Sara Breton and Greg Anderson first crossed paths at the Martini House in Burlington, Ontario. Having recently moved to Canada from Florida, Sara sat beside Greg at the bar as he “tried to figure out a way to strike up a conversation with this beautiful woman.” After Sara ordered her favorite cocktail, a French martini, Greg finally mustered up the nerve to say hello; and the rest is history.
Several weeks of courting soon led to the couple’s first official date on New Year’s Eve, 2011. They met the Park Hyatt in Toronto, where Sara worked, and spent the night gazing at fireworks from the Rooftop Lounge. Three years later, the two returned to the Park Hyatt, where Greg planned a surprise proposal and asked Sara to marry him.
“IT WAS TRULY A FAIRYTALE WEDDING, AND WE WERE ABLE TO RECREATE THIS DAY FOUR WEEKS LATER IN CANADA” SARA BRETON
Being an event planner herself, Sara began planning a destination wedding in Florida–a special place for her and Greg. She originally envisioned an elaborate destination wedding on a private island in the Florida Keys. Unfortunately, the wedding planning process simply became too complicated (especially because the location was so remote), and it turned out many loved ones wouldn’t be able to travel.
Instead of throwing a lavish wedding, Greg suggested a different idea–a destination elopement in Paris, the city of love. Initially, Sara wasn’t too keen on the idea of an elopement, as she wanted loved ones to be present. The idea, however, evolved into a unique plan to create a secret “mini wedding” in Paris, with just two people to witness the big day (the maid of honor and best man). Sara also insisted their elopement in Paris have all the bells and whistles that a large wedding would have; and after the nuptials, the couple would host a chic French soiree upon their return to Toronto.
“It was the best of both worlds: the stress-free planning without having to worry about hundreds of guests traveling, and having a celebration with all our loved ones back in Canada,” Sara says. “Upon our departure for Paris, we mailed out our invitations for the reception in Toronto. It was planned perfectly, so by the time the invitations were received, we had just gotten married and would surprise a lot of people!”
Sara and Greg’s luxury rendezvous in Paris brought Sara’s vision of a fairytale elopement to life. With the help of wedding planner, Fete in France, the overseas nuptials also included custom menus handwritten in calligraphy, gorgeous floral designs, gift bags, and plenty of champagne.
The bride looked stunning in a fashion-forward Vera Wang dress, Jimmy Choos, and Van Cleef & Arpels earrings, which were a wedding present from the groom. Arriving in a vintage Bentley, the bride and groom exchanged vows in a beautiful Parisian chapel, while music from a harp and saxophone duo wafted through the air.
After some photo sessions around the city, the newlyweds returned to their luxurious suite at the Shangri-La with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Rainy weather set in, creating an extra romantic and cozy ambiance in their suite, where a private butler served a gourmet meal, complete with a champagne tower and French wedding cake. Together, four close friends celebrated into the wee hours of the morning and enjoyed a carefree, intimate atmosphere. “It was truly a fairytale wedding, and we were fortunate to be able to recreate this day four weeks later for our friends and family in Canada,” says Sara.
Location: Shangri-La Hotel Paris, Paris, France: Planner: Fete in France, Paris, France:
Event Design: Sara Anderson Events, Burlington, Ontario: Floral Design: Estelle Preston, Paris, France
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang: Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo: Groom’s Attire: Canali
Jewelry: Van Cleef & Arpels