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Guide makes case for getting married in Paris

As I’m typing this review I can hear strains of nostalgic music wafting above the fields. There’s a wedding reception taking place at the bed-and-breakfast place down the lane. They’re playing some of that good old country music.

Have you ever considered what might be the most romantic place to get married? If you could choose any city in the world, which one would you pick? Did you say Paris? Ah, then you are a true romantic. Paris is a lovely city. I have the book for you; “The Paris Wedding” by Kimberly Petyt.

The author is an authority on Parisian weddings. She married her French husband in Paris. They planned the wedding from 3,000 miles away in San Francisco. After that experience she immersed herself in all the details of planning weddings there. Seven years ago she launched her wedding planning agency, “Parisian Events — for stylish Parisian celebrations.”

She just published a lavishly illustrated coffee-table style wedding guide, “The Paris Wedding.” Perhaps the notion of getting married in Paris seems like an absurd fantasy. This book could convince you that while it would take a lot of effort it is possible.

The book begins by revealing what could be the greatest impediment. If two people decide to get married in France, then one of them is going to have to move there and take up residence in the district with the nearest proximity to the city hall where they will be married. That person must stay there for at least 40 days in a row and be able to prove it by presenting documents like utility bills, automobile leasing forms or rent receipts stating that place of residence.

I know, that’s not so romantic, but hey, they’re in love, right? The book lists the documents that will be required and provides contact information for French embassies. Do they want to have a church wedding? You are required to have the civil ceremony first.

The author believes that in the end it will be worth it. She writes:

“If you are willing and able, the lasting memory of exchanging your vows beneath the shadow of the Eiffel Tower or in the cobbled halls of a centuries-old chateau is worth the few months of frustration.”

Then we get to the good parts. The book is loaded with photos of couples who have had Parisian weddings. There are sections on the best places to propose, tips for eloping or renewing vows, what to wear to the Parisian wedding, trousseau shopping, shopping for vintage jewelry at a Parisian flea market, Parisian wedding hair styles and how to obtain American wedding cakes there.

Is money no object? There’s a section for green weddings with the all-natural wedding dress and organic foods for the wedding meal. Instead of flinging bird seed at the couple, you could toss lavender petals. And please don’t forget the organic champagne.

Since planning her own Parisian wedding 13 years ago, Petyt has become an influential expert on planning weddings and special events there.

Along with this book, her blog “Parisian Party: Tales of an American Wedding Planner in Paris” is another useful resource.

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