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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  1. Marta wrote:

    These pictures are so lovely! Beautiful dress!

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  2. Trinitayy wrote:

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

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  3. Kerri wrote:

    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!

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  4. Josephine wrote:

    So dreamy! I love love LOVE your engagement shoot!


    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  5. Rian wrote:

    Beautiful photos! You look gorgeous 🙂

    What brand of makeup was used for your shoot?

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  6. Shirlyn O wrote:

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

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  7. Gorgeous! A big congratulations to you two!

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  8. These are such amazing photos! I absolutely love this! Congratulations!

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  9. Stunning photos, like an absolute dream! These brought a literal tear to my eye – you two just look so in love and so beautiful!

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  10. 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.


    COFFEESLAG Deal Of The Day

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  11. Shehnaz wrote:

    Beautiful images….. awesome view

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  12. Violet wrote:

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

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  13. Trang Do wrote:

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

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  14. The bolero. WE MUST HAVE PICTURES OF THE MANDARIN COLLAR BOLERO!!! (There is no doubt in my mind everyone agrees with me.)

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  15. jolecole wrote:

    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!

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  16. 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.

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  17. 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!


    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  18. Lovely photos! =)

Follow Me:
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    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  19. Suzie Q wrote:

    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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  20. These photos are beautiful, Jean! And what an amazing job by Khatu!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  21. Congratulations! You look beautiful! Wishing you all the best!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  22. Eden Mint wrote:

    These photos are beautiful, you both look so happy!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  23. Amanda wrote:

    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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  24. Merrie K. wrote:

    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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  25. Just breathtaking. Congratulations.

    Diary of Elegance

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  26. These pictures are simply perfect ! The dress is obviously magic and you guys are so cute *.*

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  27. Joy wrote:

    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!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  28. mybeautrip wrote:

    Great shooting! It's so romantic!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    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 =)

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  30. Olivia wrote:

    Absolutely lovely – Congratulations!!!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  31. These are so beautiful! Congratulations, again!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  32. 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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  33. Mimi Ho wrote:

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

    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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  35. Simply stunning! X

    Mich x

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  36. Paige Ma wrote:

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    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.


    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  38. Jennifer wrote:

    You both look amazing!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  39. Pauline S wrote:

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  40. Keri H wrote:

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

    Enclothed Cognition

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  41. Julie wrote:

    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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  42. Sasa Zoe wrote:

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

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  43. 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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  44. Ramsey wrote:

    Beautiful and romantic!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  45. This is the most beautiful wedding dress I've ever seen!

    My Pretty Mess Diary by Joanne Catherine |Bloglovin|

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  46. lovely photos <3

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  47. Beautiful photos of you both, so romantic.

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  48. Beautiful! 🙂
    The dress just looks perfect for your shoot.

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply

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