Sunset Engagement Shoot in Paris

paris engagement photo shoot film

On the morning of our wedding day, I wanted to honor my heritage with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for my family members. At such a ceremony, the bride typically wears a “qipao” or “cheongsam,” which is a sheath-like dress with a high mandarin collar, oftentimes in a red and gold brocade. I looked extensively online for options, but most of the sites I came across were overseas stores with no reviews nor actual photos – risky to say the least. I also wanted a few modern updates to the silhouette and design. I was so touched when my good friend Khatu offered to hand-make one as my wedding gift! If anyone has sewn a gown before, you’d know it’s no easy feat.

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We decided to do a silk + French alençon lace dress in a flowy silhouette, with a mandarin collar attached to a removable bolero. That way, the gown easily converted from a mandarin to a sweetheart neckline for two very different looks. I brought the base dress (sans bolero) with us to Paris – I figured the morning of the actual tea ceremony would be hectic, and wanted to make sure to get at least a few photos of this special gift!
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The shot above subtly shows one of my favorite details that Khatu added – if you look closely, there are individual pieces of floral lace appliquéd beneath the topmost layer of the skirt. I learned so much throughout this dressmaking process about the cost and time that goes into making a quality garment! For example, I never knew that individual pieces of lace need to be hand-trimmed out of the yard of fabric that it’s sold in, then sewn onto the garment piece by piece.
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Above: taken along the charming River Seine

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paris elopement photo shoot film

Above: I had seen my friend Kelly’s pics at this same little spot, and made a note to stop by! 
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This set of photos was shot by the talented Le Secret D’Audrey. We specifically looked for a film photographer for the ethereal, airy nature of this old-school medium. It’s a different experience from the digital cameras we’ve grown used to, since there are limited shots on a roll of film and every shot counts. Audrey certainly knows how to work with the light, and also made Nick feel comfortable in his rare time in front of the camera : ) And small world – Nick realized that his college roommate eloped in Paris this year and coincidentally hired the same photographers!

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Above: At the cutest mint & pink-colored cafe Esméralda by Notre-Dame

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79 thoughts on “Sunset Engagement Shoot in Paris

  • graceRysh0p July 8, 2015 at 11:07 am


  • Fun Fashion Mix July 8, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Beautiful! 🙂
    The dress just looks perfect for your shoot.

  • Georgina Russell July 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Beautiful photos of you both, so romantic.

  • neurosciency July 8, 2015 at 11:32 am

    lovely photos <3

  • Joanne Catherine July 8, 2015 at 11:36 am

    This is the most beautiful wedding dress I've ever seen!

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  • Ramsey July 8, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Beautiful and romantic!

  • That Girl in NYC July 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    The photos are beautiful and you both make a lovely couple. I love the solo shot of you with the Eiffel tower in the background!

    Congratulations <3

  • Sasa Zoe July 8, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Oh my! Gorgeous! I'm in love with these photos! <3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Julie July 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Oh my goodness, these photos are stunning! They look like they belong in a bridal magazine. You look so beautiful, Jean, and that dress is just perfect! What a wonderful wedding gift.

    Lifestyle by Joules

  • Keri H July 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Such a gorgeous dress! You two make a beautiful couple!

    Enclothed Cognition

  • Pauline S July 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Everything about this is amazing! you look incredible and both make such a cute couple <3

  • Jennifer July 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    You both look amazing!

  • Anonymous July 8, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Congratulations! The photos are beautiful! Can't wait for my trip to Paris next month. On another note, how tall is your husband? You appear to be a tall goddess in that dress! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos with your readers, Jean.


  • Paige Ma July 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    What beautiful pictures! And what a generous gift from your friend……she is clearly very skilled. Congratulations to you both!

  • Michelle Joseph July 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Simply stunning! X

    Mich x

  • Anonymous July 8, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Jean, you both look phenomenal! Would you mind sharing what make up you're wearing in these photos? Because it looks amazing! Thanks in advance! -Katie

  • Mimi Ho July 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Your photos are beautiful and you look stunning in your dress 🙂 You can see the love between you two radiate! Congratulations on your marriage!

  • missgetaway July 8, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I absolutely love those pictures. They're so peaceful and yet powerful – you two seem like the perfect fit and I wish you all the best for the future.

    Love, Kerstin

  • Jessica Broyles July 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    These are so beautiful! Congratulations, again!

  • Olivia July 8, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Absolutely lovely – Congratulations!!!

  • Anonymous July 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    So so beautiful….Can't wait to see your actual wedding pictures. What a beautiful and good-looking couple, your kids are gonna be absolutely gorgeous/handsome. You and Khatu are both very talented. Fabulous job done on the gown =)

  • mybeautrip July 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Great shooting! It's so romantic!

  • Joy July 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    These are so beautiful, Jean. I can't even express how happy I feel for you! I've been reading your blog for a long time, from school to working back to school and then professional life. I'm currently planning an engagement session and a wedding. You're always one step ahead of me, and I find your advice indispensable! I hope the wedding was everything you wished for, and I can't wait to see photos!

  • ChocolateFashionCoffee July 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  • Natacha Weil July 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    These pictures are simply perfect ! The dress is obviously magic and you guys are so cute *.*

  • Elisabeth Klassen July 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Just breathtaking. Congratulations.

    Diary of Elegance

  • Merrie K. July 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    WOW! I can't believe Khatu sewed that wedding dress for you! I mean, I knew she could sew really well, but a Wedding Dress? I'm so impressed…I can't imagine what a challenge that was. It's absolutely beautiful on you and your pictures turned out fantastic. I wish you guys all the best!
    – Merrie

  • Amanda July 8, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    These pics were gorgeous Jean!! Khatu– you did such an amazing job with the custom dress 🙂
    Btw– how did you do your hair in these pics? Love the loose curls! Congrats to you and Nick! <3

  • Eden Mint July 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    These photos are beautiful, you both look so happy!

  • ADRIENNE MERRICK July 8, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Congratulations! You look beautiful! Wishing you all the best!

  • Trendy On A Budget July 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    These photos are beautiful, Jean! And what an amazing job by Khatu!

  • Suzie Q July 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    These engagement photos are so dreamy, with the perfect backdrop of Paris, and you look so beautiful!! The convertible qipao is so clever, Khatu did an amazing job! Can't wait to see more photos of the other version of the dress 😉

    xo, Suzie Q

  • Alyssa Renee July 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Lovely photos! =)

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  • prudence yeo July 8, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    You guys make such a handsome couple and the gown looks so lovely on you! Congratulations!

    Love the striking plunging neckline of the lace romper and the jacket is such a cool piece!


  • Happiness at Mid Life July 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    These photos are stunning and what a sweet friend to make this gorgeous dress!


    Would love to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  • jolecole July 9, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Congrats on your marriage! And WOW on your photos! You and Nick look absolutely stunning! Can you share the exact location of the place you took the Eiffel Tower photos? I will be visiting Paris in September and would like to drop by same the spot. Thank you in advance!

  • pumpkinmommy July 9, 2015 at 12:31 am

    The bolero. WE MUST HAVE PICTURES OF THE MANDARIN COLLAR BOLERO!!! (There is no doubt in my mind everyone agrees with me.)

  • Trang Do July 9, 2015 at 2:39 am

    You look gorgeous!! Congrats and Made for each other!!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Violet July 9, 2015 at 4:41 am

    You both look beautiful and classy! The Paris landscape is lovely!

  • Shehnaz July 9, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Beautiful images….. awesome view

  • ayme nicole July 9, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Wow. You look absolutely gorgeous. I don't normally like pink but that shade and how flowy the dress is just make you look like a princess. You picked the best lighting too, what time of the day was that? Some photos look like it's early morning or just sunset which adds to the subtle drama in the photo. Amazing.


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  • Angela Bonanza July 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Stunning photos, like an absolute dream! These brought a literal tear to my eye – you two just look so in love and so beautiful!

  • Caitlin Pomeroy July 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

    These are such amazing photos! I absolutely love this! Congratulations!

  • Jennifer J. Chow July 9, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Gorgeous! A big congratulations to you two!

  • Shirlyn O July 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Beautiful engagement/wedding photos in Paris, and gorgeous dress with the fluttery lace details.
    Congrats on becoming a newly wed!

  • Rian July 9, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Beautiful photos! You look gorgeous 🙂

    What brand of makeup was used for your shoot?

  • Josephine July 9, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    So dreamy! I love love LOVE your engagement shoot!


  • Kerri July 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Jean, you look stunning! I have been following your blog silently for a few years and just wanted to congratulate you both! All the best!

  • Trinitayy July 10, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Simply stunning! I cannot wait to see the rest of the photos from your wedding day!

  • Marta July 10, 2015 at 1:41 am

    These pictures are so lovely! Beautiful dress!

  • Paola July 10, 2015 at 6:01 am

    This dress is amazing, beautiful pics!

  • Anonymous July 10, 2015 at 7:57 am

    So dreamy! (You, Nick, and the dress are all gorgeous…) Definitely like a magazine shoot!

  • Daisy July 10, 2015 at 9:31 am

    You look fantastic together! Lovely photos!

  • Diep July 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Jean, you and Nick both look so happy and in love in these photos! I can't get over how beautiful your dress is. Khatu really did a good job. She's so talented! So happy for you both and can't wait to see your actual wedding pictures. Congrats again to the beautiful bride (now wife)!


  • Ana Mari July 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

    lovely pic! You're Beautiful!

  • Ajnira Muminovic July 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I complitely agree. It's actually in the same color like my wedding dress, and if you ask me it's the best color for weddings :)))

  • Ajnira Muminovic July 11, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I completely agree, the color of wedding dress is wonderful, if you ask me it's the best color for weddings, I felt so romantic 🙂


  • Diana July 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, these are gorgeous! Congrats again Jean!

  • Brenda To July 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Love the peachy tones of the photos! What an amazing place to be in Paris for this time!

  • Dayle Pereira July 13, 2015 at 4:06 am

    So ethereal & graceful – Congrats you two 😀


  • Tanya July 13, 2015 at 4:52 am

    This is wonderful and beautiful. Such a perfect photoshoot in Paris!

  • Alyssa Hartwick July 13, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Dying because theses photos are so cute!

  • Gracious Store July 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Wow! What a gorgeous wedding dress!

  • Dice July 19, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Beautiful! Congrats, Jean!

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Katie, thank you for your kind comment! I'm wearing my usual products: MAC select coverup, Make Up For Ever powder foundation, and Lorac pen eye liner. One thing I did differently was I added individual false lashes instead of a strip of false lashes, for a more natural but still full look based on a tip from my wedding makeup artist.

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Julie! He is 5'9." Hope you have an amazing time in Paris!

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks so much, Amanda! I just did my hair regularly here with a 1.25" barrel curling iron, but was in such a rush that I didn't have enough time to curl each section long enough so they turned out "loose" : )

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Hi there – they were taken by Avenue de Camoens. Have fun during your trip!

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I have a short video clip of it here : )

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Ayme! Thank you! This was at early sunset which was around 7PM on that day.

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    You are so sweet, Angela. Thank you for reading!

  • Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you, Rian! I used my usual routine of MAC select cover up, Make up for ever powder foundation, and Lorac liquid eye liner.

  • jolecole July 29, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Thank you Jean!

  • Vi and Ollie August 4, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Jean, the photos are beautiful. I must ask: where did Nick purchase that suit from? I have been searching for a fitted grey suit for my guy!

  • Anonymous August 13, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Jean, beautiful photos! What street were the photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background taken from if you don't mind sharing.

  • Jean September 14, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Hi there! It's Theory, but J.Crew has some really nice fitted suits in their Ludlow cut as well!

  • Jean September 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Hi there – it was on Ave de Camoens

  • Selina Wong September 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm


  • Asao February 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Congratulations, and what beautiful photos! May I please ask the name of the apartment with the balcony shots? I would love to stay there for my wedding.

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