This little book: How to be Parisian Wherever You Are carries a lot of great sartorial advice and you may know, I have referred to it quite a number of times through articles I post here. I really felt I could relate to so much of their considered, timeless, yet simple wardrobe advice, but when I reached page 167, the chapter titled “Not a Wedding” I thought and smiled to myself “Je suis presque parisienne” … Matt and I were not yet married at this point but as I read each part of how a French woman approaches her wedding I squealed with delight at how perfect it was all sounding. Simple, no fuss, and more importantly it was about the bride and the groom’s love for one another rather than the most expensive/lavish day of their lives. Instead they seem to approach it as it feels most natural regardless of tradition.
June the 11th this year will mark our exciting one year (paper) wedding anniversary, so I thought it was about time to get really personal and share some of our special moments with you. Weddings are often seen as a time of great traditions that people often stick to because of superstitions but for a few of us we like to see/do things a little differently. Over the next few weeks we will share every aspect of what it was like for us getting married in Paris, what we chose to wear and where we honeymooned and all the little details in between.
I have included pages from the chapter for you to read along the way.
“Frequently she is the one to propose”
There was no flash mob at the Eiffel Tower, nor a surprise proposal (photographer hiding in the bushes) on the Pont des Arts for this one.
I like to think that I did propose but the truth is, there were instead many beautiful moments where we both decided and discussed how we would get married. In Scotland, in Paris, or in New Zealand, simply, just the two of us for no other reason than we truly love each other.
I remember the first Christmas Matt came to Scotland to be with me and my family in Inverness, we had known each other for just 3 months, it was a bold move. My mother said “he must really like you”. In hindsight, I think maybe she might have been right.
On Christmas morning Matt gave me my very first diamond, in front of my parents, I might add — who, of course, already knew what was inside the little box and were nagging me to open it as quickly as possible. I was ridiculously nervous because everyone was watching me open the gift and I don’t tend to favour the spotlight on me.
It was a beautiful slim rose gold band with a silver set diamond by my all time favourite jewellery designer Rosa Maria — and this was my first of her pieces, and what better way to receive it, but from the man you love (with your parents peering over).
When we parted that Christmas, broken hearted, me to Paris and Matt back to Melbourne, I was quick to call my parents that night to ask them if I could marry Matt because I knew right then that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. It was really important for me that my parents could see the wonderful man in Matt and give me their blessing to spend the rest of my life with him. Which, of course, they did.
So, on the 16th of January 2015 … I announced that I said YES
The Wedding Planner
… the last thing she wants to deal with is a crazy, hysterical and frustrated wedding planner trying to tell her how to organise her wedding.
Of course we didn’t have a wedding planner, we didn’t need one as I filled all the above roles of wedding planner just perfectly. No, but seriously …
The Hen Party
… she’ll invite only her closest friends — to a lovely old-school brassiere. There everyone will drink champagne …
That’s exactly what me and my girlfriends did here in Paris and you can read all about our night at Hotel Amour here.
The Wedding Dress
The poufy meringue look is out of the question. She will get married in either a black or navy blue tuxedo. Or in a vintage couture dress … She knows exactly what she wants, and certainly won’t monopolize her friends’ precious time by dragging them to every bridal shop in town.
It was true, I did know exactly what I wanted. I saw a beautiful silk wool dress in the Celine runway show that season, it was perfect, it came in white and black so I could choose a more traditional option or the more practical option. I didn’t look anywhere else, I didn’t try anything else on. I went to Celine on Avenue Montaigne, there I first tried on the white dress which was just fabulous but as soon as I slipped into the black one I knew I would wear it time and time again without worrying about staining it, so the practical look won over the traditional. I even took Matt into Celine with me to look at the dresses to hear what he thought of it before I bought it – but more on that later.
However, I had never seen any French women get married in a black tuxedo … so I doubted the black option for a long time even though wearing white really wasn’t a serious option for me. I mean the only white thing I own is a crisp white shirt and I wasn’t about to make any daring choices on such an expensive dress.
The Wedding Ring
She doesn’t want to encumber her silhouette with a heavy and expensive rock.
Here is where the Parisian and I differ though because I love my jewellery big and bold and I had always dreamt of wearing Rosa Maria stacking rings. Dreaming that the collection would grow, adding new stories and colours to my fingers through the years.
The Wedding Location
… Paris of course. At the city hall in her arrondissement.
And so it came to be. After having spent 8 years in my favourite 2eme arrondissement, 2 of those with Matt, it was the perfect choice.
After all there will always be the occasion to have another little wedding with our loved ones in Scotland and New Zealand one day too.
She invites only the people she wants to see — which comes down to no more than about twenty guests.
Take heed my friends, for the Parisian is wise …
Instead of a traditional honeymoon trip, the Parisienne will treat herself to a night in one of Paris’ most luxurious hotels.
We can’t wait to share our photos along the way.