For their vow renewal ceremony, Julien and Christelle wanted to celebrate the city that they now call home – Paris! Their wedding planner, Anaide of Indirihya, organized the event and was also their officiant.
The couple met 16 years ago in Martinique, an island in the West Indies, and their friendship blossomed into a beautiful love story that spanned the Atlantic ocean. After moving to France, Julien surprised Christelle with a proposal on her birthday, surrounded by family and friends.
This vow renewal was featured in the summer print issue of Munaluchi magazine! Take a look here.
The vow renewal ceremony in Paris
Christelle and Julien asked Anaide to be their officiant (aka celebrant) for their vow renewal ceremony as she had known them for several years after planning their wedding. The ceremony was held at the foot of the Alexandre III Bridge, giving the couple a stunning backdrop while maintaining privacy. It was just our happy couple, Anaide and their photographer (me!)
The vow renewal photo session
It was a late October day when Christelle and Julien had their vow renewal photo session in Paris. The weather is often cold, cloudy and rainy, so we were crossing our fingers that the skies would clear up for their ceremony and photo shoot. Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened and we were able to take our photos in the Petit Palais and Alexandre III Bridge without a raindrop.
These two locations are my favourite places – the gold, the grandeur, the opulance! Everything that Paris is famous for. When you stand on the bridge, you also get a view of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
The hair & makeup
Vow renewal photo sessions are a chance to get pampered and Christelle was lucky enough to have the beauty team of Kassaundra Stephens and her assistant Christine Hubert. They enhanced her beauty with a natural makeup look and wavy hair. I loved her hair accessories and couldn’t resist getting a few close up shots.
Christelle wore a stunning form-fitting champagne dress with a removable capelet, while Juline wore the tuxedo from his wedding. They made quite a fashionable pair and fit in perfectly with their ornate surroundings.
A few tips on holding your vow renewal ceremony in Paris
What season is best for your vow renewal?
The wonderful thing about Paris is that it’s beautiful at any time of the year. There are a few details to keep in mind for your photo shoot depending on the season. In the fall and winter, the trees are bare (unfortunately, we don’t have those bright fall colours) so I like to take photos where the architecture is the highlight, like the Louvre, Palais Royal, the Petit Palais and the Alexandre III Bridge, rather than in a park. What I like about these two seasons is that it’s off-season for tourists, so most of the iconic locations are not as crowded, making it much easier to have our photo shoot. Fall and winter means colder weather and higher chances of rain, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing your outfits. Don’t forget, you can always wear a warm coat and gloves that you can take on and off as we’re going from location to location during our photo session.
Spring and summer are wonderful months when everything is in bloom and the city “wakes up”. The days get very long – sunrise is as early as 5am and sunset is as late as 10pm. This gives us so much more time for a photo shoot and more options for locations. I love the cherry blossoms and Jacaronda trees around the Eiffel Tower.
Where should you take photos?
Paris has so many beautiful choices for your vow renewal photos. There are two parts to a vow renewal session: the ceremony and the couple’s photos afterwards. The ceremony should take place in a secluded area so that you have enough privacy to focus on this special moment. I recommend picking a hotel (like the courtyard of the Ritz or suite with a view of the Eiffel Tower like the Hotel Raphael). If you prefer to hold your ceremony at one of the iconic landmarks of the city, I know a few great spots that are both photogenic and private for your vow renewal. You wouldn’t be in Paris if you didn’t want photos of the city, which is why I recommend taking a few hours (or more) to take photos around this beautiful city.
My favourite locations for a photo session are the Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens, along the Seine River, and the Palais Royal.
How do you get around Paris?
Depending on where you would like to take photos, there are several options for transportation. Taxis are a simple way to get from one place to another and since I like to plan all the logistics ahead of time, I make sure that there’s no lost time waiting for the taxi.
Another option is to hire a private car service, either a large van, which allows you to also quickly change in the car no matter where we are, or a vintage car service, which has the added benefit of looking amazing in photos.
Ready to book your vow renewal session in Paris?
If you loved Christelle and Julien’s photos and are excited about organizing your vow renewal photo shoot, just send me a message below. I can’t wait to hear more about it!