Real Wedding: Jessica and Timothy’s Paris Elopement

I love it when brides get inspired by the real weddings on Intimate Weddings!

It was Bobby and Lindsey’s Paris wedding on IW that inspired Jessica and Timothy to say “Oui, oui!” to an elopement in the city of love.

“After looking at their wedding on Intimate Weddings we decided to elope in Paris … It was a perfect intimate wedding!” says Jess.

Thanks to Stephen Zezza for sharing the lovely photos for this romantic elopement.

Paris elopement

Jessica, 31 & Timothy, 30

Paris, France      

Wedding Date: August 19, 2012

Number of Guests: 0

Wedding Cost:$6,835 (Budget Breakdown: Seven nights at Timhotel and airfare $4,900; photographer $1,100; dress $500; car rental $160; officiant $150, flowers $25: bride did her own hair and make-up)

Wedding Ceremony Location: Chapelle Expiatoire

Wedding Reception Location: none

love locks on bridge

bride in vintage car

bride and groom in vintage car in front of eiffel tower

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

I had a huge wedding the first time I was married. It was so expensive and stressful. We wanted it to be about us this time, we both wanted a small intimate wedding. When I started researching places to elope I came across a couple on Intimate Weddings who eloped to Paris. I have always dreamed of visiting Paris. They had the most amazing wedding photos…..right away I knew that would be perfect for us. I even used the same photographer that they did=) The whole day was completely stress-free. I loved not having a million things to do and worry about on the day of our wedding. It was as simple as getting ready and spending the whole day with the man of my dreams!

bride and groom in paris

bride and groom kissing in front of eiffel tower


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

The only challenge was the time difference when making calls to another country. I ended up just emailing everyone involved in the ceremony and that worked out great.

bride and groom crossing paris street

bride and groom in Parisian fountain

bride and groom in front of eiffel tower

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

No, it was just the two of us. We let our family and close friends know ahead of time that it would be just the two of us. Everyone was very understanding and thought it was romantic.

bride and groom walking down parisian street



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

No. Most of my friends said that they wish they would have eloped.

bride and groom in vintage car in front of eiffel tower

bride and groom in front of l'arc de triomphe


What were the highlights of the ceremony?

All of our fans clapping and cheering us on. Most of the people there were very excited to see us strolling through Paris on our wedding day. We had “Congratulations” in several different languages. It was so romantic.

  outdoor Paris elopement

bride and groom first kiss in Paris

Paris elopement


What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It was just about the two of us. As we drove through the streets of Paris in our vintage car, it seemed like everyone and everything else just disappeared. It was an experience of a lifetime!

bride and groom in Paris

bride and groom in vintage car in front of l'arc de triomphe


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

Plan the wedding that you have always dreamed of. Do not make it about anyone else. Do something that the two of you can look back on as an experience of a lifetime.

bride and groom dancing in front of eiffel tower



Photographer: Stephen Zezza Photography


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18 Comments  |  Filed Under: Budget Weddings ($10,000 or less), Destination Weddings, Elopements, Paris Weddings, Real Weddings, Second Weddings, Small Wedding Ceremonies

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  1. Posted by Anna on October 29th, 2012 at 4:20pm

    I love the little mint green car! The idea of an intimate wedding like this is so beautiful.
  2. Posted by Mary on October 30th, 2012 at 2:52pm

    Really like the shots in the old Citroen. Romantically nostalgic!
  3. Posted by jennifer on October 31st, 2012 at 11:51am

    great job! the website and pics turned out great!
  4. Posted by Jamie Thurman on October 31st, 2012 at 2:34pm

    Jess, you were such a beautiful bride... You being married in Paris just fits the beautiful person that you are! Love you big!
  5. Posted by Bill Riorden on November 1st, 2012 at 8:07am

    I'm so happy for both of you. The pictures were beautiful, very romantic!
  6. Posted by Hannah on November 1st, 2012 at 11:21pm

    GORGEOUS! Way to make it all your own!
  7. Posted by Bibi on November 23rd, 2012 at 1:12pm

    Beautiful! We'd love to do something like this, but I've heard that France is one of the hardest countries to elope in...what kind of paperwork did you have to deal with??
  8. Posted by Peggy on January 3rd, 2013 at 8:27pm

    I had researched getting married in Paris, but it seemed we needed 90 days can you elope! This is exactly what we want to do. Please help me and give me the details!
  9. Posted by Adrienne on February 19th, 2013 at 10:56am

    Absolutely beautiful! Where did you find an officiant? We would love to plan a Paris elopement but not sure if it's possible without hiring a wedding planner.
  10. Posted by Niki on March 8th, 2013 at 8:32am

    How did you find an officiant that is so cheap?

    Also, I am getting married May 22nd 2013 (Planned all by myself) at the chapelle expiatoire. If anyone is interested in getting married the same day, please message me! I have the chapelle rented for 4 hours.

    Also, the elopements you see in the 'paris weddings' are all symbolic ceremonies. The majority of them are not civil. Me and my 'fiance' got married in Toronto infront of family we knew couldn't come to Paris for the 'larger' wedding.
  11. Posted by Jess on March 17th, 2013 at 11:07pm

    I love the car too, it's very cute. How on earth did you find an officiant for only $150?

    I have been looking and can't find one cheaper then $800.

    Please help!
  12. Posted by Brenda Sue on April 17th, 2013 at 11:22am

    Congrats! Absolutely STUNNING!!!!! This is the PERFECT Parisian elopement!!

    Is there any way you can let me know what officiant you used?

    Congrats again!
  13. Posted by Jessica on April 30th, 2013 at 12:44pm

    Your story has inspired me and I thank you! Just have a couple of questions for you. Who was your Officiant and how much did Chapelle Expiatoire cost? Also, which Timhotel did you stay at? Was it in the heart of Paris? With the photographer you used, how many hours did you get for that price? It seems like that was a fabulous deal because your pictures came out ineradicable! And last but not least, where did you find a florist so cheap for such beautiful flowers? Thanks again for sharing your special day!
  14. Posted by J.Alexandria on August 8th, 2013 at 9:08pm

    I love your story, I hope you and your husband are very happy! I am overjoyed to see that an affordable wedding could take place in such a romantic place. I am planning an elopement Sept. 2014 in Paris and am curious where did you find your officiant? The few ive contacted have quoted be a price of $900 or more which seems outrageous...maybe im too early.
  15. Posted by Tiffany Catron on January 14th, 2014 at 10:08pm

    How did you find your officiant?

    Thank you!
  16. Posted by Chelsey on February 23rd, 2014 at 6:32pm

    Hi! Thank you for giving a budget breakdown! Did you plan everything yourself or did you use a wedding planner? I'm trying to decide which would be the best and most affordable route :)

    Also where did you find your officiant, car rental and flowers? So many questions, I'm grateful for the help!
  17. Posted by John on January 4th, 2015 at 7:22pm

    Been looking into officiants, They all seem to be around the $1000 mark. Where did you find your's.
  18. Posted by TOSHEA on January 16th, 2015 at 10:46am


    I have been recently engaged! I went to school in Paris for a year and would love to get married in the Chapelle Expiatoire. Who would you recommend to contact via email over there?
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