Looking back at Jennifer and Robert's Elopement in Paris, I can't help but smile from ear to ear. Many of you know that I have been waiting for months to release these heart-filled images to the public. With grateful hearts, today we get to share our excitement with Green Wedding Shoes, who also featured the story on their blog.
These two really have my whole heart. Our time in Paris was unlike any of my other travel/work experiences. It was just the three of us in the City of Lights for five days. Apart from massive amounts of adventuring (to many parts I had never even heard of), we laughed until we cried, ate enough cheese to feed a small village and fully celebrated their love.
To our surprise, we also comforted one another when Paris faced one of the worst terrorist attacks in years the night of the wedding. There were so many contrasting emotions, we could barely process them even months later. I am no writer, but thankfully, I was with one (Robert). He and Jen co-wrote the story of their whole story below, alongside all the images from their day. Enjoy!
I knew I loved Robert Dubiel (or as many call him, Bob) from the moment I saw him. We met many years ago while we were working on my very first film. At the time, I had just moved to LA to pursue my dreams in TV/Film for hair and makeup. Bob wouldn't know my admiration for him until several years/projects later. We spoke for the first time in 2010, and instantly knew we were the other's person. Our love story began there. As free spirits, we've always been "on the go" since we began dating. Early on, we planned a backpacking trip through Europe, lasting 2 months. 12 countries later, we were hooked. After a 2014 trip up the East Coast, Bob proposed in Martha's Vineyard (now one of my all time favorite places) on the sea in front of a lighthouse. He chose that spot for a special reason. He told me that I am "his light house." I am home for him. He's a hopeless romantic... oh, how I love him!
Life is made up of hundreds of billions of conscious and unconscious decisions. I think it’s safe to say for both of us that one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever made was spending the rest of our lives together. After getting engaged, we struggled at first to figure out what our vision was for our wedding. 1) As a wedding professional, should I plan a big to-do wedding? 2) Do we have a small intimate one? Or 3) Do we run off to elope in Paris? Being our wanderlust selves and knowing what our love symbolized, we chose option 3. We decided to travel the world together for our honeymoon after, traveling to South Africa, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. While we would have loved for friends and family to be there, we knew that we wanted to start our marriage off where we felt most in love. We decided on Paris, one of our favorite stops on our 1st tour around Europe together.
The days leading up to our wedding were certainly filled with stressful moments. How else can you react when the bride needs to make her own bouquet and we haven't found the right park to get married in? The answer is simple: breathe, have a glass of wine, and ask locals for advice. (The French don’t hate Americans as long as their humble and speak enough French to get by.)
Our wedding was perfect on every level. It was just us and that is all that mattered. We flew a dear friend and local Georgia photographer over to Paris. She captured us in our raw form, and it was so beautiful. As soon as we saw the photos, we cried. It brought us back to that day. From the moment my eyes opened that morning, I knew it was going to be the most beautiful of days. We chose to stay and get ready in The Hidden Hotel, full of organic touches and texture. It really represented us. We met in a beautiful park around the corner from our hotel and read our hand written vows to one another. It was such a beautiful moment. After our sweet ceremony, we took pictures in our favorite spots in Paris. My very favorite photo was in front of the clock in the Musee D'Orsay. It was magic!
After leaving the Sacre-Coeur, we ran to our hotel to change and head out for dinner. While chatting and enjoying appetizers our newfound friend (the head chef of The Hidden Hotel) made for us, we learned that there had been a terrorist attack at the Stade de France. All we could do was stare helplessly at our tv as the events of that night unfolded. Within moments, the entire city was on lock down.
Our wedding day, Friday November, 13th, is a day most people will never forget. A day of love and tragedy. Fear and hope. Love and Loss. It’s been months since the terrorist attacks in Paris and our wedding day, but it’s still difficult to describe how we felt. How could we celebrate our love while so many lost their lives? Lovers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, complete strangers united by the cruelest side of humanity. Innocent people who we may have crossed paths with earlier no longer shared the air we breathe. Was it wrong for us to feel this happiness?
At the end of the night, our family and friends were able to breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing of our safety. We think of all those families who were not able to breathe that sign of relief. We realize their unrest and sadness, to this day, is unconsoled. Families that night were united by the pain, terror and loss. In the midst of great tragedy, we had each other. We were finally married and in love. We look at that day as one of determination and celebration, not in our personal ability to overcome and prevail over the barbarity that ensued - but rather in the beauty that made us choose Paris in the first place. The only constant that remains is LOVE. Love is what holds us together, through great celebration and great sorrow. Life had never felt so frail and bittersweet.....
Getting Ready Hotel: Hidden Hotel
Ceremony Location: Parc Monceau
Floral Design: Bride
Custom Dress: Brooke, Melanie Brooke Bridal
Blazer: Helmut Lang
Bride's shoes: Donald J. Pliner
Rings: Parseg, Chaplins Jewelry
Earrings: Kendra Scott
Hair & Makeup: Jennifer C. Nieman
Paper goods: Kelly Lee Designs
Groom's Attire: Topman Tux & J.Crew Shirt
His shoes: Jeffery West