Monthly Archive for March, 2009

DIY Vintage French Table Number Cards

In my next life, in addition to being a snowboarding champion, an Iron Chef, a deep sea diver, ambidextrous AND quadrilingual, I’m also going to be a CRAFT MASTER and whip up all kinds of cute hand-made items for my family and friends. Until that time, I have Etsy.

For those who’ve never heard of Etsy (yeah, I’m talking to you two at the back!), the best way that I can describe it is a magical land where Martha Stewart meets ebay. If you dream it, and it’s cute, crafty and affordable- it’s on Etsy. Check out these beautiful Vintage French Table Number Cards that I found there today. For only $4.50, you can buy the digital file of these images to transfer onto paper, stickers, iron-on sheets or anything else that you can run through your printer. I’m picturing them transfered onto a textured card stock and placed in white-washed “Shabby Chic” picture frames. Trop Frenchy for your Parisian wedding tabletop, n’est-ce que pas?

Vintage French Postcard Table Numbers

Winners of the Paris Wedding Magazine Giveaway

Winners of parisian events giveaway

The winners of a copy of the premier issue of the new French wedding magazine, “Forever” are…Elena, Shanika and Ellen! I’ll pop these in the mail to you this week, ladies. And thank you to everyone who took the time to post their favorite ideas for a Paris or French themed wedding on my blog.

paris wedding style, french chignons

marie antoinette theme weddingLike their wine, cheese, fashion and Johnny Halliday, the French take their chignon very seriously. Before moving to France, I had assumed that a chignon was a fancy word for “bun”- the hair pulled back into a band, and then pinned under to make, well… a bun. It wasn’t until I started phoning hair salons in Paris for a friend who wanted to have her hair done for a wedding, did I realize how naive I had been. The moment that I would tell the salon receptionist that I needed a chignon, her tone would immediately change, “Non! Zayre ees nobody who can do “Chignon” here.”, or, “C’est pas possible, Pierre is zee only one who can do “Chignon” and Thursdays ees his day off!”. That was my first clue that a chignon a la française is a whole other ballgame.

Bombée, tressé, néo-romantique, décoiffé or banane, the names of styles of the French chignon are as elaborate as the many variations of the style itself. Like the bride who sports it, a classic chignon mariage can be austere, demure or unbridled. It can be slicked back, poofed up, or swept over with meters of ringlets tumbling down. Some French hairstylists devote their entire professional lives to chignon, while others, having been shamed early on inbad chignon beauty school, outright refuse to approach them. This is actually quite a noble thing, considering that a bad chignon is typically very, very bad…

When you’re making an appointment for a chignon at a salon in Paris, especially for a wedding or other special occasion, try to make an appointment for a trial (called an “essai” in French) some time before the actual event. Go to the trial armed with photos of the style you want, any combs, clips or other accessories that you plan to wear and photos of your wedding dress or gown. It being France, be prepared for the coiffeur to gasp in horror at your photos, and to insist that under no circumstance will he ever give you the style that you want. It’s okay- it’s all part of “le jeu” (the game). Let him give you the style that he thinks is best, ogle and fawn all over it, all the while flaming his ego with words like “maître” (master) and “génie” (genius). Then slowly ease it into the style you want. ex: “Oh, Pierre, it is absolutely magnifique! My future sister-in-law was right! You ARE a genius. You have given me a chignon that is sexy and sophisticated, with just the right amount of virginity to make those other women seethe with jealousy. Oh, but I must confess- I have always been embarrassed by the homeliness of the nape of my neck. Do you think it would be possible to drop the chignon down just a bit- to spare me the embarrassment on my wedding day….?”

Many salons in Paris will offer a “forfait mariage” a trial of both hair and make-up, plus hair/make-up and a simple manicure on the day-of. The prices of forfait mariage are as varied as anywhere else. For some reason, salons in Paris are usually very suspicious about quoting a forfait price over the phone. They often try to insist that you come in to see them to get a price. If you let them know that you’re phoning from overseas, and are unable to come in, they will give you a price seemingly off the top of their heads, but you can assume that the true price will be within 50 euros or so of the one quoted. The best bet, of course, is if you have a printed advertisement, or can get a quote sent to you by email.

If you’re thinking about trying out an authentic French chignon while in Paris, take a look at a few of these salons. I’m sure that any one of them will make you look magnifique:

Lucie Saint-Claire

Alexandre Zouari
1 avenue du Président Wilson - 75016 Paris
Tél. : 01 47 23 79 00

J. Bogatti
29 avenue de Tourville - 75007 Paris
Tél. : 01 47 05 33 00

Patrick Alès
37 avenue Franklin Roosevelt - 75008 Paris
Tél. : 01 43 59 33 96

hair salons in Paris

French chignon paris

French wedding hairstyle


Just a reminder: Only a few more days to enter to win a premier issue of the hot new French wedding magazine, “Forever”. I’ll randomly draw 3 names from all the comments made on my previous post. Take a look for more information and your chance to win!