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

  • Reply Paola July 10, 2015 at 6:01 am

    This dress is amazing, beautiful pics!

  • Reply Anonymous July 10, 2015 at 7:57 am

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

  • Reply Daisy July 10, 2015 at 9:31 am

    You look fantastic together! Lovely photos!

  • Reply 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)!


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

    lovely pic! You're Beautiful!

  • Reply 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 :)))

  • Reply 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 🙂


  • Reply Diana July 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, these are gorgeous! Congrats again Jean!

  • Reply 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!

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

    So ethereal & graceful – Congrats you two 😀


  • Reply Tanya July 13, 2015 at 4:52 am

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

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

    Dying because theses photos are so cute!

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

    Wow! What a gorgeous wedding dress!

  • Reply Dice July 19, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Beautiful! Congrats, Jean!

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:27 pm

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

  • Reply 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" : )

  • Reply Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:29 pm

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

  • Reply Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I have a short video clip of it here : )

  • Reply Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

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

  • Reply Jean July 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

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

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply jolecole July 29, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Thank you Jean!

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply 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.

  • Reply 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!

  • Reply Jean September 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Hi there – it was on Ave de Camoens

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


  • Reply 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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