Wedding Party at the Ritz, 1920
A Wedding at a Historic Hotel
Finding a venue is often the biggest challenge in planning a wedding. The venue provides the backdrop and atmosphere to the culmination of a love story, and can play an important role in transforming the evening into a magical experience. Pragmatically speaking, the venue dictates the possibilities in terms of sound equipment, lighting, catering, and accessibility. It also has to be conveniently located near accomodation for guests coming from far away, as well as the couple’s nuptial sleeping arrangements. Orchestrating communication between guests, staff, catering and decor is a fine balancing act, which certain hotels have mastered to perfection. What could become a long and tedious list of concerns is immediately simplified when selecting a hotel as one’s wedding venue, and particularly when choosing one of the world’s most renowned names in hospitality.
The Garden at the Ritz
The Ritz, at 15 Place Vendôme, is over a century old, and came to represent the peak of luxury during the Belle Époque. It still holds many echoes of Paris’s most romantic past. Coco Chanel lived at the hotel for more than thirty years, in convenient proximity to the Chanel flagship store across the street. Ernest Hemingway, Princess Diana, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Audrey Hepburn, and Marcel Proust were all regular guests. Its impeccably high standards have earned the hotel a reputation as the greatest hotel in Europe, and its classical architecture seems to set the scene for a fairy tale escapade. The hotel has been featured in many novels and films, as a romantic location imbued with the mystique of its history. The only Chanel spa in the world is located within the hotel, offering aromatherapy, massages and facials. With a promise to make skin glow from within, it’s the perfect place to get pampered before the big day.
The Chanel Spa at the Ritz
A wedding at the Ritz would begin with the wedding ceremony, which could take place in one of its many beautiful salons, or in the hotel garden. The hotel would take care of making each transition seamless and graceful, in guiding guests to their seats, as well as having champagne ready as soon as the festivities begin. After the ceremony the party would move to the hotel’s Psyché Terrace for a cocktail hour, synchronized to coincide with the sunset. Once the sun has gone down, dinner would take place in one of the hotels larger Salons, set-up with a long dining table or many round tables, at which guests would enjoy an amuse-bouche followed by a three course wine-paired menu created by Michelin star chef Nicolas Sale. The wedding cake could likewise be designed to your taste by pastry chef Francois Perret. The hotel’s imperial suite is listed as a historic monument in its own right, and the venue offers a setting unparalleled in elegance, decorum, and attention to detail. A wedding for 20 guests with these services would cost 11,850 €.
Le Salon Psyché at the Ritz
The Hotel de Crillon, on the borders of the Place de la Concorde, inhabits a building commissioned by King Louis XV in 1755. Originally a private mansion, the building once hosted a young Queen Marie-Antoinette receiving piano lessons, as well as Benjamin Franklin’s meeting with French diplomats to sign the first trade agreement between America and France. The Bal des Debutantes, one of Paris’s most important social events, was held here for 20 years. The hotel is a historic masterpiece, bringing together the past and the present with a combination of antique furnishings and modern design. With Suites designed by Karl Lagerfeld himself, and ceilings reinforced to support bathtubs carved out of blocks of solid marble, the hotel has redefined luxury. Every guest is assigned their own butler upon check-in, the swimming pool is tiled with 24ct gold leaf mosaics, and the hotel bar offers 213 varieties of Champagne. The Hotel de Crillon has however spent most of its history perfecting the art of hospitality, catering its guests every need and carefully tailoring each experience.
Stairwell at the Hotel de Crillon
The Hotel de Crillon has several Salons suitable for a ceremony. The Salon des Aigles is a monumental ballroom decorated with Greek muses, boasting two balconies facing the Eiffel tower. The League of Nations first meeting was held in this room in 1919. Adorned with majestic paintings of battles that took place on Place de la Concorde, the Salon des Batailles is a ballroom offering panoramic views over Paris. The Salon Marie-Antoinette features an authentic Aubusson tapestry, and boasts a terrace overlooking Place de la Concorde. The wine cellar, where 40,000 bottles of wine are stores, is suitable for more intimate gatherings. The hotel also has 138 sq meters, or 1485 sq feet, of outdoor space available. They offer bespoke catering, allowing you to design a menu to your liking with the help of their award winning kitchen team. There are also four restaurants within the hotel. A wedding at the Hotel de Crillon for 20 guests, renting out two of their salons, would come in at 14,500 € .
Salon Marie-Antoinette at the Hotel de Crillon
Both hotels have just come out of extensive renovation projects that have equipped them with state of the art infrastructure while maintaining their historic character. They have the experience and resources to plan events of the highest caliber, ensuring that your wedding day is one without hiccups or worries. From syncing up audio visual equipment, to organizing live music, and orienting lost guests, these hotels have seen it all and have staff expertly trained to simplify your life. This peace of mind is invaluable, and would help any couple reach a state of marital bliss.