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Imagine being whisked away to Paris to shop for your wedding gown, work on a custom bauble with a jewelry creéateur, and sip aperitifs with top-of-the-line designers. Yes, it's every woman's fantasy, but it's also a reality when you book a "She Said Oui" getaway with custom luxury travel and lifestyle experience expert Chloe Johnston.
Many brides-to-be envision gathering their girls to guzzle champagne and try on dresses. This is that very experience, but in a much more romantic milieu and with some elevated aspects as well. Instead of traipsing through your hometown's wedding salons, you'll be escorted around the City of Light to find the perfect gown (or bridesmaid or mother of the bride or groom dresses), consult with a Parisian wedding planner, and scope out shoes, headpieces, and other big-day embellishments. Add wine tasting, lingerie browsing, and choosing your own signature scent to the itinerary and you'll start to think you're the star of some lavish wedding show.
"The bride will be escorted throughout Paris by her own private expert with time to relax in between and digest options with some special little treats," Johnston says. The idea is to take some time to enjoy some pre-wedding festivities overseas with your closest friends and family and to de-stress as much as possible. Johnston makes spa excursions, rooftop dinners, and wine and chocolate samplings part of the experience, while finding that happy medium between satisfying your wanderlust and keeping you relaxed.
It all starts with a personal consultation with Johnston so she can build a custom experience to fit your preferences. Expect to talk about how you envision your wedding day, what your personal style is, where you typically shop, what your dream dress looks like, your style icons, and also your budget. From that conversation, Johnston will curate a list of top designers — whether that means modern boutiques or vintage dress shops — and make the necessary appointments. You'll want to give yourself about a year before the wedding to take the trip, bring a dress home, arrange for fittings, and finalize the details. Luckily, Paris is beautiful at all times of the year.
If you already have your dress, consider yourself lucky and focus the trip on finding those one-of-a-kind shoes or headpiece, or simply have your gown and accessories specially embellished by a local expert. Then, spend the rest of the time kicking back and enjoying the company of your closest gals. In fact, Johnston recommends keeping the group fairly small to make sure the focus remains on the bride, and because many of the shops in Paris are smaller and more intimate.
So how much will a dream escape like this sets you back? Johnston says it all depends upon how long you stay, the time of year, and the number of people involved. The experience can start at $3,000 and go up from there if you're including airfare, hotel, meals, experiences, and guides. Add to that the cost of the dress and customization.
It may not be for every bride, but for those who can swing it, there's perhaps no better way to get away before your big day.