Sina and Martin’s Chic Paris Town Hall Wedding

German expats living in Paris, Sina and Martin’s decision to get married in a civil ceremony at the Town Hall was a spontaneous one. Their decision to keep it intimate, on the other hand, was a deliberate one. Rarely getting the chance to see their loved ones and wanting to spend as much quality time with them as possible, they invited their immediate families – all travelling in from Germany – to meet for the first time and share in their special day, complete with a tuk-tuk tour of the city and a celebratory dinner at Maison de la Truffe.

Special thanks to Brian of French Grey Photography for sharing their beautiful day with us!

Intimate Paris elopement

Sina, 29 & Martin, 31

Paris, France

Wedding Date: November 21, 2014

Number of Guests: 7 + 3 dogs – just my father and his wife, my brother, Martin’s parents, his sister and his 90-year old granny, who was in Paris for the first time in her life

Wedding Cost: $2,800

Wedding Ceremony Location: Town hall of the 16th arrondisment of Paris

Wedding Reception Location: After the ceremony we hired two tuk-tuks and did a Paris-roundtrip. Afterwards, there was a short stop at our apartment for wine and champagne, and then we went for dinner at Maison de la Truffe.

bride holding wedding favor

eiffel tower key chain

bride and groom with dogs

bride kissing groom

bride and groom walking in Paris

bride and groom walking in Paris

bride and groom kissing in Paris street

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

The idea to get married in Paris was very spontaneous one. One Saturday we saw a couple getting married at the town hall, which is a couple hundred meters away from our apartment. It looked so pretty and we just thought having our civil wedding in Paris would be amazing. As you are only allowed to get married in Paris when you live there, we jumped at the chance to get married in the City of Love.

The idea of having an intimate wedding is a result of being expatriates in France and only getting to see our family very rarely. Normally you only have a few minutes for each guest on your wedding day; that’s why we only wanted our family around to spend time with on this special day. Besides, it was also a family meet-up because our parents live in different parts of Germany and had never met before. We are planning another event for friends which is supposed to be more of a ceremonial wedding and party vacation where we will be able to spend a week or two with the people willing to join us in South Africa.

bride and groom portrait in front of eiffel tower

bride and groom portrait in front of eiffel tower

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Actually it was easier to plan because you have more options. And since we still have the ceremonial wedding coming up, we didn’t have any issues with not inviting our friends (most of them still don’t know about our civil wedding). It also allowed me to prepare the give-away bags, including some self-made cake pops and customized M&Ms, by myself.

Still, an intimate wedding with maybe only 10% of the normal guest list doesn’t mean you just pay 10% of a normal sized wedding; you still have the fixed costs like the dress etc. On the other hand, you can spend money on things like renting tuk-tuks for a 2 hours Tour in Paris; something you wouldn’t or couldn’t do for 100 guests.

bride and groom embracing

groom kissing bride's cheek

bride and groom portrait in front of eiffel tower

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, because we decided to have just our closest family and no friends at the civil wedding.

bride and groom portrait in front of eiffel tower

bride and groom portrait in front of eiffel tower with their dogs

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

No, as our guest list was really only parents and siblings, we did not run into the trap of “if we invite A then we also need to invite B” etc. Plus we drew a very clear line.

Paris city hall

bride and groom exiting city hall

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We were so surprised at how beautiful the wedding room in the town hall was and the great lengths the registrar’s office went to to make it very ceremonial.

bride and groom standing on yellow rose petals

bride and groom kissing in front of city hall

pouring champagne in the street

champagne toast in Paris square

What were the highlights of the reception?

The highlight of the reception was the time we were all able to spend together. Everyone sat at one table, so all guests were involved in the conversation instead of some people sitting at a table with strangers in the back of a big room and not being able to really speak to the newlyweds all night.

covered scooter

bride and groom in covered scooter

What were the highlights of the photography?

Brian was awesome because he kept a good balance between giving direction and “just letting it happen”. He made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera and we love the results of the shoot.

bride and groom portrait with covered scooter

bride and groom portrait in paris

wedding dogs in Paris

bride and groom walking dogs in Paris

bride and groom portrait in paris

bride and groom portrait in paris

bride and groom portrait in paris

bride and groom portrait in paris

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

We had enough time for all our guests who we rarely get to see nowadays. What is the sense of having 100 guests when you end up just speaking to everyone for 5 minutes the entire day/night?

bride and groom portrait in paris
bride and groom portrait in paris

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Do what you think is right; it is your day, so don’t feel obliged to have a wedding that others want you to have.

bride and groom kissing in front of eiffel tower


Tuktuk: Paris by Tuktuk

Restaurant: Maison de la Truffe

Photographer: French Grey Photography

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Pastel Sparkle: Wedding Inspiration

Look to your jewelry box for inspiration with pastel jewels and soft ballerina shades. A colorful wedding that offers a lighter alternative to darker jewel tones like emerald green. This trend has a different take on the popular pastel palette by adding embellishment, sparkle and transparent elements that are reminiscent of pale gemstones.

This stunning embellished gown is the perfect way to showcase this trend. Pair it with a messy updo and neutral make up for a sophisticated look. Be inspired by pastel gems and crystals when it comes to jewelry as well as narrowing down your color palette. Incorporate different pastel shades and textures in your table settings.

Mint and gold are a great combination and these metallic dresses fit in so well with this pastel theme. Every single donut is worthy, but when it comes to your wedding add some style to the deliciousness. Donuts with peach colored frosting and gold leaf will add to your decor.

Go back to the original inspiration for this trend by wearing a pastel statement necklace. A great way to add some color to your bridal look.

A floral arrangement or bouquet that captures the essence of spring is a lovely way to go. A silver and crystal vase goes well with the pale blooms. Pink colored glass has that precious jeweled look that’s ideal for an outdoor reception. I

f you’re looking for a show-stopping dessert or an alternative to a wedding cake, go for a multicolored macaron tower.

Mismatched colored glasses are an easy way to replicate those pastel jewel tones. Introduce some color to your bridal look with these jeweled beauties. You’ll want them on your feet way beyond the wedding day. If you’re not into matching bridesmaid dresses then think about soft blush tones with touches of sparkle. View More:

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whitfield stouffville museum

If you are looking for a rustic setting for your intimate wedding,  The Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre in Gormley, Ontario has it all. The historic venue has a barn,  log cabin,  historic schoolhouse and farmhouse set in a picturesque rural landscape.

whitfiled stouville museum

Your ceremony can take place in the courtyard located in front of the beautiful red brick Victorian Farmhouse, or inside the Log Cabin or Barn. If you’re interested in the amenities that come with a modern facility, you’ll be happy to know that you can also get married inside the venue’s main hall. The hall, which can accommodate up to 100 people, is spacious with lots of natural light, a gas fireplace and kitchen facilities. With a main hall booking, the outdoor ceremony site is included.

If you are looking for a wedding location that gives you the benefits of a modern venue, along with the charm of an historic site, then The Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre might just be the perfect location for your small wedding.

Photos: Tami McInns Photography

Sponsored Post

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DIY Wedding Ideas: Easy Distressed Glass

diy distressed glass

We love upcycling here at IW, so when we found a way to upcycle inexpensive thrift store vases with acrylic paint, we did a little happy dance! These DIY Distressed Glass vases are easy to make, and they look amazing as wedding decor. You can use them to hold flowers, or as candlesticks.

diy distressed glass

Here’s how to Make DIY Distressed Glass:

You will need:

  • Glass vase (we bought these for $1 at our local thrift store)
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • sanding block or sand paper
  • matte varnish

Paint the outside of your vase in chosen color.

diy distressed glass

Let dry. (We used a hairdryer to speed up the process.)

diy distressed vase

Strategically sand areas of the vase that are textured so that your vase will look worn.

diy painted vase


diy distressed glass

Coat your vase with matte varnish.

diy painted vase

That’s it! Keep in mind that these vases are not dishwasher friendly. If you need to clean them, use a damp cloth.

diy painted vases
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Boho Engagement Session at Promontory Point

Today’s stunning engagement shoot was captured by Megan Saul Photography.

Here’s what Megan had to say about the couple:

Ashley and Brian met while modeling. At each shoot they booked they always seemed to run in to one another. Eventually their run ins became a thing. After some long distance dating and a lot of coffee, they finally made it a thing.

Their engagement session was photographed at Promontory Point in Chicago.

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