My Secrets About our Paris Trip by Randa Carrabba

Hey y’all! So this post is from back in August of 2016. Grant took me to Paris! It was a 4 day layover on our way to an African Safari Hunt in Namibia. We chose to lay over in Paris to get us more on the same time frame as Africa since we would be traveling across the world. Grant got this trip at a charity auction in November of 2015 (a month before he proposed to me) and I remember waking up to a text message saying, “Do you think you could take a week off to go with me to Africa?” I felt a little bad that he thought I might not be able to take time off of work for a once in a lifetime trip with the man of my dreams, but I told him of course I would find way! Keep in mind this was when I still had my retail store front, so being gone was super hard. And we actually ended up being gone for 2 weeks with travel time and the Paris layover, so double as hard as the original 1 week plan. But oh so worth it!

This time of year Paris was not crowded at all, but also a few of the businesses were shut down. This is a break time for them before September kicks off with lots of events! But if I were to do it all over again, I would want to go again in August (unless I got invited for a fashion event!) because the weather is cool and nice and you don’t have to fight the crowds. I suggest the Riverboat Tour (so you can see the entire city) for Dinner one evening, a trip out to Palace of Versailles and the crepes sold in the tents close to the Eiffel Tower as my 3 must do things!

Paris wasn’t always in the plans, but as the Africa trip became closer, we decided to have a layover. When Grant told me Paris was one of the layover options, I was immediately day dreaming and hoping and wishing and praying. We traveled with another couple friend of ours, Luke and Katie Ruffino. So when Grant told me everyone agreed on Paris, I was ecstatic! We were engaged and had my dear friends and wedding photographers Luke and Cat already booked for our big day, but we hadn’t nailed down our engagements yet. I emailed Cat letting her know we would be going to Paris, and she said they looked into coming to be our photographers in the City of Love, but they already had a wedding and the time frame just wouldn’t be able to match up with the few days that we would be there. She soon recommended me to L’amour de Paris which was founded by Stacy Reeves, who is a Texan and an Aggie! I am so thankful for this fabulous recommendation! I scheduled the shoot and got to planning my outfits and researching the locations I would want to choose. So these are not our actual engagement photos because we still took those with Luke and Cat and got to include our bulldog – Bucky (which I will still share on my blog, I’m just going in chronological order to get caught up). This trip was while we were engaged! I know one day I’ll look back and think “we were so young and newly in love”

All 3 of my dresses are from Rent the Runway. I hired Harold James as my makeup artist and I tackled my own hair starting at 5am (I was NOT going to be late!). And the photographer team actually ended up being a husband and wife team from New Orleans, as Stacy had just moved back to the states with her husband after she had finished up their training. I must say, we super enjoyed meeting some other Americans at the beginning of our trip. We flew out on a Saturday afternoon 4:30 Houston time and landed in Paris 8:30am their time on Sunday and our shoot was to begin at 7:30am on Monday. Talk about no time for jet lag! But, I will say I loved getting to see so much of the town from our shoot, and then getting to enjoy the last few days before jetting off to Africa! I would highly highly recommend L’amour de Paris if you are planning on going to Paris, because they are super friendly, highly talented and just a great husband/wife duo to be around. They can even do just a short mini shoot (which would probably be just the Eiffel tower) because they had just wrapped up a mini shoot the morning that we arrived. Any big trip Grant and I go on in the future, I want to be sure to research a good local photographer and schedule a mini trip. That way we don’t feel we need to snap as many pictures while we’re there, but rather get to enjoy and know that we will have beautiful professional photos when we get home.

I chose to start at the Eiffel Tower, then go to the Tulleries Gardens and also the Lourve Museum. I super splurged and added on time and travel to go to Versailles! I will say this was easily my favorite spot of the entire trip. Everything is so immaculate and beautiful and the golden gates are to die for! Now I didn’t know that professional pictures are not allowed here, so we kind of had to be a little sneaky about how we did these, and we were out back from the Palace. I love the inside, but I wouldn’t dare get caught or taken to Paris prison for taking pictures. I mean, I guess that could actually be a believable story, but I didn’t want to chance it. Getting started at 7:30am promptly was super important because by mid morning the place is super covered with tourists. So here are our beautiful images from our fabulous trip to the City of Love. And I must add in a thank you to Katie for being a friendly assistant to this shoot and also to my now husband, Grant, for being such a trooper and loving to get his picture taken with me. The walk up from the Gardens to the Lourve Museum was his absolute fave!

The history and architecture of this town is absolutely amazing! I sure hope it’s in God’s plans for Grant and I to get to go back one day! It would be a total dream of mine to go for fashion week! And if I can make it back to Versailles one more time – ah, just the thought gives me chills!

I hope you enjoy the following pictures as they are timeless treasures of mine and my husband’s love story! I set the cover photo as Grant’s favorite from the entire shoot!

And don’t worry, we weren’t brave enough to pose in front of the golden gates where there was tons of armed security. I just asked the photogs to edit us in to save all of our lives lol! And I love that they put it to where Grant is basically wearing the crown! Hope you all enjoyed seeing one of my favorite days to be alive and to get to parade and pose around the City of Love with my Love!

“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed. And I love living mine with you.” – Sid Caesar

xo,

6 thoughts on “My Secrets About our Paris Trip by Randa Carrabba

  1. I love everything about this post! We had so much fun getting to know you guys. All three of your dresses were killer too!! Xoxo

  2. Love love the idea of hiring a local photographer when you go a vacation to a new place! My husband and I always complain that we never have pictures of us together on trips when we get home lol!! Putting this idea in the vacation file for future trips! Loved your Paris pictures!

  3. Beautiful, Randa!! Love this post and def feeling like I NEED to get to Paris ASAP! If only my hubs was actually around to take me! 😉 Haha! I laughed out loud at the part about the armed guards!! I think that would’ve made for hilarious pics though!! Ha! These pics are gorgeous!!

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