedora asked if he could take our pictures.
For our welcome dinner that night, we embraced the tourist vibe with a dinner at Monsieur Bleu where we could watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle every hour. It was so good to have all of our people in one place.
Side note: this was literally all go-with-the-flow. One of the benefits of a wedding this small is you don't have to plan everything - I booked this restaurant just hours before.
Because Saturday was looking rainy, we decided to move our portraits to Friday while the rest of the crew was on a Fat Tire Bike Tour wandering around the city. Before taking pictures, Jordan and I went to pick out flowers from one of the street shops and grab a quick coffee at a cafe with our sweet photographer, Michelle, and her husband, Bryan.
Fortunately Michelle is a renaissance woman and was able to help build my bouquet, put my dress on and do my hair! Seriously, the best. Jordan came to my room to get me and we had a few private moments together before heading into the city for our pictures. First, a random alleyway I spotted out the side of our Uber and then on to the Palais Royal and Notre Dame.
Two side notes: first, we were originally planning on taking some pictures on the Louvre grounds but there was a stabbing that morning and things were shut down; second, one of our Uber drivers was legitimately crazy and got pulled over... with us in the back... in a tux and wedding gown. Life.
Magical alleyway that happened to have beautifully greenery on a stoop (above), Palais Royal & Notre Dame (below). All photos by Michelle Boyd.
That night, for our rehearsal dinner we sat in an upstairs library room of Verjus. It was the perfect square table to be able to enjoy all of our family and share stories and toasts. Saturday morning finally arrived and I think I got four hours of sleep. Jordan and I went on a walk together that morning before the girls and guys split up. The guys had some of the best barbecue of their lives (in Paris, I know?!) at Melt - a bbq joint owned by some Dallas boys while the girls enjoyed coffees, cheese trays and more macarons than you could ever want while Victoria did our hair and makeup.
Side note: In the balcony picture below, there were several people on the street taking pictures of me with their phones.
My dress was made by Coutures by Laura, the shoes are my favorite ever from Sevilla Smith, and the invitations were written by Kristy Sugg, Illustrated by Hayley Johnson. Oh, and of course, boutonnieres by our ever talented photographer, Michelle.
We had our ceremony and reception dinner at The Peninsula Paris where the staff truly went above and beyond. I am still so amazed and so thankful for how they treated us!
To say I cried the entire time would be an understatement. Something about having so few people there just made the whole weekend incredibly special. Standing out in the hallway with my sweet dad was so surreal, cue the tears. When I turned the corner and saw, not only Jordan, but all of our family I just started bawling.
So much thanks to Michelle and Bryan who traveled to France with us to capture our day!
All in all, we truly loved having our wedding this way and have not once regretted it or wished we could change one thing. We were able to focus on the things that mattered most to us - our marriage, our families, and that we enjoyed our time together. It is certainly not for everyone, but it is definitely worth considering! Thank you to our lovely families who took time off from work and school to celebrate and explore with us! We love you.