Mati + Preston : Elopement in Paris
This will probably be one of my favorite blog posts, ever.
Two years ago, Mati reached out to me on Instagram about taking her engagement photos. I had just picked up a camera two months before that, and was SO nervous for their session! During their engagement session, I even accidentally changed my lens from AF to Manual and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t focus the lens…yeah…I was that new! But, the images ended up being beautiful, thank goodness, and we had such a fun night! They were getting married in Florida the next year, and the venue they choose had a preferred photographer list that they had to use, so unfortunately for me - I was not going to be their wedding photographer.
Mati and I continued to be friends, and she even came to model for me a couple times for a few shoot ideas I had! She’s the sweetest.
Fast forward a few months later, I get a phone call from Mati, with a little bit of sadness (that turned into joy) in her voice - she told me they canceled their wedding and that they wanted to elope. I was shocked, but at the same time, was so happy for her that she and Preston made a decision to leave behind all the drama of a wedding and focus on themselves, their love, and what memories they wanted to create. Oh yeah, she also asked if I wanted to come along to photograph - I couldn’t believe it!!! My husband and I quickly jumped on the idea, we’ve always wanted to go to Europe together and this was our opportunity. It felt so perfect, Mati and Preston were the perfect couple to go with.
Leading up to the trip, Mati and I had a few date nights to prep and plan and get excited! Her father had set up the most wonderful hotel in the city, booked us a private car the morning of their ceremony for their first look and portraits, and we came up with the idea to blindfold Preston in the car and lead him to Trocadero, where Mati and him would have their first look.
The day before the ceremony, we all walked around Paris to find a flower shop where the sweetest Parisian man made the most beautiful bouquet for Mati and her mom for the ceremony. The morning of their ceremony, we all woke up at 4am to start getting ready (we had to leave the hotel at 6am!). We wanted to get to Trocadero right before sunrise. This is the BEST time to get photos with the least amount of people as possible (and yes, there were people there, but I photoshopped most of them out!). We started at Trocadero right before the sun rose, and then the morning took off from there!
After Trocadero, we hopped back in the car to the Louvre. Again, yes there were people there but I tried to shoot around them and photoshop out what I could! I LOVED the architecture and all the lines here. We also shot at the gardens right next to them, just to get a little more variety.
We finished photos around 9am, and had an hour to get ready for the ceremony. We rested up just a bit before we headed to the ceremony site at Parc Monceau. Mati and I picked this park together previously, it appeared to be away from the tourist and a quiet park with pretty structural elements. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
We choose a spot by the pond, and Mati and Preston said there vows - tears were shed by everyone. It was beautiful to have her parents be able to share these moments, and we recorded the whole thing so Preston’s parents at home could witness as well. The officiant that Mati had set up, truly was honored to marry Mati and Preston, and she had brought a candle to unite in, that they would take home and keep forever. Mati and Preston have been together for a while now, and they were finally a family. And the setting of Paris had made everything that much more magical. It was also fun that there was a ferris wheel in the park, Preston loves the movie “The Greatest Showman” and it was cool to incorporate this into their portraits :).
A trip my husband and I will never forget, that we will never be able to thank Mati and her parents enough for bringing us along. We also went to Amsterdam after, just the two of us, and it’s our favorite city yet!
I cannot wait to continue to follow love stories abroad with more couples, 2019 has some fun times in the works!