Possibly the most romantic man on the planet.
We recently came across Nicolas Garreau and just had to find out more about what he does and what makes him one of the most romantic men in Paris!
Is it being located in Paris, the city of love, that has made your business a success story?
Yes, that kind of unusual business would be very difficult to manage out of Paris. Paris is often considered as being the City of Love. Every year, 3 million couples come here for romantic reasons, and many men pop the question to their lady love while staying in Paris... I would say, definitely, that romance is in Paris! It’s very hard to say how and why, but there is something special in the air…
What’s the romantic thing you have ever done for a partner/girlfriend?
Oh, this is a very personal question! I would say that I was in love with a young French actress. A couple of weeks after we met, one night, I sent a music orchestra to the bottom of her apartment, with a private fireworks display at the end of the love song, and a giant blazing heart . A musician, then, offered her a parchment with my message and an invitation to go for an exotic trip with me...
What’s your favourite package that ApoteoSurprise offers & why?
This is hard to say. About 30 romantic packages are available on my website, and I love all of them. My best seller is the limousine tour, with champagne, macaroons, and a personalised message of love suddenly appearing on a giant light board, near the Eiffel tower. Lovers coming from all around the World love to surprise & propose to their sweetheart in a creative way, but if I could say that my favourite experience is the one entitled "Say I love you while showered by 1,000 roses" : During a dinner-cruise on the Seine river, aboard a luxury private yacht, the boat suddenly stops at the Pont des Arts, the most romantic Parisian spot. When the yacht stops, 1,000 roses suddenly fall from the sky! Not petals, but roses! This is, on my opinion, the most romantic thing to do in Paris. Something very romantic and magical. But this package is mainly for VIP. Many stars chose this experience to pop the question...
Has the recession affected your business?
To be honest, yes. I launched my business in January 2006, and the success was there year after year. But the year 2009 was a year of recession, and the problem was the same for many friends of mine working in the Parisian luxury industry. But 2010 was great, and lovers came back again to romance in Paris...
Who was your favourite couple to work with & why?
Since the opening of my agency, I created more than 600 romantic experiences, for lovers coming from all around the World, and it’s very difficult, for me, to choose one particular story. Each story is different, and I respect all of them. But I would say that the most important thing, for me, is that during every romantic experience I create, women have to cry... Giving emotions is my daily mission and my only goal. But if you really want a specific story, I can speak about a Finnish girl, who asked me to write on the wings of an airplane a message announcing to her boyfriend that he was going to become a daddy! She was pregnant, and she wanted a creative way to announce the happy event to her boyfriend. During the private flight, a second airplane, the messenger airplane, suddenly appeared in the sky, and that was amazing...
Who normally organises the surprises the man or the woman?
90% of my clients are... men!
Is your business aimed at couples who are getting engaged or anyone who wants to show their partner how much they love them?
I would say that about 75% of my clients are getting engaged, and they want to pop the question, in Paris, in a romantic and sometimes extravagant way. That’s why they use my services. But many clients also book a package to simply say "I love you". They want to amaze their sweetheart for a birthday, a wedding anniversary, a honeymoon, of for no particular occasion, simply to enjoy a romantic experience with their loved one.
Do you plan to include flights & accommodation in your packages and not just the "surprise"?
No, ApoteoSurprise is a wedding proposal planner, not a travel agency. The law is very restrictive in France, and I’m not allowed to include flights and accommodations in my packages. And to be honest, that’s not my job. I’m not a travel agent, but a romance and proposal expert. But my clients regularly ask me to suggest them romantic and creative Parisian hotels. In such a situation, it’s a pleasure, for me, to help them for the accommodation. I know almost all the Parisian hotels, and I know how to find the most incredible... Some of them are really amazing!
Does everything always go according to plan for the couples or can you share some interesting/funny stories with us?
For the moment, all surprises went well. I do all I can do to make the romantic surprises really memorable, but I’m not the one who gets down on bended knee… My job is to help people to amaze their beloved in a creative and fairy-like way. I’m there to find the most beautiful spots in Paris, and the most incredible ways to pop the question. But I’m not in the personal stories of my clients. One thing is sure: when people take the time to search romantic things to do in Paris, take time to visit my website and invest money to buy one of my romantic packages, they are in love and they are almost sure that their sweetheart will be amazed by the surprise. And when they propose, they are almost sure to have a big 'Oui'!
What exciting plans do you have for 2011/2012?
I'm working on creating new romantic packages, things to allow people to enjoy amazing things, things that we only see in films and that seem impossible to live in real life. My mission is to make fairy-tales possible... In February, I just launched a new experience called 'Say I love you in Cinderella’s carriage'. And I’m now working on a new package with a total privatisation on a famous French tower, which will be used to display a message of love more than 100 meters in high... But I can’t say more! That’s my secret!
Editor: Ladies, if your beloved needs a little nudge in the 'romance department' print this off and just leave it around the house for him to find...