A Rustic and Romantic English Country Garden Michelham Priory Wedding ~ Keri & James (and bump!)

If there’s one thing that really makes us reach for our hankies, it’s seeing a bride with a bump! This week’s wedding is Keri and James’ rather marvellous East Sussex big day from June 2014, where our beautiful bride was four months pregnant and just starting to show – how magical?

Our lovely London couple tied the knot at St Andrew’s in Alfriston and carried on their elegant yet rustic celebrations with a reception at the nearby Michelham Priory. Enough from us – here’s Keri to tell us more:

It was August 2010 when we met. My mother received the rather elated call from me upon my return from my annual holiday to Ibiza. When I delivered the unexpected news that ‘I had met the one’ at the Blue Marlin beach bar, I think given the location of our meet she may have been slightly sceptical, but I was only going purely on her motherly advice that ‘when you know you really do know’, and I have never doubted it or looked back.

Three years on I was whisked away for a long weekend to the North East Coast of Majorca to a stunning hotel called Can Simoneta, part way through our stay at the old monastery, on a beautiful Saturday evening, just as the sun was going down I was taken for dinner to a private table, in a secluded location overlooking the sea to watch the sun go down where I was treated to some incredible food and even better wine!

James spent the whole dinner checking his watch and hurrying me through the meal so my hopes were dashed! I presumed there must be a rugby match on and thought nothing else of it other than being a little disappointed as I had hoped something may happened that evening given that romance doesn’t come naturally to James! We were met at the top of the path by the hotel manager who swiftly handed James a torch and I was ushered to the spiral staircase that took you down the cliff face to the water’s edge, the way had been part lit with hurricane lamps and tea lights. We navigated our way down the winding path, carefully following the candles that led our way. I was greeted at the end of the path, by a champagne bucket (thankfully with bottle in!) two glasses and several large hurricane lamps. I turned to face James to see what was going on and he was already down on one knee, wielding a ring. I guess my mum was right, when you know you know!

James had his stag do in Newquay with a small army of men who joined him there for the weekend, surfing, going to the beach festival and just general boozing. My hen was a slightly more civilised affair, given the news I was pregnant. I therefore allowed my hens to do my bit of the drinking and they did me proud! It all began in Chelsea for brunch at Tom’s Kitchen. We then descended on Chelsea Farmer’s Market and ended the day with dinner and cocktails at Nobu Berkeley, and then cocktails follow by a casino for the hard-core and bed for the pregnant and sensible!

We chose to get married in Sussex as we own an old Farmhouse in Arlington which neighbours Michelham Priory, so spend most weekends down exploring East Sussex. We wanted an English Country Garden / shabby chic theme with dusky pinks, whites and greys.

We had a bagpipe player (to reflect James’ Scottish heritage) who played before and after the ceremony at the church, he also walked me up the path to the church door which was a real tear jerker for me!

Lucky Lavender

I wanted something different and fairly unique for my table plan so the display was home grown and designed by my mother and father! We made lavender buckets with wooden plant labels for the place names.

My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are…

Keep cool, have a spread sheet and detail all of the deposits you have paid, and outstanding balance that is still payable with the date it is due this way you can keep a track of your budget!

What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…

Wedding dress shopping and the food tasting!

My least favourite part of wedding planning had to be…

Doing the table plan and general logistical admin!

If we could do it all again we would…? 

Get a videographer as well, to capture even more of the event as it goes so quickly!

Team wedding:

Venue: St. Andrews | Reception: Michelham Priory | Photography: Sandra Von Riekhoff

Dress: Claire Pettibone | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewellery: Luella’s Boudoir

Head Piece: Emmy Shoes | Hair: Langtons | Bridesmaids: Maids To Measure

Flower Girl: Monsoon| Groom & Groomsmen: Moss Bros | Rings: Eternal Jewels

Cake: The Fine Cheese Co| Flowers: Tamsin French | Entertainment: Articulate Music

Stationery: Meticulous Ink | Transport: The Ashdown Classic Wedding Car Collection  

Decor: Wedding Creative | Catering: Gastro Catering 

In a word: gorgeous! There was a whole lotta oohs and aahs echoing around Love Sussex Weddings HQ with this stunning Sussex ‘do – we loved Keri’s designer dress and shoe combo.

This really looked like one dreamy wedding day, thanks to the hand-made decorations (well done mum and dad!), the olde worlde feel of Michelham Priory and of course;  these gorgeous photographs by Sandra Von Reikhoff of Divine Day Photography fame – thanks so much for sending these to us Sandra! If you fancy seeing more (who wouldn’t?) from this wonderful wedding check out this little montage

Another big thank you goes to bride (and mama-to-be) Keri for giving us all the goss on her magical Sussex wedding day.

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One Response to A Rustic and Romantic English Country Garden Michelham Priory Wedding ~ Keri & James (and bump!)

  1. They are looking so great! Just from the first pic I get the idea that they are in love. Beautiful wedding.

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