A lovely life – A book I'll keep forever.

The past Christmas I wanted to give Nathan a gift he could keep forever, something so special that it could be passed down to our daughter one day. It wasn’t until I met Muby that I realised a book about our very own fairytale would be just the perfect thing to give Nathan on Christmas day. I’ll leave you with Muby to tell you how it all began…

Did you know that Joelle is more than just a blogger and a wedding stylist?
More than just a wife and a mum-to-be?
The lovely Joelle Clute is a person with a life well led; with laughter and tears; and heartbreak and triumphs… A woman with a story to make you smile, a story to make you cry, a story to learn from, and a story to love.
A love story so awe-inspiring, so ethereal, that it had to be documented. Or else, it would get lost in the sands of time; fade away, as our memories eventually do. Her story would have remained her personal legend had she not had the courage to save it for her daughter and all the generations ahead of her.
And right there began Joelle’s walk down the path of eternity.
What began with a cup of coffee culminated into the Fairytale by Muby AstrucTM, My Lovely Life. A personalised coffee-table-novel M, Joelle wanted to create as a Christmas gift for her husband Nathan.
She wanted to give him something he would never forget. A gift that acknowledged their love. A gift to honour their past, and save for the future.
It was with that thought that Joelle and I sat down for our first heart-to-heart. The making of her Fairytale was a sacred journey we were undertaking together. I was to be given the honour of entering the most private parts of a person’s life. Emotional doors would be opened for me, and I was touched at how quickly Joelle let me in.
We sat together all morning, talking, reminiscing and laughing; as her puppies Charlie and Ferguson scrambled for space on the sofa we sat on. Joelle was calm and relaxed as she journeyed into her past, coming up with little anecdotes that would melt even the strongest of hearts.
And through that first conversation, the person behind the beautiful face began to emerge. It didn’t matter that Joelle was one of the most stunning and charismatic women you’ll ever meet. All that mattered, in that moment, was the girl behind that woman. The girl who was giving us a peak into her secret garden; happy to share her flowers and show me the view.
It was now up to me to ever so gently, carry those memories back to our Fairytale creation space. I needed to relive her memories, laugh all over again, cry all over again, feel them within me, and then transform those feelings into the words of Joelle’s Fairytale.
It’s a process that I’ve done countless times over the last 30 years of my career. Transform emotions into words.
But this time, there was another layer added to the creation process.
The Fairytale was a gift for Nathan. It had to reflect him in all its pages. I had to intuitively sense the honesty, depth and beauty of a man I had never met.
A Lovely Life
A second meeting with Joelle sealed the deal. She knew her husband very well. Throughout our second morning together, I felt Nathan’s presence in the room just as strongly as Joelle’s. Through her memories, she had brought him to life for me; turned him from just another face in a photograph to a man whose heart I got a glimpse into.
Writing Joelle’s Fairytale was a pleasure. Her life has been so interesting, so filled with beauty, that the words wrote themselves. A thorough edit from Joelle, and a few changes later, we were ready for the design stage.
Joelle already knew just what Nathan would connect to, visually. He is a man of few words and immense depth. A man so perfect on the inside that it can’t help but spill through on the outside. And thus, we decided to create a black-and-white Fairytale, honouring their adventures through page after page of black-and-white polaroids: A nod to their love for travel and adventure.
My team and I worked for hours, making sure that every single mobile phone image was reworked upon and transformed into a vintage monochrome polaroid. The layout, like the man Joelle wanted to create the Fairytale for, had to be sharp, stark and stunning. We went with a minimalistic palette for A Lovely Life. The white spaces around the hard black-and-whites highlighted the understated strength of the Clutes as a couple.
The final result humbled me. Here was the love story of a couple so strong, so connected to each other, so powerful together, that I was touched. Turning through the pages of her book for a last time before it went to the printers, I smiled my way though each moment of Joelle and Nathan’s life. From their chance first meeting, to the proposal that took its time coming, their wedding day, their vows, the stunning bride and her gorgeous groom, the reception that Joelle had so lovingly styled; and onto the beginning of the rest of their lives: their honeymoon, their pregnancy, their yesterdays, their today, and their dreams for tomorrow… every moment of Joelle and Nathan’s love story had been showcased.
A Lovely Life
Joelle got her Fairytale on Christmas Eve.
And as she gave to Nathan what he called “the best gift I ever had”, Joelle gave me, too, the most sacred of all gifts. The gift of her tears. Happy tears. Tears born from the understanding that even mortal beings can create immortal stories. That the power of the word will live on long beyond we do, touching the lives of all those we may never meet.
And right there is the beauty of a Fairytale. It’s eternity in the palm of your hands. It’s knowing that love is grand and that your love story today, is a part of someone else’s history tomorrow. And only you have the power to preserve it for them. Because sometimes, there’s nothing more powerful, more eternal than the oldest of all methods of memory-keeping.
The word.
The book.
Your book.
Joelle, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your Lovely Life.
Visit http://www.fairytale-co.com/ for more information on making your very own book. You can also meet her at The Scenic Wedding Fair on Saturday 20th February at The Address Montgomerie Dubai.

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