Paris wedding by the Eiffel Tower - Shangri La Hotel

Planning a Dreamy Paris Wedding? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

Is a Paris wedding a good idea? Why is a wedding in France so alluring?

For most of us, the first place that comes to mind when we think of a romantic getaway, is France.

And why wouldn’t it be? The remarkable architecture, the exquisite cuisine and the breathtaking scenic views are enough to make anybody fall in love with Paris.

Famously known as the city of love, Paris has quickly become a popular spot to say your wedding vows.

Planning a destination wedding, regardless of the location, is surely a daunting task. However, after working in the industry of weddings France for almost 10 years, we gathered valuable experience. Based on this experience, we’ve compiled a complete guide for everything you need to know for the perfect Paris wedding.

Planning a destination wedding in Paris - Shangri La wedding location
Wedding Ceremony setup at the Shangri-La Paris. Event by Estelle Monnot Events

Destination Wedding in Paris

Destination weddings are the most popular trend in the wedding market, and our expert opinion is that they’re here to stay. Many couples no longer want classic ceremonies – instead, they want their wedding to be an unforgettable experience. From our experience, destination weddings in France are on the rise during the past 3 post pandemic years.

Not only for themselves, but for their beloved guests as well.  It’s true that destination weddings might require more research and effort, but they guarantee an adventure of a lifetime. We believe a wedding in France is a true adventure.

Europe hosts several destination weddings, and we believe that of all the top wedding locations, Paris is definitely the most popular one. In fact, there’s even a name for it: A Paris Elopement! How many cities do you know that have a name dedicated to their wedding ceremonies?

Since France separates Church and State, it’s not possible to get married officially in a chapel. Marriage ceremonies are conducted in civil ceremonies at the town hall. However, the bride and groom must have resided in France for at least 40 days (hello, pre-honeymoon!). A religious ceremony requires a marriage certificate that is delivered by the French authorities.

Symbolic wedding ceremony in Paris conducted by a celebrant or officiant
Symbolic wedding ceremony conducted by a Paris officiant or Paris celebrant

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony in Paris

Due to the conditions, most couples looking to have a destination wedding in France choose to have the official ceremony at home and the “symbolic”, more romantic, ceremony in France. This is a simpler approach, and it’s what we recommend to foreigners. The symbolic ceremony can be performed by a Paris celebrant or officiant. Most of the events that we photograph in Paris are Eiffel Tower weddings.

PRO TIP: Book your Paris officiant in advance, so you can get a chance to discuss the requirements as well as get to know them. It’s always stressful to be blindsided before the big day.

If you’re planning on having a civil ceremony in Paris, here’s a list of the required paperwork and documents:

  1. Proof of residency in France, at least 30 days prior to the wedding, for at least one of the parties
  2. Valid Passports
  3. Original Birth Certificates
  4. Prenuptial Agreement
  5. Certificate of Celibacy
  6. Divorce Decree (in case of previous marriage and divorce)

Types of Paris Weddings: Elopement or Destination Wedding?

For some, the perfect wedding sounds like an adventure of two – a Paris Elopement. When the couple flies to France and gets married (sometimes in secret).

First dance during a Paris Elopement at the Plaza Athénée

For others, the perfect Paris wedding is an intimate affair, including only their closest friends and families – an Intimate Wedding in Paris.

Intimate wedding in Paris involving the close family
Intimate wedding in Paris – Wedding ceremony on a private balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower

Then others might opt for a big fat wedding with a massive guest list – a Paris Destination Wedding. As long as your decision is based on what makes you happy, it’s the right one.

Bride and groom walking out from the American Cathedral in Paris after religious ceremony during their destination wedding in Paris

PRO TIP: It always helps to create a vision board for your wedding. It makes it easier to figure out what you want, and even easier to transform your dream wedding into a reality.

What Paris wedding vendors you’ll need for your wedding ceremony in Paris

Like any other wedding, a Parisian wedding requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a list of vendors that should be booked before the big day:

Beauty Artist – Wedding Hair & Make-up Professional

The bride is indisputably the most important person of the day (sorry, Mr. Groom), so it’s important to book a Paris makeup artist that makes you feel and look beautiful.

A wedding in Paris is usually a day-long affair, so go for a look that stays flawless throughout your celebrations.

Wedding hair and make-up artist is one of the main paris wedding vendors
Beauty artist Onorina Jomir creating a timeless look for Paris bride during wedding day

Paris Wedding Dress Designer

If you plan on getting your wedding dress from Paris, it’s best to book them at least a couple months in advance, since designers need time to get the dress ready on time.

Paris Wedding Photographer & Videographer

Make sure to do your research before booking your favorite wedding photographer in Paris. I would say that there are many talented artists, both photographers and videographers in France, so you are spoiled with choices. Check the style, the French wedding photographers approach to the wedding day, their personality on social media and don’t hesitate to talk to them. If you can’t decide, follow these tips for how to choose a wedding photographer, gathered from a variety of wedding and elopement photographers all around the world.

Our approach here at The Paris Photographer is to capture the wedding day in an organic, non-intrusive way. We focus on showing how the wedding day felt to the bride and groom. That’s why we strive to blend in the wedding party and capture emotions, spontaneous moments.

From the getting ready moments, until the cake cutting, we spend time capturing images that show the beauty of the place in which you are getting married. We try to become experts of Paris wedding venues and see them with our artistic vision to show that in your Paris wedding photos. Plus, we emphasize the beauty of the people we photograph, especially the bride and the groom. It’s your most special day after all.

If there are guests at your wedding in Paris, you should think of family portraits in your wedding timeline. Family photos during the day are important to us. Those portraits will be cherished by parents, but also by you in the future.

Focus on the beauty of the bride and the setting
Couples portraits captured by wedding photographer in Paris - Fran Boloni The Paris Photographer

PRO PHOTO TIP: We always recommend that you go for a first look during the wedding day. It adds an incredibly sentimental touch, and it can be caught perfectly on camera.

Event Caterers

Caterers typically include food, drinks and the wedding cake, which most of the time is actually a croquembouche.

Croquembouche wedding cake being cut by bride and groom

Floral Designer

French wedding floral designers are highly creative individuals responsible to make your wedding day look stunning. They usually are in responsible for the wedding decorations of the ceremony setting as well as the reception room setting.

Floral designers will accompany you to make the best decisions related to colors, sizes and flower types. Such that your wedding decoration looks fresh and gorgeous. Some of the most renown Paris floral designers for luxury weddings are: Sumptuous Events Paris, Le Jardin d’Audrey and Floraison Paris.

Luxury floral design and wedding cake

Paris Officiant – Paris Celebrant

The celebrant is the key person for the success of your wedding ceremony. We have put together a quick guide as well as a list of highly recommended Paris celebrants so that you can choose the one that fits best your Parisian wedding.

Paris Wedding Planner

PRO TIP: If you’re traveling from abroad, it’s always best to hire an event planner. Not only will they have a better know-how, it’ll give you a chance to sit back and leave all the stress to them. Most importantly, they will be more acquainted with the pricing, and therefore, will land you the most economical all-inclusive Paris wedding package.

P.S: I have done all the digging and rounded up the best Paris wedding planners!

Logistics and Accommodation for Weddings in Paris, France

Other than these wedding vendors, you should have planned for where your guests will be staying and the logistics. To avoid problems, book accommodations for your guests well in advance to avoid not getting the rooms of your choice.

You will need to rent cars according to the number of guests, as well as a car for the bride and groom. Based on the couple’s personality, you can opt for a classic vintage or a classy luxury car. Either way, choose a car that’ll leave your guests’ jaws dropped long after you’ve driven away.

One more tip, try to put together activities for your guests, to offer them an unforgettable experience of their trip to Paris. A romantic or family photo shoot in Paris is always a good idea, to create memories that your friends will cherish forever. But there are many more activities that you can book, such as day-trips, cooking classes. Check out this list of activities for your Paris wedding guests from Wedaways.

Paris wedding venues - Parisian hotels or Parisian palaces
Parisian Hotels are one of the most desired wedding venues in Paris

You will be delighted to hear that Paris is bursting with breathtaking venues for weddings. Here’s a list of popular wedding venue types in France:

  1. Hotels:  For the fairytale styled Paris wedding theme in ballrooms.
  2. “Péniches” (Parisian barges): Capable of hosting large gatherings, boats offer a romantic atmosphere as the couple exchange vows or celebrate the wedding reception.
  3. Chateaux: Surrounded with the beauty of Mother Nature, and perfect for a royal ambience.
  4. Gardens: For those who love the botanical vibes and natural scenic views, Paris has plenty of exquisite parks and gardens for a classy and timeless wedding.

Whether it’s a hotel ballroom or a scenic chateau, we guarantee that there’s at least one venue that will leave you starry-eyed. You can catch plenty of them in this Parisian wedding venues guide that we’ve compiled to help you find your dream wedding location. In case you are considering an intimate or small wedding however, then we recommend the guide for small wedding venues in Paris France.

Bride posing for pictures during getting ready moments on her balcony at Plaza Athénée

Eiffel Tower Wedding

Before we jump onto any other venues, let’s answer the one question that everybody’s thinking of:

Can you get married by the Eiffel Tower?

Yes, you can definitely get married at the Eiffel Tower! It’s no surprise that it’s one of, if not, the most popular locations for a symbolic ceremony in Paris.  Located near the Seine River, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from a lot of spots, including the Trocadéro and Champ de Mars, which also make glorious spots to exchange your vows.

Here is a list of venues that offer a beautiful view over the Eiffel Tower and can host a small wedding party: the Shangri-La Paris, The Peninsula Paris, Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower.

Trocadero gardens as a ceremony spot for an Eiffel Tower wedding
Trocadero gardens are a cost-free option for wedding ceremonies by the Eiffel Tower
Parisian rooftop as an Eiffel Tower wedding venue
Private rooftops are ideal if you wish to avoid the crowds for your Eiffel Tower wedding

PRO TIP: Since it’s a tourist spot, it’s usually always crowded at/near the Eiffel Tower. Go a few days before your big day to observe when it’s quietest, which is usually early morning.

Top Hotel Choices for the Perfect Paris Wedding Reception

  • Shangri-La Hotel: Perfect for an intimate Eiffel Tower wedding or a luxury ballroom wedding.
  • Ritz Paris: Revered as one of most luxurious hotels in Paris, Ritz Paris is studded with grand ballrooms that would make the perfect venue.
  • Ciel de Paris: It’s no coincidence that it’s called the Sky of Paris. Located within the skyscraper Montparnasse, Ciel De Paris offers an unparalleled view of the dreamy city. If you choose this for your wedding, you’ll feel nothing less than royalty. 
  • VIP Paris Yacht Hotel: This venue brings the entire Paris to one location.  As you announce your love for each other to the world, this luxurious yacht will gently sway you along the Seine River.

PRO TIP: If you’re going for a large wedding, it would be smart to opt for a chateau wedding. Not only do the castles accommodate more people, but you can rent them for the entire weekend to spend time with your loved ones.

Chateau wedding in Paris
Chateau wedding ceremony at Chateau de Chantilly. Event planned by Inga Wedding in France

In all the planning frenzy, don’t forget to host the wedding rehearsal! It presents an opportunity to work out all the details and gives the couple a chance to make any last-minute changes. It also allows the families and friends to come together in Paris and get acquainted, which will make the wedding party even more fun. And most importantly, wedding rehearsals mean less stress on the big day!

What is the Most Ideal Time to Throw a Wedding in Paris?

In Paris, the weather tends to be most pleasant from spring to autumn (April to October). It’s best to steer clear from harsh weather conditions that can happen in winter. That being said, Paris is incredibly beautiful around the Holidays and can make for a perfect destination for a New Years Eve wedding.

How Much Does it really Cost to Host a Wedding in Paris?

If you are wondering: how much is a wedding in Paris? The answer is: depending on the location, photographer and other aspects, French weddings typically cost from €15,000 – €40,000.

Venue costs can range within €1700- €4500. A lot of costs also depend on the number of guests, such as hotel accommodation, logistics and catering. The average budget for a 100 guests wedding in Paris is around 25K€ according to Sumptuous Events. You may want to investigate finance options if that seems like a lot.

Since only civil marriages are legally binding, many couples have to have two ceremonies – the civil ceremony and the Paris wedding reception. The notary fees for a civil ceremony is €350 – €400, and €200 – €300 for a religious ceremony.

Paris wedding cost depends on the venue
Bride and groom first kiss during wedding ceremony at The Peninsula Paris

Whether you’re a local or a romantic tourist, it’s always memorable to add local traditions to your wedding in Paris. Other than delicious food and fine wine, the French adorn their weddings with several customs and traditions.

1. The Grand Entrance

For instance, there is a great focus on the grand entrance, which goes something like this: once the guests are seated, the groom is accompanied with his mother as he walks the aisle. This is followed by a train of beautiful flower girls scattering petals, and boys carrying the ring, who make way for the bride and her father. The grand entrance is one of the most anticipated events of the wedding, and we must admit, it sounds absolutely magnificent.

The grand entrance is an important wedding tradition in France
Bride and groom making their grand entrance during wedding in Paris

2. French Onion Soup

A highlight of a French wedding is the La Soupe a l’Oignon – onion soup – that is served late in the evening or even in the early hours of the morning. French weddings typically last the entire day and night, so the soup is given to help recover from the long night of dancing and partying. As a tired but happy guest, I would personally welcome the soup with open arms.

3. The Delectable Pyramids – Champagnes and Cream Puffs

Another exciting tradition is the champagne pyramid, which is exactly what the name suggests – a pyramid of champagne glasses that looks like a beautiful mess, as champagne is poured onto the top glass. Instead of the traditional wedding cake, the French have what is called a croquembouche, which is essentially a pyramid of cream puffs. I think it’s safe to say that the French love pyramids, but we’re definitely not complaining!

French wedding tradition the champagne pyramid being filled by the newly weds
Champagne pyramid being filled by the bride and the groom

I would say that there are many more traditions that we couldn’t cover in this guide. Check out the interesting article from French Bedroom Company for more interesting French wedding traditions.

If you still have doubts as to why a Paris wedding isn’t the best idea ever, we’ve got three words for you: romance, beauty and food! Paris is love, and love is Paris. Getting to tie the knot with your beloved surrounded with picturesque views and delectable food and wine; well, that sounds like a magnificent dream that nobody should miss out on.

If you have any questions about your upcoming Paris wedding, please write us below in the comment section. Or send us a message on our contact page.

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