Hannah and Chris held their rustic East Sussex countryside wedding last August in the picturesque Michelham Priory and continued their celebrations with a barn reception at The Sussex Barn, in Hellingly.
Grab a cup of tea and clear the next ten minutes from your diary; you’re going to be lusting after this gorgeous wedding and the delicious slice of Sussex summertime it brings. . .
Over to the beautiful bride Hannah to tell us more:
“Christopher proposed to me in one of my favourite places; Cornwall. We stay in Fowey every year which is a beautiful small town on the edge of an estuary. The morning of the proposal he made us a packed breakfast of soft cheese and salmon rolls. We went on a very picturesque walk with fantastic views across to Fowey, we stopped and he nervously asked me.
At the end of the walk we met my parents, brothers, auntie, uncle and cousins at a little pub for lunch. I waited for my Dad to spot the ring, needless to say we celebrated that day with fine food and plenty of champagne whilst overlooking the estuary! It was wonderful!
We chose to get married in Sussex as we live here and so do the majority of our family and friends. It’s a beautiful place too!
We searched the web for venues and quickly found the Sussex Barn and discovered that Michelham Priory held wedding ceremonies, they were easy choices!
I would describe the wedding theme as countryside-y, relaxed and most importantly, fun! We didn’t have specific colours for the day. We used loads of different flowers of a variety of colours! My bouquet was pink, green and cream and Chris’s groomsmen wore green waistcoats, keeping it relaxed and fitting in with our outdoorsy theme.
We did things OUR way
One of my wedding highlights was being creative, sharing ideas and then seeing it all come together.
We made the invites ourseves doing some embossing and using some wooden laser cut hearts from ebay (attaching a label inside about gifts). We had lots of comments about how nice they were.
I made my own hair vine and bracelets for the bridesmaids and my mum, to keep the costs down and also get exactly what I wanted.
We were both driven by our Dad’s to the ceremony! I was driven by my Dad in a mint green camper van, while Christopher and his dad travelled in Audi A8.
With the help of our Mums, we loved going to charity shops and car boot sales and finding vases, jugs and tea pots. We then bought flowers leading up to the day and did all the table flowers ourselves. Chris’s parents also collected demi-jons and put sunflowers in these for lining the edges of the aisle.
We also made the place names using brown card label tags, we stuck lace ribbon and a wooden ladybird to them and wrote the names on ourselves, then pinned them on to an apple.
Each ‘table name’ was a post card with an image of myself and Chris that we regarded as one of our happy memories and on the back of the card it explained that memory.
Our gorgeous family and friends made our bunting and donated blankets for the hay bale sofas at our reception. We just couldn’t have done any of it without the love support and generosity of our parents, family and loved ones!
My mum made the most spectacular cake, it turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined. I asked for a posh Victoria sponge made with cream and strawberries. I wanted it to look delicious and rustic. We stuck roses around it and used some chandelier crystals from my Nanny to hang from the floating tiers
Grab a partner and do-se-do!
Our Barn reception was perfect. We had hops around the beams in the barn, table flowers in jugs and pots and buckets of flowers and demi-jons with sun flowers in were dotted about outside between hay bale sofas with blankets over them. We had bunting around the different outbuildings and fairy lights and lamps set up in the lean-to barn. It was exactly what we wanted!
We had a great time playing country games with our guests such as toad in the hole and tug of war. We also had a hay bale sofa set up with some painted signs to hold so our guests could take some fun photos!
Completing the rustic feel, we indulged in a hog roast, followed by brownies and rocky road for pudding, all supplied by the fabulous Food Glorious Food. They dealt with absolutely everything from the table top up, and were so attentive making sure everything was perfect. The food was outstanding and they made everything exactly the way we wanted it. We’d recommend them to any couple!
My top tip would be: to use all the lovely resources and surroundings Sussex has to offer. If you start early enough you can do loads yourself and it really does make a massive difference to both your budget and gives a personal touch that is noticed by everyone.
If We Could Do It All Again We Would… Do it exactly the same!
Wedding photographer Clare Fitzgerald
Reception Venue: The Sussex Barn
Bride’s dress: Whyte Weddings
Bridesmaids dresses: Noa Noa
Groom/Groomsmen outfits: Moss Bros
Rings: Alexis Dove in Lewes
Flowers: The Flower House in Burwash
Caterers: Food Fabulous Food
Wow, we love this wedding! It looked like so much fun was had by all and there are sooo many pretty details, from the rustic and homemade/charity shop bought decorations, to that naked cake.
The relaxed vibe came across perfectly in these stunning images, so big thanks to Clare FitzGerald, from FitzGerald Photographic for snapping and sharing these with us (you can see more of her perfect pics on her new look website too!) and of course thanks to the beautiful bride and gorgeous groom, Hannah and Christopher for letting us see their amazing big day, we had almost forgotten what a sunny summer’s day in Sussex looks like!