A Garden Themed Double Sussex Wedding ~ Danielle & Richard

As you know, here at Love Sussex Weddings, we ruddy love a local wedding. So, when Danielle & Richard’s stunning spring weddings (yes that’s right two weddings!) landed in our inbox, we just had to share them.

Tying the knot in a small ceremony at Brighton’s iconic Pavilion and then having a church blessing the following day for over two hundred friends and family with dreamy Wakehurst Place, Ardingly reception, this loved-up duo certainly know how to celebrate! Oh and of course, our beautiful bride had a gorgeous dress for each day too.

Here’s Danielle (and hubby Richard) to tell us all about their action packed proposal, stag night injuries and having two May wedding days:

The Proposal

From the groom: I proposed to Danielle at the top of the Shard on 1st September 2013 and miraculously managed to time it perfectly to the sun setting.

The proposal came at the end of a long day of surprises for Danielle. I’m surprised that she didn’t guess what was going on because it was a rollercoaster of activity. I took her for a picnic where we rock pooled and got chased by wasps for about an hour (this wasn’t the romantic lunch I had planned)  this was followed by a helicopter ride around London and speedily followed by a chauffeured motorbike ride for Danielle. Anyone who knows her, knows that she desperately wants a motorbike…

I waited for her outside the Shard and she tells me that she saw me talking to myself as she pulled up on the motorbike and now she knows it was because I was rehearsing the proposal. Danielle says that she had no idea that all this was leading to a proposal because I’m romantic and love surprising her. She also didn’t think I would dare propose with her dressed in jeans and trainers because that wouldn’t work very well for pictures. But I know my bride very well and had a change of clothes in a bag for her for the “official pictures” when I took her for a romantic meal at a French restaurant which is our favourite cuisine to celebrate our engagement.

The hen do

From the bride: The hen do started in our house with a naked butler, games such as pin the kiss on the groom, Mr & Mrs as my maid of honour cleverly made a video with the groom answering the questions. We moved on to Lucky Voice in Brighton for karaoke and then a night club to dance the night away.

The stag went fishing that ended disastrously with rocky waters causing an already tipsy stag to twist his ankle and practically limp his way through the wedding. Then as you do, they drank their way across various pubs in Brighton with the stag wearing a MC Hammer outfit.

Sussex before marriage

We chose to get married in Sussex because we had people coming from all over the world and we wanted people to get a taste of our home in England.

We have always enjoyed Wakehurst and I had no idea they did weddings so that was just luck! My friend made our wedding cake and our florists came recommended. Our caterers came from searching online for weeks and doing numerous tasting sessions.

I am a big planner and had spreadsheets galore which helped to keep a track of everything. I delegated tasks to bridesmaids and groomsmen and had monthly update emails to everyone! On the day they all had their things to do and an hourly schedule. You don’t want to think about anything on your day apart from your groom and the special day so trust your friends to manage it and trust your spreadsheets, they do not lie!

Pins and online wedding planning

Pinterest was a favourite to look at themes! I knew I wanted a garden theme but had no idea how to make it work. Finding other peoples pins of their ideas was a lifesaver. Spotify was brilliant for listening to music and putting a playlist together for the church and back ground music at the reception.

Our wedding theme was wild flowers, centered around sunflowers. Having our reception at Wakehurst, we really wanted a sense of bringing the outside in, to be an endless flow of flowers, green and nature.

We had two ceremonies. Because we were having over two hundred people attend our wedding, I was very keen to have an intimate touch. On Friday forty close friends and family joined us as we had a civil ceremony where we said our own vows at The Pavilion in The Red Room and dinner together at Alfresco. On the Saturday we had our wedding blessed at St Peter’s in front of two hundred of our friends and family which was just as special as the first day.

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

Have a ban on wedding talk after 9pm. Have date nights regularly where you can romance one another and remember why you are getting married. The whole wedding planning can become one big project so keeping the romance alive is essential.

The personal touches we added were…

The maid of honour did a speech as well as the best man! Also every time someone clinked their glass the bride and groom had to find each other and kiss. Our friends were invited to bake cupcakes and brownies that we had straight after the church. We had a live Jazz band play in the gardens while people had canapes.

What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding had to be…

Getting together with the bridesmaids to vent my frustrations and remembering your girls know how to make you feel right and to remind you to laugh and enjoy the journey – all while drinking Prosecco!

Our least favourite part of wedding planning was…

As a couple we love to dance and having a live band was such a highlight to our day, however with the groom having a twisted ankle we were not able to dance together properly and that was quite upsetting as we were looking forward to that so much.

If we could do it all again we would…?

Have the groom have his stag do two months before the wedding!


Team wedding:

Photography: Mona Ali | Ceremonies: Brighton Pavilion & St Peters Church

Reception: Wakehurst Place | Dress: Ocean Bridal |Accessories: Beretun Designs

Makeup: The Makeup Girls | Bridesmaids: Davids Bridal | Groom & Groomsmen:

Moss Bros

Rings: Pruden & Smith |Flowers: Pollen Flowers| Live Band: Gigz Management

Stationery: Fotofusion |Catering: Buns to Banquet

So, a virtual show of hands who now wants two wedding days?! Danielle and Richard’s celebrations were lovely and really suited the couple’s wishes to have both an intimate ceremony along with a big beautiful bash. We also loved the fact that Danielle got two dresses too!

A big thank you to Danielle and Richard for sharing their tips, advice and engagement story (what a cracker that was – our beautiful bride is a lucky lady!) as well as to their fabulous photographer Mona Ali.

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