As a wedding planner in Paris, I can’t tell you how many requests I get from panicky grooms-to-be looking for help on proposing to their bride-to-be at the top of the Eiffel Tower. One thing that I like to advise these guys is that a proposal, like amour, isn’t just about the payoff. 1 Pretty Spot + 4 Little Words + 2 Months Salary may = “yes”, but if in the end all she remembers is the bling, you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy! No, a truly unforgettable proposal requires a little foreplay. If you’ve decided to propose in Paris, you need to set the scene and completely immerse your future epouse in the sights, sounds and sentiments of Paris. Sure, the top of the Eiffel Tower is amazingly impressive, but wading through the endless lines of tourists and panhandlers to get there? #notsomuch.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled: The American Wedding Planner in Paris’ Top 5 Most Romantic Spots to Propose in Paris
1. Ile de la Cité – The first spot on my list is the Ile de la Cité – the cradle of Parisian civilization – where the ancient Parisii tribe lived before they were conquered by the Romans in 57 AD. If you’re bringing your sweetie all the way to Paris to propose, what could be more romantically symbolic than proposing at the very epicenter of Paris? With beautiful monuments like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Pont Neuf, the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle, sprinkled with little parks, squares and markets, it’s one of the most romantic spots in Paris- with perfect “proposal ops” for both day and night.
2. Jardin du Palais Royal - This one is a more personal favorite- My French Husband wooed me oh-so-many years ago with romantic walks through the Palais Royal. All of the elements of the perfect proposal are here - Mystery and Intrigue: The gardens are hidden from the street on all sides by almost identical buildings. You’ll need a good map (or a little know-how) to find one of the doorways that enter onto the place. Peace and Quiet: The same walls keep the noise of the Parisian traffic out. If you’re lucky, there may be a cellist or opera singer performing beneath the tall arcades, but usually the loudest sound you’ll hear will be coming from the beautiful fountain in the center of the garden. Romantic Ambiance: The arcades of the Palais Royal house cute little shops, restaurants and cafes- a perfect place to wander through soaking up Parisian atmosphere before you stroll over to one of the benches that dot the park and ask for your honey’s hand in marriage…
3. Pont des Arts - How could she say no to a proposal on one of the most enchanting bridges in Paris? The Pont des Arts is a wooden pedestrian bridge which leads to the Louvre and has the most amazing views of Paris (with the Eiffel Tower in the distance) and the Ile de la Cité. A little wine, a little baguette et fromage, the sun setting on the Seine…and she’s yours for the asking! And while you’re there, don’t forget to leave a Love Lock as a memento of your Parisian adventure.
4. Canal St Martin - This charming, tree-lined waterway in the 10th Arrondissement is still pretty much overlooked by tourists, especially in off-peak months. Built by Napoleon III in 1825 to transport materials from quarries in the north to the Seine, the waterway’s charming iron footbridges and locks are still standing, and set a romantic tone for a different type of wedding proposal. After checking out the “bohemian chic” shops and waterfront cafés along the Quais de Valmy and de Jenmapes, stroll on over to the Parc de la Villette and board a canal cruise- a tranquil 2 hour ride down the canal and out onto the Seine, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pop the question.
5. Maison Blanche - Located on the top of an old Art Deco theater off of the Champs Elysées, Maison Blanche is a hip and trendy romantic restaurant where you go to see and be seen. Reserve a table near the windows if you want to impress her with a breathtaking panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, or book one of the cozy booths if you want something a bit more intime for the big moment.
- © parisian party, december 2007