Oh MY do we have one helluva stunning Sussex wedding coming your way today, in the form of Candy and Ron’s dreamy fairytale inspired castle wedding!
A day full of bubbles, bunting and balloons, oh and the occasional owl, this memorable East Sussex August wedding was organised entirely by gorgeous groom Ron (bride Candy arranged their Hong Kong celebrations) and will certainly have you smiling – and reaching for that ideas notebook, simultaneously.
Here’s Love Sussex Weddings reader Ron to tell us more:
I met Candy in Hyde Park, whilst rollerblading. Candy had just started to rollerblade again after a long time and had forgotten how to brake. She rolled down a very shallow hill but managed to crash into a lamppost. I was there to pick up the pieces. Two years later, I placed a map around this lamppost. This led to a three hour wild goose chase around a cold and wet Hyde Park for Candy, where she eventually found me at the cafe where I had first bought her a hot chocolate. I was waiting for her holding a hot chocolate cup, and in it a ring!
We decided to get married in Sussex as I grew up in Hailsham and we wanted to have something local to my family. As Candy was organising the second wedding in Hong Kong (where her family is from) it felt natural to do the wedding near my family and upbringing. The nearby Herstmonceux Castle was a natural choice!
Inspiration came from my childhood ambitions and dreams! There was fairytale fancy dress for the evening reception. The bride dressed as Tinkerbell and the groom as an American Indian. We had everything from Beauty and the Beast, Dorothy, Scarecrows, Red Riding Hood, Ghostbuster, Cleopatra, the kid and peacock from Up, knights, medieval ladies, monks, Mad Hatters, animals and so much more.
We chose a multi-coloured theme based on the colours of the balloons in the film Up. As a fan of the cartoon film ‘Up’ we tied lots of multi-coloured helium filled balloons onto a bench (in the film balloons they were tied to the house so it would float away). We than did a balloon release at the end of the day, where all the guests released a balloon!
My good friend Suptasree acted up as ‘Lady Roy’. Despite no previous experience, she dressed up in medieval attire and carried out our blessing. She also put together the blessing for us! While, my best man also dressed up as a medieval gentleman and pretended to be the Lord of Herstmonceux (as he is French!).
We had a bay winged hawk called Ash, deliver the rings and we also took inspiration from the old English tradition of Jumping the Broom, whereby jumping over a broom as a couple signifies you are married, as our blessing!
Candy arrived at the castle by car and then horse and carriage. Historical musicians provided music for the bridal procession and two pieces of singing/lute during the ceremony. We wrote the blessing script and our vows. A hawk delivered the rings (not too willingly!) to the best man. We had an ‘archer’s salute’ when we exited the castle for photos.
Whilst we had our photos, there was a falconry display, have a go archery and horse and carriage rides. For those who wanted to stay indoors there was the Memory Room to explore – filled with photos of our friends and family. I also printed out 400 photos of our friends from our photo collection (hidden on our computer for years) for guests to take away. It also had a candy corner and toys for those young at heart.
We enjoyed a sit down meal. There were speeches and also music from the historical musicians. At the end. we all did a rendition of ‘Don’t look back in Anger’. We cut our cake in the shape of Herstmonceux Castle with a medieval style sword. We then exited the castle for throwing of the bouquet and balloon release, before starting the evening’s celebrations!
As the castle is French inspired, I used genuine French first day covers from the 1960s-80s and printed onto them for invites. They were £30 for over 100 on eBay! I used multi-coloured tissue paper for the confetti and made my mum cut it up! While one of my dad’s oil paintings was used for the seating plan, by hanging ribbons across it, then adding pegs. For place names, I used little plastic ducks (again from eBay) and bought an alphabet set of rubber stamps in balloon shapes. We stamped the names onto a label and tied it to the duck.
Keep good count of your finances! Try and use local suppliers!
What I enjoyed most about planning our wedding had to be…
Being able to fulfil my childhood fantasies all in one day! We also enjoyed scouting and visiting venues and suppliers – great to meet such a range of lovely people.
The bill! It is very easy to go over budget. Also, as the main organiser I did turn into a bit of a groomzilla!
Remember to give gifts! I bought flowers and gifts for the parents of the bride and grooms and forgot to give it to them! Also they did not get to see the Memory Room. I guess I should have allocated someone to look after the parents and senior family members, as we were too busy/overwhelmed to remember what they are doing!
So, who’s beaming? We certainly can’t shake the smiles off our faces with this wonderful wedding. We loved the attention to detail that dedicated groom Ron put into his and bride Candy’s big day – from the romantic castle setting to the falconry displays, the fancy dress reception to the memory room (what a great idea?!) Ron really pulled out all the stops, and boy-oh-boy, didn’t it pay off? We’re sure that he wasn’t too much of a groomzilla really…
Big thank you’s go to Ron and his beautiful wife Candy for sharing their fairytale day with us and not forgetting their talented photographer Jo Thorne for allowing us to share these perfect photos with you – aren’t they fab?