Planning an event in a foreign country can be hectic…but planning a wedding can almost seem impossible. We turned to the experts this month of Rendez-vous in Paris, a luxury Wedding & Event Planning Agency, to learn precisely what it takes to plan your dream event in France.
Heather Jerue, is an American from Michigan. Her company is Rendez-vous in Paris, specializes in designing unique celebrations for a discerning international clientèle in Paris and all over France. Rendez-vous in Paris’s mission is to plan and coordinate unforgettable weddings & events in France. Having developed strong working relationships with the best châteaux & hotels and the most exclusive, sophisticated venues in Paris allows them to create individualized ceremonies an celebrations for discerning couples in France.
Occasionally they get a request for Day-of services, but with an international clientele, most couples need hands-on assistance the whole way through. Rendez-vous in Paris conducts business French and English. Most of their couples are 30-40 years old, and are coming from all over the world!
Heather loves the fact that her work has a positive impact on such a monumental moment people’s lives. Whether working together on planning their big event or small reception, all events give Heather time to develop close relationships with her clients.
Rendez-vous in Paris has a full-time professional wedding planner on their team, who handles al “Intimate weddings,” and several interns and assistants that are assigned specific weddings each season.
France had always charmed Heather. “l moved here, first near the beaches in the south, then to the French Alps in the east, and finally to dwell among the history and culture of Paris… because of Love.”
Initially, it was the love of all things French that brought Heather across the ocean as a student. Then, it was the love of one thing French (a Frenchman) that made her stay.
“Moving to France from the States in 2003, I realized that the wedding planning industry was budding in Europe. I saw many beautiful Castles and other venues and tasted delectable food & wine and decided that this would be a dreamy place to get married. I thought that fellow American and other non-French speaking people would have a hard time planning a destination wedding with time differences and cultural confusion, so l decided to start a company to help foreigners experience the magic of France without the stress of handling everything themselves! And Rendez-vous in Paris was born.”
Besides France, Heather has spent a lot of time in Italy, Spain, the UK, and Eastern Europe. “I’ve been to weddings in each of these countries and always enjoy learning more about new ways to understand and experience such personal events. I’ve also had the joy of having clients from Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai, India, Hawaii, and Russia. Helping each couple bring their traditions into their wedding in France is something that makes my job refreshing and unique with each new client.”
“Even after more than ten years as an étrangère living in this beautiful country, my daily enchantment continues to make me smile. l see beauty all around me every day, and l can’t imagine a better place to celebrate l’amour!”
Heather’s perfect weekend in Paris has to include an afternoon at a gallery or expo, then a romantic and delicious dinner with a delectable Frenchman. Saturday is for drinks on a sunny terrace with friends followed by dancing under the stars at one of the outdoor summer clubs, brunch in the late afternoon on Sunday, followed by a walk around one of the charming parks…
Many couples believe that since the venues are so beautiful, there is no need to allocate their budget to further decoration – and this is partly true. However, for me personalizing an event is the most enjoyable part of the planning process. Decorating and designing a wedding in a meaningful way, having stories behind basic elements like table names, menu choices or even venue choice makes each event unique, and the guests can feel it! Also, l always plan surprises for the guests throughout each event, but l get really excited when the Bride and/or Groom ask me to plan little surprises for their future spouse as well!
One new couple was Swedish, living in Dubai. They planned an entire weekend for their guests including an oriental themed rehearsal dinner (complete with the couple arriving on camels, and guests being entertained by belly dancers and an Arabian band). This initial fete was followed by Saturday morning traditional Christian ceremony, an English High Tea, and an elegant French gastronomic dinner. The next day, the exhausted but smiling guests were treated to an American diner-style brunch with red checkered table cloths, New York bagels and cream cheese, and coca-cola in glass bottles.
When planning an event in Paris, Heather said the best thing you can do is hire a good planner, whom you trust with your vision. Also, make sure to listen to the experts, and make sure you’re taking time to think about meaning for each detail you find yourself fretting about.
It’s so much more important to plan things that are meaningful rather than focusing on details that won’t impact the guests. Guests always remember if they were too hot or too cold, hungry or this and the general ambiance of the evening. They will not remember the exact shade of pink in the tablecloths, nor whether the champagne flutes were 2 inches taller than the wine glasses. Focus on guest comfort and your happiness! The day or weekend will pass so quickly, make sure you enjoy!
Written by our Paris Network Developer, Krystal Kenney
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The Château de Fontainebleau, just 35 miles southeast of central Paris, can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capétiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orléans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls. The chateau dates back to 1137—and centuries of royals have expanded this former royal hunting lodge to a more than 1,500-room estate. Most of what you’ll see dates back to the 16th century, a combination of Italian Renaissance art and French design, these rooms are some of the most intricate and breathtaking in France. If times allows, you can enjoy lunch in this charming area.
Tour Length: 5 – 6 hours