To say childhood sweethearts Kristie and Aaron’s beautiful Sussex barn wedding was a personal affair would be an understatement! There were a plethora of homemade delights, photos of late family members and the couple’s gorgeous schnoodle, Alfie even strutted his stuff down the aisle, after the bride! Held in a charming and rustic Sussex barn wedding venue too. Grab that cuppa, your notebook and maybe a hanky or two, we think you’re going to need it… Here’s their beautiful wedding film by HD Moments.
Here’s gorgeous summer bride Kristie to tell us more…
We met at Chichester College, we were both in the same psychology class. Something about Aaron had caught my eye and the feeling must have been mutual, as Aaron later confessed he would collect worksheets to give to me when I had been absent so that I would notice him. We started speaking and the rest, as they say is history, ten years later; we have been to university together, travelled around the world, bought our first home, added our schnoodle Alfie to the family, married and are now expecting our first baby in June. It’s been quite a journey!
The proposal didn’t quite go as planned but it took me quite by surprise none the less! Aaron had planned to propose under the August meteor shower that we watch together every year, however his plans were foiled slightly by the fact that it was so cloudy that evening that you couldn’t see a single patch of sky! We were spending a weekend of quality time together, which can be rare as I often work weekends, Aaron suggested we took the dog a walk at the college (it’s only 5 minute drive from our house and where we first met) which I thought was a nice idea. We walked to the spot where he first asked me to be his girlfriend and I turned around to find him down on one knee, he always used to play around pretending to propose and it was almost dark so I couldn’t see the ring! I just assumed he was joking until he actually put the ring on my finger!
Our families are stretched really far and wide from France to Scotland, we don’t have many who live in Sussex but we live in Chichester and decided to get married locally, it’s where we met, where we have come back to and we have a lot of memories here, it just seemed fitting.
We found the wedding venue by accident!
We found the venue entirely by accident, it was still very new at the time. We had our heart set on getting married at another local location, using tipi tents, we loved the way they looked, the idea of fire pits and the natural feel of it all however, we quickly learnt we couldn’t get married at the venue we had chosen, which added complications and we were concerned that if the great British weather let us down, it would be a wash out.
After a quick Google search looking for local wedding venues, I found Southend Barns! I had driven down that road so many times and never spotted it. The pictures were beautiful, the natural feel of the logs, the tent style shelter and the fire pits, it was everything we had wanted but in a location that would be perfect whatever the weather and with the added bonus we could get married there!
I have to say that I cannot recommend Southend Barns highly enough, their service is absolutely second to none. The whole day was so relaxed, free flowing and easy and I know this is down to the outstanding service we received from all of the staff.
Finding THE dress…
I tried a bridal boutique further out in Southampton as I thought there would be more choice in a larger city. My dress was the second one I tried on although, I actually went away without it the first time! I decided I wanted to try a few more before I committed to it and I wasn’t 100% happy with the service in the first boutique. I decided to look for a boutique closer to home – ideally one that stocked the designer I had tried on and loved already, so I could compare dresses. Luckily after a quick bit of research (thank you Google) I found Proposals in Chichester. They could not have been any more helpful, they were just fantastic, I emailed them to ask if they had the sample of my dress in store – they didn’t, but went out of their way to get one in for me in time for my appointment.
We found our videographers online, we had a look at a few different options but the quality of HD Moments really caught our eye, they just had such a professional finish to them. It was a really last minute decision (only weeks before the wedding!!) we suddenly realised that it was something that we really wanted to remember our day by. We had a pre-wedding video shoot, part filmed in Itchenor in a field by the water and the other filmed on West Wittering Beach.
I actually surprised Aaron by having our dog Alfie walk down the aisle after me, I think it was probably one of our favourite parts of the day. He even managed to bark at the right parts in the ceremony! I also chose not to wear any shoes, I suppose that is a little different!
Sadly we have lost a lot of close family members in the time we have been together (a side effect of both being from large families) we wanted to recognise the important people missing from our day, without it being morbid, so in the entry to our reception we had a table of photos to celebrate them with a simple quote to remind people not to be afraid to speak openly about them throughout the day.
My top tips for other Sussex brides to-be are…
Embrace the local suppliers because they are fantastic! But my best advice is to just relax and not take the day too seriously, expect the odd bump in the road but remember that they really will not matter to you at the end of the day. Do what is best for you and not for everyone else because you need to look back and remember that you enjoyed your day, and if you do everyone else will follow!
DIY Wedding Tips
We made a lot ourselves! The table plan was made from a cheap mirror and some fabric with a bit of scrapbooking paper. The place settings were handmade brown paper origami boats with hand stamped sails. The invitations were actually a printable package from an Etsy shop, we then printed them, used a corner cutter to round the corners and tied the pack together with some coloured twine. The favour boxes were made from simple boxes from eBay decorated with washi tape and sealed with a sticker with our initials.
My auntie really kindly made us our bunting for outside the barns and shipped it from Scotland ready for the day. The centrepieces were used slices of timber with jam jars and local old fashioned water bottles, which I decorated with lace and buttons. My mum also made the table numbers using some hessian and iron on numbers from eBay, which we cut into hearts and used wooden skewers to stand them up.
I’d recommend making your own touches to any bride, it works out a lot cheaper if you’re inventive, although it does require some patience! It’s such a satisfying feeling to see all your hard work come together on the day.
If we could do it all again we would…?
Not change a thing! It really was a perfect day for us, thanks to some great suppliers who made everything so easy. The only thing I might have done is prepare for the heat! We never even imagined it would end up being that hot on the day, I had plenty of plans for if it had rained but none for the scorching weather we encountered!
We can’t believe how prepared Kristie and Aaron were for rain, only to have a scorching day! For all of you lovely summer brides, don’t forget to have plans for both – as we all know, the great British weather can be a little temperamental…
The couple’s big day was truly beautiful, wasn’t it? The rustic Sussex barn venue looked so pretty with all those handmade and hessian details – top marks to mum, auntie and our bride and groom for getting so stuck in!
If you haven’t already – make sure you check out our newlyweds wedding video above, it captures their wonderful wedding day so beautifully and we love those beach shots, so romantic! Thanks to HD Moments for sharing this with us!
A huge thank you to Kristie for telling us all about her big day too.