A DIY Sussex Festival Wedding ~ Freya & Chris

It may be just a month to go ‘till Christmas (and not to mention, FREEZING) but, we’ve been well and truly transported back to sunny August days, with Freya and Chris’ colourful festival wedding.

Not only did this creative couple do most things themselves (and completely think outside the box – just wait ‘till you hear what they did with their marquee!), but they also roped in their fab family and friends and even held their wedding reception at Freya’s family home, making it one of the most personal weddings we’ve seen yet. Aw!

Ready for a few minutes of summer sunshine? Grab a Pimms (OK, a hot chocolate) and enjoy!

The proposal                                                 

Chris proposed to me underwater whilst scuba diving in Honduras – he even brought the ring down with him!

Home is where the heart is

We chose to get married in Sussex because we wanted a festival feel for our wedding and my mum and dad’s garden was the perfect place for our reception. That, plus this being where I grew up, meant there really wasn’t anywhere else but Sussex to have our wedding.

We found suppliers by doing some browsing online but the rest was word of mouth from friends in the wedding catering business and friends in the wedding marquee industry. A family friend recommended our photographer Neil, who was brilliant.


We got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and from festivals, as well as ideas from family and friends.

We created this wedding ourselves…

We wanted to make it feel like a bright beautiful multi-coloured festival! We created this wedding ourselves, and so many fantastic family members and friends contributed. The only thing we hired were the glasses and the tables. We bought what wasn’t given or made, including the sound system, lights, etc. and we are now selling them on eBay! We imported our own marquees from India – we had to do this several months before and allow for shipping time but it only cost the same as the UK hire price, and we could sell them afterwards!

We made pretty much everything ourselves; the bar was made from old fence panels, the dancefloor was made from ply and paint, the seats were bales. I handmade the ties for Chris and the groomsmen.

Non-traditional touches

There was loads that was not traditional – we had a tug of war led by the bride and groom, our guests ate festival food rather than sitting down for a meal, we had fancy dress later in the evening with contributions from guests, and everyone including us camped on site. We had eco loos that were homemade!

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

Relax and enjoy it! Don’t stress about the little things.

What we enjoyed most about planning our wedding had to be…

Being able to think creatively!


Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Real Weddings, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sussex Countryside Wedding at Fitzleroi Barns ~ Sophie & Dave

So, Sophie and Dave’s romantic wedding (inspired by their love of the Sussex countryside) is ticking all of our wedding boxes today; there’s a beautiful barn, a bargain cake and a bride and groom really bloomin’ in love. It’s making us beam, as we sit here looking at it.

This gorgeous pair, who live in Worthing tied the knot on 4th July, this year at St Mary’s Church, West Chiltington (Dave’s family church – aw!) and continued their summer celebrations at Fitzleroi Barn in nearby Fittleworth.

Grab a cup of tea for five minutes and just lose yourself in this truly beautiful wedding! Here’s Sophie to tell us all…

We’d been friends for 7 years before we got together, it was all in the timing!

For his proposal, Dave did a lot of planning! My birthday was in the January, he gave me a card that said we were going to Paris for five days in February! Everyone was convinced he was going to propose but I was convinced he wasn’t as his brother proposed in Paris to his (now) wife and I knew Dave wouldn’t do the same.


Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Real Weddings, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Elegant and Enchanting Sussex Wedding Inspiration Shoot

This whimsically romantic inspiration shoot at Broyle Place in Lewes, East Sussex is the beautiful product of five locally-based wedding suppliers, and boy-oh-boy, is it pretty.

A real fairytale themed editorial, it features the dreamy designs of MODE Bridal (with lace dresses handmade in Rome), hand-crafted accessories by Donna Crain, enchanting hair and makeup by Catherine Bailey, wild flowers by Bettie Rose, all perfectly captured by Alexandra Joseph Photography.

Right, enough from us, we know you can’t wait to see more…



Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Inspiration Shoots | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Circa Events Introduce NEW Mobile Pizza Trailer!

Yep, you read that right. You and your lucky wedding guests can now indulge in a slice or two of pizza while you party, thanks to Brighton-based Circa Events’ latest venture: their mobile pizza oven, which, rather excitingly, looks like a cool cattle trailer and is the first of its kind in the UK!

From farm weddings to village hall ‘dos, picky kids to hungry nans, we think that this is one fun catering option fit for all venues and guests!

Say hello to Circa Pizza!

Circa Events are proud to introduce the newest member of the Circa Family – Circa Pizza. Presented on the back of a cattle trailer, our new mobile pizza oven is the only one of its kind in the UK!

Circa Pizza is the perfect addition to your wedding day or occasion, a truly spectacular event to wow your guests. Hand-stretched dough, topped with the freshest locally sourced ingredients, our rustic pizzas are beautifully crisp and light, with that real authentic Italian flavour.

Handmade on our farm in Brighton, we are very proud of our pizza oven creation. Hidden on a trailer usually used to transport livestock, our Clayburn oven fires temperatures up to 500C, to create crisp perfection.


Tagged , , , , , Leave a comment

Wedding Fashion Show for a Good Sussex Cause

Bubbly, a designer wedding dress catwalk and bridal goody bags – sounds like the perfect Friday night out, doesn’t it? Whatever your plans for Friday 30th October; rearrange, as there’s a Sussex wedding event that you definitely don’t want to miss!

Taking place at the stunning Hendall Manor Barns, near Uckfield from 7pm, the evening will see guests enjoy a glass or two of fizz (hey, it’s a bride-to-be’s prerogative!), canapes, live music, a dream dress catwalk, with sneaky peeks at 2016 collections from Maggie Sottero, Johanna Hehir, Stephanie Allin and Sottero and Midgley, AND will even have the opportunity to bid for some absolutely amazing prizes in an auction of promises! Best of all, all proceeds from the auction will benefit local hospice; St Peter and St James.

Just some of the items exciting us are: receiving £1000 off a Mathilda Rose wedding dress, bagging a designer wedding dress from Johanna Hehir and a photoshoot from Danni Beach Photography, oh and getting your hands on a pair of RTFJ diamond earrings… Get ready to start bidding, girls!


Posted in Bride's Bulletin Board, Competitions and offers, Wedding Dress Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Bev; The Sussex Wedding Gelato Bike!

Today we’re saying a big hello to Bev – an ice cream bike, available to hire for weddings throughout Sussex!

Here’s Brighton-based Circa Events to tell us more about the new addition to the Circa family…

Circa Gelato are working with local suppliers to bring you heavenly handmade ice cream all the way from sunny Brighton! ‘Bev’ the handmade gelato bike can travel across Sussex to your location!

All of our ice creams are made using fresh Sussex milk and cream with over 450 flavours to choose from.

Here are just a few to get you started… Eton Mess, Strawberry Cream Tea, Sea Salt Caramel, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Blood Orange, Lavender and Honey, Carrot Cake and Wedding Cake. We also cater for dietary requirements.


Posted in Bride's Bulletin Board, Seaside and Beach Wedding Ideas, Sponsored posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A DIY Summer Barn Wedding at South Stoke Farm, Arundel ~ Rozie & Al

Sunshine? Check. A country venue? Yep. Rustic DIY touches? You betcha! Rozie and Al’s summer Sussex wedding ticks all the beautiful barn wedding boxes and so many more. It’s well and truly brightened up our day!

This gorgeous couple (who live in Surrey) county hopped to Arundel in Sussex, near to where the groom grew up for a big day with DIY twist. They didn’t hire a traditional venue, got everyone involved making and creating and had a picnic instead of a traditional three course meal. Refreshing, non?

Here’s Rozie to talk inspiration, being a DIY bride and becoming obsessed with Excel spreadsheets:

We chose to get married in Sussex as while my family have moved around a lot, Al’s are based in West Sussex. Arundel is a beautiful part of the country and Al has fond memories of playing cricket there when he was younger.

For ideas, I looked at a couple of wedding magazines, but most of my inspiration came from Pinterest and ridiculous ideas I’d had since childhood! The wedding was completely DIY as we had a blank-canvas reception venue and we did all the planning ourselves. Excel spreadsheets became an obsession. There was a list for everything: guest contact details, cake arrangements, timings, table plan, usher responsibilities (you get the idea) and my friends and family still love to mock me about my over-organisation!


Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Real Weddings, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Natural, Tipi Wedding at Duncton Mill Fishery, West Sussex ~ Anna & James

Morning you lovely lot! Today, we’ve got one seriously stunning Sussex wedding to share with you, in the shape of Anna and James’ relaxed and rustic Duncton Mill Fishery ‘do, so go on, grab a cuppa and just lose yourself in the loveliness…

Anna and James (who now live in London) returned to the bride’s old stomping ground for their wedding in July this year, and boy, oh, boy was it a personal affair! This family and friend focused couple centred their big day around their loved ones (even having a man, rather than maid of honour, and seven best men!), and as we’re sure you’ll agree; had a day to remember!

We caught up with beautiful bride Anna to talk returning home to Sussex, ‘superstag’ and hen dos and hear one of the most romantic (we’re talking Hollywood-style!) meeting stories ever!

We met in August 2007 at Goring Gap in Worthing where we were introduced by our good friend Hiro. Hiro and James had grown up together in London. Hiro moved to Worthing with his family and I became good friends with him at high school.

James was due to do a ski season in Aspen, Colorado that coming winter so we were both a bit gutted that we had met at such a time. However, James invited me to Aspen for a holiday the following January. He taught me to ski and I had a wonderful time. I was heartbroken when it came to saying goodbye at the airport. James asked me to stay but I don’t think he thought that I would actually take his invitation seriously. I went home to Worthing, handed in my notice and returned to Aspen one month later. From Aspen we travelled around the USA, Mexico and then South America. We had an amazing adventure.

Once we returned home James got a job as a freight derivative broker and I got a job as a family legal executive in London and we moved in together, 3 years later.

Coming up to Christmas 2012, James suggested I pick my favourite restaurant for dinner on New Year’s Eve. My favourite restaurant just happens to be on a quiet, out of the way vineyard near Lucca in Tuscany.  We went for a walk in the afternoon and James got down on one knee, proposing with an Accessorize ring.  We came home and designed my ring together which took a while, as James became a bit of a sapphire expert and became obsessed with finding ‘the one’.

Stag and hen do’s

James had his ‘superstag’ white water rafting in Idaho, USA, with nine close friends and the dads.  I enjoyed a relaxing week in Dubai with family followed by a day in London with my best friends. My bridesmaids organised a Pedibus as a surprise so we pedalled our way around London accompanied by an awesome soundtrack and a few G&T’s. It was such a giggle.

We chose to get married in Sussex as, I grew up in West Sussex and my family and lots of friends still live there so it is full of happy memories for me. Both of us love the countryside and it wasn’t too far for our London guests to travel so Sussex made sense.

We fell in love with tipis!

We fell in love with the tipis at a friend’s wedding a few years ago before we were engaged. When we discovered Duncton Mill Fishery there was no question about it and it all fell into place.  We took our families to see three very different venues to get their opinions and it was a unanimous vote.

I would say Duncton Mill was our real inspiration and most parts of our wedding were focused on the natural beauty of the setting. Caroline Fleetwood at Duncton Mill was so helpful and the fact that it was a blank canvas really appealed to us. We got really excited about choosing everything ourselves, especially the food and wine.

We did the majority of our research online. Our photographer, Zara and singer, Chris Simmons, were both recommended to us by friends. I went to the National Wedding Show at Earl’s Court, near to where we live, which was a fun day out and good for getting ideas and trying on a number of dresses from lots of different designers in one day. We also looked at Love Sussex Weddings to get ideas for our photographs from other weddings.

Wedding colours…

Our bridesmaids (my best friend Alexa and James’s sister Nicola) wore pale dusty green dresses from Ghost. My two nieces, Yazmin and Milly, wore ivory dresses with green flowers inside the tulle and the groom’s party wore ties in the same green. We wanted everything to be simple and compliment the venue.  We had country meadow style flowers in jam jars on shepherd’s crooks going down the aisle and on the tables and my bouquet, tied with natural raffia, was the same. To keep it simple the bridesmaids carried bouquets of just daisies and the groom’s party had the same for their buttonholes.

A man of honour and seven best men

I had my best friend, Adam, as my ‘Man’ of Honour. James could not choose between his seven best friends so he had seven best men. Also our dads, a great family friend (Jason) and James’s great uncle were dressed in the same outfits as the best men. James’s brother in law to be, David, did us the honour of blessing us.  We chose our own vows and James wrote the script for the ceremony.

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

Practice wearing your dress and any accessories as much as you can so that you are confident in what you are wearing on the big day and don’t get any nasty surprises. If you are not having a videographer, make sure you put someone in charge of filming those important moments such as the speeches and first dance.

Personal touches

Personal touches were really important to us as our day was all about our family and friends and sharing our love with them. For us the wedding wasn’t just about us it was about them too.

We wanted to let them know how special each and every one of them are to us so we put a lot of thought into every detail and how it reflected the relationships we have with them and incorporated this as much as possible. Among other little touches, we bought handmade bride and groom robin cake toppers from Etsy  as we knew that these would be special to both of our mothers and they reminded me of my dad who travels all over the world bird watching.

For our invitations, an artist in Sussex allowed us to use a picture he had painted, that looked just like our venue and Ria Hickling created beautiful handmade invitations for us using the picture and tied with string.

We used my late grandfather’s old leather suitcase that had his initials on it, for cards. We lined the inside of the case with black and white photos of me and James. I got this and many other ideas from Pinterest.

We positioned our camera on a tripod pointing at two chairs with a chalk board for our guests to leave us advice. This produced some lovely pictures and the guests looked like they enjoyed doing this.

We had giant Jenga and Connect 4 for the children. There was a basket of fleece throws in case people got cold and a basket of flip flops for when the heels needed to come off.

We made party bags for the children containing wedding word searches and colour in the wedding cake. There was also a blank card in the bags for them to decorate and lots of the children made us cards which was nice. They had bubbles, stickers, bangles etc. in there. I also made hangers for the bridesmaids with their names in wire.


Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Real Weddings, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Sussex Wedding Venues

We’ve said it before and we have no doubt, we’ll say it again; but we are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to seriously swoon-worthy Sussex wedding venues! Whether you’re looking to tie the knot in an historical and iconic setting, a sleek city hotel or in a country Barn – you bet we’ve got it along with SO much more…

Getting Married By the Sea

From the bright lights of Brighton to the sandy shores of Camber Sands, so many couples from Sussex and further afield want to get married in a wedding venue near to the sea – and with grand seaside hotels, beautiful boutique hotels, magical city houses and iconic buildings (including Brighton Pavilion and Worthing Dome and coming soon the i360!) all available to choose from, we can certainly see why! If you’re looking for the perfect place to hold your beside-the-sea celebrations, have a peek at our latest beachy weddings.

Country Manor Wedding Venues

Ever fancied being Lord and Lady of the manor? Well, why not hold your wedding at one of Sussex’s stunning country house wedding venues; it is your big day after all! A lovely option for hosting your whole wedding in one location, without having to organise after-hours transport or overnight accommodation (as many offer rooms in their packages), country manors are a fantastic choice for elegant, exclusive weddings with that Downton touch… Check out our reader’s real life country weddings for some gorgeous wedding venue inspiration!

Garden Party Weddings & Sussex Barn Wedding Venues

If you like the idea of a wedding in the scenic Sussex countryside, but are dreaming about a relaxed day with cake, tea and a cheeky glass or two of Pimms, a garden party wedding sounds like your perfect match! Go vintage by hiring a pretty village hall, with outdoor space, rustic with a barn big day or (boho brides-to-be, we’re looking at you!) why not hold your wedding in a field or gorgeous garden – for the ultimate festival wedding? If you’re worried about the weather (it can be a fickle thing the Great British Weather, can’t it?), you could always hire a marquee or cool tipi! Here’s just a few of our favourite Sussex garden party, rustic barn and festival weddings.


Posted in Brighton Wedding, Country Weddings Sussex, East Sussex Wedding, Inspiration Shoots, Real Weddings, Seaside and Beach Wedding Ideas, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Sussex Summer Fete Wedding for all the Family ~ Emma & Tony

Roll up, roll up – today we’re heading back to Emma and Tony’s whimsical family summer fete wedding in July, this year.

This lovely Lindfield couple, with two children of their own, had a wedding that involved over thirty under 10’s at Westmeston Parish Hall in Hassocks, West Sussex, an outdoor ceremony AND vintage ice cream van. This really does look like one helluva FUN wedding…

We caught up with dapper groom, Tony to hear all about the inspiration behind their big day, getting friends DIY-ing and why he thinks mother in laws are ‘invaluable’:

The proposal

I proposed whilst on a day trip to Brighton with Emma and George (Sam was just an ever growing lump at that point). I had planned to propose on the beach but as it was a particularly bitter March day, I opted for the relative warmth or at least dryness of the Brighton Wheel instead.

Whilst on the Wheel I got down on one knee and popped the question. I had a whole speech prepared, explaining my love for her and how brilliant she was but I think in the end I was lucky to just mumble out something about how much I loved her and would she marry me.

My sisters who had inherited my mum’s engagement ring had very kindly offered it to me for Emma to have (assuming she said yes of course) and I was over the moon to hear the magic word “yes” come from her lips and for my mums ring to fit perfectly on Emma’s finger as it then became her ring.

After a few games of Dolphin Derby on the pier the three of us then had a ‘romantic’ fish n’ chip meal to celebrate!

We chose to get married in Sussex as we live here, think it’s stunningly beautiful and wanted to show it off to our families.

We wanted a child-friendly venue…

Our eldest child used to go to nursery at the Parish Hall and when it came to choosing a venue for our wedding it seemed an ideal choice. Having children we wanted a very child friendly/outdoor venue and knew that this place would fit the bill. Having found the venue we then sourced some of the main suppliers trying to go as local as possible.

I have always wanted my children to be present at my wedding. There is no one else in the world I wanted to see me devote the rest of my life to my amazing, lovely Emma than our gorgeous boys. We had also both always wanted a relaxed outdoor wedding and one that would be fun for our boys and all the other children present. This ruled out many traditional venues with limited outdoor space and prolonged periods of sitting down and so when we found that we could hire Westmeston Parish Hall we knew it would be the perfect venue.

The idea for the day was that it would be like a small relaxed summer fete and as such had a hog roast from the butchers in Lindfield and Vintage Scoops ice cream van to feed the masses. The whole day was pretty much outside, with about 30 under 10’s present we wanted plenty of green space for them to run round on.

We were legally married the day before…

We had been legally married the day before in Horsham so had much more leeway to do things our way for our ‘proper’ wedding. We got our good friend Will to be the celebrant and my best friend Vish and his amazing wife Susy decorated the whole venue and organised the whole day.

They are very creative and were able to make the place look even better than we could have possibly ever imagined. Suzy has an eye for what works and what doesn’t. We told her our ideas and she would run with it or amend it and explain why it would work better a different way and she was always right. They also made sure the whole day ran smoothly and allowed Emma and I to enjoy it stress free. I’m not sure I’ll ever say ‘thank you’ enough to both of them!

Being able to do it our way was brilliant!

Choosing a place that means so much to us and being able to have 100% control over how the place looked was wonderful. Also being able to choose all the suppliers to match our needs was great, down to being able to get my favourite Dark Star ales for the bar to serve.

My top tip for other Sussex grooms (and brides!) to-be are…

Simple can work and if there are going to be loads of children there, make sure it works for them as well as you. Happy children allow for a happy bride and groom! The most important guests were George and Sam’s best friends!

My least favourite part of wedding planning was…


Posted in Country Weddings Sussex, Real Weddings, West Sussex Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment