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Aquitaine Wedding : Lucie & Stuart : Part Two

Lucie & Stuart were having none of the weather forecast’s nonsense on their wedding day in the Aquitaine region of France. They willed away the rain and enjoyed a remarkable outdoor marriage ceremony, sun soaked and topped off with a chorus of fluffy white clouds. Took me back… somewhere good :~)

As we count down to the next passage of their day I must make mention of Beth Stretton from Marry Me in France. I do like coming across individuals and teams that work really, really hard on a wedding day to ensure that everything is as it should be for their clients, that don’t treat the day as though it’s just the latest in a chain of such days but rather as though it’s the only wedding in the world, because at that moment in time, it is. I especially like coming across those that do so without externalising any stresses that might come about in pulling together an array of complex logistical processes; they allow the process of providing a service to be an altogether pleasurable one. Beth and her team provided lighting and styling services for Lucie & Stuart’s wedding, and did so beautifully. Above and beyond that they provided coordination of the day also and it all worked perfectly for their efforts. Beth herself married in France several years ago and went on to establish Marry Me in France. The company has gone on to provide their services to hundreds of couples marrying in the region, hundreds of beautifully designed and perfectly coordinated days, one day at a time, each the only one that mattered.

The wine, oh the wine. Direct from the vineyard quite literally just outside. As a rule I avoid drinking alcohol when I’m about my job, photographing a wedding, but this was France, this was Bordeaux, this was, well; I’m certain it would have been contrary to some local law to not at least taste it so being a law abiding type I partook of half a glass of one of the red vintages. With my dinner. It was like an ever so brief holiday romance of prolific intensity, one that I still look back on with abundant fondness, with no regret.

And my thanks to Lucie & Stuart for seating me as a guest. I happened to bump in to them at the airport the day after their wedding and chatted with them about the wedding day. They knew exactly who I’d been sat next to and across from for the meal, related brief biographies of each to me, further indications of a character type that I’d liked very much throughout the process of my commission. The food too was… I might appear to become guilty of a litany of hyperbole if I attempt to describe it. For the two nights prior to the wedding, I’d visited a restaurant a few kilometres down the road for my evening meal. Both visits had made for highly uplifting culinary experiences (and I’m reigning in the superlatives, tightly) and I was palpably excited when I found out that the same restaurant team would be catering for Lucie & Stuart’s wedding :~)

Just a perfect day…

…drink Sangria in the park (alternatively a range of fine Bordeaux whites and reds in a marquee)…

…then a highly deserved standing ovation, too…

…for Mr. Paul Dobie. I have a lot to say about Paul. First I’ll introduce him visually…

Paul provided musical accompaniment during parts of the marriage ceremony earlier in the day, then played throughout the wedding breakfast. His rendition of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day was exemplary; it was rousing; it had everyone holding hands aloft and swaying, followed by that standing ovation. From the array of musical instruments by his side, you might expect that he was later joined by other band members for the evening party, but he wasn’t. Paul is a veritable one man band, a description that might suggest something altogether more esoteric (the last time I saw one of those myself, must be nigh on forty years ago) but rather than that, think the sound of a high quality full-ensemble function band but all from one pair of hands, one mouth, chords from one set of vocal cords. I was left simply in awe of the calibre of his performance throughout the day and deep into the night, whereupon he had to make tracks for Monaco to perform at a royal birthday party the following day.

When I bumped in to Lucie & Stuart at Bordeaux airport the following day, I asked them how they had found Paul. I may well get a few material details wrong as I recall what they told me but I’ll get the essence of the story right. Over a period of decades, members of Stuart’s family had gone off for an annual Winter skiing jaunt to somewhere or other on the continent. Initially they had stuck with the same resort but one year, some twenty years ago, had found it already booked out across the board so settled on an alternative resort, ostensibly for just that year. One evening they came across Paul performing in a bar. They returned to experience his performance for each of their remaining nights on that holiday. The following year they made full their defection and returned each year to the same resort by virtue of having the opportunity to enjoy Paul’s performances; snow is snow after all (yes, I know it isn’t! :~) Testament to his qualities as a performer and something that I fully appreciated having experienced him at work myself.

I’ve no idea where he gets the energy and stamina to perform all day as a soloist then unleash himself as the equivalent of a full band for hour after hour come the night, keeping the dance floor full and active with young and old alike, but he has the magic. Book him for your wedding!

It seems that I managed to hold my camera steady as Lucie’s father turned to reference a passage from the blog post that I’d put together for the pre-wedding shoot that I’d undertaken with Lucie & Stuart. I was flattered as much as I was discombobulated :~)…

The speeches delivered everything that speeches should.

Incomparable…

Really, I do not know how he does it…

My thanks to Lucie & Stuart, and to their families, for having me along on this adventure of adventures and for taking care of me so well along the way. It truly was a perfect day, one that I’ll continue to remember with great fondness.

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

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