couple have elopement ceremony in paris

Charming Vintage Style Elopement in Montmartre, Paris

When people think of weddings, they usually think of big affairs, with many guests. The traditional wedding is amazing, and sharing a special day with family and friends, and having a big party is a time-honored tradition. But, what if you and your fiancé(e) are introverted and don’t like the thought of being in front of a lot of people, what if you want the experience of a wedding, but not with all of the other pressures that go along with it? What if you love to travel and can imagine sharing your words of love, just the two of you in a beautiful place? What if you’re not in your 20s anymore, and feel like, perhaps in mid-life, that a wedding is only for younger people? Elopements are a truly intimate and meaningful way to celebrate your love story. As a Paris elopement photographer, I was thrilled to be contacted by this lovely couple, who wanted to celebrate their elopement in Paris, and have beautiful photos to remember their special day.

newlyweds walk down stairs at sacre coeur basilica paris

It All Started with a Video Call

As an elopement photographer in Paris, I love to meet my potential clients on a video call, to get a feel for their personalities, what they’re dreaming of, and how I can help them achieve that dream. Whether it’s Paris, Provence, the French Riviera, or somewhere else in Europe, my expertise helping plan and photograph elopements allows me to really ask probing questions to ensure my couples’ elopement day is everything they dreamed of.

Tamera and Jeremy were a dynamic couple on the video call, and I loved them from the start. They live in Portland, Oregon, Tamera works in the fitness industry and Jeremy in the HR industry. They are active, and fun, and I learned we shared a love of running. This beautiful couple planned to come to Europe, Tamera was going to run in the Edinburgh, Scotland marathon, and afterward, they’d come to Paris for what they hoped would be a beautiful elopement, celebrating their love story.

They met two years ago and fell in love quickly. Both having had past relationships and each having grown children, they found love in “mid-life”, which for many is a surprise. Our society seems to place value on the young, and when you get older, all of the fun stuff goes out the window. Getting married in your 50s? Having a wedding in your 50s? To a lot of people in this generation, or even for couples in their 30s and 40s, the big wedding just doesn’t feel right. I totally understood what Tamera and Jeremy were looking for and I could not wait to meet them.

bride and groom embrace in paris

Preparing Ahead of Time

When you elope, there are a lot of worries, not as many as if you were having a big event, but there are still worries for a lot of people, such as:

  • Can we be legally married in France?
  • What about having an officiant, is that possible?
  • What if we’d like flowers?
  • How about music?
  • Is it possible to have a professional makeup artist?
  • Where could we have our ceremony?
  • Could we also have a wedding photo session?

The good news is, with the proper help by your side, everything is possible! You cannot be legally married in France without establishing residency, so most couples get married in their home countries at a courthouse to take care of the legalities, and their elopement in France is symbolic and so special.

There are very good officiants and celebrants in Paris, flowers can be arranged, musicians too, and most couples like an outdoor ceremony with a pretty view. However, some couples like to privatize a space, so that is possible as well. As far as having a wedding photo session to capture the memories of the day, absolutely!

Elopements should be as little stress as possible, and as an elopement photographer, I help my couples with basic planning, too. Tamera and Jeremy decided they’d like an officiant, so I connected them with a wonderful officiant, as well as a makeup artist. They decided to bring their own music on a Bluetooth speaker, and we discussed locations in Paris. The couple decided to stay in Montmartre, which is on a high hill with an unreal view over the city. It’s so popular with tourists, that we decided to start at sunrise.

I worked on a time line for Tamera and Jeremy, we’d meet at their hotel just before sunrise, do a beautiful wedding photoshoot in Montmartre before the officiant arrived around 7:00 am, and then we’d have a beautiful ceremony with a stunning view. After the ceremony, we’d take a taxi to the Eiffel Tower, and finish up the morning with cute cafe stop. It all sounded wonderful and I could not wait to meet them!

newlyweds share a laugh in paris

The Wedding Day – Act I

One thing to keep in mind if you’re visiting Paris, always have an umbrella handy. Summer in Paris isn’t a sure thing, and this particular year, the entire month of May was rainy as can be, and June started the same. By some stroke of luck, the skies cleared for Tamera and Jeremy’s wedding day. I arrived to their hotel to greet them at 5:30 am, as they were putting the finishing touches on their wedding outfits. Jeremy was handsome in his gray suit, and Tamera was stunning! Her makeup had been professionally applied, her hair so beautiful, and she wore the cutest dress, a white dress which gave vintage vibes. She paired her dress with some cute heels, and I felt for most of the morning that I was in the presence of this very elegant doll, and also like we were enacting Paris scenes from The Notebook, that is, if that movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks had been filmed in Paris!

Simply stunning and friendly couple, marrying their best friend and love of their life in Paris.

woman kisses man with incredible view in paris
newlyweds dance in paris
newlyweds embrace in montmartre paris

A Wedding Photoshoot Around Montmartre

We had the streets to ourselves in the early morning, and we started our photo session with magnificent views over Paris. Then, to some of the cute side streets of Montmartre, but beware, this is Cobblestone Country, so not easy to walk in heels! But the charm is so worth it. I love the color in Montmartre, as Paris has elegant architecture, which most people love, it doesn’t have a ton of color. But Montmartre does have some color, particularly pink and orange, with a few reds tossed in. I so enjoyed walking around the neighborhood with Tamera and Jeremy, and pointing out some interesting spots, like the vineyard in Montmartre.

newlyweds walk in montmartre place du tertre paris
newlyweds embrace at sacre coeur basilica paris
newlyweds embrace at au lapin agile cabaret paris
newlyweds walk up staircase in montmartre paris
newlyweds pose in front of musee de montmartre paris
newlyweds smile as they sit on bench in paris
newlyweds embrace in front of famous pink restaurant in paris
groom passionately kisses bride before wedding ceremony in paris
newlyweds walk and laugh in paris
groom lifts bride on streets of paris
newlyweds walk under flower canopy in paris
man lifts woman on streets of paris montmartre
newlyweds pose in front of lamp post in montmartre paris
woman kisses man with incredible view in paris
newlyweds share a laugh in montmartre paris

Time for the Ceremony

It was now time to head back to the Montmartre overlook for the wedding ceremony! We met Aude, the officiant there and took a spot. The ceremony started out super sweet, with the soft glow of the sun warming the couple, and I had so much fun photographing them from epic angles. Aude had crafted a beautiful, meaningful ceremony, which she spoke in both English and French, and then the couple read their vows to each other in little Paris booklets they’d bought. It was so incredibly touching! I love love, and I love seeing people happy and in love, so these moments make me feel so warm and joyful. Their wedding was sealed with a kiss, and followed by a beautiful dance, overlooking all of Paris. The couple chose Lover by Taylor Swift as their special song.

couple say their wedding vows in paris with view of basilica

Can I go where you go?
Can we always be this close forever and ever?
And ah, take me out, and take me home
You’re my, my, my, my
Lover

Watching this beautiful couple dance, after exchanging heartfelt vows, with all of Paris at our feet, well, this was pretty special!

couple hold hands during their wedding ceremony in paris
couple laughs during wedding ceremony in paris
elopement ceremony at montmartre paris
man says wedding vows to woman in paris
couple exchange wedding vows in paris
man reads vows to wife in paris
newlyweds kiss after reading their vows in paris
woman holds vow booklet in paris
couple laugh during their elopement ceremony in paris
bride smiles during her wedding ceremony in paris
groom smiles at bride during wedding ceremony in paris
couple get married in paris with amazing view
newlyweds embrace with view of paris from montmartre
newlyweds dance with a view of paris from montmartre
man lifts woman in air with view of paris

A Visit to the Eiffel Tower

No Paris elopement would be complete without photos at the Eiffel Tower! We visited some of the most beautiful views of this romantic emblem, including the bridge of Bir Hakeim. The morning light was so gorgeous as I captured this romantic love story! These are the moments my clients treasure the rest of their lives, this magic day, just the two of them to share and this couple was really something special!

newlyweds walking hand in hand at the eiffel tower
man holding womans hand with view of the eiffel tower
newlyweds embrace under bir hakeim bridge in paris
newlyweds laugh with view of the eiffel tower
newlyweds kiss with view of the eiffel tower in paris
newlyweds embrace with view of eiffel tower
newlyweds smile and walk with eiffel tower view

A Cute Parisian Cafe

Just before we ended this magical morning, we popped into the Palais Royal gardens and had a lot of fun–Tamera and Jeremy are so playful and loving with each other. Then, we walked to a wonderful cafe, one of the cutest cafes in all of Paris, on Rue Rivoli. Tamera and Jeremy’s love story brought them all the way from Portland, to this beautiful city, and they toasted their marriage with cappuccinos, smiles and kisses. I am incredibly thankful to them for choosing me at their Paris elopement photographer, it was an absolute joy and honor to spend the morning with them and immortalize this special day I hope they remember forever.

newlyweds kiss on park bench in paris
newlyweds walk at the palais royal in paris
newlyweds embrace at the palais royal paris
newlyweds having fun at palais royal in paris
newlyweds kiss at cute pink cafe in paris
newlyweds hold hands at cafe in paris
newlyweds sitting in front of colorful cafe in paris
newlyweds toast each other with coffee
newlyweds show off their wedding rings in paris
newlyweds enjoying time together at cafe in paris

Karina Leigh Photography

If you’d love to have a romantic Paris elopement, or even other parts of France, like the enchanting region of Provence or French Riviera, I’d be happy to photograph your special day and help you plan your epic adventure in France!

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I adore capturing love stories in France! From the grandeur of the most romantic city on earth, Paris, to the colorful and lively seaside city of Nice, to the lavender fields and olive groves of charming Provence, France is filled with stunning beauty. To better understand my approach and my style, have a look at my work, by selecting a category below. Here, you'll get a better idea of how I can tell your love story, too!

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