Aquitaine Wedding : Lucie & Stuart : Part One

Lucie & Stuart had a Plan B for their wedding day, for the ceremony in particular. Plan A was for the ceremony to be conducted in the open air, on the terrace of Lucie’s family home, overlooking rolling hills and Aquitaine vineyards in the Bordeaux region of France. When we’d first met in person they had travelled from their London home to Bridport in Dorset, where we talked about their wedding day plans and engaged in a test shoot to acclimatise them to being in front of the camera. That was a very simple matter. Acclimatising to the weather on that Dorset day was a less simple affair. We froze, Lucie & Stuart a great deal more so than me as I got to wear a wooly hat. We froze and they didn’t complain about the biting cold in the slightest and I liked that about them. They got on with what was and enjoyed it with unflinching enthusiasm. They asked me what might be done, in photographic terms, if the weather was bad on their wedding day, if it rained. I told them that if it rained, I got wet (and so be it) but that there were always ways and means to make good with photographs of family groups and portraits of newly-wed couples; everything else would be the story of the day as it was, of two people marrying and many people celebrating. I also shared with them my firm belief that at the time of year they would be marrying in, in the part of the world where it would all take place, the weather could not be anything other than glorious.

I’m a photographer, not a meteorologist :~)

I arrived in France. It rained on and off the whole day prior to the wedding. Rain was forecast for pretty much the entire day to come.

Lucy & Stuart had a Plan B. If rain precluded their enjoying a fully open air ceremony, an adjacent lawn bordered by walls would be roofed under canvas under which everyone could shelter and bear witness. I’m not certain that it was a plan though so much as a notion. The lawn area remained uncovered and I saw no evidence of the material for a make-shift roof, existentialist that I am. I did see evidence though of Lucy & Stuart’s stoicism, in their actions; I heard it too in their words. Things just had to be as they were intended to be.

And this is the wedding day that I woke up to…

An order of service, a hymnal and a fan to draft away the early-Summer Bordeaux heat, all rolled in to one. Or, as Lucie suggested with optimistically underscored good humour (with regards to everyone having a great time of it all, if not with regards to the forecast weather), for the guests to hold above their heads should it rain. The perfect all-weather solution then :~)…

I spy a wasps’ nest. Graciously, they all decided to stay at home for the day…

As Lucie’s family made final preparations in Gontet, Stuart and his groomsmen were getting themselves together in the old walled quarters of Saint-Émilion…

Logistics is love…

The view from Lucie’s window as she awoke on her wedding day. The kind of weather forecast you’d want…

It wasn’t until I saw this image in all its enlarged textual glory on my computer screen that I realised Lucie’s father was writing at that exact moment about something that I had in turn written, on my blog, about Lucie & Stuart. It’s not as though I’d hover over the shoulder of a father of the bride to read what he was writing for his speech, though when encountered it’s certainly a narrative brushstroke I’d want to quickly add to the broader picture of the day. I was rather taken aback later that day when I heard the reference in spoken form though, and flattered, and taken aback some more. It was certainly a wedding day that I was very much made to feel involved in…

I can happily claim to be a dab hand at tying a double-windsor but I’ll admit openly that I don’t know one end from the other when it comes to piecing together the puzzle of a bow tie. Perhaps that’s because the ends are no different. It was to be a black-tie do, for the gents. I hired, to blend in. Lucie’s mum, a true expert in the art-form, tied my tie for me. Again that added something to my feeling of inclusion. I felt rather honoured, truth be said. I wish there was a photograph of the act, but it will remain fixed in my mind none-the-less.

My little one turns eight this Saturday. She was particularly fascinated by these images. She’ll be making her debut as a flower girl at my nephew’s wedding in late-February. She asked if she would have flowers in her hair too :~)

Et voila!..

Tick, tock, time for the ceremony…

That magical…

…moment…

Lucie was led up the aisle to the theme tune of The Lion King :~) It drew forth appreciative laughter – Lucie had done much of her growing up in Africa – and it was beautiful…

Stuart’s grand-dad provided musical accompaniment to the hymns…

A French tradition, the grand opening of the new supermarché. Decorum. Latin etymology. Décorum in French, indeed. One day I’ll learn to apply some in my ramblings :~) I do so like coming across traditional acts not so familiar to me…

Half past happy hour…

Roast beef with horseradish tucked in Yorkshire pudding! Stuart’s heritage represented…

Paris Texas. Badsworth Bordeaux…

Photographer gang signs. I gave him four double-A’s, he loaded them into the chamber, then he shot me…

Now bearing in mind we’re in France, this is going to be a very special time indeed…

Prochain >>>

Contact Bordeaux Aquitaine Wedding Photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com : 07870 696248