Planning Your Perfect French Destination Wedding
We are heading back to France for a whirlwind of photo shoots in City of love, Paris. While we are there, we are teaming up with the AMAZING Jean Charles Vaneck of Sumptuous Events Paris who happens to be one of the most talented Wedding Planners in the world.
We fell in love with Paris a little over 4 years ago and cannot recommend having a destination wedding there more. It’s full of beautiful historic buildings, romantic cobblestone pathways and bridges, the iconic Eiffel Tower and more. It’s the perfect backdrop to the best day of your life! The stress that comes with planning a wedding let alone for another country with another language shouldn’t stop you from having your dream day. Whether it’s an intimate affair with a few family and friends or a big celebration Jean will take care of all your wishes and you won’t have to worry about a thing!
We were fortunate enough to have a few minutes to chat with Jean to see who the man behind Sumptuous Events is and why you should hire a wedding planner to organise your dream wedding. After our chat it was very apparent why (after only two years in the wedding industry) he is so successful and highly regarded! Jean has a wonderfully diverse background in many industries which allows him to organise weddings and events which exceed his clients dreams and expectations.
How did you get started planning Events?
Planning is an innate skill second to none for me. I have worked around the world in the luxury hospitality industry as an entertainer for many years. It allowed me the opportunity to become familiar with different cultures, work with various types of people, and to attend hundreds of extravagant events where I was either performing as a musician or helping to plan the events themselves. I also cultivated my passion for beauty and luxury. I have always been an extremely well organised type of person, and have always enjoyed either planning my friend’s birthday, or a family vacation. In my daily life, I like to schedule everything, and always have a very tidy office.
How long have you been planning weddings?
I have been in the wedding planning industry for 2 years. The transition to wedding planning followed a logical process, so it turned out smooth and successful. I had the chance to plan many different types of weddings in Thailand, at the one & only : Luxury Events Phuket, such as Chinese tea ceremony, Jewish, Indian, Catholic, and gay weddings. And get familiar with extravagant Parisian Castle Wedding with Heather Jerue at Rendez-vous in Paris where I built up my incredible portfolio.
Why should a couple hire a wedding planner instead of planning it themselves?
It is very important for the couple to really love the personality of their wedding planner, as we are going to spend several months working closely together. Weddings are a very personal and emotional affair. They can bring the best and the worse out of people. There is always a lot of expectations, and some tensions, as the big day approaches. My key role is to take the stress off the families. This is something I handle very well. I am truly passionate about what I do. Helping couples realise their dream wedding always fills me with great happiness. In an industry that’s very feminine, I believe I can bring a new energy with my artistic vision of what a perfect day could be. I love adding a personal touch to the decorations so that the event tells a story, with a very happy ending! I am also a very big fan of the design aspect, extravagant decor, flower cascades, sophisticated gold tableware, ornate interiors–though I always say to my clients that sentiments should always come first. When I see the couple and their guests dazzled by their surroundings, and laughing and dancing like nothing else matters, I know then that I have done a good job.
Why should couples work with Sumptuous Events?
I always try to make the couple feel at ease in the very early stage of planning. I share information openly and timely, ask lots of questions, keep the couple informed as the project evolves, and talk through out of the box situations rather than making assumptions. I try to remain available as much as possible, especially at nights and weekends when the bride & groom are not working. I feel extremely confident working in the luxury field, and always share the extravagant vision of my clients. I have learned that everything and anything is possible! I respect and follow the rules of etiquette, but I am always true to myself in every situation. There is no point in acting like someone you are not. Honesty is very important to me. I am a fun, kind, creative, optimistic & passionate man. I love life, and love calling myself a smile maker. I have a strong respect for all cultures, traditions & religions. I follow through on my commitments, and act with integrity.
What advice would you give to couples traveling from overseas to get married?
I am always delighted to welcome couples to Paris, and provide suggestions and recommendations to make their experience a real success. I truly believe that Paris is a perfect city to celebrate love & beauty. Couples want to have a fun experience together, they should discuss their expectations regarding the wedding. Although It is not possible for couple living abroad to get legally married in France, experience has shown me that a symbolic union with an English speaking officiant can be a truly profound and authentic act. I also recommend planning early, as the best venues are often booked one year in advance during the nicest months, which are May, June, July and September. It is ideal if the couple have the occasion to visit once or twice beforehand, so they can taste sample meals, compare mocks up and decide itineraries. If it is a destination wedding, most of the guests may not necessarily know the city. So I always suggest the couple to plan a private tour during the festivities to discover the monuments. If the couple want to offer welcome bags to their guests, I always suggest adding items that recall France and it’s ‘art de vivre’. Offering transportation can very practical for the out of town families, our agency also provides concierge service.
What are your passions in life?
I am very passionate about the world I live in and its evolution. The more I explore it, the more I want to know. Being a very curious person, I always take notes when I hear people talking about a subject that I am not too familiar with, later I do my own investigation. The history of humanity has always fascinated me. I can spend hours watching documentaries on Youtube on anything from the Egyptian pyramids, to the industrial revolution in China, or geographic programs about places I haven’t been to yet. I couldn’t live without music. Music is the best form of expression, I am from the countryside, and we had a big house with a piano, so I started to play very early, and express myself by singing. I am a real music lover, I can enjoy oldies, jazz, evergreen or rap. Outdoor sports, fitness, cinema, fine art & fashion are my other interests.
What is your proudest moment in your career?
I feel very lucky ! There are many beautiful moments in my life that will remain engraved. There are so many things that I would have never achieved on my own, so it is always very important for me to pay great respect to the people I am working with, and particularly the vendors who strive to produce such memorable creations. As I gained experience as piano bar entertainer, I reach a level where people where coming to listen to me, and not just having background music. Connecting with your audience while singing is something really unique. I had the chance to perform for Kylie Minogue and her crew in Abu Dhabi. I took all my courage and sang one of her songs, they all applauded me. That was definitely a big moment. I have had couples hugging me at the end of their wedding and congratulate me for the great job I did. It always warms my heart! I once set up a wedding for a TV show in a very short amount of time. It felt like I was racing against time in two weeks, but the result was perfect.
Picture 1, 2 , 3 , 7 : Le Secret d’Audrey ; Picture 4 , 5 : Julian Wainwright & Erica Camille Photography ; Picture 8 : Liam Collard Photography , Picture 9 : D IP Photography , Picture 10 : Flora Chevalier .