Everything You Need to Know About Irene Chouraki Blanc and Mariages D’Art, Paris
How do you plan a wedding in Paris – when you’re not in Paris? We spoke to Irene Chouraki Blanc, founder, owner, and creative director of Paris wedding planning company, Mariages D’Art on her wedding planning business and on planning a wedding in Paris long distance.
Having organised events for Chanel, LVHM, and Vogue, among others, this lovely French wedding planner has 11 years of event management experience, organising more than 3000 events ever! Previously spending time in Russia, Israel, Italy, and now France, the Parisian planner has an intentional clientele of brides and grooms from all over the world and today, we speak to Blanc to learn more about planning weddings in Paris with Mariages d’Art:
Question (Q) : First of all, can you tell us what’s it like working with you?
Irene Chouraki Blanc (Irene): We are an English-speaking, multicultural Wedding Planning Agency, situated in the heart of the most romantic cities in the world – Paris! We work with couples who come to us from all over the world. We can offer you a full service of event design, planning, and coordination in Paris. Starting from the most beautiful wedding venues, creative ideas, highly professional florists, talented photographers, French Haute Cuisine caterers and sommeliers, etc…we’ve got everything you might need for your very special day.
Q : How do you differ from other wedding planners?
Irene: All our international couples are far from us so we work mainly on video conferences, calls, emails. So, the most important thing for us is to hear, to understand and to feel what exactly the couple wants. Once we have defined their vision, we start to put together all our team of professionals to bring this vision to life. The couple comes here 2-3 days before and they get the wedding of their dreams! We have to realize their dream when being long distance. That makes our work so exciting and so different from the other wedding planners.
Q : And how do you make sure each wedding planned for each couple is different from other couples?
Irene: That is not difficult in our case! A couple from China, a couple from the USA, a couple from Russia, a couple from Dubai - they are all very different and so are their celebrations.
Q : So you must have many different requests! What types of weddings do you plan? Can you plan any kind of wedding or event?
Irene: Our goal is to realise any dream. It depends on the fantasy, on the courage and also on the budget. We can write a scenario and create decorations stylised and inspired by famous books or movies, for example, The Great Gatsby style, Breakfast at Tiffany, Marie-Antoinette or even a Chanel stylisation. Often our brides like a fairy-tale style in a romantic Chateau of XVII century. We can organise a posh VIP event or an intimate elegant celebration with just family and friends. Mariages D’Art is not only a wedding planner in France, we can also organise any other important event, like anniversaries, birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, corporate team building events, etc.
Q : Can you take us through what about the budget for a wedding in Paris? What does it look like?
Irene: It is important to know that your wedding in Paris will not cost much more than anywhere else. Before you think, ‘oh no, we cannot afford it,’ do not hesitate to ask for a quote. Seriously speaking, here is my vision - a beautiful event rests on three pillars:
The professional team
I do not recommend saving on these three aspects. We both want to find a breathtaking venue, astonishing decorations, great photos that your grandchildren will admire 50 years after, make up that holds the whole night, and of course - great French food and best wines. Nevertheless, there are other aspects that can be made with less spending. This is our job to offer you the best quality services and to negotiate the best prices from vendors in order to keep your budget reasonable.
Q : So what happens when something goes wrong at a wedding? What do you usually do?
Irene: The best solution to avoid the problem is to anticipate it. We make checklists, timetables and double control on each step. One of the most important things in our job is to pick a good team. I spend a lot of time in choosing and teaching the people until the moment I can be sure that each one of them is able to manage any situation at any force majeure that can happen.
Q : Yes, people are definitely key. What would you say is the kind of couple you love working with most?
Irene: It is a big honour for us when a couple trusts us in organising such an important event. We love to work with couples who trust us and use our experience. If you appreciate your time and your money, if you appreciate only the best quality, if you are looking for a ‘stress-free’ event, we are made for each other.
Q : So what’s the best things couples have said about working with you? Do you keep in touch with them after the wedding?
Irene: Our couples appreciate to work with us and they feel that everything is under control. They can relax and enjoy the big day without any worries. In the process of organisation, which sometimes takes many months, I spend so much time with the bride, that I feel I become her older sister or friend! Yes, with many of them, the relations became friendly. They recommend us to their friends and I think this is the best proof of gratitude.
Q : That’s great! And do you only plan weddings in France or do you plan destination weddings as well?
Irene: Since I have lived and worked in several countries and I have a wide European network of business contacts, we have developed our specialisation in destination weddings. We work with Italy (Como Lake, Sardinia, Sicily, Venice), Spain (Costa Blanca, Barcelona, Ibiza), Greece (Santorini, Mykonos), Croatia, Israel, USA, Russia (Moscow and St Petersburg) and now also Thailand (Koh Samui).
Q : Such amazing places to create destination weddings! Now on the wedding day, what would you say is your favourite moment?
Irene: I have two favourite moments. The first one is during the morning of the bride. We come to her with a photographer, cameraman, makeup and hair style artist. I help her to prepare herself, to relax, I support her morally. I always take care that the bride doesn’t skip her breakfast! And also, the moment when the bride puts on her wedding dress – not one single dress in the world suits a woman better than her wedding dress!
And of course, the second favourite moment is the touching moment of the ceremony. I can never stay with my eyes dry!
Q : That is so sweet! So have you always wanted to be a wedding planner?
Irene: Absolutely yes. When I was younger, I thought, oh, weddings, such a romantic business, suitable for girls. I was wrong. It is a serious business, requiring many qualities, knowledge, responsibility, courage, time etc. And I love my job. I love my couples. I love to work in this city.