An Autumn Wedding at Stanmer House for Sweethearts ~ Ella & James

Today, we’re heading back to a balmy October day to bring you Ella and James’ beautiful Brighton wedding! Our gorgeous newlyweds got christened at the same church, went to junior school together and met again years later, only to fall in love and tie the knot back at St John’s – Aw!

The couple held their dream day celebrations at the stunning Stanmer House, something our beautiful bride, Ella had dreamt about since she was a little girl! But, enough swooning from us, over to Ella to hear more about her wonderful Sussex wedding:

We first met when we were seven years old, we were in the same junior class at primary school, we were good friends, we then both moved on to different secondary schools and colleges, but James bumped into an old friend of ours, who I was still close to, in a local pub. James got in contact with me and I invited him over to a party I was having at mine, we soon got chatting and the rest is history!

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A Gold Coloured Wedding Dress & A Country Pub Wedding ~ Sarah & Sean

We’re pretty sure that when most couples plan for a summery country wedding, they picture themselves sipping a celebratory drink or two with their loved ones, in the sunshine – for Sarah and Sean, who tied the knot last August at the breath-taking Our Lady of Ransom Church in Eastbourne and then partied on at their local pub; The Plough in Upper Dicker, this idyllic scene certainly provided inspiration.

Favouring a laid back and relaxed rural affair, the loved up newlyweds opted for outdoor speeches (and drinks!), deckchairs and gorgeous rustic touches – we think you summer-loving brides will be swooning! Check out Sarah’s gorgeous gold wedding dress too. Here’s bloomin’ beautiful bride Sarah to tell us all about her dreamy East Sussex day:

We met when I was 17 and he was 22. It was up and down for the first two years, I went to uni in Birmingham but we stuck with it and have been solid ever since. We were always the couple who our friends saw as the ones who would be together forever and they constantly nagged Sean to propose. I was shocked when he proposed on December 25th (total clichéd proposal) with Bruno Mars’ Marry You in the background.


We chose to tie the knot in Sussex as we live in Eastbourne so naturally it was the right place to get married!

Inspiration came throughout the planning process, the more I sifted through Pinterest, Facebook pages and websites the more I was able to put ideas together. I am terrible at making decisions though so it often took days for me to make a decision and stick with it.

One example of this was the wedding favours, I so nearly ordered sunflower seeds, on several occasions and spent hours on eBay and other websites deciding which I liked best.

But then I had a lightbulb moment when I saw a picture of a small glass bottle online and knew it had to be Cosmopolitan shots as so many of our friends know it is our favourite cocktail.

All of the decor was bought by me or given to me by friends. We had a cake table which friends kindly bought cakes and biscuits for and we had sweets for the children. The table plan I created on word and added the heart buttons. I decorated jam jars for the flowers and tea lights to go in. I also used the jam jars for the straws and pens.

My friend made the ‘Love is Sweet’ sign and two others for me. Another friend made wooden coasters for the centrepieces, we used a jam jar for the flowers, a candle and an idea that came to my florist friend was to use amethyst crystal which I absolutely loved, it was so unique. I also had the wooden base for our wedding cake made and it has our initials and wedding day engraved on it made by Knock on Wood. I tried to use as many friends or local businesses as I could for everything. This kept the cost down hugely!

My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are…

To research as much as you can and be prepared for your ideas to change and develop!

We spent most of the budget on…

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A Fun, Fairytale Themed Wedding at Herstmonceux Castle ~ Candy & Ron

Oh MY do we have one helluva stunning Sussex wedding coming your way today, in the form of Candy and Ron’s dreamy fairytale inspired castle wedding!

A day full of bubbles, bunting and balloons, oh and the occasional owl, this memorable East Sussex August wedding was organised entirely by gorgeous groom Ron (bride Candy arranged their Hong Kong celebrations) and will certainly have you smiling – and reaching for that ideas notebook, simultaneously.

Here’s Love Sussex Weddings reader Ron to tell us more:

I met Candy in Hyde Park, whilst rollerblading. Candy had just started to rollerblade again after a long time and had forgotten how to brake. She rolled down a very shallow hill but managed to crash into a lamppost. I was there to pick up the pieces. Two years later, I placed a map around this lamppost. This led to a three hour wild goose chase around a cold and wet Hyde Park for Candy, where she eventually found me at the cafe where I had first bought her a hot chocolate. I was waiting for her holding a hot chocolate cup, and in it a ring!

We decided to get married in Sussex as I grew up in Hailsham and we wanted to have something local to my family. As Candy was organising the second wedding in Hong Kong (where her family is from) it felt natural to do the wedding near my family and upbringing. The nearby Herstmonceux Castle was a natural choice!

Inspiration came from my childhood ambitions and dreams! There was fairytale fancy dress for the evening reception. The bride dressed as Tinkerbell and the groom as an American Indian. We had everything from Beauty and the Beast, Dorothy, Scarecrows, Red Riding Hood, Ghostbuster, Cleopatra, the kid and peacock from Up, knights, medieval ladies, monks, Mad Hatters, animals and so much more.

We chose a multi-coloured theme based on the colours of the balloons in the film Up. As a fan of the cartoon film ‘Up’ we tied lots of multi-coloured helium filled balloons onto a bench (in the film balloons they were tied to the house so it would float away). We than did a balloon release at the end of the day, where all the guests released a balloon!

Doing things differently

My good friend Suptasree acted up as ‘Lady Roy’. Despite no previous experience, she dressed up in medieval attire and carried out our blessing. She also put together the blessing for us! While, my best man also dressed up as a medieval gentleman and pretended to be the Lord of Herstmonceux (as he is French!).

We had a bay winged hawk called Ash, deliver the rings and we also took inspiration from the old English tradition of Jumping the Broom, whereby jumping over a broom as a couple signifies you are married, as our blessing!

Candy arrived at the castle by car and then horse and carriage. Historical musicians provided music for the bridal procession and two pieces of singing/lute during the ceremony. We wrote the blessing script and our vows. A hawk delivered the rings (not too willingly!) to the best man. We had an ‘archer’s salute’ when we exited the castle for photos.

Whilst we had our photos, there was a falconry display, have a go archery and horse and carriage rides. For those who wanted to stay indoors there was the Memory Room to explore – filled with photos of our friends and family. I also printed out 400 photos of our friends from our photo collection (hidden on our computer for years) for guests to take away. It also had a candy corner and toys for those young at heart.

We enjoyed a sit down meal. There were speeches and also music from the historical musicians. At the end. we all did a rendition of ‘Don’t look back in Anger’. We cut our cake in the shape of Herstmonceux Castle with a medieval style sword. We then exited the castle for throwing of the bouquet and balloon release, before starting the evening’s celebrations!

Getting crafty

As the castle is French inspired, I used genuine French first day covers from the 1960s-80s and printed onto them for invites. They were £30 for over 100 on eBay! I used multi-coloured tissue paper for the confetti and made my mum cut it up! While one of my dad’s oil paintings was used for the seating plan, by hanging ribbons across it, then adding pegs. For place names, I used little plastic ducks (again from eBay) and bought an alphabet set of rubber stamps in balloon shapes. We stamped the names onto a label and tied it to the duck.  [CLICK TO READ MORE]

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A Vintage Travel-Themed Big Day at Bartholomew Barn, West Sussex ~ Candice & James

There’s nothing as lovely as a big day that truly tells a story and reflects on a couple’s ‘journey’ so far – cue Candice and James’ beautiful travel-influenced wedding at St John the Baptist Church, Kirdford and Batholomew Barn, both in West Sussex, which took place last June.

This travel-loving duo met in Australia, went exploring for a year as a couple and came back home to settle down. Cute, eh? But Australia and their love of world-wide adventures have stayed with them and of course, they just had to incorporate this, and so much more into their delightful dream day!

Here’s bride Candice to tell us more:

We arrived within days of each other in Australia. I had managed to get myself a job at the local BP Garage and happened to be having a post work drink in the Kimberley Klub – the hostel that James was staying at with his friend Luke. After initially dismissing James for his youthful looks (surely he can’t be older than me?!) I gave in to his charms…we then spent the next year travelling together before coming back home to become ‘responsible adults’… and the rest is history!

The proposal came after booking a last minute trip to Venice, as James, for some reason, just couldn’t wait for our planned trip to Paris a month later. Despite a few hints from friends, I didn’t have a clue – this was confirmed with James telling me quite firmly on the boat into town, not to get my hopes up (how romantic). A day running around the beautiful streets of Venice, drinking wine and gorging on food ended with James on one knee – yes with tears in his eyes! This made it the happiest day of my life and now we get to share celebrating our marriage with you all and I am so excited to do so.

We chose to get married in Sussex as we wanted an informal relaxed day set in the beautiful English countryside that wasn’t too far from our home counties of Surrey and Kent. The venue is what won us over with the stunning barn and courtyard. It blew our breath away and our guests are still talking about it!

We wanted to theme our wedding on where we met – a small town called Broome in Western Australia. We then travelled around Australia in a camper van, which was what we used for our wedding car. To make the theme ‘prettier’ we added a vintage touch. The map of Australia which we used for our table plan was vintage. We used delicate English flowers to represent the colours of Western Australia.

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A Garden Themed Double Sussex Wedding ~ Danielle & Richard


As you know, here at Love Sussex Weddings, we ruddy love a local wedding. So, when Danielle & Richard’s stunning spring weddings (yes that’s right two weddings!) landed in our inbox, we just had to share them.

Tying the knot in a small ceremony at Brighton’s iconic Pavilion and then having a church blessing the following day for over two hundred friends and family with dreamy Wakehurst Place, Ardingly reception, this loved-up duo certainly know how to celebrate! Oh and of course, our beautiful bride had a gorgeous dress for each day too.

Here’s Danielle (and hubby Richard) to tell us all about their action packed proposal, stag night injuries and having two May wedding days: [CLICK TO READ MORE]

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A Rustic Seaside Wedding at The Gallivant Hotel, East Sussex

Well with a hint of Spring in the air today here in Sussex we’re bringing you a nice big slice of Sussex seaside wedding inspiration – so why not stop for a few minutes and check out Vojin and Chrysso’s wedding at the gorgeous Gallivant Hotel in Rye, we guarantee it will make you smile…

The loved-up Londoners (and Love Sussex Weddings) readers tied the knot in August, with beautiful bride Chrysso wearing a vintage lace dress by Elizabeth Avey and her groom (and his groomsmen) rocking a cool and classic look of bow ties, braces and Converse.

Over to Chrysso to talk making paper pom-poms, ‘French granny’s house’ inspired décor and the groom throwing his chicktionary (little black book) at their big day…

Vojin proposed by the river near where we live. It involved a little poem he had written and he had the help of props, for example, one of the lines was ‘you’re the burger in my bun’, so he produces a frozen burger from his bag!

Vojin went to his home town of Belgrade for the stag and my girls took me to a lovely cottage in Canterbury – all very Jane Austen. There was a Charleston lesson, afternoon tea and a butler in the buff involved!

We wanted an informal beachy venue for our wedding, so after some research we found The Gallivant, went for an open day and fell in love with the scenery of the beautiful beach across the road from the venue.

I spent months and months making paper pompoms for the backs of all the chairs and garlands to hang everywhere. I also made some pompom chandeliers that floated serenely above as during the ceremony. Instead of having traditional Mr & Mrs or bride and groom signs on our seats during the meal, I made a cross stitch version of us and our cat Neville! A couple of my friends dubbed the decor, ‘French Granny’s House’ . . .

Instead of me throwing the bouquet, Vojin decided to throw his ‘chicktionary’ - his version of the little black book! Also the groom and groomsmen were dressed in bow ties, braces, chinos and Converse!

I enjoyed the handmade elements of wedding planning, as I made a lot of the stuff myself; including the seating plan. My advice would be leave plenty of time and make things gradually. There’s nothing worse than rushing!

My least favourite part of wedding planning had to be the guest list and stressing about the weather on the day!

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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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