An elopement in France (Champagne area)

Gissa and Edwin’s elopement in France is one of these moments, one of these days that will stay in my memories as  the sweetest and best event of my year 2016.

Referencing my website in this wild wild internet world is still kind of a mystery for me although I’m trying to work on it more precisely. And sometimes, life and fate brings into my life people and event I’ve never thought I would have the chance to live one day. I feel very fortunate to be able to meet some precious people and witness lovely moments.

Why ?

Because at first, that day should never had happened in the first place, but fate decided it differently, although it hasn’t been made of good news all the way through.

Gissa and Edwin lives in Florida, where Edwin is a Sales consultant for all the Champagne houses.

These 2 planned to travel to France and visit some vineyards while there.

Edwin had secretly planned to propose to Gissa once in France, but didn’t planned to get married there !


And although Edwin worked very seriously on keeping his plan secret, the jewlery company (Gordon’s Jewelers) made a mistake and sent the ring’s bill to their house in the mail, and Gissa was the one who get the mail.

Thing is : Gissa didn’t really understood what it was about, but Edwin, when understanding where the bill was sent, really thought he would come back home that night and have his secret discovered.

So when he came back home from work that evening, he woke up a sleepy Gissa and proposed in their bedroom.


From there, they decided to transform an unlucky situation into a beautiful chance to celebrate différently :

Instead of having a huge wedding in a few month, with hundreds of people, lots of stress (and money) to organise, they’ll celebrate it, just the 2 of them, while traveling in France ! 🙂

They only had a few weeks then to organise their wedding celebration in France, but it’s ok because there will be just a very few people attending it : G + E, 2 of their friends traveling in Europe at that time, who made it in France for the day, a celebrant from  Celebrants in France, and me !

Yes, a wedding with only 6 people in total ! And I was among the lucky ones to spend that day with them 🙂

That was their first trip to France and quite awesome for me because I get to share with them my experience with cultural differences (I’ve lived 2 years in US and worked for cultural exchange programms in the past too).

I’ve been able to see, through their eyes, how surprising, beautiful, and different France could be, and that was also a chance for me to spend the day speaking english.


Since we were only 6 and I was the only other woman to spend the entire day with the bride, my mission there was various : driver, helping her to put her dress, translating menus, helping to find their way… All these little extra help that makes my job being a special one : I’m not only here to stay behind my camera and be a total stranger.

On that day, we were TOGETHER, to celebrate their love, and I have to say : that was a tasty sharing !


Tasty because the day was planned to be made of Champagne winery visits and tasting, with a wedding celebration after lunch.

A wedding on a Monday, starting with the very private visit of Abbaye St Pierre, owned by Dom Pérignon, with a champagne tasting.

(being among those who get drunk after a glass of champagne, I’m surprised to admit that these ones were easy and sweet to taste).




Back in Reims, to get ready for the wedding celebration

A special gift from the bride to the groom (a photo book made after a boudoir photo session)


Can you see the groom’s shiny eyes on this photo ? 🙂


Gorgeous dress from Galina Dress

Shoes from : Jessica Simpson (very pretty and apparently comfortable too, despite the very high heels)

Make up and Hair : the bride did it herseulf 🙂


Grandma’s ring on the bouquet 🙂

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and then, on our way to the little park behind Reim’s cathedral, to meet the groom and the 2 best men, where the wedding celebration was hel, surrounded by other people in the park. We were on a Monday and it was lunch break time, so plenty of people enjoyed the sun in the park on that day 🙂

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We took a walk in the neighbourhod to make some photos of the couple…

(I have to confess that we tried to get inside the cathedral for some photos but our attempt lasted 10 seconds only : off we were thrown : no bride, no photographers are allowed inside. Although I can understand why, regarding the amount of tourist doing selfies there, part of me kind of regrets that wearing a beautiful wedding dress doesn’t allow you to take photos).

But, it’s not like the historical downtown in Reims is ugly… It’s actually really really pretty, especially when you’re a foreigner visiting France for the first time (and I’m glad I still can have my eyes to see things from another culture point of view) 🙂

Old building, paved streets, very charming and perfect for some photos.

Very typical visions for an elopement in France



And who says WEDDING, thinks : WEDDING CAKE !

Back to the park, we had a piece of a yummy chocolate cake bought in a local pâtisserie.



And then we left for a very private visit of  crayères de la maison Ruinart, (cave of Ruinart, digged in chalk stone), with of course, later on, another Champagne tasting.

That part of the day was very confidential and I cannot show you that much about it, because it’s private (and I’m not allowed to), but also because no matter what : flash of a camera would alter the wine, and so is not allowed.

But here are some photo souvenir I took from the Ruinart champagne tasting, with an improvisatin of a first dance in there, on some salsa music.


How more happy, lucky, and grateful can I be for that moment ?



Writing on this blog today reminded me how fantastic in many ways that day has been.

I had such a luck to share these moment with G & E, and it was so great to be able to be there for them.

From the attention they gave me, inviting me to these visits and wine tasting (I wasn’t invited as a photographer there, but just to share time with them – although I took photos, it wasn’t required from me).

I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learnt about Champagne and abut Reims too on that day

And I’m even more grateful for these moments, ô so special, that I’ve spent with you Gissa and Edwin.

Being able to share with foreigners, and help them to make this day a special one  is what I love best beside wedding photography, and it made so much sense with you guys !

I’ve been a lucky girl to be at Gissa and Edwin’t very intimate wedding in Champagne !

Thanks again for that


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