When princess of pop Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon renewed their wedding vows on the Eiffel Tower last weekend, Paris-based American Destination Wedding planner Kim Petyt knew she’d have her work cut out for her. Petyt, owner of parisian events (http://www.parisianevents.com), an English-speaking wedding planning agency based in Paris, receives numerous queries each month from prospective clients asking whether they can renew their wedding vows or marry atop the Eiffel Tower.
In anticipation of a new surge of questions regarding ceremonies on the Eiffel Tower following Carey’s vow renewal, Petyt now seeks to set the record straight: “The Eiffel Tower is a national monument and the city emphasizes that it can not be rented for private, personal events,” says Petyt. “However, it holds two restaurants that each have rooms which can be privatized for very small groups: the 58 Tour Eiffel and Le Jules Verne, which is where Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon held their recent celebration.”
Nonetheless, Petyt, whose book “The Paris Wedding” is expected to release in early 2013, says that just because the Eiffel Tower is off-limits doesn’t mean couples can’t have a glamorous, intimate wedding ceremony in Paris that any celebrity would envy. She offers these five tips to help ensure a successful Parisian vow renewal or elopement ceremony.
1. Start Planning Early
Couples desiring a formal vow renewal or elopement with an English-speaking celebrant should start planning at least three months in advance of the ceremony. “As romantic as running off to Paris to renew your vows sounds, it’s just not realistic,” says Petyt. “There aren’t very many English-speaking celebrants available in Paris, and most of them work full-time at their own church, which leaves a limited amount of time to officiate weddings or renewals for couples coming from overseas.” If you’re planning to renew your vows in high season, start six months in advance.
2. Don’t Overplan
While planning early is key to success, couples shouldn’t attempt to map out every last detail of their vow renewal. “France runs as its own pace. To most Americans, that’s about 3-1/2 paces behind the U.S.,” says Petyt. “In Paris, ‘on time’ typically means between 15 and 35 minutes ‘late’ by U.S. standards.” To avoid needless frustration, Petyt recommends taking a relaxed attitude toward your vow renewals. “Your ceremony will be just as lovely 20 minutes later than planned.”
3. Use Eiffel Tower as Backdrop
For couples longing to renew their vows on the Eiffel Tower, but who don’t have the means to rent a private room at Jules Verne or 58 Tour Eiffel, a beautiful way to include the world’s most romantic icon in the ceremony is to use it as a backdrop. “It’s easy to arrange a simple vow renewal ceremony or symbolic wedding just in front of the Eiffel Tower,” says Petyt. “Alternatively, like Mariah Carey, you can book a suite at the famous Plaza Athenée or another hotel that provides a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. You can renew your love for one another with the tower glittering in the background.”
4. Think off the Beaten Path
While many people seek to incorporate the Eiffel Tower into their marriage ceremony or vow renewal, couples should remember that Paris is brimming with other breathtaking, romantic locations. “Couples seeking a more unusual – but equally romantic – site to renew their vows should consider the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a gorgeous woodsy park with a rocky cliff that offers amazing panoramic views of the city,” suggests Petyt. “Other couples might prefer exchanging vows beneath the echoing, vaulted ceilings of the Place des Vosges…or at sundown in the dramatic shadows of the Pyramide du Louvre.”
5. Hire a good wedding planner
People often think wedding planners are for big, elaborate weddings. That’s not true at all. A good wedding planner can help create priceless memories of any special occasion, from vow renewals to elopements. “Wedding planners have access to top-notch local vendors,” says Petyt. “Hiring a wedding planner for your vow renewal takes the pressure off you and gives you time to enjoy exploring Paris instead of worrying about details.”
About Kim Petyt
Kim Petyt is the Owner and Creative Director of parisian events, a wedding and event planning service based in Paris, France. Petyt has resided in Paris since 2001 and has more than 10 years experience planning corporate and social events in both the U.S. and France. A true Paris insider, she is also the author of the award-winning blog, “parisian party: tales of an american wedding planner in paris,” making her the preeminent resource for those planning a wedding or special event in the City of Light. Since founding parisian events in 2005, both Petyt and the business have received international attention, including references in publications such as Real Simple Weddings, Get Married Magazine, Eco-Beautiful Weddings, Long Island Bride & Groom, Cosmopolitan China, and France Magazine. Last year, she was featured in the New York Times T Magazine “Summer 2011 Travel” issue, highlighting her skills as a cultural liaison for brides seeking to marry in France.
For more information, contact: Kim Petyt
Phone: +33 (0) 9 81 97 36 49