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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A Rustic and Romantic English Country Garden Michelham Priory Wedding ~ Keri & James (and bump!)

If there’s one thing that really makes us reach for our hankies, it’s seeing a bride with a bump! This week’s wedding is Keri and James’ rather marvellous East Sussex big day from June 2014, where our beautiful bride was four months pregnant and just starting to show – how magical?

Our lovely London couple tied the knot at St Andrew’s in Alfriston and carried on their elegant yet rustic celebrations with a reception at the nearby Michelham Priory. Enough from us – here’s Keri to tell us more:

It was August 2010 when we met. My mother received the rather elated call from me upon my return from my annual holiday to Ibiza. When I delivered the unexpected news that ‘I had met the one’ at the Blue Marlin beach bar, I think given the location of our meet she may have been slightly sceptical, but I was only going purely on her motherly advice that ‘when you know you really do know’, and I have never doubted it or looked back.

Three years on I was whisked away for a long weekend to the North East Coast of Majorca to a stunning hotel called Can Simoneta, part way through our stay at the old monastery, on a beautiful Saturday evening, just as the sun was going down I was taken for dinner to a private table, in a secluded location overlooking the sea to watch the sun go down where I was treated to some incredible food and even better wine!

James spent the whole dinner checking his watch and hurrying me through the meal so my hopes were dashed! I presumed there must be a rugby match on and thought nothing else of it other than being a little disappointed as I had hoped something may happened that evening given that romance doesn’t come naturally to James! We were met at the top of the path by the hotel manager who swiftly handed James a torch and I was ushered to the spiral staircase that took you down the cliff face to the water’s edge, the way had been part lit with hurricane lamps and tea lights. We navigated our way down the winding path, carefully following the candles that led our way. I was greeted at the end of the path, by a champagne bucket (thankfully with bottle in!) two glasses and several large hurricane lamps. I turned to face James to see what was going on and he was already down on one knee, wielding a ring. I guess my mum was right, when you know you know!

James had his stag do in Newquay with a small army of men who joined him there for the weekend, surfing, going to the beach festival and just general boozing. My hen was a slightly more civilised affair, given the news I was pregnant. I therefore allowed my hens to do my bit of the drinking and they did me proud! It all began in Chelsea for brunch at Tom’s Kitchen. We then descended on Chelsea Farmer’s Market and ended the day with dinner and cocktails at Nobu Berkeley, and then cocktails follow by a casino for the hard-core and bed for the pregnant and sensible!

We chose to get married in Sussex as we own an old Farmhouse in Arlington which neighbours Michelham Priory, so spend most weekends down exploring East Sussex. We wanted an English Country Garden / shabby chic theme with dusky pinks, whites and greys.


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An Intimate and Elegant Hotel du Vin Brighton Wedding ~ Olivia and Andrew

Thinking about going small and intimate for your Sussex wedding venue? Well read on for some gorgeous inspiration! We’re so excited to share with you Olivia and Andrew’s absolutely delightful Brighton wedding held at Hotel du Vin in July.

Inviting just thirty guests, having a pretty blush and grey colour scheme and adding some truly personal details (including a nod to Olivia’s late Nan), this summer wedding will have you smiling and reaching for your hanky at the same time!

We caught up with beautiful bride Olivia to hear about her stunning Brighton wedding day:

Hi Olivia! We’re so excited by your Brighton wedding! So, tell us why you chose to get married in Sussex and how you chose your venue?

We are both from Brighton and after visiting Hotel du Vin, we loved it, and booked it up straight away! 

It looks absolutely stunning! Where did all of your inspiration come from to create such a pretty day?

There was lots of looking through wedding mags, a lot of researching online including looking at Love Sussex Weddings, Pinterest and also recommendations from friends. I had a clear idea of what I wanted so it was just a case of putting it all together!

And it seems you did that perfectly. Your wedding seems a low-key, chilled affair – how did you make it look so easy?

We wanted to have a very small wedding with only 30 of our immediate family and close friends, it was really important to us to keep the day relaxed. We invited extra guest to celebrate with us in the evening.  

That’s a great idea. What other personal touches did you add to your big day?

So many! We had old wedding pictures framed of both of our parents’ weddings and my grandparents wedding on our guest book table. 

We had a Polaroid guest book with props, for our guest to take pictures of themselves, and stick it next to their note.

We had a candle at the bar to remember my Nan with a poem “we know you would be here today if heaven weren’t so far away.” 

Our page boys and flower girl had personalised toy bags with vintage toys in to keep them busy. 

We had a basket of “dancing shoes” near the dance floor for the girls to change into, a mixture of slippers and flip flops tied up with twine.

Adrianna, who did my dress alterations, used a button which was my nan’s to secure the train of my dress up for the evening, and she attached some blue ribbon which was also my nan’s to the inside of my dress for my something blue!

Oh, that’s so lovely! What a touching addition to your day. Did you have a go at making anything too?

I made lots of things! I made candle holders for the courtyard using old jam jars, lace and ribbon. I also customised my Nan’s candle in the same way and attached the note using a brown luggage tag.I made our table plan, I brought the birdcage for $10 in Orlando and customised it myself. I used brown table number tags and hand stamped them, I then brought a vintage rose garland to wrap around the edge of the bird cage. 

I used vintage photo frames to display our table names, our table names were our favourite pubs from Hove.

They look lovely! Nice pub choices too! So, if you had to pick, what did you enjoy the most about wedding planning?


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The Irregular Choice Wondrous Winter Wedding Collection 2014

Good news for Irregular Choice fans! The fabulously funky Irregular Choice Autumn Winter 2014 Wedding Collection is in store now. We heart Irregular Choice here at Love Sussex Weddings and we know loads of you ladies do too – we’ve lost count of the number of brides we’ve featured who’ve strutted down the aisle in Irregular Choice. And you know this internationally acclaimed brand started in Brighton right? Well where else!? We’re loving Pearly Girly, which ones would you choose?

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A Quirky and Creative Brighton Wedding at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse and Proud Cabaret ~ Sam & Tom

Some days when a wedding lands in your inbox, you get a tingle of excitement and just can’t wait to get it live so that you guys can swoon along with us – Hove based Sam and Tom’s quirky big day is definitely one of those weddings, it evokes ideas, inspiration and best of all – our day our way, attitude. We love.

Tying the knot at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, whilst showing a video they’d made together, this creative couple and their lucky guests then partied the November night away at Brighton’s Proud Cabaret.

Want to see more? We don’t blame you. Here’s beautiful bride Sam to tell us all:

Tom proposed in our favourite city, Paris, on the Pont Des Arts Bridge, at midnight on my 29th birthday with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. Cheesy for some, absolutely perfect for me!

We chose to get married in Sussex because it’s where we met, fell in love and have set up our home.

It was very important to us to let our wedding day represent the type of people we are and what we like doing so the venue choice was easy: we simply chose the places we liked going the most! The rest was done via the internet from sites such as Love Sussex Weddings. I found other people’s weddings really helpful and certainly borrowed ideas from them.

Hen and Stag Do Debauchery

I went to Berlin for my hen do, I had always wanted to go and thought that a weekend away with a small group of close friends would be awesome and it was. If you want history by day and debauchery by night, Berlin is the place for you.

The Stag’s went to Marseille, where a group of eight kayaked and camped along the Huveaune River enroute to a large industrial electronica festival.

Our theme was definitely ‘a little bit of us’, we wanted to mix all the stuff we like into one day. We really didn’t care if things didn’t go together, it was just meant to be a reflection of the everyday with just a hint of something special.

On Film

We shot a vast amount of footage throughout the year leading up to the wedding, edited it into a film and played it after the ceremony on the big screen whilst everyone ate popcorn. Besides the vows, it was my favourite part of the day as we managed to capture nearly everyone at the wedding on film and no one knew about it beforehand.

I think most of our wedding day was non-traditional!

We got married at the pictures, didn’t have a top table and had scantily clad men and women serve the wedding breakfast.

I suppose the biggest non-traditional aspect was the fact that we didn’t tell anyone where we were getting married. The wedding party and most guests stayed at the Hilton on the seafront the night before (and night of) the wedding. We asked them to gather at the hotel at 1pm where we whisked them away on an old bus to the venues. We did, however keep a few things semi traditional like our first dance (outro by M83) and cutting the cake.

DIY Bride

We made video invites and sent them out via email. We love making films and it cost no money, it just took us a bit of time to edit, but that was fun and people’s reactions were great.  We also did our own seating plans, and the general bits for the tables (in fact my Grandma came down from Suffolk a few days early and helped out which was great). I also made the button holes from feathers, leaves and a Christmas decoration, and my brooch bouquet I made by following various videos on YouTube!


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A Beautiful Outdoor Ceremony at Buxted Park ~ Francesca & Matt

This week we’re bringing you Kent- couple (and Love Sussex Weddings readers) Francesca and Matt’s utterly stunning outdoor Buxted Park wedding, before we go any further we must say, if you’re a fan of princess style dresses, you are going to love Francesca’s beautiful gown – it certainly made us swoon!

Filled with pretty, pink and vintage-inspired details, this dainty big day was all about understated elegance and romance. Enough giddiness from us, here’s Francesca to tell us all: Matt proposed whilst on holiday in Rhodes, I had no idea he was planning it, but one night after dinner whilst having an evening walk along the beach he got down on one knee, opened a box with a perfect diamond ring and asked me to marry him. I burst into tears and of course said yes! It was the perfect setting surrounded by palm trees under the stars. I was so surprised and amazed he had managed to get the perfect ring and ask my dad’s permission, all without me knowing!

We felt Sussex was the perfect location for our wedding due to its beautiful countryside and views. We chose Buxted Park as we felt it was an amazing venue with stunning grounds. We got married on the Coat of Arms Lawn and had our wedding breakfast in the Ballroom.

We both had a good idea of what we wanted for our day and used the internet and Pinterest to get ideas. We also loved Love Sussex Weddings, where we found inspiration for our big day and our amazing florists Pollen. Pollen provided additional decor for the day. We had large LOVE lettering in the background during the service, a vintage style white post box, lanterns and Mr and Mrs white wooden letter on the mantle piece.

Our wedding colours were blush pink and navy blue. My dress was called Peony, it was a mix between ivory and blush, the men wore navy suits and bridesmaids had blush pink dresses.

Pretty Personal Touches

Matt is a designer so he designed all the invitations, table plan and table names. He also came up with our table names, which were Cockney rhyming slang with a wedding theme, for example the top table was Horse and Carriage aka marriage, this was a fun touch that had guests guessing.

We also created our own sweet table! We purchased bulk sweets online with paper bags to match our colour theme. We then got sweet jars from Ikea and tied blush ribbon in bows around them. Matt designed typography pieces to be displayed which referenced love and sweets and we sprinkled the table with love hearts. It looked amazing and was a fraction of the price.

Movie Music

I walked down the aisle to Pachebels Cannon in D, this is a piece of music we both liked and wanted something traditional to start the ceremony.

We are both big Pixar fans and wanted to have music meaningful to us, so chose a selection of music from the films to be played during the signing of the register.

We finished by walking back down the aisle to one of our favourite songs You and I by Crystal Fighters.

Our first dance song was I Luv you by The Ordinary Boys this was a special song to us which was released in 2007, the year we got together. [CLICK TO READ MORE]

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A 1950s Inspired Wedding at Brighton Town Hall & The Old Ship Hotel ~ Emma & Matt

Good golly Miss Molly, have we got a perky and preppy vintage treat in store for you this week? Courtesy of quirky couple Emma and Matt from Hove, and the oh-so-fabulous Fitzgerald Photographic, this May wedding takes us back to the rock ‘n roll era with vintage vinyls, retro coke bottles and swoon-worthy tea-length dresses.

Are we ready? We caught up with bride Emma, a Love Sussex Weddings reader, to hear all about her beautiful Brighton big day:

Hi Emma! You’re wedding looks a real stunner, but before we get down to the nitty-gritty, tell us – how did Matt propose?

Matt proposed whilst on holiday in Dublin, we’d gone out for a nice romantic meal and then for a walk around the city. We walked into Trinity College and under the Campanile where he got down on one knee and proposed…

How romantic! So why did you choose to get married in Sussex?

We both grew up in and around Brighton so wanted to get married by the sea.

We don’t blame you at all – Brighton’s a great place to tie the knot. How did you come up with your fun 1950s theme?

We loved the idea of a 50s style wedding as we both enjoy the music and the fashion and thought it would make fun, relaxed day.

It certainly looks like a great day was had by all! Did you do anything vintagey for your hen and stag dos?

We hen’s went to the Grand Hotel for Afternoon Tea and a boozy afternoon at Jamie’s Italian, while the stag’s visited Brighton Pier for the arcades, played Lazer Zone and finished off with a trip to Komedia.

Sounds like great fun! We hear that your groom had been a bit sneaky and ordered you a gorgeous wedding car to take you to the ceremony… how amazing was that?

Matt completely surprised me with a beautiful black and chrome Oldsmobile from Bugsy Car Hire. It was amazing, the driver (Graham) was fantastic and came fully decked in a proper vintage style suit, we had so many people stop and admire the car it was just brilliant.

Wow – we’re impressed! We loved the vintage touches you added to your big day. Can you tell us a bit about them?

We used 7” vinyl singles as place settings/favours and glass bottles of coke with a red and white striped paper straw tied to it as favours to keep within the 50’s theme.

They look great! Do you have any tips for other Sussex brides to be?

Make lots of lists! Make sure you keep on top of the budget, review it at least once a month and above all, don’t panic!

Great tips! You just can’t beat a good ole list can you? So, what did you enjoy most about wedding planning?


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