L'Amour de Paris || Romantic Parisian Portraits in the City of Love » The #1 resource for lovers in Paris! Featuring travel tips, hotel and restaurant recommendations, suggested tours and activities, as well as romantic portraits of couples in the City of Love.

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Strasbourg, France Christmas Markets

Strasbourg, France is known as the Capital of Christmas, which means it was promptly added to my wish list of holiday travels when we first moved to Paris.  We had the opportunity to visit last December and it was an incredible trip!

Booking a train is relatively inexpensive from Paris (especially if you can book it 4-8 weeks in advance) and the train ride will take 2-3 hours depending upon your itinerary.  (https://www.oui.sncf/)

The best part of our first trip to Strasbourg and the Alsace Region was that when we arrived it was SNOWING!!!  It was snowing so much, so heavy, pouring snow from the sky!  It was such a wet snow too that I literally used the umbrella for a little while.  Having moved from New Orleans to France, we still get really excited about snow (see the picture of the crazy lady below, lol).  However, initially I did not feel properly prepared for the cold temperatures when we arrived.  Luckily, there is a Uniqlo on the main stretch and I went and bought their heat tech thermals and some really warm socks.  This helped me to enjoy walking around with more comfort the next few days, so if you find yourself in a similar situation, I highly recommend visiting the store.

The snow really created quite the magical Christmas scene.  We loved wandering around between the various markets, each with it’s own character and something new to offer.  I believe there were about 14 different ones last year.  They should have a tourism booth set up near one of the main entrances and they’ll pass out maps so that you can make sure you don’t miss anything.  This is also a good site to use during your planning:  https://noel.strasbourg.eu/en/top-15

One of my favorite events we stumbled upon near the Strasbourg Cathedral was the live nativity scene.  It was children playing the roles of the traditional characters.  We found it by following the Christmas music we could hear while we were in the square.  It was quite a treat!

Between walking around and taking in all of the sights and lights we’d pop into a restaurant for food or drinks to warm up a bit.  One of our favorite, nicer dining experiences was at Le Bistrot des Copains.  The food was great and the service was on par as well.  We also enjoyed plenty of vin chaud out at the markets.  Don’t miss out on the raclette sandwiches too.  And one of my favorite treats is the boules de noel.  These are almost bell shaped, chocolate covered marshmallows.  There are a gazillion flavors to choose from, and trust me when I say they are all fantastic!  We even took some home with us as I believe their shelf life was at least two weeks — best to ask again though.  It could be a great souvenir to take home to someone if you’re traveling straight home from Strasbourg.

You’ll also find plenty of gift ideas amongst the stalls, many of the items created by local artisans.  A Strasbourg Christmas ornament is pretty much a must to help commemorate your trip.

I realize I’ve only scratched the surface here, but hopefully this is enough to get you excited about your trip, and point you in the right direction.  This year we’ll be heading to Colmar, and I’m already making it a point to take notes as we go along so that I can share more details of what and where we ate, any special events, and any fun gifts that we find.

If you find yourself passing through Paris and want a photo session while you’re in the city please let us know!

Enjoy creating lasting memories this holiday season!

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A Peek Behind the Scenes of L’amour de Paris

 

We are so excited to have this lovely sneak peek that allows you to take a look behind the scenes to learn more about what we do at L’amour de Paris, and why we do it!

As Paris photographers, documenting life and the special memories and milestones along the way is incredibly important to us.  We hope you’ll allow us to be a part of preserving these memories for you!

Take a look!  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

(Thank you to our dear friend Joe at Studio Vieux Carré in New Orleans for putting this together for us!)

Click Here to see some of our favorite images!

Paris Elopement Planning

Congratulations!  You’re getting married!  And likely considering planning a Paris elopement or wedding in France, which is how you’ve found yourself here.  We’re happy to pass along some tips and pointers to get you headed in the right direction.

paris elopement 1Planning a wedding is known to be stressful at times.  Planning a destination wedding adds even more logistics, and planning a wedding in another country can feel overwhelming at first.  This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with amazing vendors! They’ll help to alleviate your stress points. We have a curated list of professionals for you to reach out to for guidance.  (Obviously, we can help you with all of your photography needs!) Click Here for our planning page.

paris elopement eiffel towerA few important items to note about getting married in Paris or France.  First, if you are wanting a chateau style wedding you likely won’t be in Paris for that, as most chateau weddings take place within a couple hours of Paris, or even in the South of France, Provence area, etc.   

If your wish is for a Paris elopement, couples often select a public space or one of the fancy hotels such as the Shangri la or The Plaza.  Most public spaces, such as the areas around the Eiffel Tower and some of the parks, do not require that you reserve space. This certainly helps to make things easier, but you should verify this is true of the location you choose.  I highly recommend that you do work with a planner to help you navigate France and all the logistics that will need to be planned from afar. Trust me, your entire wedding experience will be infinitely better because you did, and you’ll thank me later!

paris elopement eiffel tower 2Now, about the legalities of marrying in France.  Well…this one is a bit trickier. In France, everyone is required to wed first at their town hall (or ‘mairie’ in French) in a civil ceremony.  And…you’d have to show a minimum of 40 days straight of residency before being allowed to do this. So…I don’t want to burst your bubble, it is possible, but in all honesty, probably not worth the paperwork and headaches involved.  The French love their paperwork! It’s certain to prove challenging to say the least, and without a doubt, I would secure assistance if you do have your heart set on going this route. However, in our experience, most of the weddings we have photographed here, the couple weds in their home country in a legal ceremony before (or after) their ceremonial I do’s in France for the most romantic of locations and often their own personalized vows.

Speaking of vows, one of my favorite wedding officiants here is Laura Montorio with The Paris Officiant.  She is a true gem! She speaks perfect English, but can speak German and French fluently with the most lovely accent.  And can even incorporate parts of the ceremony in Italian, Spanish or Chinese.  In my opinion, she’s the perfect addition to even the simplest Paris elopement or wedding.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a touch about photography since that is our specialty.  We are huge fans of the early morning light. The light is soft, romantic, and dreamy in the early hours.  The added bonus is that the earlier you schedule your ceremony/photos the fewer tourists that will be out and about in your backgrounds.  A sunrise ceremony will have you feeling as though you truly have Paris all to yourselves!

paris elopement planning 02If photos are of high importance to document your Paris elopement, you can plan to take photos in several of your favorite locations and easily spend 2-3 hours hopping around Paris enjoying your newlywed status while having it all documented.  A fun add on could be adding one of the 2CV cars or a chauffeur to take you around. And by the end of all this fun, you’ll be ready for brunch at a cozy Parisian restaurant. Your planner, or our friends at Savoir Faire Concierge can help make suggestions and secure reservations for you.  

paris elopement planning bride and groom pont alexandre iiiWe hope you’ve enjoyed our quick and simple guide to get you started!  We’d love to be a part of your celebration! When is your date?!

Please click here for a fun polaroid camera tour — could be fun for yourselves or your guests!

And ask us about our luxury picnic set ups as well!  More info coming soon!

Bonjour! The Most Important French Word

Bonjour!  The MOST important French Word…

bonjour paris buildingBonjour!  If only someone had explained the importance of this one little French word to us before our first trip to Paris in 2010. If you learn nothing else before your trip, heed this advice.

Even if you do not know any other word in French, ‘bonjour’ will open doors!  This sounds crazy, I know, but it’s oh so very true. In the event you aren’t familiar with the word, bonjour means hello or good day.  The word holds much cultural significance around here. It’s pertinent that you say hello first, no matter what, even if you are bleeding profusely and need help (I’m only half joking) — or it’s true, some people may not be as helpful.  Who knew that one little word could be so important?

I was fortunate enough to have visited Paris as a young girl when my father was stationed with the army in Germany, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming of the day I would return to the City of Love with the love of my life.  When that time finally came, I was excited to experience it all with Doug. I still remember very vividly getting into the city around midnight. We were having a bit of difficulty finding our hotel — we did not have google maps back then (click here for the app we do recommend) because we didn’t have cell phones with us.  We knew we were in the vicinity of the hotel. So naturally when we saw a lady speaking with someone behind a welcome desk in another building, we decided to pop in and ask for assistance.  

paris portrait session pont bir hakeim“Excuse me, can you help me please? We are looking for the Marriott hotel….”  The words were barely out of our mouths and the lady responded with a flippant wave of her hand, “Non, Non I can not help you.”  What?! Did that really happen? Yes, I promise it did. Needless to say, that was the first strike for Paris and we hadn’t been in the city an hour yet.  But…had we gone in and said, “Bonsoir! (because at night you say good evening as your hello) Excuse me, can you help me please?” Things very likely would have gone a little differently, especially if we’d have thrown in a, “Parlez-vous anglais madame?”  It’s true that the French like to at least feel that you are trying in some way to speak their language. I can understand it may get annoying with all the tourists practically demanding the French speak English all the time, without even giving respect and pause to that one word, that one little word that can literally open doors.  

Funny story….turned out our hotel we were looking for was only another block down on the same side of the street.  I’m fairly certain she knew where it was, but we didn’t follow the cultural norms, so we were literally brushed off and away.  And hey, it’s possible she was simply a grumpy person by nature. Because the good news I must share with you, is that we have been living here for close to two years now, and everyone has been quite helpful, beyond helpful at times.  This first encounter story with Paris is the only one I can think of that has left me feeling so aggravated, but you better believe I now say bonjour ALL the time! And so far it seems to be working! 🙂

sacre coeur church paris

City Mapper the Best App for Finding Your Way in Paris

City Mapper is my favorite app for navigating Paris and finding my way around the city.  We weren’t introduced to this app until about 6 months after we moved here.  It really saved so much energy once we started using it.  I was always saying, “Why isn’t there an app that tells me what exit to take?!  It would make life so much easier!”  This app tells you what exit to take, where to sit on the metro, how long to walk, bike, uber, etc.  It’s all right here at your fingertips!  I highly recommend downloading City Mapper before your trip.

We’ve created some videos with a walk through of the app below.  You can also find them on our Facebook page.  If you don’t hear the audio, you may need to click the volume button on within each video window.  https://www.facebook.com/lamourdeparisblog 

We hope you find this useful for your trip to Paris!  Enjoy!

You might find our article on navigating the metro helpful too! Click Here to Read More

City Mapper 1

An amazing maps app to help you find your way in Paris! (We redid the videos because the first set had some audio issues depending which device you were viewing them from.)

Posted by L'Amour de Paris on Thursday, April 5, 2018

City Mapper 2

Some Bonus thoughts about the City Mapper app – the best maps app for navigating in Paris. (Take 2 – our first videos had some audio complications – if you didn't hear before, you should be able to hear on all devices now.) Thank you!

Posted by L'Amour de Paris on Thursday, April 5, 2018