Gin & Bear It! BRIGHTON’S OWN MORRIS MINOR BASED GIN BAR

Today we are handing over to Gin & Bear It, an amazing Morris Minor based Gin bar! Love it!…

Gin lovers both, we are Aaron Burns and John Azzopardi. Though not born and bred Brightonians, we have been living in this wonderful city for more than 10 yrs having moved here from Bath and Melbourne respectively. We now consider ourselves very much locals. We love being by the beach with everything that this incredibly creative town has to offer! Gin and Bear It! is as Brighton as the Pavilion and we want to share it with you!

Gin & Bear It will supply a professional mobile gin bar service for your special occasion. If you need a wedding bar, birthday bar, corporate bar or any other type of event bar, we have it covered.

Don’t like gin? No worries. Though we specialise in gin and gin based drinks we are very happy to design a package to fit your needs. Be it wine, beer or other spirits just talk to us and we can organise it for you.

Thanks to our classic Morris Minor – Aubrey, we can provide for all types of events with our bespoke gin bar and drinks packages tailored to your requirements. [CLICK TO READ MORE]

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An Blush Outdoor Wedding at Buxted Park Hotel (with a touch of OZ) ~ Kym & Paul

Morning! Now, have we got a corker of an outdoor wedding for you to swoon over today! We’re so lucky that we get to chat to so many lovely recent brides and hear not only about their wedding day, but also get a little insight about their love story too – and Kym and Paul’s story is like something from a film!

Meeting by chance in a pub in Sydney, Australia, in 2011, the couple kept in touch and eventually started dating in 2013 – just a few months later; Paul popped the question and in August 2014, they tied the knot in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at beautiful East Sussex wedding venue Buxted Park Hotel (chosen by the groom, no less!), with daughter Milly by their side. Awwww!

Here’s beautiful bride Kym to tell us all about planning her dream Sussex wedding from Down Under, searching the globe for her dress, and injecting a little bit of Oz into her bloomin’ lovely blush-themed big day:

We met in May 2011. I lived in Sydney, Australia, Paul lived in the UK. Paul was visiting Sydney for work and extended to stay for the weekend.  By chance we met on his final Friday night.  He was meant to be at a rugby game and decided to stop in at a pub for a drink, which is where we met. He flew back to the UK the next day, we remained in contact and become great friends.

Our first date was not until 2013.  Paul’s work had transferred him to Australia.We went to a Japanese restaurant in Sydney, followed by a drink at the Shangri La Hotel, the bar is on the 36th floor and overlooked Sydney Harbour.

The proposal

We had come to the UK for Christmas in December 2013, and had only been dating a few months.  He had returned the month prior so I was pretty excited to see him. We decided to book a night in Covent Garden and go Christmas shopping and go out for dinner.  I was meant to arrange it but he said he would look after everything.

We spent the day shopping and eventually checked into our hotel. Paul had arranged for the room to be decorated with candles and flowers and we had a suite that overlooked Big Ben.  It was a private proposal and very romantic.  After I said yes, he gave me the ring, which was gorgeous. We then had a bottle of champagne, and had a late dinner at OXO.

The entire day was amazing and was a complete surprise as we had only been dating a few months.

The venue

We initially were looking at venues in Sydney, Italy or the UK but decided on a country UK wedding. I was a little worried about the weather but it was perfect on the day.

I was living in Sydney at this stage, but Paul had returned to London for work.  He actually went to view it and selected it as our venue.

The first time I saw Buxted Park Hotel was in the June prior to our wedding, I instantly fell in love with the venue.  Paul chose well!

We took Buxted over exclusively so the entire hotel was ours for the day, it was brilliant. It has beautiful grounds, and a gorgeous Orangery as a backup for our ceremony in case it rained.

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Sussex Summer Wedding Trends

Whether you’re tying the knot this summer or next, be inspired by our top five summery Sussex wedding trends, that never seem to go out of style – best of all, they can all be adapted to ensure you have your dream day, your way! Go on, grab that wedding planning notebook and feast your eyes here…

Blush Big Day

Blush weddings have been big news over the last few years, with so many Sussex brides and grooms basing their gorgeous schemes around this deliciously delicate and very elegant pastel colour, including Emily and Ryan, who married at Laughton Barns, last year.

Opt for pretty pink bridesmaids dresses, centrepieces and decorations, or keep it sophisticated and simple by adding a blush hue to your big day blooms. This gorgeous trend works well in all locations – be it a hotel, house, barn or village hall, so we can’t see it disappearing anytime soon!

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside!

Don’t they say that looking out to sea can provide inspiration? We certainly think it does with wedding planning – given the amount of beautiful beachy weddings we have seen!

From going all-out with beachy accessories like Catherine and Robert (who also held their reception at Arun Yacht Club!) to giving just a simple and understated nautical nod to proceedings (à la Victoria and Jared, with their amazing cake!), this really is a timeless theme that can be bohemian and relaxed (think driftwood, pebble place settings and sprinkles of seashells) or fun and whimsical, with fish and chips, postcard centrepieces and fairground rides! Itching to see more nautical wedding ideas? Check out this dreamy seaside inspo post!

Country Wedding

We are a lucky county, aren’t we? Not only does Sussex boast miles upon miles of sandy and shingly shores, but we also have rolling hills, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and pretty villages – all providing the perfect back drop for summery Sussex weddings! Again, this theme has a lot of scope!

It lends itself to rustic barn weddings with hay bales, hessian and naked cakes, fun and fabulous festival big days, as well as vintage-y village hall weddings with Pimms, afternoon tea and summer fete games, like this inspiration shoot. Swoon!

Mapping it Out

Travel themed weddings seem to be one of the hottest trends, with popularity rising steadily over the last few years. As that famous quote suggests; “As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than the destination;” romance and travel go hand-in-hand, making it a top choice for any bride and groom to be.

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A Pastel Pretty Wedding at Slaugham Place ~ Andrew and Sonya


If you’re a fan of pretty weddings with an elegant and romantic touch – be prepared to fall head-over-heels in love with Andrew and Sonya’s sensational West Sussex wedding!

The gorgeous couple who got engaged on a windy, rainy afternoon at fairytale-esque Bodiam Castle, said I do on a sunny August day at St Paul’s in Haywards Heath and then continued their chic wedding celebrations amongst the enchanting ruins of a Grade II Elizabethan manor house at Slaugham Place!

Here’s beautiful bride, Sonya to tell us more about her gorgeous Sussex wedding day:


As many of our friends and family are based around London, we wanted somewhere with a rural feel, but we didn’t want to make our friends and family travel a long distance, so Sussex worked well.

We found inspiration for our wedding through Pinterest and borrowing ideas from friends’ weddings.

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Six Sussex & Brighton Hen Night Ideas

brighton hen night ideas
From countryside getaways to spa retreats, exhilarating outdoor adventures to creative and crafty days by the seaside, Sussex and Brighton certainly has some exciting hen night (day or even weekend!) options for even the fussiest of brides and their hens.

With so much to do, we’ve compiled just some of our and our featured brides’ most favourite Sussex and Brighton hen night and day activities, the question is which one will you choose?!

Hen Workshops: Make & Create

From getting crafty with a pair of self-pimped pants (ooh-la-la!) to learning to make and decorate cupcakes like a pro, or even make bunting for your big day, a hands-on hen do is perfect for DIY brides and their creative chicks. Super & Super HQMake Do Menders, Make Do and TrendThe Crafty Hen and Angel Food Bakery are just some of the quirky local makers that can help you create a fun (not to mention, useful!) afternoon.

Hen Spa Days

One of the most popular choices for hen do’s has to be a spot of pre-wedding pampering! Head to country retreats like Alexander House near Crawley, for some lady-of-the-manor inspired R & R. Or, if you and your lucky ladies fancy a posh seaside spa escape, there’s plenty of luxurious Sussex seaside hotels, offering blissful spa packages.

Country Hen Weekend Getaways

Getting away with your favourite girls and having a great time is surely what a hen do is all about? Take time away from the busy planning of all things wedding and enjoy a weekend in a rural Sussex cottage, hotel or yurt even. With miles upon miles of rolling countryside in our stunning county, there’s no reason to go that far either! Check out Airbnb for some cute and quirky places to rent, you could even hire a chef in for an extra special nosh-up!

Sussex hen night ideas - country cottage

Vintage Hen Ideas

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in vintage hen do’s here in Brighton – and we can see why! From afternoon teas and retro makeovers to photo shoots and even chorus line dance classes, a nod back to nostalgic days gone-by is a great option for an all-ages hen party. 1930′s inspired tea-house, Metrodeco in Brighton has some fun vintage hen packages and you can check out co-owner Helen’s vintage inspired Brighton wedding here on Love Sussex Weddings too!

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A Handmade Wedding & A Rustic Sussex Barn Wedding Venue ~ Kristie & Aaron

To say childhood sweethearts Kristie and Aaron’s beautiful Sussex barn wedding was a personal affair would be an understatement! There were a plethora of homemade delights, photos of late family members and the couple’s gorgeous schnoodle, Alfie even strutted his stuff down the aisle, after the bride! Held in a charming and rustic Sussex barn wedding venue too. Grab that cuppa, your notebook and maybe a hanky or two, we think you’re going to need it… Here’s their beautiful wedding film by HD Moments.


Here’s gorgeous summer bride Kristie to tell us more…

We met at Chichester College, we were both in the same psychology class. Something about Aaron had caught my eye and the feeling must have been mutual, as Aaron later confessed he would collect worksheets to give to me when I had been absent so that I would notice him. We started speaking and the rest, as they say is history, ten years later; we have been to university together, travelled around the world, bought our first home, added our schnoodle Alfie to the family, married and are now expecting our first baby in June. It’s been quite a journey!

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A Blush Sussex Barn Wedding ~ Emily & Ryan

Today we’re bringing you one ruddy stunning Sussex wedding, in the form of Emily and Ryan’s beautiful barn big day. It’s made us laugh, cry and smile simultaneously – and we’re sure you’re going to love it too!

Having found their gorgeous Sussex barn wedding venue on Love Sussex Weddings, Brighton couple (and avid Love Sussex Weddings readers) Emily and Ryan, planned their sensational September wedding in just six months and boy, oh, boy, did they get hands on! From creating their stationery and wooden table plan to making over 200 decorative pom-poms (and also roping good ole grandad in to make wooden signage), this creative couple injected their elegant style into their dream day.

Here’s blooming bride Emily to tell us about making quick decisions, getting hands-on and falling in love… in a car park!

Ryan and I met in Rottingdean when we had gone for a drink with friends. We had mutual friends but hadn’t met each other before. Ryan described in his wedding speech that love pops up in unusual places and for us it was in a Rottingdean car park outside Tesco Express!

Ryan and I are both born and raised in Brighton so we wouldn’t have wanted to get married anywhere else – we went to look at many venues, but as soon as we visited Laughton Barns we knew it was the one. We took our parents straight back who loved it too, so we were reassured it was the perfect choice!

We did a lot of research online, browsed lots of magazines, I went to the Wedding Fayre at the Amex stadium which was really helpful, we had many recommendations from family and friends and Love Sussex Weddings was brilliant for local suppliers, inspiration and ideas. We found the venue and Sussex Love Bug from Love Sussex Weddings too.

The venue gave us inspiration!

Finding the venue started the inspiration for us as Laughton Barns gave us the opportunity to do pretty much anything we wanted – once it was booked, I couldn’t wait to get started. Pinterest had so many ideas for barn weddings so I had lots of pin boards for each part!

A traditional wedding, with less formality…

We opted for a relaxed, country rustic theme. We wanted to have a traditional wedding but a little less formal and a little more relaxed. We had lots of flowers and wooden signs for decoration, and made the most of the open space at the venue by having garden furniture and games outside for everyone to enjoy.

We were very lucky to have a warm and dry day which allowed us to have our service outdoors Ryan and I stood underneath the hood of the barn roof and our guests were sat outside.

Personal and oh-so-pretty touches

We made our favours using hessian bags and having a personalised stamp made with our initials and date of our wedding and tied wooden pink and green heart name tags to them so they also worked as name places.

My grandad made us wooden signs for our order of the day, directing guests to the ceremony and restrooms and also names for the back of each chair on the top table.

We made over 200 pom-poms to hang in the main barn under the chandeliers and on beams, and also on the chairs for the ceremony.

For our table plan, we painted an old wooden ladder and decorated it with ivy and flowers.

As our guest book, we had a wedding tree, where each guest stamped their fingerprint and added their name next to it which we can now hang on our wall at home.

We had a photo booth set up in the evening and had a large wooden heart next to it with nametags hung on it for every guest. Everyone went into the photo booth and replaced their nametag with their Polaroid so at the end of the night it was covered in everyone’s photo – it was so much fun and looked amazing!

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Seaside Wedding Ideas ~ Wedding in a Teacup

Living in sunny Sussex, with miles of gorgeous coastline and beaches nearby, it’s no surprise that the seaside inspires many a local couple’s wedding theme.

Whether you’re thinking of a rustic and relaxed beach-inspired big day, with hessian, sea shells and driftwood additions or fancy a more kitsch affair, influenced by our seaside towns and cities – think kiss-me-quick hats, fish and chips and rock wedding favours, there’s so much seaside scope for Sussex brides and grooms to inject into their dream day!

Who better to give us some inspirational wedding theme ideas than Brighton-based online retailer Wedding in a Teacup (who sell fabulous wedding accessories, stationery and gifts – many of which incorporate the seaside trend!)? Over to the team to hear more…

The Invitation

Your invitation is your chance to hint at the absolute treat that lies ahead, it will tell your guests the practical details, and give them a foretaste of the day too!  Will it be a formal or relaxed affair? Will you be having a BBQ on the beach or a three course sit down meal? Set the tone with something special that can grace any mantelpiece. Our nautical invitations even come with their own little anchor charms!

Setting The Scene

Your venue décor is where you can really let your personalities shine – romantic driftwood and seaweed decorations; kiss-me-quick hats for the photo booth! Opt for subtle seaside touches or go all out. Provide deckchairs for lounging; they’ll look great and feel even better! Navy and white look wonderful against natural wood, if you’ve got plain wooden tables why not make your own striped runners for the perfect seaside backdrop? String our nautical-coloured tassel garlands or aqua tissue pompoms from wooden beams, and use huge white balloons to make eye-catching table centre-pieces. Tie up cutlery with seashells cotton ribbon and add a luggage tag for the place name. Just Married lanterns are perfect for a beach wedding and make for a fabulous photo!

Wedding Favours

We love wedding favours that work hard for their money as place names and table decorations too! Edible favours always go down well; pack fudge or cookies in striped Kraft goodie bags tied with nautical saddle stitch ribbon; tie on a luggage tag stamped with a swallow or an anchor and the guest’s name. Or splash out on luxury personalized shell, fish, starfish and seahorse soaps – they look and smell exquisite. Sailors practically invented tattoos and temporary tattoos make fab favours and great ice-breakers – choose seaside-themed swallows, anchors, mermaids and ships. Great for the young and young at heart, and fab for photos too!

Entertaining the kids

Are you inviting little ones along to celebrate too? If you’re on a beach, you have the perfect play park to hand. Run a sandcastle competition; send them off with buckets to gather shells! If it’s more formal, keep the kids happily quiet during the speeches by presenting them with Colour- In, seaside-themed goodies. The vibrant design of our sandcastle or pirate placemats (that can later, brilliantly, be cut out and worn as hats – it all adds to the nautical look!) will grip their imaginations and are tolerant of scribbles wandering between the lines. Use our Seashells Ribbon to tie together with our traditional wax crayons for the perfect bundle of seaside fun!

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A Cosy Pre-Christmas Wedding at Long Furlong Barn ~ Victoria & Nick

Summer may be quickly approaching, but this week we’re taking you back to those magical few days just before Christmas for London couple; Victoria and Nick’s beautiful barn big day!

With rustic and romantic touches (including an aisle lined with twinkling candles, strings of fairy lights and one helluva naked cake – just WAIT ‘till you see it!) our bride and groom wanted an intimate family-focused West Sussex wedding and boy-oh-boy, did they pull it off!

Here’s gorgeous bride Victoria to tell us more about her Long Furlong Barn wedding:

We chose to get married in Sussex because we love Sussex and spend many weekends in Hove visiting Nick’s parents. Nick went to school in Lancing and we were looking in the area for a reception venue. When we found the barn we fell in love with the location, setting and atmosphere so decided to have the whole day there.

We did a lot of online research, using blogs, searches and websites. We attended a few wedding fayres and also looked for ideas in magazines to gain wedding day inspiration. I’d describe our big day as a soft, sparkling, cosy family winter wedding.

We completely booked up Findon Manor Hotel for our close family. I spent Friday evening there with family, having a relaxing meal and enjoying cuddles with my nieces and nephews (as well as them soaking my bathroom, enjoying the Jacuzzi bath!), perhaps not every brides relaxing wedding eve but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Waking up the morning after the wedding to have breakfast with everyone in the hotel was so lovely too.

A Few Close Calls…

Three days before the wedding, Nick had food poisoning, so we spent a night in A&E and he was just about well enough to stand at the end of the aisle!

The Mother of The Groom was wearing a beautiful kimono type cover up and the tassels draped into one of the candles lining the aisle. There was a brief moment of panic when sparks flew. We were signing the register at the time and our faces must have been a picture!

Fabulous Favours

We chose to donate to a cause very close to both of our hearts and gave the adults Cancer Research Pins. We also gave adults mini bottles of Taylors Port. Children received Hotel Chocolat reindeers, a selection of activity books and our littlest guest who was just one month old, a Jelly Cat reindeer soft toy.

THAT Cake…

Not huge lovers of icing we decided to go with a naked cake. This was four delicious tiers of: rich chocolate torte with white chocolate buttercream, amaretto and blueberry sponge, rich chocolate torte with dark chocolate orange buttercream and lemon drizzle sponge with limoncello. It was AMAZING!

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