Wednesday, February 16, 2011


As most of you know, Danny and I got engaged this past fall. We'd been planning a wedding for August 13th. We were adamant that we would pay for this wedding ourselves, and that there would be no gifts, and no stress for others. The joke was on us, though, it's impossible to do a wedding without stress. It was impossible to create a wedding that could be inclusive and affordable. The biggest wish was to be able to invite absolutely everyone we care about. The problem is that we've been engulfed by hundreds of people, friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers. Over this past 10 months we've been supported and lifted up, and we owe it to everyone in our lives. It's impossible to even list everyone. It's impossible to do a wedding without forgetting someone. It's impossible to mail out enough invites. It's impossible to organize everything.

So....a day or two before we left Abu Dhabi, we came up with the plan to do our vows in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. It was Danny's idea, really. I've got an extremely romantic man on my hands. Jess and Dre sealed the deal when they mentioned they had an extra men's wedding band that we could borrow. 

The day of our flight we picked up some beautiful, thick paper. I wrote my vows on half of the page and covered it up. Danny finished his next. We tucked them away in a notebook, deep inside Danny's backpack. When we arrived in Paris we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, he strapped on the backpack, and we went walking through the city. 

Somewhere between the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, we ran into a little market where we found a dirt cheap bottle of champagne. We stuffed it in the backpack along with some French chocolates and headed for our ceremony. 

We shared our vows one at a time. There was laughter, there were tears. There was hugging, and a kiss to seal the deal. We committed to each other for the rest of our lives. It was simple and sincere. It was perfect in every way. After the ceremony we headed back on the metro, headed to our adorable little hotel in the Latin district.
Later, we went back out on the town. We walked and walked and walked some more. We took in all of the architecture, enjoying the history and details. The mismatch of old buildings next to graffiti. The hedges, the wrought iron, the language, the food. It was sublime.

The layover was only 24 hours, but it was by far the best 24 hours of my life. For 24 hours we explored a beautiful city, filled with romance and grit. It was magic.

Row after row after row of bourdeaux

Wine in a juice box? That's new.


  1. beautiful! simply beautiful. brought tears to my eyes

  2. "So Cal" PattiFebruary 16, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Congratulations you two!!! I too teared up over this! I can't think of a more beautiful way to say your vows than in such a romantic place! And thanks to your pictures we all do get to be a part of it! Blessings to you both for years of continued happiness!!!

  3. Amazing! Congratulations to both of you! xoxo

  4. YAY!! Congrats Jess and Danny! This is the best!

    Beautiful photos too.

  5. Good on you! Such a treat, and such a sensible decision.

    Love reigns!
    Dee Dee

  6. Love for each other is what defines a wedding.
    Jess, you and Danny have a precious and bonded relationship and that is all that matter,s!
    Love, Uncle Michael

  7. Makes me just want to give you a huge hug!

  8. So romantic!! Congrats and thank you for sharing! BTW wine in a juice box is genious!

  9. You two are so special. I am truly blessed to have you in my life..

  10. Where is a magnifying (sp?) glass when we need it? We want to read the vows!!!

    All kidding aside, it's perfect, very romantic and real. Real in that you two did it all without anyone else's two cents, so it is ALL yours forever and ever. Your love is obviously grander than the effil tower.

    Way to go. xoxoxoxox


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