A couple who met on a flight abandoned their wedding destination to flee to Paris

  • A couple who met as strangers on a plane have left their wedding plans behind to flee to Paris.
  • Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg were due to have a 40-person ceremony in Saint Lucia in July.
  • After delays caused by COVID-19, the couple found a French wedding planner and married on the Seine.

A couple who met as strangers on a plane say they left their wedding plans behind in St Lucia to flee to Paris instead.

Krystina Burton, 33, and Gabriel Solberg, 38, met on a flight from New York to Los Angeles in 2018 and fell in love. They now travel the world together and document their adventures on their Instagram account, @swirlthroughtheworld, where they have 18,600 subscribers on Friday.

The couple got engaged in October 2019 during a trip to Italy and planned to tie the knot at a resort in St. Lucia on July 25, 2020 – their anniversary date. But the couple told Insider that, like many, their marriage was delayed for two straight years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of losing another opportunity to get married on their anniversary, Burton and Solberg decided to take control and elope this year on July 25.

“We couldn’t keep asking people to save the date and then potentially have to cancel flights and try to get refunds,” Burton told Insider, referring to their disrupted wedding plans for 2020 and 2021.

Krystina Burton has her make-up done in a Parisian hotel under the gaze of Gabriel Solberg.

Krystina Burton has her make-up done in a Parisian hotel under the gaze of Gabriel Solberg.


Ludovic Ismaël/Marriage By L



The newlyweds, currently based in Stuttgart, Germany, where Burton says she’s a dancer and Solberg is a digital nomad, put aside their guest list of 40 and started thinking about elopement destinations near. After toying with the idea of ​​Italy, they decided on Paris where they had already spent Valentine’s Day.

In January, the couple began considering an elopement and looking for wedding planners. It took them six months to finalize their wedding plan in Paris.

Their ceremony took place on the banks of the Seine, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Burton and Solberg were driven outside from their hotel, the Novotel Paris Vaugirard, in a 1950s Citroën. The couple were legally married in May at a courthouse in Virginia, where Burton’s family resides, their Parisian meeting was therefore a symbolic union.

The couple said they hadn’t told anyone about their wedding in Virginia except for a close friend who recommended an officiant. They said they messaged the officiant the day before their wedding and opted for an informal day without guests. Burton wore a multicolored sundress and Solberg donned denim shorts and a black shirt for the occasion.

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg at their legal wedding in Virginia.

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg at their legal wedding in Virginia.


Courtesy of Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg



During this time, their Parisian union was organized by Ceremonize, a French wedding planning service, which charges customers between €1,399 and €4,299, or roughly $1,445 to $4,439, for one of three wedding packages. Burton said she hired a makeup artist, Aissatou Mansaly, and that Ceremonize facilitated all other vendors, including their photography, videography, travel, and food.

Burton wore an off-the-shoulder ivory dress with a fishtail skirt for the occasion. She said she bought the dress from Bridal Ava Laurenne in Fredericksburg, Virginia in December 2019. “I’m not someone who had an idea of ​​what he wanted to wear, or who never fantasized about getting married because I never thought I would would marry,” Burton said, adding that the store assistant told her she was the first bride to wear the dress.

Meanwhile, Solberg said he found his quirky blue suit and patterned waistcoat at Leonardo da Vinci Brautmoden, a family establishment in Stuttgart, a few weeks before the elopement.

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg are driven to their wedding.

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg are driven to their wedding.


Ludovic Ismaël/Marriage By L



After their riverside nuptials, Burton said they had their portraits taken by a photographer Ludovic Ismael at the Arc de Triomphe, the Petit Palais and the Louvre Museum.

The couple said they ended the day with a romantic dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant where, in Solberg’s words, “you leave hungry because the portions are tiny.” He added that they posted their wedding outfits at home for safekeeping and, still hungry, they looked for a cheap kebab and watched “Snowfall” in their hotel room.

Solberg said the elopement “allowed us to really make the day special and meaningful to us, and to honor the commitment and the journey that we want to take moving forward.” Burton added that running away takes the stress out of making sure guests are having fun and allows them to focus on themselves.

Although Burton and Solberg said they felt the social stigma of not having family and friends with them for the celebration, they were supported by those close to them. “People were surprised, but a lot of them were like, ‘Oh my God, finally. We’re so happy this finally happened for you,’ because they’ve been with us on the journey.” Burton said.

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg on their <a class=wedding day in Paris.”/>

Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg on their wedding day in Paris.


Ludovic Ismaël/Marriage By L



Burton and Solberg are one of many couples choosing to elope

Even before the pandemic caused couples to reconsider their dream wedding, more and more people were turning to elopement to escape the pressures of planning a big event. In April 2019, Harper’s Bazaar reported that Pinterest had seen a 128% increase looking for elopement photography ideas. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Pinterest also found popular search terms such as “runaways from town halls” and “runaways from forests.”

Burton and Solberg have some simple advice for other couples who want to elope.

“If you do, don’t tell anyone because they’re going to come up with their opinion on why you’re making a bad decision,” Solberg said. He added that it negates any relief you hope to feel from running away, and warned that there will always be people who won’t like your plans.

Still, Burton and Solberg say they’re happy with their decision. They said they continued to have ‘mini fake honeymoons’ in Sardinia and Mykonos in July, but they have yet to decide what big honeymoon adventure they are planning next year. . Although the jet set couple didn’t get married in St. Lucia, chances are they could be relaxing there as newlyweds.

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