I swear if there’s ever a bride and groom that have smiled from ear to ear for the whole of their wedding day then it’s Lucie and Stuart. The pair married at Lucy’s parents’ super chic manoir in Puisseguin, France complete with a classic and elegant black tie theme.
And it looks as if everyone had an absolute hoot judging from the beams on their stylish guests’ faces.
Perhaps what I love most about this ‘I Do’ apart from Mister Phill’s awesome photography of the day is the time and dedication that Lucie put into the decor and styling of her wedding reception. Be it the spotty black and white paper wrapped lovingly around mini baguettes for each guest, the antique clocks set at the times that each event of the day was due to take place at or the glass window frames doubling up as an epic table plan…there’s something to gaze at in every photo.
And let’s not forget the flowers either; the little galvanised buckets filled with Gypsophila, Lucie’s Anenome and Peony bouquet and the sweet spotty feather and Gypsophila buttonholes for the boys. All just so lovely!
Lucie The Bride: I was someone who was so excited about finding my dress but after visiting almost fifteen different stores I still hadn’t found “the one”. I was about to settle on the best dress I had found so far but as a last attempt to find something perfect I visited Morgan Davies and explained to the shop assistant that I sort of knew what I wanted but hadn’t been able to find it. They were wonderful and set about creating exactly what I wanted demonstrating how it would look by pinning silk and satin to an existing dress in the store and sketching an example of how it would look. In short, I couldn’t recommend them highly enough and absolutely loved my dress. I was also lucky enough to have kept the headpiece that my grandmother wore at her wedding, it was a beautiful satin piece with pearls sewn on to it and it was really special for me to have a piece of her with me on a day she would have loved to be at.
As we were not getting married in a Church we thought tops and tails would be a bit OTT for an outdoor ceremony in May in France but we still wanted everyone to look smart as after all it was a big day for us and our families so we settled on a “black tie” dress code which worked really well with our colour scheme and I have to say the boys all did look very dapper! The Bridal Party also all wore button holes made with Gypsophila and guinea fowl feathers which was a nod to the fact I grew up in Zimbabwe where guinea fowl are common.
I had always wanted to get married at home and we were lucky enough that my parents had bought the most beautiful old French manoir several years ago. My mother has always had an eye for design and both the house and the garden, which my parents spent ages labouring over, looked absolutely stunning on the day. I can honestly say there is no place on earth I would have rather have been married than at home in the familiarity of our back garden.
We were married in Spring and as such I wanted to keep the colours really fresh and light so we settled on a black and white theme with a touch of light pink and some greenery in the flowers etc. If I had to label the decor theme we wanted chateau chic and with the beautiful old house and garden and the smart white marquee it really came off beautifully.
One thing I loved about planning our wedding was how much I learnt about flowers! In keeping with the theme I wanted big over blown flowers in natural colours and decided on a mixture of peonies, ranunculus, roses and gypsophila. The florist really did do an outstanding job creating a beautiful arch where we did our vows, decorating the well with a border of flowers that were made to look like they had just sprung up and hanging the most beautiful rose chandeliers in the trees in the garden, if only roses really did grow like that!!!
My mum put a huge amount of effort into making the decor out of this world, from helping me to construct 125 keyrings using Kazuri beads from my beloved Africa to creating a table adorned with the wedding pictures of our families and just generally putting so much thought into each tiny detail of the tables, decor and entire day.
I had nine bridesmaids which I know is quite a few but I was going with the my day, my way mentality and I really wanted to include the friends that all meant so much to me so nine it was! As there were so many I wanted to give them all a chance to have some individuality so I chose a colour from the range of ghost dye to order dresses and they all picked their own styles, with my sister in black as the very lovely maid of honour and my little sister in law in the most adorable Nicki Macfarlane dress. They all had gypsophila bouquets with long loose ribbon and different hairstyles and even though I might be biased I thought they all looked absolutely beautiful!
Getting married on the terrace at home it was really important to us to maintain a more serious side to the day so we opted for a traditional ceremony which was similar to that of a church but non-religious and slightly shorter. My grandfather played the piano for our two hymns, Love Divine All Loves Excelling and I Vow To Thee My Country, and my brother read an extract from Les Miserables “You can love without giving” along with one of the groomsmen who read a letter from Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett on the morning of their wedding day.
Paul Dobie entertained throughout the whole day with more mellow guitar during the drinks reception, a rousing rendition of a perfect day which won him a standing ovation before the starters and later pulling out the best dance tunes that saw the dance floor packed the entire evening. He was simply fantastic and the day wouldn’t have been the same without him!
We are both massive foodies and knew exactly what we wanted on our wedding day. The canapés were French vs. English for a bit of fun with things like roast beef in Yorkshire puddings with horseradish vs. porc rillettes on toasted baguette. For the wedding breakfast we started with our chef’s take on a langoustine and broccoli starter we had enjoyed at a great restaurant in London (the chef there was kind enough to pass on the recipe when we explained we would like to replicate it for our wedding), my husband has a bit of a love affair with broccoli. The main was duck breast and chunky chips with a warm salad, a take on another dish we had loved whilst eating out and was also a nod to the area we got married in which is famous for its duck. For dessert we had the most delicious lemon tart I have ever tasted accompanied by a raspberry coulis. We were also lucky enough to have received some wine as a wedding gift from a friend who has some vines in the area and they had very kindly offered to create a personalised label for it which was a great touch on the tables.
We found Mister Phill through recommendation and instantly loved the way his portfolio seemed to capture natural beautiful moments. We went down to meet him in Dorset before the wedding and on our engagement shoot he put us both at ease and set about creating some amazing images of us in our jeans and jumpers on what was a very cold and grey day by the coast. After seeing them our suspicions that he would be wonderful were confirmed. Indeed, he didn’t fail to deliver on the big day and there are so many pictures that I will treasure for life, not only of us but of our family and friends, the pictures of them smiling, crying, laughing, hugging and dancing are just priceless possessions. We can’t wait to find an excuse to book him again!
We used Shoot It Yourself which is based on the idea of renting two professional cameras which your friends and family use to film the day’s proceedings, the cameras are then sent back to the company who edit it. The cameras definitely provided a lot of entertainment for those behind and in front of the lens but I would recommend being very specific on what you want included in the edited film as well as paying the additional cost for the raw footage so you are able to see everything that was captured and don’t miss anything special.
I think organising a wedding is a great experience and without doubt I am sure every bride goes on a journey, from keeping the peace on the guest list to the wonderful time spent dress shopping or poring over bridal magazines with your mum & sister. My advise would be treasure this time, not just the wedding day as that goes by in a flash, but the quality time a wedding creates with both your family and your friends, some who you won’t have had that time with for ages and might not again for a long time. We had the perfect day and really although we had the most beautiful wedding we could have imagined it was all because of the love we were shown by the people we love, it simply overwhelmed us and we will remember it always. In short, don’t sweat the small stuff, it won’t be what’s important in the end!