A DIY Art Deco Brighton Royal Pavilion Wedding ~ Gemma & Gregg

This week we’re going back to the glamorous Art Deco era with Gemma and Gregg’s Brighton big day. Getting engaged in the Pavilion gardens last June and marrying just a few weeks ago in the oh-so-elegant Royal Pavilion, this Brighton-loving couple were inspired by the delicate 1930s details on Gemma’s engagement ring and based their striking wedding theme around it!

Designing and making their own sophisticated and chic invitations, creating gold, white and black decorative pom-poms and borrowing fairy lights, cake stands and even a veil from friends and family, Gemma and Gregg’s vintage-inspired DIY dream day is an absolute delight!

But, enough swooning from us, here’s Love Sussex Weddings reader and this week’s beautiful bride, Gemma to tell us all:

We met whilst at University in Brighton, and have always loved The Royal Pavilion. Gregg proposed in the Pavilion Gardens on the 29th June 2013, so both Brighton and the Pavilion hold a very special place in our hearts and was the only place to tie the knot!

I used Pinterest and Love Sussex Weddings to find other Brighton weddings. Luckily, we knew our ceremony venue from the start so this helped us in finding inspiration from other Pavilion weddings and we gained lots of ideas for vendors this way.

We were originally inspired by my 1930s engagement ring and the proposal picture that Gregg arranged for a friend to take of us. We used our proposal picture to make a silhouette of us for our invitations and then added in gold to give the whole day a bit of sparkle. Once we had all of that in mind, Pinterest was fantastic for finding specific ideas like candelabra centrepieces and Instagram was very useful for gaining feedback and support.

We created a wedding website using GettingMarried as the majority of our guests were travelling from either Northern Ireland or Northamptonshire. A few guests even flew over from Canada, Russia and France!

My dad was unfortunately too poorly to attend our wedding so my mum walked me down the aisle and the registrar asked all of the guests to ‘give me away’ by answering “we will” to his question. We also had a ‘ring-warming’ during my aunty and uncle’s reading of ‘I Like You’ by Sandol Stobbard Warburg. Everyone had a chance to hold and bless the rings with wishes for our future.

Hoppy, Handmade and Heritage Touches

We gave mini Lindt bunny favours as a nod to our adorable pet rabbit Lola, and charity cards explaining that we had donated to charity in memory of my best friend and Gregg’s uncle.

My teeny flower girl carried the lace bag that I carried as a baby flower girl 26 years ago, and my wedding ring was originally my Grandma’s.

We covered the display boards in the foyer of The Latest Music Bar with pictures of us and our guests, and Gregg’s nieces performed an Irish dance as a nod to his heritage.

Friends and family created the sweetie buffet and made lots of cakes and biscuits for us.

My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are…think outside the box. Know what you love and go with it, things have a tendency to link and flow, and sharing all of the work with your groom can make it all a lot of fun!

What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…seeing all of the ideas coming together and how excited everyone was getting!

My least favourite part of wedding planning had to be…worrying about money, and coping with key members being too ill to attend (my Dad, one of my bridesmaid and Gregg’s sister in law).

Work Together and Everything is Much Quicker

As well as our invitations, a friend lent us 10 strings of battery operated fairy lights, so we made 10 folded paper flowers for each string and lay them along the middle of each table. I made them and Gregg tied them to the lights! Work together and everything is much quicker and a lot more fun! We also worked together to make the gold, black and white pom poms; I folded them and then Gregg fluffed them out. We made 45 in total.

We were lucky to be able to borrow so many things from friends (veil, sweetie jars, cake stands, place number holders, fairy lights etc). We hired the candelabras from Victoria Lily Vintage and she also set everything up for us on the day, which worked out so much cheaper than expected.

We spent the majority of our budget on…the food and our ceremony! We expected to spend the most on our photographer and reception venue but they both worked out extremely cheaply for how wonderful they were.

If we could do it all again we would…pay a bit more attention to the playlist! Guests were able to request songs via our RSVP cards so we ended up with a rather eclectic mix and then ran out of time to add many of our own songs. But it was all good fun and we had an amazing time.

Honeymoon Hotspot: Five nights in Las Vegas followed by a week in beautiful St Lucia. Instead of a traditional gift list, we used Honeyfund to create a honeymoon experience list. This enabled guests to buy us a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon, boat trips around St Lucia, and lots of delicious meals.

Team wedding

Ceremony:  The Royal Pavilion | Reception: The Latest Music Bar

Dress: Maggie Sottero | Shoes: Irregular Choice | Rings: Gold Arts

Cake: Cloud 9 | Bouquet: HeatherMarias | DJ: HotSteppaz

Decor: Victoria Lily Vintage | Catering: Rens Kitchen 

Photography: DB Photography Sussex | Transport: Premier Wedding Cars

I think it’s fair to say, we’re a little in love with Gemma and Gregg’s amazing art deco wedding! From their choice of iconic venue, to Gemma’s absolutely stunning vintage-inspired lace gown, right down to the decor of their elegant reception venue, you can tell a whole-lotta love, care and attention went into this phenomenal DIY day.

Big Love Sussex Weddings love to Gemma and Gregg for sending in this lovely wedding and sharing some of their wonderful wedding secrets, and of course thank you to Darren from DB Photography Sussex for letting us share these fabulous images with you too!

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2 Responses to A DIY Art Deco Brighton Royal Pavilion Wedding ~ Gemma & Gregg

  1. lovesussexweddings says:

    Thanks for sending in your lovely wedding Gemma! It makes our website look very pretty! So glad that you found Love Sussex Weddings useful in the run up to your wedding – that makes us very happy. Thanks for letting us know about the Neo Hotel too. xxx

  2. Gemma Armstrong says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely feature Liz! We loved everything about our wedding, and hope that your feature if it can help other brides, as much as your other Brighton wedding features helped me! Huge thank you also to the wonderful hotel that I got ready in with my bridesmaids and them stayed in on our wedding night. The staff at http://www.neohotel.com/ were absolutely wonderful and the decor worked beautifully in our getting ready shots! X

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