When we eloped in Paris, we decided to craft our own wedding ceremony. Mr. Lively is not partial to any religion and though I adore teachings from many religions, I identify as spiritual myself. But let’s be honest, since I was part of the equation I made sure there was a hefty dose of intention in there, too.
Beforehand, I was honestly a bit worried about how “special” our ceremony would feel to me since we were doing it in a public, but secluded, part of Paris. I really hoped that I wouldn’t feel like I missed out on the specialness of the ceremony by not doing a traditional wedding with guests, singers, and music.
Thankfully, the ceremony was a huge success. Exactly the right fit for us.
When we landed in Paris we had no idea where we were going to have the ceremony. So right after landing in France, we chose the location the day before the wedding with our friends Kim (our photographer) and Scott (our officiant).
We knew we wanted it to be in a beautiful and semi-private space the following day. Hopefully in a garden. After trekking around the city taking in the breathtaking buildings, the gardens of Notre Dame, Jardins des Plantes, and a few other spots, we found the place. Once we walked into le Jardin du Luxembourg, we were sold.
We then walked around the garden to find the perfect ceremony spot and discovered that behind a bee house, there was a quiet curve in the far corner of the garden. Our spot.
The following day, our wedding day, Mr. Lively and Scott drove arrived early in a taxi to our location and stood ready for Kim and I to arrive.
When Kim and I got there, I dashed out of the taxi to avoid being seen prematurely. Kim then set herself up to shoot the wedding and I then walked into the garden to meet them all.
Once the ceremony began, Scott started off with a short introduction of the ceremony. Then, he read messages from our parents.
Because we had not read the messages beforehand, I was shocked to find out that my parents had sent along with their message two dozen photos of me as a child I had never seen before. The emotion from looking back to discover new things about my own life was an emotional tidal wave.
And Mr. Lively’s parents also shared personal insights from their marriage and gave us wisdom on what it means to be married.
At that point, Scott talked about his own insights from his marriage to Kim, and what things we have to look forward to as a married couple.
Next, Mr. Lively and I took turns reading our Marriage Vows we had created together. These vows serve as the foundation of our marriage and family going forward (more on that later).
After that, we each shared our own individual vows to one another. This is where I chose to work in my own personal spiritual beliefs about our marriage and where Mr. Lively discussed our future life and home that we will build together.
Once the vow exchange was over, we placed our wedding bands on our fingers and kissed.
All the way through the ceremony I kept thinking to myself, this is so perfect. Exactly as it’s supposed to be. And though the ceremony was not very long, time stood still for me. So for anyone else who is considering elopement and might fear, like I did, that the ceremony might be a bit of a let down compared to a wedding, please know that I did not feel that way at all. Because we had such personal connection to what was shared during the ceremony, it was exactly as we wanted it to be. It felt right.
And for those who’d like the short, visual version of our ceremony, here you go!
Then our officiant, Scott, cried too.
As Mr. Lively says, I finally put a ring on it.
And we kissed.
So many thanks go out to our dear friends Kim and Scott for travelling, shooting, and officiating our wedding across the globe. They did a fantastic job, we couldn’t have picked a more perfect duo to travel and get married with.
I’d also like to thank our parents for sending such wonderful messages for us to read while we made such a meaningful commitment. Their words made our day more special than I could have imagined.
There will be more pictures to come from the rest of the wedding soon!