When the Lovesick Expo and Offbeat Bride brought their fabulousness to San Francisco this past February, we thought it’d be fun to offer a three-hour photo session in Paris as a prize. Considering that the couple would need to fly themselves out to the City of Lights in November, we were surprised by the amount of folks who entered. Our lucky winners? Jenn and Ryan, who got hitched roughly a week before jetting off on their European honeymoon.
Although we were expecting a stormy day when we joined up with our newlyweds on Armistice Day (November 11), the sun had chased away the rain. Apparently Jenn and Ryan had brought the California sunshine with them! We kicked off our excursion on Île Saint-Louis, one of two natural islands on the Seine River. Despite it being a national holiday, the streets were filled with tourists and locals window shopping, riding bikes, walking their dogs, and simply enjoying the unexpectedly gorgeous day. Jenn and Ryan indulged in coffee and a slice of tarte tatin (upside-down apple tart) at a café before we strolled across a lovelock-laden bridge to adjacent Île de la Cité (the other island on the Seine), home of the celebrated Notre Dame cathedral.
The Notre Dame plaza was abuzz with shutterbugs, tour groups, and men who let pigeons peck bird feed off their heads (we’ll let you imagine what their heads and shirts looked like). After some portraits with the church itself, Ryan sought out a group of confused Japanese students for a photo. From there, walking along the banks of the Seine was a natural transition, and we thankfully had a chance to do so before the paths were opened up again to vehicular traffic. Ironically, a bicyclist ran into Jenn and Ryan as they were checking out art and book stalls on the sidewalk!
The metro whisked us to the last stop on our whirlwind tour: the Arc de Triomphe. A grand structure commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, it honors the French soldiers who had fought in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Since it was Armistice Day, the area was especially popular with uniformed veterans and their families. The top of the 164-foot-high arch is reached via 300 or so narrow, winding stairs. We survived the climb and were rewarded with a panoramic view of Paris, which included a sparkling Eiffel Tower. Many thanks to the couple from Wisconsin who took the photo of us!
We had a total blast running around Paris with Jenn and Ryan, and were honored to spend a few hours with them on their honeymoon—not to mention capturing Jenn’s expression (and tears!) when she saw the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe for the first time! Here our some of the wonderful memories we made together, in still and animated form.