Rudding Park has seen many weddings, but there is a special and poignant sentiment in the air when the occasion marks the formal entwinement of a couple who have seen 11 years and three beautiful children together.
Laura is British. 11 years ago in a night-club, she bumped into the tall, dark, athletic figure of professional footballer, Tou. If he wasn’t imposing enough on sight, his French accent swung it. The Afro-Parisian hunk and the English rose fell in love. Their commitment endured and flourished, and has led them through over a decade of their lives together. During this time they have grown a magnificent family, and in 2018 they decided that the time was now right to seal the deal on paper.
Bridal prep was busy. Hats off to Laura for keeping her cool when two small girls are wanting the one thing they cannot have - mummy! Hair and make-up was a team affair, and meticulously executed by the super Evangeline (MUA) and Caroline (Hair) from Your Bridal Team. Somewhat confined to quarters due to unforecasted rain, there were a lot of bodies in a small space, but pretty things soon emerged as even more beautiful, in their capable hands.
The bridesmaids all wore soft rosy pink with which they were furnished by Walsall based bridal shop Jeneve Bridal.
Laura’s waist-hugging gown by Suzanne Neville was elegant and traditional, and provided by The Bridal Collection of Harrogate. A cathedral length veil framed her face and soft, wavy hair. Her shoes were from Dune and the wedding bands were both selected from Ernest Jones.
The Follifoot Suite looked stunning for the couple’s relaxed, civil ceremony, with giant floral displays filling the room with soft rose and cream colours. Hurricane lanterns burned softly all along the aisle and the couple’s eldest daughter Nevaeh scattered petals before mum walked in with her father, Steve. The bride’s bouquet was full and weighty, but beautifully crafted. All the flowers were created by the incredibly talented The Rarified. The whole of the proceedings were skilfully orchestrated by The Angels Events team, and, of course the wedding coordinators at Rudding.
I think I’m right in saying that this was the first official meeting for the two families from different continents. Little English is spoken by the groom’s relations, but love is gesture that crosses all boundaries.
Tou waited nervously whilst still managing to cut a handsome and suave figure in his custom tuxedo, crafted by tailors Crown to Cuff.
The best man was also the smallest, in 9 year old son Zayden. No dramas, just quietly dutiful all day long. Baby sister Amiyah took the occasion in her stride too and slept through it all.
There is no more picturesque estate to wander with a bride and groom for portraits than that of Rudding Park. We took a stroll, Tou gallantly helping his new wife with her ample skirt (and trying not to stomp his size 12s on her epic white veil).
A tremendous 5 course meal was followed by a short speeches from the bride’s dad, and an off-the-cuff tribute by the groom-who-claimed-he-was-rubbish-at-public-speaking’s Mike Drop.
This sparkly, edible beastie of a wedding cake was conceived and created by the epic brilliance of Poppy Pickering of Ilkley. I never did get a taste!
When the party commences, I usually take my leave. No-one needs theses moments on a public gallery. DJ Mark Green led the festivities, and the beautiful duo kicked things off in traditional style with a song that has been the backdrop to their enduring courtship.
My one regret? Next time, maybe insist on getting this many people into a group shot BEFORE the Prosecco runs out. #carnage #herdingcats