PARIS WEDDING PLANNING
My friend Katerina of Katernia Meyvial a planning and design company in the beautiful city of Paris, offered a guest post a couple of months ago. As a sequel, we are sharing some tips she has for couples who might be thinking outside the box and are hoping to plan their dream wedding in Paris. If life in the midst of a pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that celebrations don’t have to be grandiose or in your hometown. You have the luxury of choosing what is best for you and your spouse no matter if it’s your backyard or the stunning city of light. Big or small, every wedding should be full of loved ones and incredible memories.
Here are a few tips and answers to your most asked questions from Katerina;
Getting married in Paris? Great choice! This is an amazing city that has it all for a beautiful celebration, including splendid venues, amazing catering companies, and a variety of experienced, English speaking vendors. In this article I will share my planning tips and will answer to some very common questions.
How many months in advance shall you start planning your destination wedding in Paris?
- I would recommend starting to plan your wedding 12 to 15 months before the event, if you want to have your wedding during the weekend (Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday). In case, if you are flexible with dates and are happy with a week-day event (Monday to Thursday), you can start 9 months before. This decision will also depend on the type of venue you are looking for. If you want to get married in a castle, it is better to start as early as you can (sometimes 18 months in advance, if your date is fixed and non-negotiable), because chateau weddings are extremely popular between both local French and international clientele. If you prefer to have a celebration in one of luxury hotels in central Paris, then you typically would have more dates available, as French couples rarely celebrate their weddings in hotels.
What is the budget for a wedding in Paris?
- The final budget will obviously depend on various elements like the venue, the menu chosen, the number of people, the volume of the décor, etc etc. In general, for a beautiful wedding in central Paris, one should budget between 700 and 1200€ per person. The smaller your guest number is, the higher per person budget will be needed.
Can we get legally married in France?
- Unless you or one of your parents are a French resident, it is impossible to have a legal ceremony in France. You can however have a religious ceremony in English in a selection of churches like American cathedral, American church or Madeleine church. They will request you to provide a marriage certificate from your home country, and will probably have several skype calls with you before the celebration. You can also opt for a symbolic vows exchange ceremony officiated by a friend or a professional celebrant.
- Do French people speak English?
The team of wedding vendors I work with is very cosmopolite. There are French, Italian, American, English, Ukrainian, Middle Eastern, and of course, all of them speak English.
If you plan to have a destination wedding in Paris, it is important to understand, that there are some differences in the way we celebrate weddings in the US and France. In France, meals and in particular, dinner, last much longer in France. You can expect dinner to last two and a half, sometimes even three hours. This would include a starter, main course, cheese, and dessert. According to a French etiquette (which is always respected) each guest is supposed to start eating his meal only when everyone else at this table has been served. You don’t have to wait for all tables to be served, of course. During the dinner, we would serve wines and water, but not beers, cocktails, or even champagne (except for the dessert or some all-champagne dinners). It is also not common to see people dance or go to the bar during the dinner. As a planner working with international clientele, I know that this is not the way to do in some other countries, and it is of course possible to adapt, if you want. At the same time, when you plan your wedding in France, it might be worthwhile to have the complete experience of a French fine dining, which includes not only the gastronomy, but also the service. Whatever your decision is, knowing these nuances will help to make informative decisions and avoid misunderstandings.
If you would like to know more about your wedding planning in Paris and its surroundings, feel free to get in touch with me! I will be happy to help you to plan your celebration!
A few of Katerina’s all-time favorite wedding venues in Paris;
To view Katerina’s previous write-up covering details on how to plan a Parisian wedding in France, click HERE.
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