This week, we’re heading back to Victoria and Martin’s utterly creative big day in Brighton. Expect bunting galore, cute DIY ideas, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Funfair inspired party, some quirky special guests and a beautiful Brighton beach sunset.
Back to Brighton bride Victoria to tell us all about their amazing wedding reception:
“We searched all over town and beyond for our wedding venue but Fabrica was where we felt we could achieve our vision whilst at the same time making the most of the venue’s own charm and character.
Our gorgeous reception venue was styled with lots (and I mean lots, about 500 meters) of bunting over the dining area and festoon lights over the dance floor.
The venue itself is right in the city with no outdoor space, so we brought the outdoors in by creating a garden for guests to use as a drinks reception area.
There were benches covered in artificial box hedging, toadstools for side tables and a white picket fence and rose arch to walk through. There was additional soft seating from some granny-chic armchairs thrifted from boot fairs over the summer and a big leather chesterfield sofa.
To make it all a bit cosy it was dressed with a big rug, a collection of standard lamps and a big antique globe drinks cabinet that was actually filled with pick-n-mix for guests to help themselves to.
The cake table was a beaten up old wooden desk that had been painted and distressed, and sat next to that was an antique dresser that I up-cycled by popping out the glass panes and replacing with chicken-wire so that I could peg photos of myself and my husband from when we were little, plus photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days.
We Had ‘Tea At The Ritz’
We ditched the idea of a traditional sit down three course dinner for our wedding breakfast for a few reasons. 1) Knowing how highly strung we would be on the day, we couldn’t imagine ourselves being able to enjoy a big meal. 2) The choice is always so limited (beef or chicken… why is it always beef or chicken?!) and we wanted more variety and 3) I love cake.
So in keeping with the tea party vibe of the day we opted for a “Tea at The Ritz” menu which had a selection of dainty sandwiches, honey & mustard sausages, cheese & paprika straws, incredible pork pies, summer vegetable pies and three different types of cake. All washed down with pots of tea and bottles of bubbly.
Chim-Chimney (A Surprise Guest Appearance!)
As the wedding breakfast serving was finishing, we had a surprise guest appearance from a lucky chimney sweep and his cat. It’s an old tradition that it’s good luck for a bride to see a chimney sweep on her wedding day, and where I hail from in Rochester there is an annual sweeps festival I used to attend with my late nan every summer, so it was like bringing a little bit of home down to Brighton.
We’re huge fans of theme parks so wanted to bring a little fun of the fair to the party. We had lots of fun things for our guests to get involved in. Each place setting included a portrait card for guests to draw themselves (or each other!) as a bit of an ice-breaker when everyone sat down. We asked people to post them in our postbox so we could gather them all up to turn into one of those tea towels you made at school.
The photobooth was a DIY backdrop, some dressing up props from Etsy and an instax camera – it saw a lot of action throughout the night and was a hit with everyone. We requested the photos be pegged on to twine wrapped around the venue pillars so we could gradually create a hall of fame/shame as the night drew on.
There was a Scalextric set which opened after dinner to keep everyone entertained whilst my husband and I disappeared to have some wedding photos taken as the sun started to set on the beach. I thought it was going to be a boys’ zone all night, but the girls took home the trophy for the fastest lap at the end of the night!
We also had a lot of fun breaking out of the reception for a while with our best man, bridesmaids and their partners to go have some photos taken on Brighton beach. It was such a beautiful sunny day, the beach was still packed after dinner and people were so lovely congratulating us, cheering us, telling me how beautiful my dress was.
I heard a little girl tell her mum she had “just seen a real princess”, so cute! We took a ride on the carousel and our amazing photographer captured some incredible shots of us all whizzing around. We walked down to the water for some more photos, my dress got absolutely filthy underneath, but really, I didn’t care – I definitely got my money’s worth!
Always remember the bigger picture. Take up offers of help from friends and family – it will make you feel so well supported and your helpers will feel honoured to play a part in your big day. We’ll never forget the part, big or small, that so many people played in making our dream day happen, and they’ll always be special to us.
Also, DIY as much as you can enjoy. We took on all sorts – woodwork, stationary, thrifting furniture, venue dressing, venue flowers, even the disco was a DIY effort (premium spotify account and a hired PA system) and whilst I’d say we probably saved a fair bit of money in doing so, it was more important to us that we got exactly what we wanted and we put our heart and soul into everything.
Our first dance was to Randy Newman’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me from the Toy Story soundtrack. When it started to play everyone let out an audible “Awwwwwwww” – I think it was both an unusual but at the same time obvious song choice for us.
The entire day was an absolute blast and it would be difficult to pick just one part as it was all awesome. But, the moment when you look around and see all your nearest and dearest having fun with folks they haven’t seen in a while, getting to know new friends and seeing everything you’ve worked so hard for finally come off, that’s a really great feeling.
We spent two weeks on Maui followed by a few nights in San Francisco on the way home.
Wedding photographer: Danni Beach Photography
Wedding Venue: Brighton Town Hall
Reception Venue: Fabrica Art Gallery, Brighton
Bride’s dress and hair accessories: Allure from Leonie Claire
Bride’s shoes: Blog Peep by Russell & Bromley
Bride’s lace ankle socks: The Sock Shop
Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Nicola Downey
Bridesmaids’ dresses: French Connection
Groom’s suit: Ted Baker
Groom’s shirt: Thomas Pink
Groom’s shoes: Russell & Bromley,
Groom’s cufflinks: hand-painted wooden from Etsy
Groom’s tie: Tie Rack
Groom’s ring: from the Harmony range at Goodman Morris
Bride’s ring: the Coco collection at Baroque Bespoke Jewellery
Cake: Brighton Bakery
Flowers: Bouquets & buttonholes by Miss Mole’s Flower Emporium
Rented PA system from Boath Audio Visual
Stationery: Designed by the groom, printed locally at One Digital bespoke duo-coloured envelopes from PP Envelopes
Transport: Brighton Taxis
Décor: Etsy, Not on the High Street and eBay
Catering: Buns To Banquets, Angel Food Bakery, Pick n Mix sweets from Hancocks
Chocolate cigars by Venchi from Chocolate Buttons
Wedding favours: Pots of Victoria Plum jam for the ladies from Krissy of Sussex, Taylor’s port miniatures ordered from Just Miniatures
Scalextric track: Pro Slot Racing
Prop hire: Theme Works Weddings
Lucky Chimney Sweep: Milborrow Chimney Sweeps …………………………………………………………………………………………..
Wow, where do we start when summing up this quirky and creative Brighton wedding? From the big-screen live-feed of the ceremony for all their guests (check out Part One for more about this), to the wonderland that was their tea-party-perfect reception, this wedding is brimming with great ideas and beautiful DIY details.
The bride looked stunning in her fitted lace dress, complete with swan lake-esque feather shrug and cute retro pop socks, and we just can’t get over how gorgeous these beach shots are (gushes of “ooh’s” and “aah’s” from Love Sussex Weddings HQ!)
A huge thank you to fantastic photographer Danni from Danni Beach Photography for sending us these photographs and of course Victoria and Martin for sharing their unforgettable day with us – if you plan on renewing your vows in the future, do send us an invite!