Sussex Country-meets-Vintage Wedding Inspiration Shoot

We think that countryside and vintage wedding themes, go hand in hand. Hessian, rolling fields, chintzy china all combine perfectly for a sweet, long and lazy wedding day filled with romance and nostalgic nods to years gone by – no wonder it’s such a popular wedding trend especially in Sussex with it’s abundance of gorgeous countryside.

So, when this amazing country-meets-vintage wedding inspiration shoot – showcasing the talents of 10 Sussex-based suppliers, no less – landed in our inbox; we just had to find out more and share this with you. We think you’re going to love it.

Over to the fabulous Kate and Caroline from Sussex Cutting Garden for all the goss on this swoon-worthy shoot:

The Sussex countryside with it’s grand oak trees and undulating South Downs inspired our country vintage theme.

The venue, Featherbed Barn, was once a working farm and set with 32 acres of stunning grounds. It has great character and charming buildings with a lake, a wood and open fields enabling our bride and groom to be free to relax and become one with the countryside.

Our bride with auburn locks and skin so fair to the eyes, looked charmingly romantic in a wedding dress designed and handcrafted by Becky Drinan. The delicate finishes of the dresses allows our bride to shine all day and dance all night.

Our groom was fitted with a bespoke dark brown suit which was designed and tailored by Igor Srzic Cartledge from Dandylion Style in Hove. The outfit was inspired by nature and complimented the tones of the brides colouring too. The pink shirt and roses tie blended with the pink hues of the flowers in the bride’s bouquet.

The flowers were all grown locally by us (Kate Dalton and Caroline Harding from Sussex Cutting Garden). The bouquet has an old fashioned look with flamboyant and blousey dahlias in hues of coral, apricot and cerise pink. These were hand-tied with maichaelmas daisies and panicum grass seed heads adding a touch of pizzazz to the bouquet.

The grooms buttonhole has been designed with a relaxed informal theme in mind. Pink achilea, lilac lavender, eucalyptus and a nigella seed head were all tied together as a gathered stem boutonniere using raffia, for a rustic feel. The bride also adorned a similar cluster of flowers in her hair.

The bride’s hair was styled by Liz Bower from Simply Beautiful Wedding Hair. Braids were incorporated through the front and sides of the hair tailing off to a messy bunch a favourite look for vintage brides. This could be taken down for a softer romantic and elegant look for the later part of the day.

The bride’s makeup was subtle and natural to enhance her blue eyes and auburn hair. Ellie (of The Beauty Aisle)‘s experience of tailoring a makeup look to suit personal style and tastes was invaluable for our country vintage theme.


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A Sussex Wedding Fair With Wow Factor!

If you’re after a Sussex wedding fair with wow factor then make sure you head over to South Lodge‘s five star fair this Sunday (25th January 2015). This stunning Sussex wedding venue near Horsham will play host to a pop up ‘Inspiration Room’ full of gorgeous ideas to inspire you for your wedding, a ‘Grooms Room’ complete with beers on ice and wii console, and loads of lovely local wedding suppliers of course. . .

South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel based in Horsham, West Sussex will be hosting a luxury wedding fair with over 30 local suppliers and will feature the talented Windows @ 62 ‘Inspiration Room’, a consortium of Sussex based wedding suppliers, on Sunday 25th January 2015.

The five star fair will be open to brides and grooms to-be between 11am – 3pm and will be showcasing some amazing Sussex and Surrey based wedding suppliers in the stunning surroundings of this gorgeous Sussex wedding venue.


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A Laid-Back DIY, East Sussex Wedding at Court Gardens Farm, Ditchling ~ Tom & Susie

We’re aiming to shake off those winter blues today and we really think Tom & Susie’s stunner of a Sussex wedding is JUST the tonic!

This fun-loving Brighton couple tied the knot (officially) at Brighton Town Hall on 6th June 2014 and then enjoyed a celebrant ceremony, along with sunny celebrations at Court Gardens Farm in Ditchling, the following day.

Over to our lovely-in-lilac bride Susie to talk floral crowns, mum-made dresses and er, ending up in A&E on the night of wedding (1):

Me and Tom were set up by a mutual friend, who was the Master of Ceremonies on the day! Jon is a friend of Tom’s brother and the husband of one of my friends (who was also a bridesmaid!). To cut a long story short, he decided to set us up because I’d flippantly told him that if he didn’t think I could find a nice fella, then why didn’t he find one for me! And so he did. This conversation had happened whilst we were away together skiing together, and a week or so later, Tom received a message asking if he was still single. Jon then told him about me and sent a picture of me in full ski kit including helmet and goggles! We texted for a couple of weeks and then met for our first date, we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Tom grew up in Cowfold and we have lived in Brighton for a year, so it felt very important to do it near to the place we call home!

We found our venue online and found Pinterest and Love Sussex Weddings great for inspiration!

We both love summer and June is my favourite month because of the long, light evenings. A grand, traditional and classic wedding just isn’t us. We wanted a laid-back, relaxed, rustic countryside vibe and a venue where we could enjoy a long, sunny evening! From the very beginning I knew I would wear a floral headpiece and this was an inspiration point on where we started, as well as the colours we both liked in our duvet cover (which was abstract summer flowers!) We didn’t get too caught up on specific details as our venue was very much in keeping with what we’d been hoping to find.

We did the legal bit on the Friday at Brighton Town Hall with our best friends (who were our witnesses) and our parents. We felt that it was just paperwork so didn’t exchange lengthy vows or exchange rings. It was a special time but we had a more meaningful ceremony and exchanged rings on the Saturday. We were surrounded by all of our friends and family, led by our lovely celebrant in a field overlooking the vineyard at Court Gardens Farm in Ditchling. We had always been keen to avoid all formality and tradition so looked at the Saturday as our ‘wedding day’ rather than the Friday!

Ouch! My Ankle!

After our small registry office ceremony on the Friday we headed back to our house for some tea and cake, as the bridal party and other family members were starting to arrive in Brighton. The plan was to stay for a couple of hours and then head up to Court Gardens Farm to start decorating and organising.

Unfortunately just before we were about to leave, I was rushing around and managed to fall down three concrete steps in our back garden badly injuring my ankle! After crying, feeling sick and application of frozen peas, it was decided by my bridesmaids and fiancé that I should take a trip to A&E! I went to A&E with two of my bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party went up to the farm to start decorating. Three hours later I was given the all clear as having torn ligaments and on the advice of the doctor to take as much ibuprofen and pain killers as possible (as I’d told him I couldn’t rest it as I was getting married).

Sadly I was hobbling around and unable to put much weight on it. But on the day I strapped my pretty, sparkly sandals on over my bandaged ankle and just about got away with a slight hobble down the aisle! Soon after, I changed into some comfy trainers, thankfully which were covered by my long dress, so at least I could still dance albeit on one leg at times!

As the venue is so stunning (particularly in the sunshine!) we didn’t want to go over-the-top with a colour theme so kept things really simple. We felt we’d like to make it our own but still let the barn, courtyard and South Downs speak for themselves. We had colourful bunting, chalkboard signs, heart shaped balloons and glass jars with wild flowers in on the tables at dinner. We, hilariously, used the colours from our favourite duvet cover for inspiration and loosely stuck to it from the colours in the bunting, groomsmen’s ties and each bridesmaid wore one colour in a different style dress.

We Made it Our Own

We had a ceremony conducted by a humanist celebrant (River Jones) who was actually an old family friend of Tom’s mum, which made it even more personal. We wrote our own vows and during the ceremony our rings were put into a tiny little bag, which was passed around the guests so that they could wish us love and happiness. When it came to exchanging rings, they had been touched by everyone there and it was a really lovely moment. It was an idea suggested by our celebrant and worked really well. We had long tables (German beer festival style!) for dinner and we went back outside to the field where we’d had the ceremony for the speeches as we didn’t want it to feel formal. We also didn’t have a first dance or an official cake to cut; again we just wanted to avoid the formality! Oh and my dress was made by my mum! I didn’t want to wear white or cream as I know these colours just don’t suit me. I opted for lilac as it’s one of my favourite colours!

My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are… All I can say is just do whatever you want! If there are bits of weddings you’ve never really liked or enjoyed, then leave them out, who’s to say what you should and shouldn’t do. Use eBay for things, you can save so much money this way. Oh and enjoy every minute as it goes so quickly, and make sure you spend time finding an awesome photographer to capture the day as it was!

Poems and Other Personal Touches

On the backs of our menus we’d written a thank you poem as we wanted to express how much we appreciated our guests coming, many who had travelled a really along way (Singapore, U.S.A  and Germany were the furthest!). My mum also surprised us with a number of special personal touches. We had always joked about trying to include our cat (Alan, affectionately known as Alancat!) in the day somehow but realistically it wasn’t an option. So she made Alancat dark chocolate buttons as favours and cat shaped ginger biscuits with his face on! It was a lovely and hilarious surprise for us and the guests.

What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding was… I loved the creative side, tying in colours and thinking about how things looked together. I really enjoyed my trip to the florists too, I took my floral headpiece in with me and we based everything on that – it was exciting to see a dream realised! I was also really chuffed to bag some bargains on eBay with our groomsmen’s ties, bunting and faux flowers for Bruno the VW Beetle (the wedding car!) – we saved ourselves a few quid with that.

Our favourite part of wedding planning had to be…  As we were very DIY about everything, I found the planning of the logistics quite stressful – who/what needed to be where/when. The guest list was a toughie too, you’d love to be able to invite everyone but sometimes it just doesn’t quite work out like that. Everything else was fun though!


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A Family Focused Seaside -Themed Wedding at Angel House & Caribou Rooms, Hove ~ Victoria & Jared

For Brighton couple (and Love Sussex Weddings readers) Victoria and Jared, there was no place quite like Hove to tie the knot! Marrying in the first ever wedding ceremony at the iconic Angel House, overlooking the sea and then continuing their celebrations, just around the corner at the party-perfect Caribou Rooms, this is one rather lovely local ‘do at two lovely Hove wedding venues.

Oh and did we mention it was planned in less than six weeks?!

We pass over to beautiful bride Victoria to hear all about her stunner of a seaside-inspired big day:

Jared proposed on our ten year anniversary in Cambridge as we watched the sunset on a bridge over the river. It was a wonderful moment that I will always cherish.

We are both born and raised in Brighton and we love living here so it was important for us to get married in our hometown.  We wanted to be close to the sea as we said our vows.

We had planned to get married in May 2015 but unfortunately my beloved dad became suddenly ill and we were told the devastating news that his life expectancy was short. We decided to bring the wedding forward and managed to plan a wedding in just six weeks. At first this was very daunting as we needed to find venues at such short notice and I hadn’t even bought my dress yet but it made us focus on what is most important about our wedding day.


It made me realise that deliberating over the napkins and colour schemes are simply not the important parts of a wedding. Instead it’s about the coming together of family and friends, it’s about marrying the person you want to share the rest of your life with and it’s about celebrating this with all the people that you love.

Planning a wedding with such short notice meant I had to make very quick decisions which actually felt strangely liberating and took away a lot of stress over making decisions. To help plan our wedding we visited two wedding fayres and I visited Love Sussex Weddings on a daily basis and loved looking at everyone’s different ideas and venue choices.


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A Real Life Brighton Beach Engagement Shoot

There’s just something so magical about an engagement shoot. We don’t know about you, but here at Love Sussex Weddings, we get swept up in the emotion and loveliness of a couple who’ve decided to capture their happiness of spending their lives together… so just imagine our joy when Amanda and David’s real life (and yes, we mean it happened, there and then!) engagement shoot landed in our inbox.

The couple, who live in London were originally just modelling for fab photographer Sarah Wenban; until David (who’s a West End actor) decided to turn the romantic shoot into an on-the-spot engagement – great idea eh?

Grab a cuppa, a box of tissues – you’re gonna need ‘em and just enjoy. Here’s (shocked) bride-to-be Amanda to fill us in:

Hi Amanda! We’re dying to talk to you about your amazing proposal, but before we get carried away, how did you and David meet?

We actually went to university together. We knew of each other but never really hung out. We were friends on Facebook and occasionally touched base over the years and then David got in touch in 2013 after I posted a picture of a trip to Barcelona and we thought it would be nice to catch up for a drink….

We had our first date on 5th August, 2013 so we’ve been together just over a year. At times it feels unbelievable how different life can be in a year but because we’ve know each other for years, it also feels like the most natural and right thing.


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2014: A Wonderful Year for Sussex Weddings!

What a year it’s been for some absolutely out-of-this-world wedding days! We’ve been so lucky to be able to share with you so many loved-up celebrations in East and West Sussex; including an exclusive interview with Andrew and Neil – the first same sex Sussex couple to tie the knot as gay marriage was finally legalised in the UK, back in March (hooray!).

Here’s just a few of the magical Sussex and Brighton wedding days that have provided so much inspiration over the last twelve months:

Photography by Wookie Photography

Nikki & Oli’s colourful Brighton bandstand wedding with pictures on the pier, picnic on the beach and late night party at Proud Cabaret just screamed FUN. We fell in love with Nikki’s 1950s inspired dress from quirky Brighton designer Oh My Honey – complete with vintage-feel fascinator and red polkadot bow belt! Oh and this dream day also saw the bride and groom take to the DJ decks too… see more of it here.

Image by Laura Brennan

A huge theme for weddings this year had to be travel – whether it was naming tables after much-loved places or incorporating inspired decorations such as suitcases or bunting with a map print, it was all about overseas adventures. But that doesn’t mean our brides and grooms were reaching for their passports to get married – oh no – they still chose to do the deed in stunning Sussex. Lovely couple Savanna and Mark included their love of travel (their love story actually started while driving through Asia for charity) into their beautiful Bartholomew Barn big day, in Savanna’s home county, as well as touches from Mark’s Scottish heritage. SUCH a perfect mix!

Image courtesy of Anna Pumer Photography

Guests hugging it out, drawn on wedding rings and an Alice in Wonderland theme – there’s no way we could forget Rob and Laura’s AMAZING East Sussex fancy dress festival that we featured back in April. Tying the knot officially at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, this cool and quirky pair invited their guests to don their finest Alice in Wonderland attire and join them down the rabbit hole (at Hodore Farm in Hartfield) for a mad hatters tea party to remember. We REALLY wish we could have bagged ourselves an invite to this BIG day!

Photograph by Teri Vincent

“Our day, our way” is the sentence that springs to mind when thinking back to Sam and Tom’s Duke of York Picturehouse wedding! Not only did this non-traditional pair say “I Do” in one of their favourite places (a cinema!), but they decided to not tell the wedding party where they were getting married ‘till minutes before the ceremony!


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A Gorgeous Garden Wedding at the Family Home ~ Richard & Renata

Simple, chic and stunning are just three words that spring to mind when thinking of Richard and Renata’s sunny Sussex wedding at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Warminghurst, with celebrations at home in Washington, West Sussex.

We’re pretty sure that most brides and grooms have wished that they had space to host their low-key and laid back family celebrations in the relaxed setting of their home, and for these two this was clearly an easy decision to make – their garden is bloomin’ gorgeous!

To hear more about this gorgeous Sussex garden wedding, we pass over to beautiful bride Renata:

We chose to get married in Sussex as Richard grew up in West Sussex and it’s where we both now live.

All of our wedding suppliers were selected after numerous hours of online research, trawling Pinterest and leafing through magazines.

Our wedding had a vintage country garden theme, which was emphasised with natural colours, lavender and lots of handmade touches.

We made our save the dates, invitations, favours, table plans, signs, table names, lavender wreaths and even our very own wedding car number plate!


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Our hair styling find of the year – Babyliss New Big Hair

*Warning this post may induce gadget buying fever!*

So we wanted to share something a little different here today. A little gem of a hair care find!

With the weather for sun drying hair now firmly behind us (brrrrrr) and the Christmas party season about to kick off, this little beaut could be one to add to your Christmas list. (It could be just the thing if you and your bridesmaids are thinking of saving some cash and going DIY for your down do’s on your wedding day too!)

Despite numerous straightener, curler and hair dryer purchases over the years, a salon blow-dried look has never been something I’ve been able to do for myself at home. But, after visiting the hairdressers the other week I got to thinking that surely a salon blow dried look must be achievable at home, after all hairdressers aren’t magicians! Then I got to thinking surely Google would have the answer?

And it did!

In the form of the Babyliss New Big Hair rotating hair drying brush. I’m not one to usually get excited over this type of thing but this has been one of those purchases that I’ve ended up using literally all the time and raving about to anyone with long or longish hair within hearing distance!


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A Big Hearted Festival Wedding near Eastbourne ~ Matt & Gemma

The nights may be drawing in, but we’re planning on brightening up your day by heading back to the beginning of August to one of East Sussex’s prettiest wedding venues (also featured in the last wedding we featured), for Love Sussex Weddings readers Matt and Gemma’s bright and beautiful big day and reception at Birling Manor, near Eastbourne.

This music loving couple, who tied the knot after twelve years of togetherness (aw!) were inspired by sunny festival days gone-by and held their very own wedfest in the manor’s grounds – pretty cool eh?

Not only that, but our lovely bride and groom also asked each guest to bring with them a toy to donate to Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, instead of receiving traditional wedding gifts, for a cause very close to their hearts… Here’s the oh-so-gorgeous Gemma to tell us more:

We love living in Sussex (we live in Uckfield) so it was natural for us to want to get married here. We love that Sussex has beautiful beaches and forests and Birling Manor was a great venue choice as it had great views of both.


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An East Sussex Garden Party Wedding at Birling Manor ~ Hannah & Conor

If you’re struggling with these dreary and grey autumn days, we’ve got just the tonic for you, in the shape of Love Sussex Weddings readers Hannah and Conor’s August bank holiday bash!

The couple, who originally hail from Leicestershire (Hannah) and Belfast (Conor) and live in Teddington, London tied the knot in a beautiful bunting and fairy light  laden ceremony at East Dean’s Birling Manor and continued their pretty vintage-inspired garden party themed big day in a capri marquee on the crocket lawns.

We caught up with gorgeous bride Hannah to talk crafting, mother-in-law cake offs and why these London-locals chose to marry in Sussex:

Hi Hannah! Before we start chatting away about your beautiful big day, tell us – how did Conor propose?

We’d been together six and a half years in July 2013 - Conor had just started working for a new company and they used to have competitions every Friday with amazing prizes. Conor pretended he’d won a night away in Stoke Park Hotel –a luxury 5 star hotel. On arriving in the amazing suite, I tried to rifle through the mini bar saying that as we were not paying for the room we should treat ourselves to a bottle of champagne – Conor obviously very uncomfortable, tried to convince me otherwise!

We had a fabulous meal with the very last course being bought out to us both under a silver dome.  Still completely oblivious to it all I lifted off the dome and underneath was a red ring box! Conor then got down on one knee and said “it’s not a competition, will you be my wife?” The ring belonged to his grandmother and is from the 1930′s.

What a charmer! That’s such a lovely proposal story! So, spill; why did you choose to get married in East Sussex?

We both love East Sussex! It’s just short drive from London and the sun always shines (mostly!). I think we will move, eventually. Conor saw our wedding venue, Birling Manor online. We decided to go down for the weekend and it was love at first sight! We didn’t see ANY other venues and signed up for the Bank Holiday weekend there and then.

We don’t blame you, it’s a gorgeous wedding venue! We take it you stayed locally?

We rented six Beachy Head Cottages for 4 days, to include the wedding party and close friends, all centred around a beautiful kitchen garden.  It really was so much fun nipping in and out of each other’s cottages during the whole weekend! We were looked after so well by the estate manager too. We had a BBQ Sunday and it made the wedding into a whole weekend celebration rather than just one day. [CLICK TO READ MORE]

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