Rachel and Dan from Saltdean held their colourful humanist ceremony at Pangdean Barn, East Sussex in March this year (they held an intimate legal ceremony at Brighton Registry Office the day before). Rachel and Dan first met at a mutual friend’s birthday and have been together since 2010.
Look out for Rachel’s DIY decor tips (including how to make those colourful paper pom-pom things), her resounding recommendation for wearing comfy sheepskin slippers on your wedding day and the best rainbow wedding cake we ever did see! The lovely photos today are by Rachel’s friend and Brighton wedding photographer, James Hedley of Velvet Wedding Photography.
Here’s what Rachel had to tell Love Sussex Weddings about her and Dan’s Sussex barn wedding…
Love Sussex Weddings: Hi Rachel, thanks for sharing your colourful Sussex wedding with us. Can you tell us why you and Dan chose to get married in Sussex?
Rachel: Hi, yes, we wanted to get married near where we live, as we met in Sussex and have made it our home.
LSW: So how did you find your wedding suppliers?
Rachel: Word of mouth and lots of online research. We didn’t attend any wedding fayres or buy wedding magazines.
LSW: OK and how about inspiration for your wedding?
Rachel: Pinterest had just gone live when we first got engaged and this site was really useful for finding inspiration and for keeping track of the ideas we had. We also spent a bit of time looking at US-based wedding/style blogs such as Style Me Pretty.
LSW: Pinterest is great isn’t it! Very more-ish too! Right, can you describe your wedding theme for us?
Rachel: Colourful! The very first thing we decided on having was the rainbow cake and this inspired a couple of other ideas. But we weren’t too hung up on the idea of following a ‘theme’, we just wanted to be sure the wedding reflected our tastes and interests.
LSW: The rainbow cake is brilliant, we love it! Now on to your ceremony, your venue was at Pangdean Barn in East Sussex right?
Rachel: Yes, I stayed at The Neo in Hove the night before, but we spent the whole of our wedding day at Pangdean Barn. We had a humanist wedding ceremony as the venue isn’t yet licensed for legal marriage ceremonies. We had been to the registry office in Brighton the afternoon before to take care of the legal part, with just my brother and Dan’s best man as our witnesses.
Nicky Currie, who owns Pangdean Barn and Hunger Pangs, completely lived up to her reputation for good food. Pangdean also organised a pay bar for our evening reception, and we provided all the wine and bubbly for the daytime, which we ordered from Majestic in Shoreham. We opted to have Cremant for our toasts, it’s a French sparkling wine made using the Champagne method (similar to Prosecco or Cava) and it’s a fraction of the price of a true Champagne but just as nice.
LSW: Great tip. So can you tell us about your wedding photographer?
Rachel: Our photogarpher was James Hedley. I’ve known James for a few years as he and I have some mutual friends in Brighton and once we’d decided that having professional photos of the day was important to us, I didn’t hesitate to ask James as I really like his style of photography. He was really easy-going and fun to work with.
LSW: And now your lovely dress and outfit. Tell us all!
Rachel: My dress was by Nicki Flynn ‘Sienna’ from Ocean Bride in Hove. My hair accessory also came from Ocean Bride, and I wore a pearl necklace from Grains of Gold which Dan bought for me as a wedding gift. We also had bespoke rings made by a jeweller in the Lanes.
I also treated myself to lingerie from She Said’s new bridal boutique on Ship Street.
I wore burgundy patent leather court shoes from Jones Bootmaker in Brighton I also wanted some flat shoes for the evening, but all the styles I tried were less comfortable than my heeled shoes, so I ended up buying some sheepskin slippers from Oliver Bonas. This is honestly one of the best decisions I made when planning my outfit, it was bliss changing into soft slippers after being on my feet all day and it meant I could enjoy bouncing around on the dancefloor all evening with our guests.
LSW: Love that you were dancing around in your slippers! How about your hair and makeup?
Rachel: Michelle from DNK Hair and Beauty Salon in Hove came to my hotel in the morning to style my hair and my Mum’s. I did my own make-up. All my products came from Bare Escentuals in the Lanes, the staff were really helpful and gave me loads of tips for applying my make-up correctly so I was completely confident with it on the day.
LSW: You did a great job. And how about Dan’s outfit?
Rachel: Dan had a bespoke tailored suit from Hugo Morris in the Lanes. The owner, Mark was really helpful and knowledgable and as he’s been in the business for a long time he had lots of helpful tips for us! Dan’s shoes were really fun and non-traditional, he wore red Vans Rowley Style 99’s from the Vans Store in Brighton. As a wedding gift I bought him some Paul Smith socks in the colourful ‘signature stripe’ pattern to wear on the day.
LSW: Mark from Hugo Morris is great isn’t he, he may be helping us out with some advice for grooms here on Love Sussex Wedding in the future too! Now, tell us about your colourful bridesmaids?
Rachel: My two bridesmaids wore different dresses, I wanted them to wear something they would feel fab in and could wear again after the wedding if they wanted to, so I asked them to go and choose their own outfits. My only request was that they were in a bright colour.
LSW: We love the whole mismatching bridesmaids thing too. OK so now let’s hear about your brilliant cake!
Rachel: We had five rainbow-layered lemon sponges with a simple white frosting. Made by Sada Ray at Flutterby Bakery. Sada also made the cute rainbow bunting which adorned the largest of the cakes.
LSW: Wow, we absolutely love your cakes, Sada has done them so perfectly too! And how about your gorgeous rainbow coloured wedding flowers?
Rachel: All bouquets, buttonholes and decorative flowers were from Lynnette Cash at Viva Verde in Hove.
LSW: Love! Now can you tell us a bit about the décor?
Rachel: As the venue was so beautiful we didn’t need to bring much in to dress it for the occasion. But we did have a couple of décor projects we worked on together which added a personal touch. The first was the bases used for the table centerpieces. I contacted a gardening business near my home town and managed to pick up (for free) some 30cm (diameter) oak logs from trees they had felled and the owner kindly put them through his band-saw and cut them into slices about 4cm thick. With my Dad’s help we sanded them to get the surfaces smooth and gave them several coats of clear varnish to stop them from drying out and cracking/warping. They looked really pretty on the tables with the flowers arranged on top in groups of mis-matched glass bottles and jars.
Our other project was the tissue paper pom-poms: we followed a Martha Stewart tutorial I found via Pinterest, they’re really easy to make and we were able to do the first part of the work a few months in advance, but they had to be assembled on-site as we wouldn’t have been able to transport them otherwise, we spent an exhausting five hours opening them out and hanging them from the venue’s ceiling two days before the wedding! The tissue came from Bluestar Packaging Supplies and I bought the wires and monofilament through Amazon.
LSW: Thanks for those great DIY tips Rachel. So can you tell us what you found difficult when planning for your wedding?
Rachel: The most difficult part of organising our wedding was standing by the decisions we’d already made together and not giving in to pressure from other people to do something different.
LSW: And finally, your favourite part of the planning?
Rachel: The best part was definitely working on the script for our ceremony with our celebrant, Ginny Collins, a humanist celebrant who we found through the British Humanist Association.
Photography: Velvet Wedding Photography, Brighton
Hotel bride stayed in before wedding: The Neo, Hove
Legal wedding ceremony wedding venue: Brighton Registry Office
Reception / Humanist wedding venue: Pangdean Barn, Pyecombe
Wedding cake: Flutterby Bakery, Brighton *
Groom’s bespoke suit: Hugo Morris, Brighton *
Groom’s shoes: Vans Store, Brighton
Bride’s wedding dress: Ocean Bride, Hove
Bride’s hair accessory: Ocean Bride, Hove
Bride’s necklace: Grains of Gold, Brighton
Bride’s lingerie: She Said, Brighton
Bride’s shoes: Jones Bootmaker, Brighton
Bride’s evening slippers: Oliver Bonas
Bride’s hair: DNK Hair and Beauty, Hove
Bride’s makeup: Purchased from Bare Escentuals, Brighton
Wedding flowers: Viva Verde, Hove
Celebrant: Ginny Collins, British Humanist Association
Wedding stationery: Designed by Rachel and Dan, printed by Face Media Group
DIY pom-pom tissue paper: Bluestar Packaging Supplies
DIY pom-pom wires and monofiliament: Amazon
Weddig wine: Majestic
Catering: Hunger Pangs
* =Find out more about these suppliers in our Love Sussex Weddings Velvet Wedding Photography for their photos today and a big thanks to Dan and Rachel for sharing their colourful Sussex wedding with us too. We especially loved their colourful ideas, Rachel’s handy DIY tips and that incredible rainbow striped wedding cake.
If you are thinking of decorating your own wedding venue with those fab tissue paper pom-pom thingys and can’t be doing with hours of making them yourself, then just delve into the Decor section of our Flutterby Bakery (who made the amazing rainbow cake) can also be found in our Wedding Cake category and Hugo Morris is of course in our Groom section too. Oh yes, and you can follow us on Pinterest too (if you are already a
addict member of Pinterest)!
Lots more wedding loveliness coming up soon on Love Sussex Weddings, including a beautiful seaside and Brighton-inspired wedding and a magical Sussex countryside tipi wedding. Plus watch out for our ‘Brides Bulletin Boards’ with details of some fab forthcoming events and bridal-wear sales in Sussex. You know the drill, stay tuned!