The Perfect Parisian Breakfast II Rebecca Plotnick of Everyday Parisian by Paris Blogger Photographer, Katie Donnelly

You know when you associate some people with certain smells or foods? Well, I associate darling Rebecca of Everyday Parisian with CROISSANTS! Seriously, she’s a girl who’s soul belongs in a Parisian boulangerie. For real. 

If you’ve ever read her blog, you’ll know she’s all about everything Parisian wherever she goes. But luckily, I get to always see her in her element, in Paris!

We did this little session at her amazing Haven In Paris apartment here in Paris during her birthday week! The fresh fruit, coffee, and croissant and baguettes are just the perfect breakfast, and the perfect surrounding for her

What do you think of this breakfast? Would you add anything? 

Notes From the Bride: Why I Don't Have Post Wedding Blues

Our wedding(s) were spectacular in their own ways..

Prepping them? Well, some would call it a labor of love.. but it sort of just felt like labor. 

In hindsight, we complicated our lives and had sky high expectations of perfection. 

Please, future brides, don't do that. 

We enjoyed our three(!!) weddings enormous amounts. For me, living as an expat, they gave me an incredible chance to spend a ton of time with my extended family which was absolutely a blessing. Those small moments, making endless mojito popsicles with my cousins, ordering my bouquet 3 days before our NY wedding with my aunt, saying a little prayer together before our Bordeaux wedding with my friend and MUHA. I'll never forget them. Ever. 

Those moments make up a huge part of the wedding experience because they're so much more profound than the 100, 1 minute identical conversations you'll have on the day of your wedding ("Congratulations! You look beautiful, how are you? I'll let you go say hello to everyone else, we'll chat later." And then you never get to chat) 

Maybe it sounds ungrateful, but honestly, I'm not going to apologize for wanting better conversation than small talk with the people I love most in the world. That was the thing I absolutely didn't like about the wedding, you have all of these people giving you so much love through their presence, words, and overall energy, and I didn't feel like I could properly thank them, ever, or show them enough gratitude for being there on a day that was so special to me.

It felt, unbalanced. 

I've struggled really hard with trying to get over these feelings and one by one, see all of our friends and family and spend quality time with them, just to thank them for supporting us, lifting us up, and their unending love. It'll take years, a lifetime perhaps. 

But really right now what we are doing is enjoying being together again. This time a bit more bonded then before, but with none of the stress of planning a big event. Now each time we go and visit my in-laws it's just hanging out, and not checking off endless to-do lists. Now when I talk to my cousins, it's catching up and joking around, not asking for advice because I'm stressed. Our life has gone back to being simple. Our free time has gone back to revolving around enjoying time with our families and friends, and traveling. 

Engaged was great, but marriage? Even better.

 Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful. 

Pyk thanking our families and friends.. I could say it every day and it wouldn’t be enough. We are so grateful to everyone for their love. So, so grateful. 

Notes From the Bride: The Highlights from Our Wedding Day(s) AND OUR WEDDING VIDEO!!

There are so many things I’ve already forgotten but these are what have stayed months later as highlights (video at the end!!):

Bordeaux, Town hall:

(Photos in this section by my amazing associate photographer, Valeriya

Venue: Bordeaux Town Hall and My In Laws home

My dress: Banana Republic)

- My cousins flying in 1-2 weeks before the weddings to be with us. That extra time was sacred!!

- Our best friends flying in for our town hall wedding (my bff came straight from the airport to the town hall with her husband!!) To see her there when we first said "Oui" was absolutely amazing. I'm so grateful. 

 My bff and I being silly

My bff and I being silly

- Tents in my in-laws backyard covering us from the crazy rain as we danced into the night. The rain didn’t matter. 

- My father-in-law opening SO many bottles of wine

- My mother in-law making our favorite sorbets for dessert

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- My cousin playing and singing a few songs for Pyk and I

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- Looking around and thinking how lucky we are

- Wearing my favorite white dress that I wore the day he proposed, and the day we got our civil union, and then the day we were officially married!!

- Face timing with my Brother who couldn’t be there in France

- My Uncle Bob going nuts on the dance floor (aka the back patio!)

- Failing at a balloon arch but laughing about it because it really didn’t matter. People weren’t coming for that. 

 

Bordeaux, Chateau:

(Photos in this section by Bubblerock

Hair and makeup: Kendra Hittinger

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Caterers: Deval

Venue: Chateau Isabeau de Naujan )

- HOLY BUCKETS OF RAIN and it pouring up until 5 minutes before the outdoor ceremony

- Praying for it to stop. It did =)

- All of the insane help we got from our friends and family setting up the decorations - Our friend Vanessa making our amazing flower arch, my cousins and friends setting up the whole reception room!!!, soooooo many people putting their love into our day

- How low the cars were after loading them with all the wine and champagne to bring them to the chateau  (ha!)

- Missing Pyk during the day - I wish I saw him more. I would have been more calm. 

- Meeting my 4 month old baby cousin!!

- Having almost my whole paternal family with us

- Feeling TIRED (not a highlight but honestly, was SO SO tired from the week of festivities already!)

- Asking my dad right before him walking me down the aisle if he was happy. He looked me in the eyes and simply said, “Yes”, and the calm I felt after hearing that!

- Brushing my teeth right before the ceremony because I forgot that morning! It was a bit ridiculous because I was already in my wedding dress and about to go outside to our first look!

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- The feeling of shock and happiness walking down the aisle and seeing so many people from so many parts of our lives, all in one place

- Crying during our ceremony - it couldn’t have been more perfect

- Literally tying the knot with Pyk

- THE FOOD BEING AMAZING, OHHHH MY GOODNESS

- The incredible sunset after a cloudy and stormy week (man, did the universe come through for us or what?!!!)

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- My cousin’s amazing toast

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- Falling asleep on the dance floor

- After the brunch the next day, hanging out on lounge chairs with our friends

- Hanging out, wine tasting, and heading to the beach with our friends and family for the few days after the wedding. Coming down from wedding craziness. 

- A few days of relaxing in Tuscany, Italy to come back down to earth and enjoy being married

- Bringing a huge flamingo floatie on our honeymoon. Naming him "Clement" and relaxing on him in the pool for ages. Pyk thought I was insane to take up half my suitcase with him. I have no regrets =)

 

NEW YORK:

(Photos by Jillian Rollins Photography

My dress: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride

His custom suit: Samson Bordeaux

Tent rentals: Cartwright & Daughters Tent & Party Rentals

Hair and Makeup: Made Up)

- The week spent with my family prepping my dad's house and backyard for 130 people

- Marrying him for the third time

- SO many friends coming in and offering at the last minute to make our wedding even more personalized and beautiful! From stunning handwritten signs to the centerpieces.. it really felt like a family affair and I LOVED it

- The amazing sermon from my pastor during our blessing

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- Good BBQ

- Having my whole maternal family in one place

- My nephew the ring bearer dropping the rings and finding them and then coming up during the ceremony to tell me (It was the cutest thing, he wanted to do such a good job and he did! I LOVED that he was part of our wedding!!)

- Having great American beer on tap

- Not feeling stressed!!

- Feeling so happy

- Dancing with so many people

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- Hanging out way too late

- My two cousins performing their song "Katie, Pyk's Lady" to the tune of My Girl (this was absolutely HYSTERICAL and amazing in all it's forms.. SO GOOD)

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- Smiling so much my face hurt

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AND FINALLY

- Relief that we'd survived 3 weddings and still had our sanity!! Ha! 

As a little end to show you even more visually how awesome our wedding was, here's our Bordeaux wedding video made by Bubblerock.

PASSWORD = bubblerock

Notes from the Bride: What Not To Say to a Couple Before (or on) Their Wedding Day

Oh boy, it's funny, until you've had your own wedding, people don't realize that you are 1000x more sensitive to ANY comment about your wedding day. These are some of the off the cuff comments that people said to us that made us be like, "Did you actually just say this??”  (P.S. Please read all of my responses with a heavy dose of sarcasm.. I didn’t actually say these things, and responded like a normal adult, swallowing my sarcastic replies and replacing them with cordial responses.. people mean well, but sometimes are better off just not saying anything haha)

 

Preface for this first one: It rained literally ALL week before our wedding and downpoured on our wedding day. The rain stopped 5 minutes before our outside ceremony started. The biggest thing we heard around our wedding day was: 

 

"Mariage pleuvieux, Mariage hereux!" Aka "Rain on your wedding day is good luck".  

NO.  

STOP.  

Oh, you actually thought that I didn't notice it was raining and that it's not internally freaking me out? Kind sir, is it really "good luck" when on July 1st, a day that NORMALLY doesn't have precipitation, that it rains? REALLY!???? No, it's bad luck. Stop telling me that it isn't, good luck was that it stopped 5 minutes before our ceremony. And please; PLEASE, just don't even remind me a few days before that the weather forecast is crap. I know. Also, the saying is actually, "Mariage PLUS VIEUX, mariage hereux" aka The older the couple the happier the wedding", Which, well also doesn't apply because I was 25.  

 

 

"So do you have your dress??" 

Ma'am, it's 4 days before my wedding, I freaking hope so. And if I don't, thanks for asking about something that's enormously stressing me out . I actually laughed whenever I heard this.  

 

 

Anything that pertains to vendors not being on time or something not going right. 

There were like 30 things that went wrong or late the day of our wedding and I knew about zero of them until a few days later. Wedding rule numero uno. DON'T STRESS THE BRIDE. If anything, talk to the maid of honor, the best-man, or the day of coordinator. These people are there to be the point people so the bride and groom don't need to deal with it.  

 

 

Any complaints that you have during the reception or things you would have done differently.  

It's not your wedding. It's not your wedding. IT'S NOT YOUR WEDDING.. Let me repeat that: it's not your wedding. The couple has worked so hard for this day and is envisioning that everything is going to go perfectly. They've done their best to be sure that everyone will have a good time and not start their marriage in tons of debt. Keep your comments to yourself and if you notice that something is wrong or dangerous during the reception, talk to the MOH or BM or the vendor in question. They'll help you!  

 

 

A few weeks before the wedding: "Can I bring x person with me?" Or, "Oh just to let you know, I'm coming with a +1" 

  1. No. 

  2. No, you're not. 

This was something to ask when you received your invitiation and RSVP'd and we have every right to decline inviting them.  

 

 

"You should really invite x person."

It's okay to ask the couple if they're inviting somene, and if it's the parents of the couple requesting you invite someone, it's definitely okay. But hounding the couple to invite someone that they've already chosen NOT to invite isn't cool. It's the coffee test, if you would go out alone with this person to coffee, then you should invite them. If you would never do that and only see them in bigger social gatherings, it's not surprising if you don't invite them. Don't hound the couple because you want your friend invited. It's not your wedding. It's theirs. 

 

 

"This is getting really expensive to come. " 

Oof. I can't tell you how much that offhand comment affected me. It was your decision to come, I didn't force you, and I would never ever ever hold it against you if you didn't come because of financial issues. I didn't invite you because I wanted a gift, we invited you because your gift would already be your presence. You chose your hotel, your dress, your gift. You chose how much to spend. You could have RSVP'd no. This was your choice, please don't make me pay for it with guilt.  

 

 

"Your mariage isn't really a true wedding because it's not x religion. "

WHAT?! Please, don't impose your religious views on anyone. If the couple decides they want a religious wedding or not, it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. If you don't support the union, don't come, but more importantly, keep that negativity to yourself.  Marriage is an incredible commitment, and whatever marriage means to the couple is between the two of them. It’s not your place to judge. Please, just be happy for the couple!

 

 

Instead, here are some ideas to talk to the couple about their wedding day: 

Anything you appreciated during the ceremony or the reception..

Things like: "Congratulations, we wish you happiness and love for many many years" 

Beautiful choice on x thing (music, readings, dinner, venue etc.) 

"Your nephew, the ring bearer, was absolutely adorable!" 

"This was the best wedding ever!"

"Can you share your vendors with us for our wedding ?"

or simply

“Congratulations"

Small notes of happiness and positivity towards the happy couple go a looooong way and are always appreciated. Anything that will put a smile on their face is what you should be saying, anything not in that category.. please keep to yourself. 

 

We actually heard all of these things above, the good and the bad. It was like 99% good but that 1% bad seriously weighed down on us! Please know that your words are powerful and can easily change a moment of happiness into one of stress, guilt, worry, and pain. I know this because I lived it. None of these people wanted to hurt us, there was no malicious intent, but that doesn't change the fact that we are still dealing with the after effects months after hearing them. The wedding day is not your day to air dirty laundry about the couple, it's not your day in general. It's their day, and it's your time to support them in any way you can. If you were special enough to be invited to their wedding, it’s guaranteed they will support you in any way they can during your big life events, too.

A Love Affair With Paris II Paris Lifestyle Photographer

Paris is one of those cities that people seem to fall in love with. They dream about it, they come back over and over again.. Maybe it's the piping hot croissants or the city's stunning architecture that pulls them in, but it's without a doubt a city of dreams. 

When I met beautiful Caroline, she told me about how Paris changed her life, and each time she comes back, it's like a homecoming. It was so important to me to make portraits of her in places she loves and feels her best in.. where her personality can come alive, where she can look back in 30 years and feel the same joy and peace in her heart. 

We spent about two hours walking around the 6th, talking, and enjoying her favorite places. What I love so much about these portraits are a sense of discovery yet peace. She's home yet there's still wonder there. 

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This was absolutely one of my FAVORITE sessions from last spring!! Have you done solo portraits before? What was your experience like? Please comment below! If you'd like to book a session like this, please contact us HERE. 

Notes From the Bride: Things That You THINK Matter on Your Wedding Day (But Don't), and What Really Matters

I stressed over so many SILLY things for our wedding. Literally, no one says to us "wow, I really loved your paper choice" they say "wow, we loved meeting your other friends and family during the wedding" or "We really loved your vows". So many things are secondary, keep that in mind when you're stressing about making 100 mojito popsicles for the big day like I did (ha!). 

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What you think matters (t) VS What ACTUALLY matters (a):

T: How everyone thinks your dress looks

 

A: How YOU feel in your dress. If it's so heavy that you can't dance, or will get a back ache, maybe go with something lighter!

 

 

T: If your dress is from this boutique or is that brand

 A: How the style flatters you and makes you feel confident!

 

T: What the caterer is serving and if it's "classy" enough

A: If the is food actually GOOD and you have full confidence in your vendor. You don't want to be worrying about them on your wedding day. 

 

T: What  kind of paper the menus/Ceremony Booklets are printed on  

A: Creme vs white. Thick vs normal. No one will care except you. And I guarantee the day after your wedding you won't be thinking, wow, those menus looked great! Keep in mind that it's a detail. And in that, it shouldn't be a stresser. If you can get beautiful prints done without stress, fantastic, if you can't, no one will care.  

 

T: If your bridesmaids have matching shoes

 A: If your bridesmaids have been there to help support you throughout the engagement and wedding planning process

 

T: Where you go for your bachelorette party

A: How much fun you have during your bachelorette party. You don't need to go to the moon to have a great time with your best girlfriends. Keep it simple. 

 

 
T: If your bouquet ends up not having a certain flower in it that you wanted

A: If the arrangement is done tastefully.  Though in all honesty, remember, people aren't coming for the flowers. 

 

T: If your vows were perfect

 A: If they expressed your love and commitment to your person

 

T: Band or DJ

A: If there's great music whether it's from an iPod, a DJ, or a 28 piece orchestra

 

T: Gifts for your guests

A: HA! No one will take them, or remember them. They'll remember the great time they had at your wedding and the memories they made. Though people DO love going away with photos.. A great gift for family after is a print!!  

 

There are lots of little details to personalize your wedding but at the end of the day, the details aren't what matter. Your happiness is what matters. The best thing you can do is enjoy your day, enjoy the people around you, and enjoy the luck you have to have SO many people supporting your union and your love. THE BIGGEST THING THAT MATTERS ON YOUR DAY (besides you committing to a lifetime of union and love of course) IS YOU ENJOYING YOUR TIME WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THERE. So please, don't stress about the little things, trust your vendors as they're the ones who will guide the day, get a good night's sleep the night before so you're well rested, and most of all, ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY. People are there because they love you and want to support you, not for the perfect cake. 

How to Be Happy II Paris & New York Family Photographer

It’s easy to get caught up in the million things that life brings us daily.. big things and little.. things like homework, cooking, being there for friends, trying to get everywhere on time, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, trying our best to be good people, to be good parents, to be good friends.. Life is a lot sometimes and these above are all POSITIVE things, never mind the difficulty of living with the negative things that take up our time (I’m not going to list those, but you know what I mean..) 

It’s easy to get caught up and forget to sllllooooooowww down. 

Take a break.

Breath.

Look around you and realize how lucky you are to just be together with people you love.

Of course life isn’t perfect, but that’s not the goal in life either

So this post today is just to remind you that being together is enough. Amongst all of the craziness, please don’t forget this. Tell your kids, tell your husband, tell your wife, tell your dog.. tell whoever you love, that you’re so happy in their company. 

We don’t say it or hear it enough. So, to be happy, start with gratitude and repeat after me, “Honey (or doggie, or whoever), I’m so lucky to have you in my life. I love you, and love spending time together.” 

And thats is! Spread the love. Spread the gratitude. Simple, right?