Shangri-La Paris Wedding
To create a feeling of luxury and idyllic beauty, Shay and Brian chose the Christmas season and one of the most famous hotels in the City of Lights for their Shangri-La Paris wedding. With top French photographer Sylvain Bouzat on hand, all the sparkle and holiday cheer of the day and night was beautifully captured along with the lovely ceremony that incorporated Iranian rituals that were so important to the families.
Beginning at the Shangri-La Paris with getting ready and first look photos, the couple and photographer took advantage of “French-meets-Asian” style, opulent décor, and commanding views of the Eiffel Tower. Shay and Brian decided to have some portraits on the grounds to capture those elements as well as at locations in the city, so they set off on a fun excursion before their ceremony.
Recalls Sylvain, “We went to Paris in a minibus to do some shoots at Le Pont des Arts near the Seine River, The Louvre Museum and at the Trocadero. It was a great time together marked by lots of joy and laughter with the wedding party in tow.”
Afterwards, everyone returned to the Shangri-La Paris for a beautiful Iranian ceremony that was overflowing with an abundance of flowers and fruits. “The ceremony was a wonderful challenge because of all the different rituals taking place,” says Sylvain. “I had to take care to photograph the details on and surrounding the Sofreh Aghd, a white tablecloth that was placed on the floor to form a sacred space for the union, as well as the many rituals including a sweet moment where the bridesmaids put sugar on the couple through the bride’s veil to spread success and good luck. The whole room was filled with elaborate linens as well as gold, silver, lace and silk embellishments.
As for challenges, Sylvain admits that having a photo shoot in the middle of the afternoon in Paris is never easy. “There are many people in the streets and you either have to play with the crowd and include them in the frame, or wait for the right moment, organize the traffic while staying close to the couple, and keep their mood positive and playful,” he explains. Obviously it helps to have a photographer who knows the ins and outs to make everything run smoothly, and Sylvain knows Paris like the back of his hand.
Fortunately, Sylvain’s approach to weddings in general is quite simple and direct: “I aim to provide a magnificent experience for the couple by being close enough to capture emotionally powerful photos while remaining as invisible as possible so they can fully enjoy their day and their guests. This duality of closeness and transparency, of letting go and maintaining control, characterizes my documentary and candid approach. By adding some slightly more editorial and directed shots, along with other creative and technical photos, I am able to bring the balance to the final storytelling of the complete wedding.”