Evelyn and Luis only had one simple goal for their wedding day: zero stress! With that goal in mind, the couple opted to fly to Paris with their family to exchange their vows on the banks of the Seine river in a low-key elopement ceremony. Without hundreds of guests to accommodate and few expectations or plans set for the day, the newlyweds spent their wedding day freely exploring the City of Love at leisure with their photographer Brant Smith in tow, getting lost in each other and the magic of Paris, and creating memories to last a lifetime!

bride and groom portrait under eiffel tower

Evelyn, 30 & Luis, 31

Paris, France

Wedding Date: May 6th, 2015

Number of Guests: 10

Wedding Cost: $12,580 total; $2,200 Dress, $750 for Alterations, $90 for Press, $200 shoes, $450 Tux, $100 Shoes, $1600 x 2 Plane tickets, $700 Chauffeur (Born and raised in Paris and knows exactly where to take you.), $2,500 Photographer, $250 My Hair + $80 x 2, $1,400 Reception, $150 x 3 Air B and B (for 3 nights), $70 Bouquet, $10 x 3 Boutonniere, $15 x 2 Corsage

Wedding Ceremony Location: Down in the banks of “La Seine” river with Notre Dame as the background.

Wedding Reception Location: Lunch the following day at Le Grand Vefour – First Grand Restaurant built in Paris. Napoleon himself was a guest there. The park that sits behind the restaurant is the place where people rallied to start the French Revolution.

groom portrait

bride walking down Paris street

groom leading bride by the hand

bride and groom portrait in Paris

bride and groom walking under Eiffel tower

bride and groom portrait in front of vintage car

intimate bride and groom portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I wanted a wedding where I could focus on myself and my soon to be husband. I wanted to wear, eat, and do whatever made us happy without thinking about accommodating 300 others. The goal was a zero stress wedding. We had no plans really and therefore couldn’t be disappointed with anything not going as planned. The four main things we needed were a dress, tux, photographer, and chauffeur.

bride's shoes

bride's dress hanging on door

bride getting her hair done

bride getting ready with help of bridesmaids

bride's mother helping her put on earrings

bride having her necklace put on

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

None, other than the weather.

groom having his bow tie tied

black and white groom portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

Yes, initially I had planned this trip to only consist of my husband and myself. My best friend had a trip planned in Italy around the same time, so she asked if she could join and I excitedly said yes. After my parents found out, I felt the pressure to invite certain family members as well. This initially made me a bit uncomfortable, but excited at the same time. Having my family there ended up being the best thing that could have happened. We had multiple people catering to us, and we all had an amazing time together. I thrive on the happiness of others and it was pretty neat watching them explore Paris with such excitement.

bride and groom portrait 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

bride and groom portrait in Paris

bride and groom portrait in Paris

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

Initially yes, as mentioned above. Other than that, my other family members cheered us on from afar.

bride walking down stone steps with her father

groom waiting for his bride

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

After the ceremony, we drove to some beautiful places for a photo shoot. As we walked around Paris, Parisians were cheering us on. We felt like celebrities for a day.

outdoor Paris elopement

outdoor Paris elopement

guests at outdoor elopement ceremony

bride and groom exchanging rings

bride and groom first kiss in Paris

What were the highlights of the reception?

The food, the service, and my parents being completely out of their comfort zone. It made for a lot of laughter and great moments.

bride and groom walking up stone steps

bride and groom walking in Paris

bride and groom walking in Paris

bride and groom adding lock to locks of love in Paris

bride and groom walking in Paris

bride and groom portrait in front of vintage car

bride and groom in back of vintage car

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

Brant (our photographer) and Cedric (our chauffeur)! Having them help me with the wedding was like hanging out with best friends for a day. They made every moment easy and fun! I gave Brant zero direction and told him to take us wherever he wanted.

bride and groom sitting at outdoor Paris cafe

champagne being poured

bride and groom holding hands

bride and groom crossing the street

bride and groom at the chip wagon

bride eating french fries

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

Do what makes you happy and you’ll quickly see how fast and easy things can be.

Paris bistro


Photography: Brant Smith