Destination PreWedding Paris | How To
Looking for something unique for you wedding to stand out from the crowd? Have you considered a prewedding photo shoot in Paris? The City of Lights is the perfect weekend getaway with direct flights from New York City, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and more! Having your wedding portraits taken in Paris the perfect way to spend a long weekend, taking in the Paris sights and shopping, while having a unique way to remember your wedding. Let’s look at just how easy it is to plan your Destination PreWedding Paris Photoshoot and make it into a weekend getaway to remember for the rest of your life!
If you’re a regular blog reader for wedding photography you can check out the pretty pictures, and I will write up a separate “travel” blog post from my 2 week trip to Europe this year before wedding season really kicks off here in New York and the East Coast! -Zac
Planning Your PreWedding Photo Trip to Paris
Paris? Where would YOU rather spend your weekend? First, let’s plan our weekend timeline! Speaking of time, the difference from Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) to Paris is +6 hours (UTC +1), with most of the flights being overnight red eye flights. Taking off from New York’s JFK airport at 11:00 pm means landing around Noon in Paris; 6 hour flight + 6 hour time difference. Try to grab that nap during the flight so you arrive fresh on day 1 and can make the most of your long weekend! If you are visiting Paris from the US, it’s even more beneficial on the return flight as you “gain” 6 hours, meaning you will land back in the US at almost the same time of day that you left Paris, perfect for getting caught up and rested and back in another timezone with minimal jet lag.
While I prefer flying Delta myself for my domestic wedding photography in the USA, Europe has a great network of low cost carriers that operate the New York – London route and from other major US hubs. Norwegian, for example, is a low cost carrier with a fleet of new 787 Dreamliners, and you can find round trip flights from $600 from New York City. I flew into Paris-Orly (ORY) airport, which is slightly less convenient than flying into the larger Charles de Gaulle Airport, but an Uber from Orly airport was easy to get, and only a few Euro more than the cost of train tickets to use the subway to get from Orly into the tourist locations of Paris.
As France’s largest airport and an important international hub, you can find easy access to Paris from anywhere in the world.
Direct flights to Paris, France are available from:
New York-JFK via Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Norwegian Air Shuttle
Shanghai-Pudong via Air France, Air China, and China Eastern Airlines
Beijing via Air France and Air China
Hong Kong via Air France and Cathay Pacific
Taipei-Taoyuan via EVA Air
Charles de Gaulle or Orly? Which airport in Paris is better, and what is the difference?
A large portion of this will depend on the airline and your destination location , as larger international US carriers like Delta or United will generally fly into CDG, however Air France will use both airports (beginning June 6, 2016 service resumes at ORLY to JFK) and is a code share partner with Delta so you may end up on either depending on the flight. Generally international flights, including those from Air France, will land at Paris’ largest international airport which is Charles de Gaulle.
Coming from China, Charles de Gaulle airport is served by China Eastern Airlines connecting Kunming and Shanghai, China South Airlines out of Guangzhou, and Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong. Air China will also fly direct to Paris CDG from Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai-Pudong.
Charles de Gaulle is served by the RER overland train, which makes it an attractive choice for a first time visitor to Paris. You can easily get to the center of Paris from CDG airport taking the metro, and a taxi or Uber will be easily found waiting for you. It is about 40 minutes by Taxi from Paris CDG to Arrondissements 1-4 which is the central distract of Paris where attractions such as the Musee du Lourve are located.
Schedule for a weekend PreWedding photo shoot in Paris:
- Thursday depart 11:00 pm Red Eye from New York-JFK Airport
- Friday arrive Paris 10:00 am
- Friday spend half the day orienting yourself with the city, seeing some sights, and doing some shopping.
- Saturday – photo shoot day! Enjoy your morning grabbing espresso and croissants at a nearby cafe.
- Saturday Afternoon – meet after lunch to start make-up and hair preparations
- 3pm Head to first location, River Seine
- 4pm depart Seine, head to square
- 6pm head to next location, Eiffel Tower
- 8pm Sunset at Eiffel Tower
- 10pm After dark at Musee du Lourve and nearby cobble streets
- Sunday, final shopping before heading to airport for your evening flight after lunch.
- Sunday 4pm flight, arrive back in New York at 8pm thanks to the time difference. Make sure you grab a quick nap during the flight and head to bed early to be fresh for work on Monday!
Where to Stay in Paris for your PreWedding Paris Photo Shoot & How to Get Around
Much like staying in major cities like New York, Hong Kong, or Beijing, getting around via the subway, the Paris Metro, is quick and convenient. Taxis are ubiquitous, and if you remember the news about Uber in Paris, Uber is still a convenient way to grab a ride at your convenience and from the comfort of the app. If your French is not as good as it used to be in High School, the Uber app is super convenient with being able to enter a destination from the comfort of Google Maps, with none of the language barrier.
Knowing how to get around is also a factor of where to stay while you are in Paris for your PreWedding photo shoot. The Paris metro area is large to be sure, and you don’t want to be out in the further Arrondissements (neighborhoods) and spending an hour each way commuting. In addition to choosing a nice hotel, consider proximity to locations you want to be for the weekend, such as the Lourve and Champs Elysees, and also distance to the nearest Metro or RER train station.
Some recommended Arrondissements (areas) for staying in Paris are:
Arrondissement 1-4 – Close to Lourve
Arrondissement 5-6 – Latin Quarter
Arrondissement 7 – Eiffel Tower
Arrondissement 8 – Champs Elysees & Arc de Triomphe
Map via Wikipedia (By Paris 16 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38412578)
Photo Shoot Locations for your PreWedding in Paris
In a city as photogenic as Paris, the only problem is limiting your Paris PreWedding photo location selection to fit in one day!
Tour Eiffel – Eiffel Tower. Located on the river Seine in 7th Arr. everyone knows this iconic Paris landmark
How about underneath the Eiffel Tower at night, or from the nearby Palais de Chaillot which allows you a higher perspective:
Parisian gardens are definitely a thing, and Le Jardin du Luxembourg has smashing views
Luxembourg Gardens near the Latin Quarter and Notre Dame
While the Lourve gets all the attention for it’s stunning exterior architecture and the Mona Lisa, the nearby Musee d’Orsay contains stunning artwork and a truly photogenic clock upstairs:
Musee d’Orsay across the River Seine from the Lourve
The Pantheon will make you consider exactly which part of Europe you are in this weekend for your PreWedding Paris Photo Shoot. Located in the Latin Quarter area on the Left Bank
Arc de Triomphe – Iconic Paris landmark along the bustling Champs-Elysees and all of it’s shopping destinations!
The Lourve and surrounding Palais du Lourve is breathtaking, and a stunning way to end your weekend in Paris.
Hopefully this post has inspired you with just how easy it is to getaway to Paris for a long weekend from anywhere in the world, and what a great option Paris can be for your PreWedding photo shoot! If you would like to start planning your own PreWedding Paris photo vacation just send me an email or use the contact form on the website! Bon voyage!