On a beautiful October day, Maggie Phillips prepared for her wedding to Mack Abbot. The city of Paris, a meaningful location for both the bride and groom, served as the backdrop for their nuptials.
To begin her wedding day, Maggie enjoyed a quiet morning in bed drinking cafe au lait and tasting croissants with her maids of honor. She shared, “I spent my wedding day in the Elysée Suite at Le Bristol Hotel in Paris, our home away from home! The talented Kamal Farad from Salon Claude Maxime styled my hair, and Chynara Kojoeva styled my makeup for the wedding day.” All of Maggie’s bridesmaids then arrived in their Petite Plume blue and white floral dresses to enjoy a light lunch and a group champagne toast before it was time for the ceremony!
Guests gathered at the American Cathedral to witness Maggie and Mack’s union in the heart of Paris. Maggie had always known she wanted to be married there. A traditional Episcopalian wedding service was held at the American Cathedral. Maggie fondly reflected on the ceremony, sharing, “My mom captured every detail so perfectly in her planning – it was a true gift to us. She had the award winning Texas Boys Choir join us in Paris to participate in the service, and their angelic voices filled the Cathedral with the most beautiful and joyful sound. I remember sitting at the altar with Mack, looking out onto our family and friends in the Cathedral, thinking how blessed we are to have this wonderful community supporting us in our marriage. We took communion as part of the service. It was so unique to have the opportunity to see each of our guests come up to the altar to take communion. It was incredibly special to smile at each person in the room and to know that we were bound together in this holy place.”
Following the ceremony, the Abbots recessed out of the Cathedral and onto Avenue George V where they were greeted by their guests for the traditional “Grande Sortie” of the bride and groom! “We stepped into a white vintage Rolls Royce and drove down the Champs Elysee to the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée.”
The reception, held at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, was a magnificent sight to see. It was a magical moment for Maggie to see her vision, as well as the care and detail from her mother and planner, Lucas Somoza, come to life. Maggie and her mother were first introduced to Lucas through a mutual friend from Texas whose daughter was also married at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée several years ago. “We interviewed almost a dozen planners, and from the moment my mom and I met Lucas for tea one afternoon at Le Bristol, we knew he was the perfect partner to plan this special weekend with us. I am so pleased to say that now we are also dear and forever friends!”
Maggie looks back fondly on the wedding planning process because she made each decision with her mother by her side. “My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed each stage of the planning process, mostly because we were doing it together! From our first scouting trip to Paris over New Years 2022, to selecting beautiful papers elements for the save the date and invitation with Ellis Hill, to perfecting the “Art de la Table” with our incredible planner Lucas Somoza and our florist Vella et Bret, to tasting and designing our wedding cake with pâtisserie chef Bastien Blanc Tailleur, and to spending the day around Paris with John Cain for our engagement photo shoot… we savored every moment of the entire process!”
The Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, a private members club on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the heart of Paris, set the scene for the Abbots’ evening of festivities. “As soon as I walked into the doors, I fell in love with the grandeur of the marble staircase as well as the incredible details of the gold molding, the French tapestries hanging on the walls, and the Aubusson rugs on the floor of each room; which we ultimately designed our dance floor after.” Maggie was drawn to the venue because it was the perfect combination of Parisian grandeur and also quite intimate. “We wanted to make our guests feel as though they were being entertained in an elegant home,” she shared.
Cocktail hour in the beautiful outdoor jardin during golden hour gave way to a magical evening. As sparkler fountains lit the twilight, guests were ushered upstairs for a lavish five-course dinner. The horn section of the band then spirited everyone to the ballroom, where the night came alive with dancing, desserts, and a joyous revelry that lasted until the early hours.
The design of the ballroom was thoughtfully curated by Lucas, Maggie, and her mother. They had several table trials where they looked at various floral arrangements, glassware, and place settings to achieve absolute perfection for the reception. “My mom is in the Garden Club of America and enjoyed hand-selected each bud that we used in our arrangements. We incorporated beautiful glass cylinder candles and antique silver chargers which turned out to be beautiful in the evening light. We also customized each element of the dinner menu – we served butternut squash veloute paired with a Puligny Montrachet white wine from Burgundy, followed by beef tenderloin and fall vegetables paired with Cos d’Estournel red wine from Bordeaux, a French cheese course, and a vanilla, caramel and chocolate wedding cake for dessert paired with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. As soon as I walked into the room that night for the first time, I gasped with delight that it was even more beautiful than I could have ever envisioned.”
It was a fabulous evening in celebration of the newlyweds. A true highlight of the evening for Maggie was Mack’s toast to her. “His words were incredibly creative, meaningful, and memorable. As soon as he started speaking, he captivated the entire room – and brought many of us to tears! I feel so grateful to have found my perfect partner, my prince, who treats me like his queen!” This Parisian wedding, a blend of classic elegance and contemporary flair, was not just a union of two hearts but also a tribute to a city that remains timeless in its allure.
Looking back, Maggie shared, “I will forever cherish having our friends and family in Paris with us for the weekend. It was absolutely incredible to see everyone together under the lights of Paris for three magical evenings. As they say… we will always have Paris!”
Bridal Gown Designer
Monique Lhuillier New York City
Vella et Bret
Hair + Makeup
Salon Claude Maxime, Chynara Kojoeva