A Fantastic France PhotoshootWords by Dana Arnold
Photos courtesy of Destinations With Dana
Like many weddings, there is always one thing that could change up the timeline or cause minor delays. This styled elopement, although months of planning in advance, had nothing but issues. However, it did not stop us from putting this together. If anything, we wanted to showcase that, with the right vendor team, you can make any adjustment and still have a romantic elopement that will indeed be remembered and will be a great story to tell!
I, along with the florist, put together this fun little elopement. She had connected me with her sister who has been with her boyfriend for a few months. Just like that, the couple and florist were booked. With the help of referrals, we could confirm our hair and makeup artist.
The location for our elopement was set to be at Trocadero Gardens and following, we would photograph portraits at The Louvre. However, many locations were blocked off due to construction for the Olympics AND the last day of the Tour De France happening right near there. The Gardens were packed with hundreds of tourists and any good spot we found, had nothing but construction with orange cones, walls, and unpleasant views. Just a few hours before the shoot, we decided on going to Alexander III bridge and making that our new "ceremony" spot. We were able to get a part of the bridge to view the Eiffel Tower in the background. We placed our florals on the ground and were excited that along with good light, this actually was a great spot to showcase what an elopement can look like. It might not be the most "popular" elopement spot, but we loved the view and the room we had for them to say " I do".
Unfortunately, I got robbed at the bridge, but we kept going and took amazing photographs at other locations I didn’t plan. And they ended up being some of my favorites!
When it comes to dealing with obstacles/safety when having a destination wedding, here are some of my tips:
1) Try to fit into the crowd. When you look like a tourist, you are an easy target for pit-pocketing and theft. Be smart about not leaving your gear on the ground, always have it attached to you, no matter where photos are taking place.
2) If you plan to go around town for photos after the wedding, if possible, have a friend with you as well. Whether an assistant, maid of honor, or family member. Being in a larger group setting, and assigning someone to be with you to keep an eye on things will less likely make you a target for any sort of theft.
3) Always have a plan B, C & D. If you are in a major destination city, research anything going on during the time you are there such as train stop closures, celebrations, etc. Sometimes this can interfere with where you are going to photograph or host your elopement/outdoor wedding. Such events can even impact transportation for guests. So know what’s going on, plan ahead, and have a backup plan just in case.
I learned a lot during this shoot and feel as though the experience had me grow as a photographer. Nothing is perfect and when things go wrong, I know I have the skill set to come up with something and make anything work! A skillset I feel makes me a photographer any couple should hire. Lemons into lemonade!
Vendors: Photographer: Destinations With Dana; Floral Designer: Atelier Mimoza; Makeup Artist: Make Up Paris Yana; Apparel: Justin Alexander; Dress Store: Epiphany Boutique; Invitation Designer: Heart Paper Soul; Styling Materials: Olive and Oak Mat
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