A Beautiful Outdoor Wedding, with Lakeside Vows and Glamping

All images in this post copyright of Darren Cool

In July 2012, when Brighton-based Hanna (who you may know as Brighton Juice FM‘s breakfast show presenter) and partner Richard tied the knot, they knew they wanted a personalised outdoor affair. But with their dream venue not having a marriage licence, they decided to have two ceremonies (and two dresses!) over two days. This could send many brides into a marriage-planning meltdown, but as this week’s beautiful bride, Hanna explains, it was easier (and even more fun!) than they first thought:

“Rich proposed at Cuckmere Valley, East Sussex and it was a complete surprise. I thought he was taking me for a picnic and cooking a chicken for me as a treat (he’s a vegetarian) and that thought was romantic enough, so the proposal by the beach blew me away! We went to a Seth Lakeman gig afterwards and he’d arranged a night at The Grand in Eastbourne and had even packed all my clothes in preparation! We had fish and chips on the beach and phoned friends and family. The shock made me get quite drunk on an empty stomach and I was very hungover at breakfast the next day. Not so romantic! We chose to get married in Sussex as it’s where I’m from and we both love the area. Carters Corner Farm belongs to a family friend and I have always dreamt of getting married there. They don’t have a license so we decided to do the “official bit” with eight family members at Brighton Town Hall, the day before. We then celebrated with croissants and champagne at Plateau afterwards with more family and friends.

Our humanist ceremony (on day two!) was perfect; set by the lake and we’d both written our own vows. I didn’t know what Rich had written about me and it was just beautiful, that was definitely one of my most memorable moments!

The internet is a great place for inspiration but we were always careful that we stayed true to what we loved! Our main wedding inspiration came from our lives! I’m half French so we had French wine in casks and cheese and bread galore in the evening. We translated the whole wedding for our French family. We also aren’t very “weddingy”/pristine people so we wanted something really casual and laid back. We didn’t have a theme; we just wanted to keep it as natural and chilled out as possible. We did everything ourselves with a lot of help from friends and family. We planted herbs for favours which doubled up as place names, my dad made personalized bottles of elderflower champagne (as well as letting us use his camper vans!) and my friends all helped me make the bunting on my hen weekend. We borrowed china, decorations and made lots of the food. My sister even made the gorgeous cake. We got a Polaroid camera and a marker and got friends to take pics in frames hung on trees, they then wrote on them for our guestbook. We got a friend to make our invites too. People love having something to help with and it made the whole day so special and personal.

I really loved the thought of having everyone we loved in one place together. It’s so special and that doesn’t happen very often. We wanted lots of ways for family and friends to feel a big part of it. We did a playlist on Spotify for the day and evening which guests picked on our RSVP vintage postcards. I enjoyed all of the planning process. The only part I found hard was someone else doing the food in the day (which was delicious) but I struggled not having 100% control of it. We spent most of the budget on food and drink! We wanted to make sure everyone was well fed and watered! My Top Tip Would Be To…

Remember why you are getting married. You can get sucked into thinking things need to be a certain way but you just need people you love in one place! I got my dress for Friday’s ceremony in the sale at Zara for £20 and then my Saturday dress from Monsoon for under £200 and I loved them both! Even better, I wasn’t gutted when they were both covered in red wine and grass stains by the end of the day!  If we could do it all again we would…? Do it exactly the same! Team Wedding:

Wedding photographer:  Darren Cool Images

Wedding venue: Carters Corner Farm, Cowbeech, East Sussex

Bride’s dress: Monsoon

Bridesmaids dresses: Monsoon

Groom’s outfit: Gresham Blake

Rings: Ring and Grains of Gold

Catering: Kettle of Fish

How blooming gorgeous was this wedding? We thought the two ceremony idea was a fab way of getting exactly the wedding Hanna and Richard had always dreamed of, while still keeping it low-key and casual!

The beautiful marquee reception looked utterly stunning in the summer sunshine and we love all the creative touches they added to their day.

We can’t not mention how elegant Hanna looked in her less-than-£200-dress (take us shopping, please?) and how dapper groom Richard looked in his Gresham Blake suit too – such a lovely-looking couple!

Massive thanks to the not-so-newlyweds for sharing their wonderful wedding with us and to Darren Cool for letting us see these fabulous photos!

Check back soon with us if you are thinking of holding your own humanist ceremony, as we have an interview with a lovely local celebrant coming soon. Watch this space for a fab wedding ring offer too! Right we’re off to tune in to Hanna’s ace breakfast show over on Brighton’s Juice FM.

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