Julie and Zak’s destination wedding comes to you from one of the most romantic cities in the world, the magnificent Paris, France. This is timeless glamour at its very finest. Soft feminine gold and blush decor, scenic Parisian backdrops, and did somebody say Wang?
Yes folks. Julie wore the fluffiest, dreamiest Vera Wang dress I’ve ever clapped eyes on.
Truly Wangtastic. But wait, there’s more … there is the deep love of friends and family who celebrated with Julie and Zak for close to a week in Paris, with trips on the Seine and to the Moulin Rouge. And watch out for Julie’s peacock blue suede Louboutins. I’m just a little bit in love with those.
Oh la la.
Today I’m also delighted to be debuting one of my favourite photographers, the supremely talented Polly Alexandre, who lovingly captured all of the shimmer, the sophistication and the sexy.
Take it away Julie.
a destination wedding in central Paris at Maison des X
Julie, the Bride: Once we decided that we wanted to plan a destination wedding in Paris, we worked with Nancy from Fete in France to find a space that captured what the beauty and magic of Paris meant to us.
We booked Maison des X unseen with the understanding that it was originally a private home in the middle of the city that retained a great deal of its Parisian charm and needed only some flowers and candlelight to transform into the venue we had imagined. We loved Nancy’s description of the space as many spaces in one – formal indoor, gardens outdoors, and a club-like atmosphere in the wine caves for dancing until dawn with our closest friends and family – and ultimately decided on the venue for the complete package that it was. I told Nancy I wanted the venue to look golden and glowing, and she ran with the color scheme and theme from there. We ended up with the most beautiful candles, glowing mercury glass accents, and exquisite pale pink and white floral arrangements that didn’t look too precious. It was perfect.
The love of friends and family
We were incredibly lucky to have all the people we love the most surround us for our entire wedding celebration. Most people stayed in Paris for close to a week(!) and we had opportunities to spend quality time with all of them. My girlfriends did take me to Moulin Rouge for a show a couple of nights before the wedding, which was perfect.
Parisian welcome bags for our guests
My brother’s girlfriend (now fiancée) hand drew these beautiful maps of Paris and one was tied to each welcome bag our guests received on a champagne cruise down the River Seine a few nights before the wedding. In the welcome bag, she, my brother, my mum, and my sister put homemade Eiffel Tower soaps, and a few other unique touches such as There were a pair of glasses called Happy Glasses that when you looked through them transformed lights into magical hearts. This was especially fun when looking at the Eiffel Tower! The bags were a hit.
The invitation and save the date were both from Minted. We decided on them because they were simple, playful, elegant, and suited our destination wedding.
The perfect Vera Wang dress
I wore a Vera Wang “Fawn” gown. I don’t think I ever would have chosen that gown for a wedding in the U.S., and it’s not the kind of wedding gown I thought I’d ever end up in, but it just seemed to fit the occasion and the venue so beautifully that I couldn’t say no to it.
I’m pretty minimalistic when it comes to accessories. I wore only a pair of Links of London earrings that one of my girlfriends had picked up for me on her way to Paris from New York. And, of course, the beautiful engagement ring that my husband had designed.
peacock blue, suede Louboutin wedding shoes
I really love shoes, and wanted a pair that were special but not so special that I couldn’t wear them after the wedding with some frequency. It took me longer to choose my peacock blue, suede Louboutins than it took me to choose the dress, venue, accessories, planner… I was so happy with them and every time I wear them now it’s like this magical link to my wedding day.
hair + make up
Nancy, again, had the most wonderful contacts and arranged for the lovely Laure Baruch to come to the apartment we had rented in Paris to do my hair and makeup. All the women closest to me – friends and family –- were there to keep me calm and smiling. While the make up helped, I think it was those women who really brought out the best in me!
The handsome groom
Zak wore a Douglas Hayward of Mount Street tuxedo.
We’d asked my brother, Zak’s sister, and one of Zak’s oldest friends to read at the wedding. Zak and I poured over prose, poems, and other texts to decide on the three readings, and I think the effort we put into that and our friends’ and family’s willingness to participate were the most intimate parts of the ceremony.
We told Nancy that we wanted to keep it classically elegant and simple, and she and our florist, Sol y Flor, took it from there.
music for the ceremony
We thought a lot about the music for the wedding and ended up being extremely non-traditional; we decided we wanted to choose songs that we loved and that were important to us. The processional was Here Comes the Sun which just makes me happy; our first dance was to a song called Yellow Daffodils which is terribly haunting but beautiful and one we both really love; and the father-daughter dance was to Edelweiss which my father used to sing to me when I was young.
our amazing photographer
We chose Polly Alexandre to be our wedding photographer. I saw her work on a blog and knew immediately I wanted her to photograph our wedding. I love that she works with film and as soon as I spoke with her and learned what a kind and beautiful person she is, we booked her immediately. We couldn’t be happier and tell everyone we know to call Polly for their special occasions.
Not a cake but a croquembouche!
We had a croquembouche from Laduree. Because there’s nothing more French than a croquembouche from Lauduree. And when we “cut” it, it was lit full of sparklers!
The venue converted its old wine cellar into a night club. We had a dj, dancing and an open bar. After a formal dinner, we were able to celebrate, party and dance with our friends and family. We also had an accordion player for the cocktail hour. It gave the room and the venue a very French and festive feel.
We gave our guests Laduree macarons in our favourite flavours. I loved the beautiful boxes they come in, and they’re such an indulgent, Parisian treat.
Advice to other brides
Everyone is different, but I encourage my girlfriends to have the wedding they want, whatever that means to them. I didn’t want to do much in the way of planning, so I left everything in the hands of an amazing professional team. That allowed me to be surprised and absolutely delighted in the results, and I didn’t stress at all. You know yourself best, so do what will make you most happy.
Julie + Zak’s LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – Polly Alexandre
Wedding planner – Nancy from Fete in France
Venue – Maison des X (La Maison des Polytechniciens)
Bride’s dress – Vera Wang
Bride’s evening dress – Alice & Olivia
Brides’s shoes – Christian Louboutin
Bride’s earrings – Links of London
Hair + Makeup – Laure Baruch
Groom’s tuxedo – Douglas Hayward of Mount Street
Flowers – Sol y Flor
Croquembouche – Laduree
Welcome bags – lipstick & gluesticks
Stationery – Minted