Monthly Archives: September 2015

A WEDDING IN RODIN’S GARDEN FOLLOWED BY A DINNER CRUISE WITH FIREWORKS

PARIS—The City of Light never ceases to amaze. We learned that this summer when we were able to arrange a small wedding for Sarah Pazdan and Thomas Gabriel from Santa Barbara, California, in the magnificent garden of the Rodin Museum on the Left Bank for a very modest price.

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How was this possible? How could Ooh La La! France Wedding Planner manage such a feat when all others including Dior pay a small fortune to show their couture beneath a tent in the same garden?

Because of our special relationship with the Rodin Museum, the staff there understood how much this event meant to our bridal couple, especially when they had to cross a continent and an ocean to get there.

We also took a chance that the weather was going to be okay—a fairly big chance in September as it turns out—and we were able to pull it off. Fortunately, despite rain earlier in the day, at the last minute, the sun DID COME OUT—and the show went on. And we have the pictures to prove it!

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Then it was off to the Eiffel Tower, by the Ecole Militaire for a lovely group shot of the wedding party, before the group boarded a glass boat on the quai de la Bourdonnais where you can stop for a grand total of 15 minutes…Naturally, we were at the ready with a red carpet welcome and our photographer for an entrance worthy of the Cannes Film Festival

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The guests each received a glass of champagne as they boarded the boat, and then were passed freshly prepared hot hors d’oeuvres. The boat had a wonderful deck where people could admire the city’s skyline and monuments—and smoke if they so wished.

Because Ooh La La! France Wedding Planner prides itself on realizing the dreams of every bride, we made sure the décor fit in with the black-and-white striped tablecloth and chargers that the bride’s mother carried all the way over from California. They worked beautifully with the chairs covered in white and set off by black satin ribbon sashes. We love the way the bronze color of the chargers matched the color of the champagne! To top it off, we had one of the best florists in Paris, Luc Deschamps, who normally works for Louis Vuitton and Dior, create a stunning table runner made of fresh hydrangeas, roses and coxcombs, all the marvelous shades of shocking pink, lavender, and Indian rose.

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While the groom was able to eat an excellent double cheeseburger and fries (his request!) the other guests dining on filet mignon, wild mushrooms, grilled cherry tomatoes and green beans, which were preceded by a delectable melon and lobster salad. For the finale, our bride chose the most amazing cake that looked like a giant pale pink rose that when cut revealed itself as a delicious vanilla-flavored butter pound cake!

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Naturally, the open bar and the DJ went on all night; we couldn’t keep it all moving fast enough especially since we wanted to make sure our dinner cruise allowed our guests to enjoy the biggest spectacle of fireworks in all of Europe! Yes, our lovely bridal couple had fireworks (free of charge) the night of their wedding…what better way to celebrate with friends and family.

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Just imagine?! Fourth of July on September 12, 2015—and on your own private boat on the Seine River, with the Statue of Liberty blessing this wonderful occasion.

We only hope we can do it again next year!

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PRE-WEDDING DINNER IN THE GARDENS OF THE TRIANON PALACE

VERSAILLES—One of the most unique and magical places in France is without a doubt the palatial estate of Versailles, dreamed up by Louis XIV starting in 1668 and continuing long after his death in 1715.

And the only hotel in Versailles that comes close to the splendor of the castle and gardens is the Trianon Palace, built by architect René Sergent, as well as the place that hosted the signing of the Peace Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

That’s why it makes perfect sense when you want a fairytale occasion during a destination wedding to arrange an afternoon tour of the State Apartments of Versailles, followed by a sit-down dinner in the magnificent gardens of the Trianon Palace, which just happen to be on the grounds of the royal pastures where sheep and goats happily graze until this day.

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On September 11, 2015, twenty-two guests from as far away as Hawaii and California, boarded one of our luxury buses in Paris to join our guide at Versailles for a private tour of the State Apartments and the gardens that Louis used to admire on a daily basis. (He even wrote a guidebook on how to visit his gardens!) And they were far from disappointed with the tour: our guide has been showing the wonders of Versailles for over forty years, longer than it took Louis to build his fabled castle.

Following the tour, our guests were driven to the Trianon Palace, where they graciously  invited to change into more formal attire, worthy of their glamourous surroundings. The changing room: the Guerlain Spa created jointly by the perfumer and the French couturier Hubert de Givenchy (the man who used to dress Audrey Hepburn on and off-screen).

When our guests were led to the sumptuous table decorated with pink and white floral arrangements graciously donated by Ooh La La! France Wedding Planner and set up in the Trianon Palace garden, there was all-around surprise. “I feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland!” our future bride exclaimed.

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The elegant dinner included a buffet of French hors d’oeuvres and salads displayed on beautifully dressed tables around the garden’s oak tree, followed by shrimp, chicken and beef, barbecued to order. The meal ended with a flourish: a variety of French cheeses and delectable desserts including a lemon mousse cake, a fresh fruit salad and a clafoutis.

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When a few drops of rain started to fall, a crew of waiters rushed to protect the diners with giant white umbrellas that proved to be the perfect cover.

The night filled with loving toasts, loads of laughter, and plenty of spontaneous photographs. In short, a night to remember. Perhaps that is why the bride’s mother texted us later that night: “Thank you again for one of the most beautiful evenings with family in a very long time!”

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A VOW RENEWAL INSIDE THE TEMPLE OF LOVE

VERSAILLES— We are thrilled that we were able to organize a special vow renewal for Karina Godwin and Bernard McInerney at the Temple of Love in the Domain of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles. It was on the occasion of their 10th wedding anniversary.Photo 20

Berni and Karina not only travelled a vast distance to get here from Australia, but they have also travelled a great emotional distance to celebrate the family and life they have today, which has been painstakingly created since they first met.

It is that same care that Ooh La La! France Wedding Planner provided throughout their special day in Paris.

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Their day began with a 10 a.m. hair and makeup appointment with one of the top makeup artists and hair stylists in France—who has been applying her expertise to women from all over the world for over 30 years.

Following a lovely lunch at La Durée—oh those macarons!—they were off to Versailles in an elegant chauffeured Mercedes where they were joined by our celebrant, our hostess and our photographer in the Domain of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles—surely one of the most romantic places anywhere.

(Like all great love stories, even this one was filled with an obstacle—1,500 angry farmers on tractors demonstrating against the French government in the City of Light. Happily our superb chauffeur got them to the ceremony on time!)

Listening to Karina and Berni express their vows, it is easy to see why there wasn’t a dry eye on that enchanted day. Here is an excerpt of what was said:

Karina told us: “I am incredibly blessed to walk beside this man, I honor his strength, heart and integrity. He is a man of worth and has achieved more than most, yet remains ever so humble, never regarding himself as particularly special. Yet to me, he is beyond special, he is my Angel.

“To walk in the midst of this man’s love is beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined. He sees the beauty in me and I will often catch him staring at me when I’m not looking with tears of gratitude in his eyes. He calls it ‘Karina-gazing.’ He showed me how to see my goodness and my beauty by revealing me through his eyes.”

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Bernard confided to us that he treasures every moment that he has spent knowing and loving Karina; it shows in the way he recalls some of the most important moments together. One of his fondest memories remains his wedding day, when Karina “looked like the angel she truly is. I can still see and feel her as she walked through the park and into the marquee where I was waiting overwhelmed with happiness, excitement, warmth and love.”

He adds: “It’s as if my life has been through a reincarnation in the same life, that I have been given an opportunity to change my life for the better, and that all this was made possible—because I found Karina.”

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Following the vow renewal ceremony, our lovely couple was then driven to the main palace of Versailles where they were met by our local English-speaking guide for a private tour of the State Apartments and a few more photos in the Hall of Mirrors…then our photographer stayed with them for more pictures in Paris next to some of the city’s most unforgettable monuments, including the Pyramid of the Louvre and the Alexander III bridge.

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This extraordinary day concluded at the newly opened Michelin-starred restaurant opened by Guy Savoy in the Hotel de la Monnaie—the latter built by Louis XV for the Royal Mint. In short, a vow renewal fit for a regal and dazzling couple…

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