When travel-loving couple Savanna and Mark (who actually met on the road!) decided to tie the knot, there was no place like home for our Sussex-born bride who chose to come back to Sussex’s beautiful countryside for her big day.
Marrying in a gorgeous Sussex wedding venue, Batholomew Barn near Petworth in West Sussex and continuing their Sussex and Scottish themed celebrations at the barn, decked with homemade bunting, travel maps and the coolest purple cupcake tower that we think we’ve seen, this was one exciting October wedding packed with personal touches. But, enough from us, here’s beaming bride Savanna for all the wedding day goss:
The way we met is quite a story… Back in 2009 both of us decided to take part in the Mongol Rally. This adventure entails taking a one litre engine car and driving it from Goodwood in West Sussex, all the way to Ulan Bator in Mongolia to raise money for charity. The car is clearly not fit for the job because the roads through Central Asia are terrible, and practically nonexistent in Mongolia. It was the trip of a life time!
We met initially in Uzbekistan, but we properly met on the Russian/Mongolian Border where we then got stuck for 72 hours which was plenty of time to get to know each other. We were then inseparable for two and a half weeks as we travelled through Mongolia to the finish line.
Once we had completed the rally, Mark decided he wanted to travel some more so he flew to LA and drove a Harley Davison across America to New York, where he then rang me and asked if he could come and stay with me in Cambridge (where I was living at the time) for a week, I said yes, so I picked him up from Stansted Airport and we spent the week together. We were both anxious about spending time together in the ‘real world’ as we had spent so much time together in a ‘bubble’ type of situation, but we got on great! We obviously had to consider the fact that I lived in Cambridge and Mark in Falkirk, but as we both lived only half an hour from an airport we decided to give the long distance a go.
Two years later we were on holiday in Greece and Mark proposed to me on an empty beach just after the sun had set and I said yes! We weren’t living together at this point, so about six months later I moved to Falkirk which is still where we live now.
We pulled in lots of favours from friends and did online research for suppliers. I also made my own scrapbook which gathered all my own ideas and things I had pulled from magazines.
Our inspiration came from our love of travelling and we knew we wanted a rustic laid back look to the day, so it just happened that way. I’d describe our theme as vintage travel, rustic with a Sussex and Scottish touch!
I made all the bunting, which I learnt from an evening at Paperchase in Glasgow, it was amazing. All it took was some wrapping paper and ribbon. I also made the place cards, order of service, table plan, invitations, t-light jars and my mum made the napkin rings, my bouquet and lots of other small details.
As well as getting crafty, other personal touches we added were that we had two ‘best men’ – one female and one male and that Mark and I both made speeches before the meal. We also supplied shawls for the chilly evening and flip flops for sore feet, so everyone was comfortable. And, as wedding favours, we gave our guests a free bar!
Chill, relax, enjoy every moment of your day because it goes past so quickly, get involved with the planning and creating if you’re that way inclined. Barter with people to get the best deal and get your talented friends involved!
Being creative, making things (especially the invitations and bunting,) being girly, organising everything and my make-up trial before the day.
The day before stresses!
Do it just the same!
After we got married we went on our honeymoon to Peru with a bunch of our mates (very unconventional I know!) who we met on the Mongol Rally and have remained friends with ever since. Instead of driving a car, this time we drove a mototaxi which looks a bit like a tuk-tuk. We drove from south Peru up to the north which equated to driving from London to Istanbul – so a fair distance! Then we stayed in a gorgeous 5* hotel near the Ecuadorian border for a few nights to end our amazing honeymoon!
Oh, what a fabulous day! We loved Savanna and Mark’s cool story of how they got together and how they intertwined their love of travel into their big day, it was a very romantic and personal touch.
Savanna looked stunning in her Maggie Sottero gown and seemed to have a smile on her face the entire time. Her hubby, Mark, rocked his kilt like a true Scot and we’re impressed that they both did a speech and had two ‘best men’ – one male and one female, we like a bit of breaking with tradition here at Love Sussex Weddings HQ!
Our Sussex bride got really hands on creating her bunting (with wrapping paper), stationery and t-light candle jars, all cost-effective and cute touches. We think her top tips of getting creative and getting friends involved is really useful too.
A huge thanks to Savanna and Mark for sharing their big day with us, and of course to their fabulous wedding photographer Laura Brennan from Cherry Red Photography for letting us see these wonderful wedding photos.