A Vintage Inspired DIY Wedding at Buckhurst Park, East Sussex

In need of some summer cheer? We’ve got just the tonic in the shape of Hove-based Bev and Rod’s jubilant July wedding.

Tying the knot at the beautiful Buckhurst Park (after an invitation to do so by Lady De La Warr herself, we must add!) and then continuing their vintage celebrations with a fun afternoon tea party in Eridge Village Hall, this is the stuff summer wedding dreams are made of.

So, pull up a pew and get ready to pour yourself a Pimms. Over to beautiful bride, Bev to hear all about her big day:

“Me and Rod met at Brighton Peace and Environment Centre’s New Years Eve Party in 2007. I only just made it out that night due to having just moved and having a stinking cold/flu bug! Somehow my friend Shelly persuaded me it would be a great idea to go, so I made it along to the party. I noticed Rod as soon as he walked in the room, how could I miss a tall blond guy in a kilt when I’m part-Scottish myself!

I think we managed to speak for a total of two minutes before I left just after midnight due to not feeling well. Luckily Shelly took his number for me, and despite me not being well enough to meet up for our first date for another three weeks (which gave us time to get to know each other chatting online), as they say, ‘the rest is history’…

We both wanted a country wedding and as I grew up in Sussex and we now live in Hove, we wanted somewhere near to both. Our ceremony venue chose us, as I know the family (my aunt has worked for them since the early 1980s) and we were delighted when Lady De La Warr suggested we hold our ceremony at Buckhurst Park.

The village hall is a beautifully refurbished Victorian Hall and has an enclosed garden, which we thought would be perfect for a summer wedding.

Our inspiration came from what we love: family, friends, the countryside, fantasy, afternoon tea, bunting and VW campervans.

Given we had just had a baby, we needed to keep costs down as much as possible. My ceremony dress was bought in the sale from Perfection Bridal , while my day dress, a Jane Norman 1950s Hollywood style dress was bought in the sale a week before the wedding!

DIY Bride

We also made as much as we could ourselves. Rod did the graphic design for our wedding stationery, signage and table plan. I made the wedding favours which were red spotty fabric luggage tags, as well as creating our ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting from felt.

We also grew all our own flowers (sweet peas), which were supplemented by ones from both of my parents’ gardens and put in jars that we had collected and cleaned ourselves.

The day before the wedding, with the help of our family and friends, we decorated the reception venue which included all the homemade aspects mentioned above and a few more, including creating a pretty evergreen archway to walk through into the hall, too.

Poetic Personal Touches

After exchanging rings we read Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelly – two verses about harmony in nature that finish with a kiss.

We found pieces of music for the ceremony that were close to our hearts, so I entered to La Valse d’Amélie (Version Orchestre) from our favourite movie Amelie, while we signed the Wedding Register we played the beautiful Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar, I sang of leaves… and Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar, Ai! Laurie lantar… by The Tolkien Ensemble – taken from the book The Lord of the Rings, and we stepped out as husband and wife to Better Together by Jack Johnson – sunny music for a sunny day!

Our first dance was to ‘Three is a Magic Number’ and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’, so we could include our son in this special moment.

‘I Breastfed in My Wedding Dresses!’

The most unusual thing I did was breastfeed my son, Thomas, in my wedding dresses! He was four months old at the time and refusing a bottle, so it was the only option to ensure he didn’t dehydrate, as it was a stinking hot day. I must have fed him about five times during the day however, no one realised, as I found quiet places to do so away from most guests!

My top tip for other Sussex brides is to try and do as much as you can as early as you can in your planning, so that closer to the wedding you can relax and enjoy the final preparations and the day itself without being too stressed or exhausted! This includes all aspects, even sorting out accommodation for family and guests.

I enjoyed all of the wedding planning progress, I am a project and event manager in my job, so it all came so naturally to me. I actually miss doing it so much, I’m considering becoming a wedding planner!

If we could do it all again we would…? Ensure we had our music organised further in advance, as it took longer than expected.

Honeymoon Hotspot: Due to having a new baby we went on a ‘babymoon’ to Tobago in the October before the wedding (a holiday the groom won!!) and have already booked to stay overnight at Tom Kerridge’s Michelin starred The Hand and Flowers on our first wedding anniversary.”

Team Wedding:

Wedding photographer:  Sue Kwiatkowska 

Ceremony Venue: Buckhurst Park

Reception Venue: Eridge Village Hall

Bride’s dress:  Perfection Bridal 

Reception Dress: Jane Norman

Bride’s shoes and accessories: Debenhams and Claire’s Accessories

Bride’s hair: Coco Belle Styling 

Groom’s outfit: Burton Kilt Hire

Transport and Decor: Doily Days

Rings: Ocean Jewellers

Catering: Jam Queen 

Ooh! What a picturesque Sussex wedding! We love all the homemade touches and are super impressed that Bev and Rod made so many bits for their wedding with a new baby boy in tow.

A huge thank you to the gorgeous bride Bev and her lovely hubby Rod, for sharing their day with us and of course thank you to the fabulous Sue Kwiatkowska  for sharing these lovely photos with us!

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