Laura Farge & Stafford Lowe
When Bermudian Laura Farge went off to London to work for the CIB advertising agency there, she didn’t think she would meet her future husband, Stafford Lowe, through Bermudian connections. “The CIB had the Bermuda tourism account,” she explains. “I was placed there as a student intern by the Bermuda Government. I must have done something right, because after I graduated from Bentley University in Boston they asked me back.” Invited to a party in 2003, she was introduced to Staff, a financial-services recruitment consultant, by his Bermudian cousins, Matthew and Ben Davies, who were also in London.
A year later, she and Staff dated, discovering that they had actually been born in the same hospital in Manchester although some years apart. “It’s bizarre,” she says. But they have a lot more than birthplace in common. “We share an incredible love of life. We travel a lot and we both love to ski. Actually, I converted him from snowboarding to skiing. Recently, we’ve discovered a new love, golf, to prepare for our retirement!” Both share a good sense of humour.
They stayed in London for a few years, until Stafford was offered the opportunity to open a new office in New York. “He asked me if I would consider going to New York with him indefinitely,” says Laura. “I was reluctant to leave my life and friends in London, and when I said I wasn’t sure, he said he’d give up the chance if I didn’t go. That’s when I realized he was the man for me.”
In the end, they did go to New York, living together for four years. So when did he propose? “In 2009, we were staying at the Hamptons and jogging on the beach when he proposed by accident. He had bad hay fever and collapsed a bit, ending up on one knee. It wasn’t planned at all…no ring! After he asked me to marry him, I asked him the same question and he agreed. When we got back to this awful bed and breakfast where we were staying, both of us in an absolute daze, we started to laugh because while there was no ring to prove we were engaged, Staff still had sand all over his knee. Nobody else knew about it.”
When the time came to choose a wedding venue, they thought about Bermuda and about Cambridge in the U.K., where the groom had gone to university, but both locations would have presented a challenge for some of their guests. Laura’s grandmother suggested holding the celebrations at a vineyard in the south of France. “She celebrated her ninetieth birthday at a family friend’s vineyard in France where my family have visited for years,” says Laura. “We knew we wanted an intimate wedding, and we both adore France—we love the food and the culture. It felt very us.”
But the wedding did not sacrifice Bermudian traditions. The night before the wedding, all 125 guests were entertained at a private beach club in Cannes where they enjoyed Bermudian dark and stormies as well as Champagne. On the wedding day—held at the Chateau Font du Broc in Provence, on June 24, 2011—the men in the wedding party wore Bermuda shorts, socks and blazers.
“The chateau was stunning,” Laura remembers. The exchange of vows, which they had written together, was held in the cloisters, the cocktail reception in the gardens and the dinner in the magnificent Salle de Chateau. “There was an intimate, gorgeous feel to the setting.”
The festivities continued the next day when the newlyweds welcomed family and friends to a recovery lunch at their Bermudian friends’ vineyard and, following Bermudian tradition, planted a tree.
As Laura says, it was all special, particularly as her 91-year-old grandmother was involved in planning the wedding celebrations and was able to attend.
Ceremony location: Chateau Font du Broc, Provence, France
Reception location: Chateau Font du Broc, Provence, France
Wedding planner: Kerry Bracken, My Riviera Wedding, Cannes, France
Wedding gown: Custom Vera Wang, New York
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Butter by Nadia, Brooklyn, New York, and jewellery by Alexandra Mosher, Bermuda
Groom’s attire: Traditional Bermuda shorts and Hugo Boss blazer from English Sports Shop; shirt and Bermuda tree-frog cuff links from Charles Tyrwhitt, London
Photography: Alban Pichon, Cannes, France
Videography: PR Photography, London
Music: Lympia string quartet, Nice, France; the Phly Boyz, Cannes, France; DJ Tricksey, Bristol, UK
Catering and bar services: Parfums et Saveurs, Cannes, France
Flowers: Dierickx, Cannes, France
Wedding cake: Four-tier traditional English fruitcake by Debbie’s Cake Boutique, Roquefort-les-Pins, France
Hair and makeup: Crystal Torres, Lotus Salon, New York
Invitations: Spark, New York
Transport: Transdev and Tacavl, France
Something borrowed: Horseshoe brooch placed on bride’s bouquet by bride’s grandmother, Edith Bowden (originally owned by her mother)
Something blue: Blue garter worn by bride’s mother, Gillian Farge, on her wedding day
Something old: Necklace owned by bride’s great-great-grandmother, given to her by her grandmother, Maisie Farge
Something new: Shoes by Kate Spade