Marilyn and Victor wanted a personal celebration—one that was true to who they are as a couple—so they threw a cocktail party for 150 in Paris! With the help of planner and creative director Xenia Motif they celebrated their love with a town hall ceremony followed by a reception at La Cartonnerie, Paris. Light shone down through the glasshouse ceiling of the organic setting and decor included garden roses and lots of greenery by Studio Ohlala. Our favorite details are—hand down—the bride’s Hermione de Paula gown, the traditional French croquemboucheat wedding cake and the views of Paris in the stunning portraits by Sandra Aberg Photography.
What made the wedding special and unique?
prom the planner: I was really excited to be on board of this project, as everything about this wedding seemed unique to me. I’ve done many classic destination weddings before, but Marilyn and Victor wanted theirs to be very personal and very true to who they are as a couple, what they like, and their connections in life. So throwing a cocktail party for 150 people in Paris sounded like it!
Everything — from the choice of venue, food decision to the bridal gown, — everything was dictated by what the couple liked, not by wedding conventions.
Growing up in 7eme arrondissement, Victor knew that they have to get married in the townhall of that district, especially with it being so close to the Eiffel Tower — Marilyn’s favourite place in the city. And it worked out perfectly!
Following that, the cocktail party was hosted at an old cardboard factory loft in the center of Paris. Decorated with garden roses and lots of greenery, the setting was organic, reminiscent of autumn garden blooms, at the same time giving way to the venue itself to shine properly with its vintage props, glasshouse ceiling and incredible wood.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The story of Marilyn’s gown is truly one of a destiny. We were looking at a few different options, and Marilyn wanted an unconventional gown, not white (as white was planned to be worn for their second religious wedding in Swiss Alps). We were looking for something playful, elegant, and a little sexy, and then one day we came upon Hermione de Paula creation. We knew it was THE DRESS right away just by looking at Marilyn — she was radiant! Subtle hand-made floral embroidery, golden accents, playful sheer inclusions — it was just perfect both for morning civil ceremony and for a party at night!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
First of all, it was hosted in Paris — the city of Victor’s birth, and Marilyn’s favourite city to visit.
French and American references were here and there in food and entertainment. Starting with an Oyster bar, the dinner then transitioned into a multi-cultural pass-around menu, with delicious things like southern waffles with corn and avocado, pulled pork buns, Asian dim-sums, and so much more.
Entertainment of choice for the night was an incredible lounge live band, followed by a Vinyl Bar, where guests could select their favourite tune, new or old.
A surprise for the bride was an old French tradition of ‘brioche dance’, where the bride and groom are to sit on the delicious French pastry and all guests shall dance around them.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
I think I will get it right if I say that the whole day was memorable! But one great highlight was the brioche dance mentioned earlier — bride and all guests were utterly amused and had an amazing time dancing around the high bread, before turning to the underground ‘dance cave’ for the actual party!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Marilyn and Victor met one serendipitous night at a pub in Central London and never parted since!
The proposal happened at a small resort town in Swiss Alps (where the couple later hosted their second wedding), when Victor arranged a morning hike in winter with their St. Bernard dog (who Marilyn loves!). Everything was going according to the plan, and Victor knelt down proposing. Marilyn happily says yes and takes the ring, when the dog pulls on her, and the ring gets dropped into the snow!
Planning and creative direction: Xenia Motif // Photography: Sandra Aberg Photography // Flowers: Studio Ohlala // MUAH: Onorina Jomir Beauty // Venue: La Cartonnerie, Paris // Bridal dress (Paris): Hermione de Paula // Catering: Charlotte Puckette // Live Music: Reyko // DJ: Dance Police