A Rustic, Rural and Romantic Sussex Barn Wedding ~ Anna & Chris

Stop whatever you are doing (apart from reading this, of course) and just take a minute to appreciate the prettiness that is Anna and Chris’ beautiful Hendall Manor Barns big day!

Still with us? Good. This gorgeous couple tied the knot on a bright and blustery October day last autumn; incorporating magical fairy lights, wildflowers and a whole lotta hessian to their fuss-free rustic theme. Oh and they had a cake, made out of cheese. WIN.  Here’s Love Sussex Wedding reader (and beautiful bride) Anna to tell us all about her dream day:


Chris proposed on a very regular Sunday afternoon in our front room – he caught me completely by surprise by presenting me with a photo book which documented the last five years together, then on the final page asking if I would marry him. It was so thoughtful and very unexpected!

We wanted a rural, rustic wedding and the venue was just perfect. I grew up in Brighton, so Sussex was always top of our list with so many great venues to pick from!

Love Sussex Weddings was actually one of our main sources of inspiration, we also took advice from our venue and other venues we had viewed. I think from being a guest at lots of weddings you have already have an idea of things you like and what would work for you and your guests. We didn’t want our day to be too fussy or formal and once we had found the venue everything else started to fall into place.

We had 100 full day guests, no evening guests. The ceremony was fairly early at 12.30pm as our venue closed at 10.30pm. Chris’s brother Jack did a beautiful acoustic set whilst we signed the register. We had pie and mash as our wedding breakfast!

We were extremely lucky with the weather and had a warm but slightly blustery autumn day which allowed us to use the outside areas well into the evening. At closing time we arranged minibuses to take guest (generally the younger crowd!) to a nearby pub for some informal drinks.

I would describe our wedding theme as rustic and relaxed. We used used hessian, lace and wildflowers as the main components, as we didn’t want to stick to a regimental colour theme.

Getting Crafty

We used a template wedding invite by a designer on Etsy then printed and posted ourselves – this is a great money saving tip. We also decorated the table vases and created a ladder and flower pot table menu which worked brilliantly.

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

Don’t stress over the detail – no one will notice on the day, but will only notice if you are stressed! Invest in the things that matter then budget on the other bits, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. We would recommend ordering wine on a buy or return basis from Majestic as we had lots left over after the day!


What we enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…

The big bits – picking the venue and picking the food, especially sampling the menu!

The least favourite parts of wedding planning were…

I found dress shopping quite stressful as I didn’t have a style in mind and don’t really love shopping. Chris didn’t enjoy setting up the venue on the morning of the wedding.

We spent most of the budget on…

Food and drink accounted for about 60% of the total wedding cost but we managed to budget really well on most of the other areas. Venue was the next big cost.

Honeymoon Hotspot: Mini moon to New York, then full honeymoon to Vietnam in April.

Team wedding                                                                                                                                Photography: Hayley Rose | Venue: Hendall Manor Barns | Dress: Justin Alexander

Shoes: Next | Hair: Fran Carter | Bridesmaid: All Saints & Reiss

Groom & Groomsmen: M&S, Ted Baker & Swagger & Swoon | Rings: 77 Diamonds

Cheese tower: The Cheese Man | DJ: Disco Fever | Catering: Secret Restaurant

What did we tell you? Lovely wasn’t it?! Anna and Chris’ relaxed barn big day oozed rustic charm and with the additions of cosy candlelight and warming pie and mash for the wedding breakfast (yum!), their stunning choice of season (autumn) was reflected too.

A HUGE thank you to Anna for sharing her top tips and tricks (although, we wouldn’t be too worried if we’d been left with lots of wine after the big day… hic!) and MASSIVE LSW love to their photographer Hayley Rose for letting us have a little look-see at these wonderful wedding pics.

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