One of my favorite things to do is to take things slow in my favorite city in the world: Paris. Usually I’m debating how I should wrap up another fabulous day of exploring and breathing in the inspiration of the city: with a tarte å l’orange or a bit of roquefort with croissant? A great way to end any day, if you ask me.
These days, this city inspires me more than ever before.
I moved to Paris just eight days after my 20th birthday. It was the first time I flew on an airplane and I moved halfway across the world to start a brand new adventure. As I left my home in Utah for the very first time (hello comfort zone), Paris expanded my dreams and life in such monumental ways, and I know it can do the same for you too, especially when it comes to exchanging vows with the one you love most. I couldn’t think of a better place to elope. Good on you!
As I pulled together this guide to eloping in Paris, I was thinking of YOU every step of the way. Bringing this blog post to life was a labor of love, twenty-two years in the making, that began when I touched down in Paris for the very first time. I hopped off that plane, bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked, and ready to craft an incredible new life of my own design. Every time I visit Paris, I always leave invigorated and ready to step back into every day living with joy in my heart and that feeling of delightful restlessness that never seems to go away. In Paris, I’m reaching higher. Becoming better. Striving to live an endlessly creative life driven by love. And I’m positive that this energy will sustain a marriage that’ll stand the test of time.
I couldn’t think of a better time to share some of my favorite tips to elope in Paris, as well as some romantic experiences to celebrate afterward. It’s like a greatest hits album by Lizzo, but Paris. And there’s wedding cake and champagne. I’m here.for.it.
Also, Don’t forget to check out my post on my top 5 favorite Paris wedding venues for destination weddings.
If you’re traveling to The City of Lights to elope, keep it simple and plan your civil ceremony before leaving your home country. In order to legally marry in France, you must be residing in the country for at least forty days prior to the wedding. It may not sound as fun this way, but trust me, it’s easier and it’ll save you a few headaches down the line. Your wedding ceremony in Paris will be symbolic, but you’ll still have the opportunity to write and exchange your own vows if that’s how you’re envisioning your wedding day. Remember, it’s just that: YOUR day. A quick Google search for “Paris wedding celebrant” will turn up a variety of results for an English-speaking symbolic wedding officiant. Don’t worry about any raised eyebrows when it comes to the “symbolic wedding” moment. This is much more common than you might think!
Start thinking about spending the afternoon after your ceremony taking pictures. You’re in one of the most gorgeous cities in the world, so get ready to pound the pavement and explore on one of your best days.
Once you’ve exchanged vows, don’t be afraid to keep the party going! You’re on your honeymoon now, so make the most of it. Here are some of my favorite romantic experiences in Paris to kick off your new marriage the French way.
There’s a huge range of boat tours along the Seine. Some are quick (about an hour) and offer a glass of champagne with your ticket. Others are longer (around three hours) with a multi-course dinner. Either way, you’re taking in some of the most iconic sights that Paris has to offer from the gentle bobbing of the Seine river. They time it perfectly to be near the Eiffel Tower right when the light show happens. What’s not to love?
Grab some meats, cheeses, and a bottle of Rosé from the corner grocery store for a picnic along the river. Nosh and people-watch in one of the incredible green spaces throughout Paris (and revel at getting to drink in public). I prefer to be on Île de la Cité or Île Saint-Louis for such an affair – but the Canal Saint Martin is a great place and very French! Cheers to a romantic evening ahead! Remember, drinking along the streets of Paris is completely legal.
There’s nothing quite like the hidden stone benches built into the side of the Louvre Museum for privacy to just about do anything you want excluding full on nudity. For how many times I’ve visited the city, it never gets old. Whether it’s your first time visiting or your tenth time, there’s something special about kissing in the shadows while the large Pyramid gives off just enough light to keep you looking 24 forever. C’est tellement romantique!
Tap into your inner child and visit the glowing, spinning Carrousel de la Tour Eiffel for some nostalgic and romantic fun beneath the Eiffel Tower. Hop on the merry go round and take a wooden horse for a spin on this vintage carnival ride for a fun treat any time of the day. Bonus points if you lean over and kiss your lover as the horses go up and down and the music plays. Stop by next door for a crêpe afterwards – it’s a tourist trap, but sometimes those are worth it! Better yet, just ride up to the top of the tower and make out like crazy with the view of a lifetime. Touristy in all the best ways!
There are spots all over the Jardin des Tuileries to stroll, picnic in the shade, and make out. Admire some of France’s most intricate gardening, noble statues, and abundant fountains while you people watch and take a breather from the city. Stop by on your way from the Arc de Triomphe or take a rest after a day exploring the Louvre. All of the gardens await you just outside the museum’s courtyard. If you have the energy to enjoy another museum, walk through the gardens to find Musée de l’Orangerie. Enjoy the work of Impressionist master Claude Monet and his iconic wall to wall paintings of water lilies.