“I wish we could run away and get married in Paris!”. Imagine having that crazy idea in the midst of planning a wedding in the U.S. and actually acting on it. We could all dream about it, yes, but our gutsy bride, Faymi, got to live it! Oh Faymi, I hope you don’t mind that we’re about to live vicariously through you. A big thanks to Corbin Gurkin for sharing these romantic shots with us, that were also recently featured in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.
Here’s the story: Paris was a place Faymi was obsessed with since she was a little girl. During her 20’s she finally got to see it for herself, and it changed her perspective on life. Eric also shared a love for the city, after having lived there while earning his M.B.A. Every year they dated, they traveled to Paris together. Eventually Eric would surprise Faymi with a scavenger hunt engagement in the romantic city. Then came the planning. The wedding would be in the U.S, and a honeymoon would await them in France. Frustrated by the financial obligations and stresses that accompanied this big wedding they were planning, their honeymoon in France started to look like it wasn’t going to be possible. That was the pivotal point – they really wanted that time to symbolize the beginning of their journey as husband and wife. Then came the crazy idea of running away. They looked into it and realized it was so them!
Faymi + Eric designed and created their own invitations with the help of friend, Jenna Hein of Love Jenna, who provided the amazing calligraphy.
Faymi purchased her Vera Wang gown at a sample sale. Eric’s tux was from J.Crew, and both found their shoes at discount shoe outlet. Her jewelry was J.Crew, also on clearance, and she did her own makeup. That’s how you do Paris on a budget!
It was difficult to wind down the guest list, but we really made it just about immediate family and our closest friends. The benefit of a small wedding is the intimate feeling it has and the fact that as a bride and groom you get to spend so much more time with your guests and each other on the wedding day. By having under 20 guests, we were able to provide a wonderful formal meal with as much French wine and champagne one could enjoy in a beautiful restaurant in Paris.
Great tip: Choose venues that are already beautiful and that have good light or views (not hard to do in Paris). Then you don’t have to pay for a ton of decor or a clean-up crew! Faymi chose modest centerpeices with in-season flowers in a nuetral color scheme. This kept the look elegant without blowing their budget.
A bit of advice from a bride to you brides:
Try not to get too wrapped up into the details to where you forget about the meaning of why you are there. It can be easy to get too focused on themes, color stories and DIY projects to prove your creativity. Select aspects of your event that are most important to you and prioritize, remembering that your centerpieces and welcome baskets do not define you. Let go of the little things that may “not go right”, nobody will remember them anyway. The planning of the wedding can be fun but stressful – decisions, budgets, timing, differing opinions, etc. Take a step back and remember what it is all about & work together to achieve your goals. Eric and I felt so satisfied and proud of each other for all of the hard work it took for us to get the day that we wanted. It taught us so much about our potential as a team to achieve our goals. Enjoy the journey!
Photography: Corbin Gurkin / Event Planning: Fête in France / Invitations: Bride / Calligraphy + signage: Jenna Hein of Love Jenna / Ceremony venue: American Church of Paris / Reception venue: Macéo / Flowers: Sol y Flor / Transportation: Carat Location / Cake: Sugarplum Cake Shop / Hair stylist: Lexi DeRock