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Planning to pop the question to your loved one in the City of Love? To help you set the scene for amour, we turned to Katie Mitchell. As an Australian wedding and engagement photographer who has now made Paris her home, she has trained her eye on some of the most breathtaking backdrops—including a few hidden gems—the destination has to offer.
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What could be more exquisite than proposing within the gardens of a royal palace? Tucked away behind the Louvre, this secret Parisian paradise has magnolia trees that blossom in the spring and rose bushes that bloom during the summer.
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Place du Trocadéro
You’ll need to wake up early for one of the best views of the Iron Lady at sunrise—but you won’t regret it. Get down on your knee on the steps of the Place du Trocadéro when the rest of the city sleeps.
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Pont Alexandre III
This is one of the most beautiful (and certainly the most ornate) of all the bridges in Paris. Early evenings are a picturesque time to head here to propose, just as the sun sets. Find a bar on nearby Rue Cler afterward to celebrate.
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Square Jean XXIII
You’ll have to get your timing right for this one. Pop the question under a canopy of cherry blossom trees by the Notre-Dame Cathedral. You’ll find them blooming in Square Jean XXIII for a week or so during the month of April. Go early—visitors will flock there during the day.
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Shakespeare & Company Bookshop
Is your partner an avid reader or writer? Mais oui! Then surely this independent bookshop on Paris’s Left Bank (where writers such as Hemingway and his friends once gathered) is the ideal spot to propose. Go early to have a tête-à-tête among the stacks.
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Arc de Triomphe
The views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, a great alternative to the Eiffel Tower, are stunning in any season. You’ll need to climb the stairs to get up there, so make sure to take a moment to catch your breath before taking your sweetheart’s breath away!
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Jardin du Luxembourg
Complete with apple orchards, rose gardens, fountains, and statues, the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement is a lovely destination for a low-key and very French proposal. In the spring, summer, and fall, the garden is in bloom and perfect for a relaxed afternoon hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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Pont de Bir Hakeim
For something a little different that still boasts a gorgeous and uninterrupted view of the Eiffel Tower, head to Pont de Bir Hakeim, which links the 15th and 16th arrondissements. Consider making your way here to propose in the early morning for the softest light or in the evening to witness the tower when she sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour after sunset.
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Jardins des Archives Nationales
The romantic gardens of the Archives Nationales are nestled in the heart of Le Marais. (Bonus: Most people don’t even know that they exist!) In the spring and summer, the gardens are filled with roses and hydrangea bushes, which surround many secluded benches—ideal for that private moment.
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Place Dauphine is a pretty little public square (actually triangular in shape) located on the Île de la Cité. The trees turn pink in the springtime, and the square is decorated for the Christmas season making this a year-round proposal option.
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Boat Cruise Along the Seine
Love the water? Embark on a romantic dinner cruise before proposing on board! Consider hiring a private luxury boat for something a little extra special. This idea is better suited to the warmer months so you can stand together on deck and watch the world go by.
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Square René Viviani
An adorable public square just opposite the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Square René Viviani is home to what is believed to be the oldest planted tree in Paris. Pop the question in this historical location underneath one of the red rose floral arches in the warmer months when they are at their most bountiful.
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Parc de Sceaux
Parc de Sceaux is an absolute gem located just outside of Paris. Complete with its own château, the park is a wonderful spot for a day trip. Pack a picnic of wine and cheese (oh, and the engagement ring, of course) and take in the beauty of it all before getting down on one knee among the spectacular grounds.
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Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries back right up to the Musée du Louvre. Take a stroll here to propose after spending a few hours browsing some of the most famous art in the world. In the fall, the colors of the trees light up in a palette of bright oranges, yellows, and greens.
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If your loved one has a sweet tooth, what could be cuter than proposing at an intimate Parisian café over macarons and hot chocolate (or, alternatively, a bottle of bubbly)?
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Share Your Proposal Story
Find out how to submit your proposal pics and details at marthastewartweddings.com/submit.