Monthly Archive for April, 2012

winner of the 5th anniversary giveaway

A few weeks ago, I celebrated the 5th Anniversary of writing the “parisian party: tales of an american wedding planner in paris” blog.  As part of the celebration, I invited readers to write in and share their favorite arrondissement in Paris with everyone.  By  posting a comment, they were also entered  into a drawing to win a custom tote-bag by fellow American Entrepreneur in Paris, Kasia Dietz Handbags.  Unfortunately, a few days after the contest began, my blog was hit by a virus. Although it was a big pain (which I guess is the point, right? grrr…), it DID allow more time for people to get their comments in.  So, I ran the entries through today and the winner is… Judith Humphrey, who wrote about her memories of her mother and her love of the 7th arrondissement.  Thanks SOO much to Judith and to everyone who took the time to leave a comment here, my Facebook page or tweet about the contest.   And another HUGE thank you for continuing to support this blog over all of these years.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate it, so I’ll just simply share some Kisses from Paris with you. Mille Mercis!

parisian party 5th anniversary giveaway wth kasia dietz handbags


I never wanted to be one of those middle-aged couples who’ve been together so long they barely remember the date of their wedding, let alone bother to plan something  for their wedding anniversary. Yet here it is, the 5th Anniversary of my beloved little parisian party blog, and I’ve been so wrapped up in the impending Paris Wedding Season 2012 that I almost let it slip by.  For those who don’t write a blog,  one blog year actually equals something like SEVEN dog years. And when you blog a niche as specific as Contemporary France With An Emphasis On Parisian Wedding History, Style and Culture as Seen Through The Eyes of An Expat American Wedding and Party Planner, you should probably compare it to bivalve mollusc years (I’ll wait while you google that one…). Let’s just say that I’ve got a right to celebrate.

This anniversary started me down memory lane to my very first trip to Paris, nearly two decades ago (!?).  For something like $20 a day, I had a clean room (shower and toilet down the hall) plus breakfast at the Hotel Marignan in the 5th arrondissement. I’d buy a sandwich for lunch and eat it while meandering around the 5th, then up through the 6th until it got “boring” in the 7th arrondissement.  I’d come back to the hotel, freshen up and then go out drinking and dancing at Place de la Contrescarpe. During that vacation, I was a Rive Gauche girl.

By my second trip to Paris, I liked to think that I was more sophisticated. I stayed in the mature 7th arrondissement, but “discovered” the Marais- I spent the first part of my trip eating falafel, wandering around museums (I had a real job back home by then) and window shopping in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements.  During one of these wanderings, I met my soon-to-be husband, who took me out to the Charbon on rue Oberkampf  in the 11th arrondissement and dancing at   La lindsey-bee-etsy-paris-mapFlèche d’Or in the 20th.  I fell in love with him and the “real” Paris I hadn’t known about before that trip.

Things happened (comme on dit) and a few years later we were back in Paris, married, VERY pregnant, and living in the heart of Chateau Rouge in the 18th Arrondissement. We were in a one bedroom apartment on the 5th floor with no elevator, with an extremely, um, lively African Market on the streets below us. But once the apartment door was shut, we had the most amazing direct view onto Sacre Coeur at the top of Montmartre. This view, and the fact that my son was born there,  is why the 18th has stayed one of my favorite Paris arrondissements.

With kids came the inevitable suburban migration, but we’re lucky that we live just a hop skip and jump from Paris. Between kids and running a tourism-focused company, I clock a lot of time nowadays in the 8th arrondissement.  Scoff if you must, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day- and with a ginormous selection of restaurants, great shopping and my beloved Ladurée, I’m just going to admit it: I like the 8th arrondissement. I’m a Rive Droite woman, ok? There. I’ve said it.

So that’s my little trip down memory lane and through my favorite neighborhoods of Paris.  Never one to celebrate alone, I think it would be fun to share the festive cheer of this 5th anniversary with you readers who have stood by this blog through thick, thin and the occasional famine.  So I’m having a give-away!

musee-dorsay-75007Kasia Dietz is a stylish ex-New Yorker who’s young handbag company has already been featured in Huffington Post, NY Examiner and as well as sold in shops like Gramercy Project in New York and Le Bon Marché here in Paris.  Kasia Dietz Handbags are all reversible, one-of-a kind and “made with love in Paris“, with certain collections individually hand-printed.  Kasia has agreed to create a special edition Code Postal bag specifically for one lucky parisian party reader.  The outside will be printed with the Paris postal code of choice, and the inner “Paris” pocket of the bag will be a customized sapphire blue, to celebrate parisian party’s 5th Year (in American wedding traditions, blue is the color of the 5th anniversary, and sapphire is the stone).

To win this custom parisian party Kasia Dietz Handbag, all you have to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post listing your favorite Paris arrondissement (and postal code) and why

2. Follow me on twitter and tweet the following : “ I just entered the parisian party 5th Anniversary giveaway on @parisianparty!

3. Like my Facebook fan page :

5. Comment on any other blog post of your choice on my site.

The bag will be mailed (via La Poste) to anywhere in the world, so you don’t have to live in Paris to play along. The winner will be drawn randomly on April  21st, 2012 at 10pm Paris time. Due to the recent problems relating to a virus on my blog, this contest has been extended! The winner will be announced Monday, April 30th 2012, at 10pm Paris Time.

Feel free to spread the word. Thanks for playing along, and thank you for reading my blog!

vrai mariage du mercredi: an intimate paris wedding celebration

Blair and Judson contacted me last fall to help them plan their wedding ceremony here in Paris. They were coming over with an intimate group of their nearest and dearest, and wanted to celebrate everything that they loved about this City. Destination Wedding photographer Heidi Geldhauser from Our Labor of Love joined them on their Parisian adventure and shared these amazing images of their day: buy-wedding-dress-in-pariselope-in-paris2Blair, a consummate (and crafty!) francophile, added special touches to further personalize their day.  She always loved the Romani idea of sewing special things into a wedding dress for good luck– initials, special dates, spices to ward off evil spirits, etc.  So she chose to sew a cicada into her hemline in honor of Judson ( his band is called Tettix (ancient Greek for cicada.)  It was also her “something borrowed”, as a close friend who couldn’t make it to the wedding lent it to her).  Next to it, she sewed in a medallion she used to wear around her neck of Saint Geneviève– the Patron Saint of Paris.  She told me, “France has always been a special place to me, ever since I was a child, and eventually I lived in Paris for a year in college. Afterward, I always wore my Ste. Genevieve necklace as a reminder of where I wanted to someday return to– so sewing it into my hemline was a special tribute to the city that keeps summoning me back.”  french-wedding-traditionsparis-proposalintimate-wedding-in-parissmall-wedding-in-parisAfter their ceremony, Blair and Judson spent the morning running around Paris with their families and best friends, stopping to take pictures in all of their favorite places- including the Pont des Arts, where they added a Love Lock to the bridge, and tossed the key into the Seine. love-locks-bridge-pont-des-arts-parisget-married-in-parisparis-wedding-reception-locationAfter a champagne brunch at Angelina’s, the newlyweds headed  back to their apartment with Heidi in tow- down Bd St Michel past some quintessential French landmarks, and even braved a Metro station in their wedding gear to take pictures with the trains. Blair said some of her favorites are from the end of the day, when Heidi was able to snap some really cool pictures of them relaxing on very Parisian back streets without any of the traditional French landmarks in the background.

elope in Paris

wedding photographer in paris

Félicitations again, Blair & Judson. I’m so glad that your time in Paris was everything that you’d hoped it would be!