Top 10 Romantic Places to Propose in Paris

She’s dreamed of this moment ever since she was a little girl… No pressure then!

Whisking her off for a romantic trip to Paris with a secret mission to propose couldn’t be a better solution, but where are the best places to propose in Paris?

For many, the classic spots, such as on top of the Eiffel Tower or the steps of Sacred Coeur, are the perfect place.

If you want to find a special, more unusual spot that you can return to year after year, here’s our top ten breathtaking fountains and parks that will make her (or his) eyes dazzle.

Created by Catherine de Medici in 1564 as a garden for the then Tuileries Palace, it became the place to be in the 19th Century: to promenade, to meet friends and family and bien sur, for secret lover’s rendez-vous.  As one of the oldest and celebrated gardens in France, it’s a central location that can’t be beat.

With beautiful fountains, large tree-lined alleys, incredible statues, the Jardin des Tuileries is a beautiful place to declare your love.  The only question is – which location do you pick?  If you have time you should scout it out beforehand all the better!  If you can’t get to Paris before the proposal, ask a local or someone to recommend one of their favorite spots.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel de Louvre in Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn

TOP TIP

* French gardens (the style) can mean a lot of gravel great for strolling, whereas English gardens are more associated with grass. When you do have grass in Paris, it is often forbidden to sit on.  This particularly garden, however, allows people to sit on the grass so you can pick a perfect picnic spot around the hedges that make a labyrinth (to the right of the Grand Basin – see map).  It’s also one of the places where dog’s allowed so if she doesn’t like them, avoid this area.

*You definitely want to check for events on your chosen date – ask a local. During Paris Fashion Week, a multitude of designers occupy the area by setting up huge tents for their shows.  One must also keep in mind that Paris hosts Fête des Tuileries which is a huge amusement park that lasts for 2 months every summer.   You may not envision a bunch of screaming kids feeling sick from rides and too much cotton candy during your special moment!

Profess your love on the most romantic bridge in Paris

Even if you don’t know it, you’ve seen this bridge covering the pages of glossy fashion magazines. The Alexandre III bridge is without a doubt one of the most photographed places in Paris and for good reason! Her beauty speaks for itself. This breathtaking Beaux Arts style bridge is brought to life by the mythical statues of nymphs, cherubs, and winged horses.  

Fittingly, Adele choose here in Paris on the river to film her music video Someone Like You and Woody Allen encapsulated the awe-inspiring feeling with closing Midnight in Paris and a wonderful chance encounter in his last scene of Midnight in Paris. Follow in their footsteps and let the magic of this bridge be the wind beneath your wings – its so beautiful, it does most of the work for you.

TOP TIP

There’s traffic on the bridge so you definitely want to avoid rush hour.   Also, there’s a nightclub on either side of the bridge so very late at night you may have a few drunk partygoers that get in the way. If you have a team helping you (ie. photographer, etc..), then they can keep external elements from getting in the way and you can concentrate on your job!!

This is the place where a lot of people pass by every day and like to share special (or funny) moments with friends or family.

The quais de la Seine also offers a romantic atmosphere and the peacefulness for lovers to steal a moment to themselves with the most remarkable views over Paris.

Here you can find all the things you want to make your partner fall in love! A hotel (the glamorous Ritz), a restaurant, high-end shopping (Chanel and Dior boutiques), etc is right on the premises!

It is one of the most beautiful places in the center of Paris that is located super close to the famous rue de Rivoli.

Situated in the 8th district of Paris, le Parc Monceau is a quiet and pretty park for a romantic stroll.  This magnificent place contains beautiful statues, greenery, architecture from the epoch of the rebirth, and the museum of Cernusch. An ideal and unique place to propose in Paris since it looks like a set straight out of a love story.

Situated in the garden of the Square Jehan Rictus Place des Abbesses in Montmartre, the lover’s wall is a meeting place for lovers and a whimsical spot to propose in Paris. The wall has over 311 declarations in 250 different languages written on it.

TOP TIP

In order to stand out from the crowd, some couples wait for the month of September in order to declare their love in an unusual and fun fashion. In tribute to the famous song by George Brassens, lovers can declare their passion before the major and the public, during a non-proposal ceremony that takes place every year during the Montmartre grape harvest. ‘I have the honour not to call you my wife…’ The ceremony concludes in front of the ‘Je t’aime’ mural at the Square Jehan Rictus. What a way to not propose in Paris… Registrations via the town hall of the 18th arrondissement : +33 (0) 1 53 41 17 82 or dominique.lemoine@paris.fr

Hidden by houses and plants, Place Dauphine is a romantic and almost secret place of lovers. An idyllic place to propose in Paris.

The Saint Sulpice church is one of the biggest churches in Paris. A calm and peaceful spot for lovebirds and the holiest place to propose in Paris.

These gardens

Medici fountain

Romy Schneider Jardins du Luxembourg
Romy Schneider in the film Romy in the gardens

 Make your proposal in Paris a memorable one!

TOP TIP

*The Parisians have this brilliant expression we love:
‘Don’t ever tie your shoe in Paris’!

Paris is associated with the City of Love. There couldn’t be a better place to propose… If that is the plan! 😉

Accidentally Engaged film

#LoveLocked in Paris: From Meet Cute to Breakup

Love Locks Pont des Arts

Love Locked: the Low Down!

Paris is known as the city for lovers, never more evident than when strolling around Paris on a cool spring evening, with couples caressing and canoodling beside the river banks as a saxophone player serenades them.  But how exactly does one ‘lock’ their love in this most romantic of cities?

The idea is you grab a padlock, write your name (or initials) and that of your lover’s, attach said padlock to the bridge and throw the key into the river.  And just like that, voilà, your love is sealed for all of eternity.

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 23.08.53

 

Background on the “Love Locking” Tradition

locandinaLocking your love on a bridge is a relatively new trend that has exploded over the past couple of years so let’s delve into how this tradition got its roots.  To the surprise of many, the tradition of attaching locks to the Pont des Arts bridge did not originate in Paris.  It is thought to have come from an ancient Chinese custom, although many attribute it to a Serbian tale going back to World War I.  A local girl Nada was bethrothed to Relja, an officer, but he fell in love with another whilst fighting in Greece.  He broke off their engagement and Nada died of a broken heart. Women in her small spa town of Vrnjačka Banja, frightened of suffering the same fate, would write their and their lover’s names on padlocks and attach them to the very bridge where Nada and Relja had meet.

It was more recently in Italy, however. that this trend exploded.  In 2006, author and screenwriter Federico Moccia published the book Hai Voglia di Te (in English, I Want You). Looking for a symbolic way to express the strong love that his protagonist characters had towards one another, Moccia came up with the idea of attaching the locks to a bridge. As a tangible way to say that “we will never leave each other”, the couple bought a lock and attached it to a lamppost on the Ponte Milvio in Rome, and threw away the key in the Tiber River below.  The movie version the following year, directed by Luis Prieto, immortalised this moment and it became an iconic scene from the movie.

Senza titolo-11Not long after, people were flocking to Ponte Milvio to express their love just as the novel’s main characters had done. While at first this seemed to be a totally romantic and acceptable practice, Italian citizens soon became fed up with this tourist practice that was destroying the scenery of their city. Not only were the locks on the bridge an eyesore for the residents of Rome, but they also were quite architectually damaging to the lamp post and the surrounding bridge. In 2007, the town officially put an end to the “love locking” when a portion of the lamp- post collapsed due to the heavy extra weight from the locks that it was never built to bear. As a way to discourage people from continuing to attach locks to Ponte Milvio, the town made a website where you can attach a “virtual lock.”

Love Locks Arrive in Paris

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.52.34

 

Paris-France-April-2014-048-610x343As the locks were banned in Italy, what better place to “lock your love” than the City of Love itself? This trend quickly moved from Ponte Milvio to ‘Lovers’ Bridge’ in Paris – a beautiful bridge crossing the Seine for couples to promise their love to one another.

Quick – can you rattle off the actual given name of Lovers’ Bridge in Paris? It is quite interesting that many tourists, when asked this question, have absolutely no idea. This exemplifies just how much the trend has taken over – that so many people now  refer to the Pont des Arts bridge as the place where people go to “lock their love”.  Indeed, one of the first results on Google when searching “Love Lock Bridge” is on TripAdvisor. Clearly, if the spot has a TripAdvisor page under its commercialised name and not its historically-given one, you may be forgiven for not knowing its true name.

 

Je T’aime Pour Toujours

If you are a bit of a magpie, you’ll appreciate the way all the padlocks glisten in the sun like golden treasure and just the sheer amount of ‘love’ there is to behold.  It is pretty overwhelming and awe-inspiring to think of the couples who have journeyed to one spot, all united in their purpose to cement their love.  Indeed, people from all over the world have flocked to seal their love on Paris bridges and it has done the tourism industry no harm at all.  People who wander over the bridges nonchalantly unaware of the Love Lock history have stopped to take it in.

You’ll encounter padlocks attached to padlocks attached to padlocks, which makes menage-à-trois or menage-à-700,000 (terrible, but irresistible joke)!   It is even rumoured that as much as Pont des Arts is for lovers, the smaller Pont de l’Archevêché bridge behind Notre Dame is for mistresses because, bien sûr, the French have a bridge just for that!

An entire industry has sprung up around this trend.  There’s been an explosion of illegal merchants selling locks on the bridges and running at the first sign of the police.  There are websites dedicated to engraving padlocks for a small fortune for your special day .

 

That’s it! We are so over!

Authorities Remove Love Padlocks From Charles Bridge

But what if you break up after having sealed your love for all eternity?  I mean, eternity is a long time.  A guy that sells padlocks in the south of Paris says he gets calls daily from jilted lovers who want to remove the padlocks at any cost.  People have been known to hunt down their lock and try to ply it off with bolt cutters because you don’t want to mess with eternity.   It’s surprising that no one has dived into the river to try and retrive their key.  It would be a futile attempt with the river bed littered with thousands of keys, and it’s not as if the French firemen (pompiers) don’t have a hard enough job with the run-of-the-mill river jumpers.         

              

Who’s Locked their Love in Paris?

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 17.49.04

Kourtney, Scott and Mason hit the love lock bridge on Keeping Up With the Khardashians

screen-shot-2013-03-05-at-1-35-57-pmDesperate -Housewives of Beverly Hills in Paris

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.37.42Kendall Khardashian and Gigi Hadid

Now You See Me

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.48.12The one movie to feature the love-locked trend on Pont des Arts ‘Lover’s Bridge’ is 2013’s Now You See Me.  You can see from the movie photos that the trend wasn’t as crazy as it has been recently as you can see the water through the fences. whereas nowadays with the plethora of locks, it is impossible to see any water at all.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 14.10.12

Dylan (Mark Ruffalo) and Alma (Mélanie Laurent) meet in Paris on Pont des Arts at the end of the film

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 14.10.41

They attach a lock onto the bridge

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.47.27

And throw the key down into the river, watching its journey

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 14.11.19

In the very last scene, the camera dives in the river, following the key into the river until it settles on the river bed with a host of other keys, showing how prolific this trend has become

 

A Heavy Heart

BprhPPyCEAAd2Zu

You can move the locks to a new spot, but you cannot escape the problems that they pose.  Built in 1801, Pont des Arts was built to serve the purpose of a pedestrian walkway.  It was never meant to hold all the extra weight that is added each year with the accumulation of the padlocks. Therefore, not long after the trend emerged in Paris, the fences along the bridge began to buckle, just as those in Italy had.  With an estimated 700,000 padlocks attached to just this bridge, the weight of the bridge was increased by 40 tonnes (about 20 elephants!).  The government had to repeatedly replace collapsed sections of the bridge, and thus locking your love ‘forever’ became all a little bit relative.

 

“Love Without Locks?”

nolovelocksA campaign “No Love Locks”, launched by two American girls residing in Paris who felt the Parisian bridges were not feeling the love, garnered national attention.  Started in January 2014, actually prior to the section of Pont de Arts collapsing, the girls received 10,000 signatures within the first four months of posting their petition to “ban the love locks.” The campaign’s momentum picked up as other ex-pats and native Parisiens alike joined, and the girls set up a website encouraging couples to post selfies with the hashtag #nolovelocks or #lovewithoutlocks.

Whilst many people are in support of banning love locks, there are as many that felt the such a tradition based in love couldn’t be a bad thing and it kept the tourists busy.  It has been a galvanising subject in Paris.  Indeed, Now You See Me was shot before love locks became a hotly debated issue…if it had been at the time, it is unlikely the producers would have chosen to feature what has become such a devisive trend.

The selfie alternative hasn’t yet replaced the love lock trend, despite a big marketing campaign.  Big heart stickers were placed on the pavement of the bridges but the Paris cleaning department is so efficient that they didn’t last long.  Yet with the future of love locks not looking so rosy, selfies may be set to become the next big thing.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 21.48.13

 The No Love Locks campaign called out brands such as Chanel for any photoshoot deemed glamorizing the locks

 

The Glass is Always Half-Full

The Mairie de Paris (City Hall) have been grappling themselves with finding a way to tackle this growing sitation and the American girls’  campaign certainly pushed this onto the agenda.  The government wanted to find a way to preserve the architecture of the bridges without completely destroying the tourist attraction.  Would they introduce fines for people placing padlocks on the bridge?  Make it completely illegal?  Set up alternative ‘approved’ places to attach padlocks?

1024px-Moscow-love-padlocksThey have decided not to go the way of Moscow which added ‘palm trees’ in the center of their bridges as an alternative. In June 2015, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, decided to act, ordering the removal of all the over-crowded panels of love locks on Pont des Arts and replacing them with plexiglass.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 23.09.17

love-locks-removed-pont-des-arts-bridge

rtr4o8lb

The love locks being removed from Pont des Arts Bridge

Before the plexiglass goes up, the Mairie are hosting a temporary art exhibit.

8d4bf2fc0d4613670e3269fb743c3a8914513a0c09d1f4c17358104df5dae90a

 Temporary art exhibition currently lining Pont des Arts by graffiti artists Brusk, Pantonio, Jace and El Seed

The plexiglass panels already up at Pont de l’Archevêché show that this may not be the solution to stopping the love locks altogether. Determined lovers are still reaching around the other side of the panels to the steel beams crossed behind the panels and attaching their locks this way.  A guy even fell in recently by bending over too far whilst trying to attach a lock over the side – the dangerous things one does for love!  On top of this, people have taken to drawing on the plexi-glass and it is probably only a matter of time before they start etching on it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.21.51

Plexi-glass already in place at parts of Pont de l’Archevêché 

Guardian Angel

Philéas, an artist that creates jewlery from old love locks under the brand Le Cléateur, was so upset by the decision to remove the love locks that he has taken it upon himself to ‘rescue’ people’s love locks.   He has lots of old keys that open the older vintage locks and you can get in touch with him directly or on facebook if you want your vintage padlock back.

Until they decide what do with the 700,000 removed love locks, the city of Paris is storing them.   This is an exhibition in the making…or even a website where you can claim your love lock back.

 

Back to Basics

Now that these transparent panels are here to say, what will the bridges look like?  They’ll look just as stunning as they always have.

Check out these movie scenes all filmed on Pont des Arts to see how the bridges looked before au naturel:

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.19.56

From Paris, With Love –

Pont des Arts is popular for picnics in the hot summer months.   Make like Jonathan Rhys Meyers and John Travolta – cement your love (or bromance)with a sandwich on one of their picnic benches

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.13.59

Who says Paris is just for lovers?

As Amélie traverses Pont des Arts, she is inspired by a surge of love which sets her on her quest to help others

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.16.37

Sorry for the blurry picture – action shot.  Liam Neeson at his finest rushing along Pont des Arts, before jumping off and rescuing his daughter on the boat below

(don’t try this yourselves…there is only one Liam!)

 

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 23.38.18

Carrie &  Mr. Big seal their love with a kiss in the very last episode of Sex & the City where they finally finally get together  

(They only thing they were missing was the new selfie stick! Lol)

#LOVELOCKED

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.51.39

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.57.55Padlocks are so cool and sexy – we are a little bit obsessed.  One of our favorite things to do is pick up an old vintage padlocks and sets of keys at one of Paris’s fantastic flea markets.

And selfishly, why would you want to part with such a fantastic find?  Padlocks look great attached to your favorite bag or as decoration in your home for a daily reminder of your time in Paris (holiday or permanent stay) and the love that you shared there.  And they also make fantastic jewelry à la Tiffany.

The perfect keepsake for a perfect moment.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.17.36

 

A kiss on the stunning bridges of Paris is about creating that perfect moment…kiss on any of them and ALL of them.

Keep the memory just for yourselves or take a picture…. because you are in the City of Love after all and there is one thing that is not up for debate:

There is no better way to ‘lock your love’ than by cementing it with a romantic trip to Paris.

True Love Has a Color and a Name

Cartier

FullSizeRender (5)

Cartier.

What better backdrop for a proposal than Paris? Exactly what the advertisement managers at Cartier had in mind when filming their most recent diamond ring advertisement released on Valentines Day 2015.

Opening with a scenic view of the Eiffel tower (because of course, when filming in Paris you MUST include a shot of the Eiffel tower,) this five minute advertisement follows the love story of three young couples in Paris.

The two most notable spots in the short film are the Musee Rodin and the Charles de Gaulle Airport. The third story is filmed In a French style elevator at a philarmonic concert hall (Philarmonie de Paris).

 

FullSizeRender (19)

 

What is interesting about filming in the Charles de Gaulle airport is that it is the tenth busiest airport in the entire world (second in Europe – behind London.) This poses quite the problem for film makers trying to get a clear scene in one of the most populated areas on the globe. Sneaking away to a small corner near a boarding gate Cartier makes it happen. The only thing that a girl loves better than flying away for an adventure on her own, is having her best friend permanently seated on her left ring finger the whole way.

FullSizeRender (20)FullSizeRender (22)FullSizeRender (16)FullSizeRender (17)

 

Next stop of the monumental tour is the Musee Rodin. And what better place to make a proposal than in a castle that houses some of the most significant creations from Rodin himself. Grabbing his little read Cartier box, from the hand of The Thinker, this man gets down on one knee in one of the most extensive and natural museum gardens in Paris. Picture-esque to say the least.

 

FullSizeRender (21)FullSizeRender (15)FullSizeRender (18)FullSizeRender (14)

 

Of course, all three stories have a happy ending. Because who wouldn’t like to end their Valentine’s Day with a diamond?

 

 

FullSizeRender (11)FullSizeRender (13)

 

 

Which brings us to another Cartier ad, although not released as recently, just as, if not more heartwarming. This story of two love birds takes place at the Opera House in Bastille. This clip is set in modern day with flashbacks thrown in which is a nice asset to the scenery as well. I won’t ruin anymore about this one because if you watch it for yourself if it sure to bring a tear to your eye.

 

FullSizeRender (7)FullSizeRender (8)FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (10)

 

Cartier is no stranger to the commercial production scene – L’Odysee de Cartier was another advertisement that they released circa 2012 to celebrate the 165th anniversary of the company. Calling it a commercial however does not do this small production justice. Wanting to leave a lasting impression in the public, Cartier spent two years producing this three and a half minute journey following their iconic panther as she makes her way through China, India and Paris.  The most interesting thing about the filming of this short film is that, while typically producers are trying to mimic scenes of Paris in their films, Aveillan (the director,) is actually filming in Paris attempting to recreate scenes from China and India (although also shot in a few other locations as well such as Prague and Spain.) One would never know that the commercial is not actually set in these locations as it has been lawlessly connected while you are mesmerised by not only the beauty and captivity of the jewellery, but the history behind it as well. And, we aren’t the only ones that think so either – L’Odysee de Cartier was featured in the Clio Awards, the D&AD Awards, and the International Andy Awards in 2013 in recognition especially of the commercials impeccable special effects.

For a company that works with jewels for a living, it is not a surprise that they did exceptionally well utilising the scenery in which they originate from in creating the most eye-catching advertisements of spring 2015.

Top 10 Romantic Movies Set in Paris

Red Roses

As it is Valentine’s Day shortly, we create our ultimate list of the Top Ten heart-warming gushy romantic films set in the most romantic city of them all, Paris.   And top place, of course, is none other than…

Continue reading