A peaceful sunset elopement in central France

Hilary and Kevin decided to elope in France a few months only before they headed to Europe from the US on a discovery trip. Hilary always wanted to have a ceremony in the woods, surrounded by the beauty and peace of trees while she exchange meaningful vows with her husband to be. When she contacted me, my summer calendar was already closed but we met anyways and we instantly clicked. Her vision totally came to life in my head as she described what kind of forest she wanted, and the general atmosphere of her day. I recommended Central France, the region where I was born and where I lived for many years (and occasionally shot there!), and we agreed on a date during their holiday in France. I reopened my calendar just for them, and I’m so glad I did!

In the morning, they peacefully got ready in their room, in a rustic B&B I recommended in the forest. They headed to the nearest town to get some flowers before that, so when I arrived in their room, Hilary was almost ready and just needed help to put her dress on, and Kevin was on the finishing touches with his suit. Once he was done, he headed outside to wait for Hilary. I helped Hilary with her dress, and we headed downstairs, where Kevin was waiting for us right next to beautiful blue hydrangeas. It was a very emotional first look!

Hilary and Kevin both are avid board game players and wanted to integrate some kind of a game on their elopement day. This is why they took one of their favorite game with them, to play together on that day. They were absolutely not at ease with the idea of posing for photos, so we had to find things to do instead of posing, and playing a game was totally up their ally! They had a lot of fun playing together while I was taking photos of them. At the end of the game, Hilary offered a wedding gift to Kevin, a custom watch with his initials on it.

Then it was time for the ceremony! We headed to the nearby forest to find a beautiful ceremony spot, but the forest had just been cut. So we took my car to head to another forest I scouted a few days before, and they found exactly what they were looking for: tall, evergreen trees, a sound of birds chirping on the branches, and a peaceful atmosphere in general. Their officiant met us directly in the forest as the sun just started to go down, and they exchanged their vows with only the forest as their witness. We could see the sun illuminating their smiles as they lost themselves in the beauty of nature, exchanging personal and meaningful vows that would later be the sealing of their alliance.

After their ceremony, we directly headed to the closest town to buy some local food. They picked up jams, cheeses and dry meats, as well as a delicious piece of bread and some pastries. We then headed to the top of the mountain to enjoy the sun as it was setting on the volcanoes in front of us. During an hour, we ate, laughed, enjoyed the view and listened to peaceful grillons as they were serenading them. The food was delicious, and the day was absolutely perfect. It was such a beautiful experience, to be the only witness of their love on top of that mountain, only surrounded by the warmth of the sun and the soft caress of the wind. After our picnic, we headed back to the B&B while stopping at different viewpoints to enjoy the very last rays of the sun as it was setting behind the mountains.

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