Lucy and Duncan tied the knot last August. Five years ago I photographed Lucy’s older sister Anna’s wedding, so I was flattered to be invited back. I remember when Anna, husband-to-be James and her parents Jacky and Mike came to discuss wedding photos at The Wedding House. Anna’s father said, ‘I expect good work from you.’ No pressure, Dad!!!
Luckily they were pleased enough with the wedding album to re-book me to document Lucy and Duncan’s special day, this time as a Hillbark Hotel wedding photographer . Phew…
Bridal preparations took place at Lucy’s home in Port Sunlight, not far from where parts of Peaky Blinders are filmed. Duncan had sent his wife-to-be perfume, flowers and a watch to make sure she was on time to the wedding.
Hair and make-up was done by best friend and one of five bridesmaids, Amy Boyd, nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on Downton Abbey. Lucy’s wedding dress was by Demetrios from The Bridal Path.
Next it was on to the Hillbark Hotel in Cheshire, where the ceremony would take place outdoors under a pagoda. Many of Duncan’s family made the journey from South Africa to be there, and luckily brought the sunshine with them! The quintessentially English scene was dressed by Lyndaflora.
What made this experience as a Hillbark Hotel wedding photographer stand out were the amount of loved ones who contributed. All entertainment was provided by friends Lucy has met during her career as a singer.
Anna and James now have a little boy, Henry, who was given the role of page boy. Duncan’s nephew Jake was the ring bearer.
During the ceremony their old friends Louise Brown and Richard Woodford performed All I Ask Of You from The Phantom of the Opera and Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer. The mother of the bride read a poem titled The Fairytale which she had written herself.
Duncan’s two sisters, Robyn and Jenna, along with Lucy’s two sisters (and chief bridesmaids) Anna and Jenny acted as witnesses and signed the register.
WEDDING BREAKFAST AND SPEECHES
Afterwards, family and friends enjoyed drinks and canapés, accompanied by the Hillbark Hotel’s resident pianist Graham. During the wedding breakfast he would also play musical, film and Disney scores to remind Lucy of her work onboard the Disney Cruise Line.
Whilst both sides of the family got acquainted, the newlyweds took a few minutes to wander the grounds and achieve some gorgeous woodland shots.
Because the weather was so glorious and hot, Lucy’s vintage swing close harmony trio The Poppies delighted guests with an outdoor performance. Though Sarah stood in on the big day, Lucy couldn’t resist getting up for a song.
Wedding favours came in the form of homemade chutney and hanging bird ornaments, all hand crafted by Lucy’s mum.
After the speeches Lucy had a surprise for her new husband, who is a Liverpool FC fan. Emma Newman-Young sang a beautiful rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, so there were a few wet eyes in the house.
WEDDING EVENING PARTY AT THE HILLBARK HOTEL
Lucy and Duncan met whilst working onboard the Seabourn Odyssey 6* luxury ship in 2010. Therefore, it was fitting that their first dance should be Somewhere Beyond The Sea.
The Fire got the party started, made up of Louise’s husband Chris and talented guitarist Dean. Chris also acted as DJ between band sets. South African guests even did some traditional dancing!
It was wonderful to be welcomed back by the family, and I hope married life is treating Lucy and Duncan well. As for make-up artist Amy: she travelled to LA last month and won that Emmy!