There’s nothing as lovely as a big day that truly tells a story and reflects on a couple’s ‘journey’ so far – cue Candice and James’ beautiful travel-influenced wedding at St John the Baptist Church, Kirdford and Batholomew Barn, both in West Sussex, which took place last June.
This travel-loving duo met in Australia, went exploring for a year as a couple and came back home to settle down. Cute, eh? But Australia and their love of world-wide adventures have stayed with them and of course, they just had to incorporate this, and so much more into their delightful dream day!
Here’s bride Candice to tell us more:
We arrived within days of each other in Australia. I had managed to get myself a job at the local BP Garage and happened to be having a post work drink in the Kimberley Klub – the hostel that James was staying at with his friend Luke. After initially dismissing James for his youthful looks (surely he can’t be older than me?!) I gave in to his charms…we then spent the next year travelling together before coming back home to become ‘responsible adults’… and the rest is history!
The proposal came after booking a last minute trip to Venice, as James, for some reason, just couldn’t wait for our planned trip to Paris a month later. Despite a few hints from friends, I didn’t have a clue – this was confirmed with James telling me quite firmly on the boat into town, not to get my hopes up (how romantic). A day running around the beautiful streets of Venice, drinking wine and gorging on food ended with James on one knee – yes with tears in his eyes! This made it the happiest day of my life and now we get to share celebrating our marriage with you all and I am so excited to do so.
We chose to get married in Sussex as we wanted an informal relaxed day set in the beautiful English countryside that wasn’t too far from our home counties of Surrey and Kent. The venue is what won us over with the stunning barn and courtyard. It blew our breath away and our guests are still talking about it!
We wanted to theme our wedding on where we met – a small town called Broome in Western Australia. We then travelled around Australia in a camper van, which was what we used for our wedding car. To make the theme ‘prettier’ we added a vintage touch. The map of Australia which we used for our table plan was vintage. We used delicate English flowers to represent the colours of Western Australia.
I enjoyed not having a ‘top table’ and we sat amongst our guests. We wanted the day to just be a good gathering amongst friends and family. One super traditional thing, that I wasn’t particularly keen on to begin with, was the receiving line. I thought it would be quite old fashioned and a little boring. But being able to speak and thank every guest meant that after the day had flown by, I was safe in the knowledge that I had indeed spoken with everyone.
We had little things like a homemade photobooth and trivia cards on tables to break the ice. We had a wishing tree where people could write messages to hang on there. We scattered lots of disposable cameras around the venue and on tables, from which we have had some really hilarious photos.
I designed the bridesmaid dresses by putting two different styles together. I was then able to choose all the different colours. They were beautiful and affordable dresses, I was so happy with how they came out!
My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are.. Find your perfect venue, and everything will fall in place around it. Be prepared to be flexible with themes and ideas as they evolve throughout the planning process.
What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding was… All of it! I wish I could do it again. Finding the venue was the starting block and the most exciting!
If we could do it all again, would we..? YES! I keep saying this over and over again. It was such a beautiful amazing day. I know that every bride says that after their wedding, but it is so true. We would all like to do it again.
Well, wasn’t that just gorgeous? We can completely see why Candice loved the whole planning process and was so sad after the wedding was over! The traditional church ceremony, combined with those bridesmaids dresses and delicate peach colour scheme gave nostalgic nods to vintage wedding days gone-by, while Wilma (the VW Campervan), that cake and the Australian travel touches, bought their big day bang up to date. We loved.
Thank you to Candice and hubby James for telling us all about their wonderful wedding and we send even more Love Sussex Weddings love to their fabulous photographer Justine Claire, who shared these perfect big day pics with us!