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


paris elopement photo shoot film2

Leave a Comment


  1. Asao wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.7.16 Reply
  2. Beautiful!

    Posted 9.17.15 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – it was on Ave de Camoens

    Posted 9.14.15 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 9.14.15 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 8.13.15 Reply
  6. 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!

    Posted 8.4.15 Reply
  7. jolecole wrote:

    Thank you Jean!

    Posted 7.29.15 Reply
  8. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    I have a short video clip of it here : )

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  13. Jean wrote:

    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" : )

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  14. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  15. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 7.26.15 Reply
  16. Dice wrote:

    Beautiful! Congrats, Jean!

    Posted 7.19.15 Reply
  17. Wow! What a gorgeous wedding dress!

    Posted 7.13.15 Reply
  18. Dying because theses photos are so cute!

    Posted 7.13.15 Reply
  19. Tanya wrote:

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

    Posted 7.13.15 Reply
  20. So ethereal & graceful – Congrats you two 😀


    Posted 7.13.15 Reply
  21. Brenda To wrote:

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

    Posted 7.12.15 Reply
  22. Diana wrote:

    Wow, these are gorgeous! Congrats again Jean!

    Posted 7.11.15 Reply
  23. 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 🙂


    Posted 7.11.15 Reply
  24. 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 :)))

    Posted 7.11.15 Reply
  25. Ana Mari wrote:

    lovely pic! You're Beautiful!

    Posted 7.11.15 Reply
  26. Diep wrote:

    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)!


    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  27. Daisy wrote:

    You look fantastic together! Lovely photos!

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  29. Paola wrote:

    This dress is amazing, beautiful pics!

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  30. Marta wrote:

    These pictures are so lovely! Beautiful dress!

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  31. Trinitayy wrote:

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

    Posted 7.10.15 Reply
  32. 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
  33. Josephine wrote:

    So dreamy! I love love LOVE your engagement shoot!


    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  34. Rian wrote:

    Beautiful photos! You look gorgeous 🙂

    What brand of makeup was used for your shoot?

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  35. 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
  36. Gorgeous! A big congratulations to you two!

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

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. Shehnaz wrote:

    Beautiful images….. awesome view

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  41. Violet wrote:

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

    Posted 7.9.15 Reply
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. Lovely photos! =)

Follow Me:
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    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  48. 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
  49. These photos are beautiful, Jean! And what an amazing job by Khatu!

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  51. Eden Mint wrote:

    These photos are beautiful, you both look so happy!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. Just breathtaking. Congratulations.

    Diary of Elegance

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  56. 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
  57. mybeautrip wrote:

    Great shooting! It's so romantic!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  58. 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
  59. Olivia wrote:

    Absolutely lovely – Congratulations!!!

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. Simply stunning! X

    Mich x

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. Jennifer wrote:

    You both look amazing!

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  68. Pauline S wrote:

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  69. Keri H wrote:

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

    Enclothed Cognition

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  70. 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
  71. Sasa Zoe wrote:

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

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  72. 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
  73. Ramsey wrote:

    Beautiful and romantic!

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

    My Pretty Mess Diary by Joanne Catherine |Bloglovin|

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply
  75. lovely photos <3

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

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

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply

    Posted 7.8.15 Reply

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