“How does a couple who got married on the Brooklyn Bridge celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary?
[India and Peter our dear guests from South Africa have a story to tell... I give the floor to them and illustrate their words with pictures we took of their stay :-)]
” They call the extraordinary team of Amandine, Isabelle, and Sue at Rue Amandine.In 1994, my husband Peter and I decided to get married in an iconic city, New York, in an unconventional way. Friends and family joined us for a march to the middle of Brooklyn Bridge then paraded through Chinatown to celebrate in a rooftop Soho photography studio. Twenty years later, we decided to throw a party for our friends in another iconic city, Paris. We had our sights set on some unexpected venues, but as we now live on the far tip of Africa, in Cape Town, we needed some help planning the perfect event. Time to ring Amandine!
” Two years ago team Rue Amandine became our new best friends when they helped us coordinate the celebrations for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in Paris. We knew Amandine could handle the challenge. We were not disappointed. In fact, we were overwhelmed by the care, the joy, and the professionalism she and her gorgeous team of Isabelle and Sue dedicated to making our long weekend spectacular.
” Amandine is a magician – she secured seemingly impossible locations for cocktails (Deyrolle – my one request!), dinner (the Beef Club), lunch (Grazie), and dancing (Candeleria). But most impressive was her ability to manage the expectations of 30 of our closest friends, who arrived in Paris from around the globe to join in the fun. She secured taxis, apartments, hotel reservations, dinner reservations, museum passes, babysitters, art historians, and much more, in addition to planning the most wonderful series of parties – and made it all look effortless. The task was not an easy one – we began working with Rue Amandine in October, six months in advance, and the invite list kept changing up until the very last week, with people confirming, canceling, and even re-booking. Yet nothing seemed to ruffle Amandine’s feathers.
” Truly, if you want to feel like a Paris insider, call Rue Amandine. Most people wouldn’t even consider having a cocktail party in a taxidermist shop, much less organise a photo session as well. But Amandine embraced the idea, somehow persuaded the owner to allow it (he told me that Louis Vuitton and Woody Allen are the only people he has allowed to use the shop in the past.), and set up a stunning champagne bar. It was exactly as we envisioned it – when our guests arrived they realized that this was not going to be an ordinary weekend. From Deyrolle, we went to the Beef Club, where we had a private room, flaming passion fruit cocktails, dancing, and a delicious late night dinner. An inspiring and inspired start to the weekend.
” On Saturday, we met at Grazie, the uber-trendy pizza restaurant in the Marais, for a lunch. The spring sun was shining, sunglasses concealing the late night eyes, and those who were running the Paris marathon on Sunday began carbo-loading. After lunch, Amandine organized a truly special bike tour of the secret spots of Paris for the more energetic, and a behind-the-scenes art tour of hidden galleries and private museums for others. Even the children were catered to – with nutella pizza for dessert at lunch and a visit to the super cool Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature to talk to a performance artist living inside a bear for two weeks. Amandine knows all the latest exhibits and she knows how to avoid the lines.
” Did I mention the private boat ride for eight guests who arrived early on Thursday night? Valerie, boat captain and architect extraordinaire, and beautiful Sue, wizard chef and organiser, (everyone who knows and works with Amandine seems to be uber-talented!) picked us up on Canal St. Martin on Valerie’s exquisite boat. As guitarists played on the banks of the Seine under the cherry blossoms, we sipped champagne and made our way through the locks towards the river. This is not your usual tourist cruise – it is like having your own private (and very stylish) boat on the Seine. The weather cooperated and the stars rivaled the sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower.
” Even better, Amandine had arranged for Didier, a debonair chef, to conduct a cooking class at our house for our children and four of their friends while we enjoyed the cruise.
” On Sunday, Amandine and her team organised tours of the market for the non-runners, while some of us made our way around 26.2 miles of Paris’s best known sites to complete the Paris marathon. That evening, we all met at L’Hôtel in St. Germain, where the talented Charlotte was back to photograph us on the streets of the city. Again, champagne was the drink of choice and as Peter and I looked down les Beaux Arts at the setting sun, we realized that our dream for a 20th anniversary fete to top our wedding had come true.
” And Amandine still had surprises to come – a vintage car courtesy of Lee, Isabelle’s super-sophisticated husband, to take Peter and me to the party and a gourmet cake to top off absinthe cocktails and dancing at Candeleria, a speakeasy hidden behind a taqueria.
” At 2am, the DJ finally had to shut down the music, kicking the last revelers out into the streets of the Marais to continue the party. It was the ideal way to end a perfect weekend, and to begin the next 20 years of marriage.
” We won’t wait that long to call upon Amandine again. Very rarely, you meet someone who is masterful at all things, who gathers around her exceptional people, and who is not afraid to accept any challenge. Rue Amandine is not a travel agent, not an event planner, not a caterer, not a tour organiser. She is a dear friend – big-hearted, super-chic, and unflappable – who cares deeply about her city and wants you to experience it as only a Parisian can. If only every city had a Rue Amandine!
” Merci Amandine, Isabelle, Sue, Charlotte, Valerie, and the rest of the team (and your patient families) for creating memories to last a lifetime. J’taime J’taime. I miss our skype calls already – and want to come back just to bask in your glow again!”