Our Wedding

Why We’re Getting Married in Paris

I was a little surprised to find that one of the first things people want to know about our wedding is why we chose Paris. Getting married in Europe isn’t common so it’s obviously a very reasonable question, and since we leave one month from today, now seemed like the perfect time to talk about why we chose Paris.

We love to travel

Traveling is the thing we love most. Together, we’ve been to Argentina, France, Italy, Denmark, and Portugal. There was a road trip through California, and long weekends in Charleston, NYC, The Hamptons, and Miami, too. Getting to experience new places together is something we love to do, and spending time in Paris with some of the people we love most feels like the perfect way to celebrate the start of our marriage.

I never wanted a big wedding

I was never the girl that dreamed about a big wedding (or any details for that matter) and even now, I am more excited for our marriage than our wedding. Since neither of us wanted this to be “our” day, a weekend in Paris with immediate family and a few friends seemed like the perfect solution.

Not having my parents there is another big factor in why I wanted (ok, needed) a small, intimate wedding. I love Conor’s family so, so much. All of them. His parents, sister, and every aunt, uncle, and cousin have all been so wonderful to me – they’re the big family I’ve always wanted and not celebrating with them wasn’t something either of us would have considered. Having 80 family members (literally) on his side and maybe 1 on mine would have made what I’m missing out on even more difficult for me. Paris was a reason to keep things small and intimate which is what I needed.

We’re having Conor’s immediate family (six people) and our closest friends (ten people) in Paris, and a big party with his extended family and the rest of our friends when we’re back in Chicago. I feel so lucky that we to celebrate with everyone.

It’s less expensive than a wedding in the states

Seems crazy, but it’s true. Minimums for wedding venues in the states don’t make any sense when you’re having a small wedding. With less than 20 guests, we wouldn’t have met any minimums in the states, and the cost of our Paris venue and vendors is half the cost of the venue we were looking at in Charleston. We’re bringing in a caterer and furniture, but because we’re only feeding and seating 18 people and not 50, the costs aren’t too high.

I didn’t want to do all that planning for one day

Looking back at our engagement party, I participated in a series of 30 conversations for less than 5 minutes each and barely remember anything. I honestly don’t know who I talked to and felt like I didn’t spend time with anyone. It was such a blur! The thought of doing all that planning and having the day fly by didn’t sound very appealing to us. We’ll have 3 days with friends in family in a city we love, and I am so excited for how much time we’ll get to spend with everyone. We added more activities for everyone to enjoy and are getting three days in Paris for the price of one day in Charleston. Win-win.

So why Paris?

Conor and I spent a week in Paris together last summer and both love the city. It’s easy to get a direct flight from most major cities, easy to get around once you’re there, there are lots of hotel and airbnb options, and there’s so much to see and do. Paris is a city I’ve always loved, and now it’s a place that will hold a whole new meaning for both of us.

Do you have any wedding related questions for me? Leave them in the comments below!

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  • I’m so excited for you Danielle, you are going to have the best time and your wedding sounds amazing!! Eddy and I discussed getting married in Mexico City because we loved the city so much, it didn’t work out for us. This is really making me wish I would have made it work for us! 🙂 But small weddings are totally the way to go!! Did you choose wedding shoes? I’m still on the hunt for a pair!

    xo, Sarah

  • As the saying goes, Paris is always a good idea. My husband and I just returned last weekend from celebrating our first anniversary in Paris, and I fall more in love with that city each time I visit. It’s beautiful, romantic, and conveys such a sense of place. I really can’t think of anywhere better for an intimate destination wedding.

    xx Jean

  • Hi Danielle. I’m also having a small destination wedding. Still don’t know if my family will be able to go. Who’s walking you down the aisle ? Since you said mostly his family and close friends will be there

  • Hands down the highlight of my wedding was having everyone we love in the same place, on a forced group vacation 😉 – friends and/or family! I think your plan sounds amazing–what better excuse than celebrating love to have a dream weekend together in a dreamy location?! In my opinion, also a better use of a wedding budget 😉 On a different note, I’ve been listing to the Dear Sugar podcast a lot lately and there are some great episodes that might touch on and provide some comfort re: your family situation (which I relate to). Just thought I’d share since you’ve alluded to it here and there. xoxo

  • Hi Danielle!
    We got married in Italy in 2015 for many of the same reasons, and now Italy will forever hold a special place in our hearts. We chose Italy because we travelled there together for the first time in 2006 and made so many wonderful memories, while falling in love. We wanted to bring our family and friends back there with us so that they could experience the magic of Italy along with us. We had contemplated getting married in France (because it is one of our favourite places in the world), but at the time (at least for Canadians) there was some rule about at least one of us having to live in France for 40 days (or something along those lines) prior to the wedding, if we wanted a legal wedding. Otherwise, we could have had a symbolic ceremony. Did you experience anything like that? Your wedding looks like it was absolutely beautiful. We were supposed to go back to Italy for a five year vow renewal with everyone who was at our wedding, but unfortunately due to COVID, we had to cancel. Maybe next year!