I began Lucy Till French Weddings in 2009. My sister was marrying an Australian, living in Sydney, but getting married in France. As my mother made all the arrangements, I saw how complicated it was to arrange a wedding long distance and saw the opportunity to provide a wedding planning service for couples overseas who want to celebrate their marriage in France. Coming from a work background in the travel industry and hat-making, I have put all my past experience to work to create beautiful events for these couples. The business has grown steadily over the past 7 years and I now arranging weddings throughout Provence and along the Riviera. Each wedding is unique and my work is to source all the suppliers from musicians, to venues, to florists and caterers, draw up to 30 contracts for each event, and then attend each wedding weekend to ensure that everything goes exactly to the wishes of the bride and groom. Its fun, intense and I love it. I feel blessed to be living in the South of France, and working in wonderful venues with a large number of different french suppliers.
I enjoy the Network Provence meetings. There is a buzz and an energy at these events. The businesses are so diverse as well as the nationalities of the women – what we have in common is that we are all running small businesses in the South of France, sharing some common challenges, achievements and enjoyment. I’ve just been to three meetings so far but have found useful connections for work – a wedding cake maker, musicians, translator, social media advisors, wine merchant – as well as numerous kindred spirits.
I’ve always wanted to live over the shop and thanks to my husband and hopefully the good graces of the Avignon municipality that’s what I’ll be doing this autumn.
The shop, by the way, is a theatre.
With ten years or so out of the loop as a journalist, I’ve spent most of my life in professional theatre: have run them in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Antibes but this is the big one, the birth of “Le 9” a new dedicated performance space on the ground floor of our newly renovated home in central Avignon. Drawing on many of the talents who trod the boards at the Red Pear Theatre in Antibes for nearly 20 years, Theatre Le 9 will present a variety of performances from classical recitals, through cabaret to one man and small cast plays. Anne Reid (currently TV’s Celia in Last Tango in Halifax) and Julian Glover (currently Royal Shakespeare Company and Game of Thrones) are among the stars lined up to perform during the first season. In the world of classical music, I am aided by Grand Avignon Opera directeur de la communication et du développement’s, Arnaud Lanez as conseiller artistique..Programming will include Masterclasses and reach out educational projects taking actors and musicians into the classroom, continuing a tradition I began with the major international schools of the Cote d’Azur.
So, we’re finalising the fireproofing, lighting grid plans and are currently searching for some reasonably priced seating (anyone any ideas?) We hope to open in October and will present top quality entertainment regularly until June, when we pause for the glories and madness that is the festival. Our goal is to offer a variety of professional entertainment from UK, Ireland and USA for a theatre and music loving anglophone audience that lives in the area.
Thanks to Rebecca whose support and enthusiasm is , I know, shared by many women here who are realising their dreams, I hope to see all of you at Le 9, where I realise mine.