A Sussex Summer Fete Wedding for all the Family ~ Emma & Tony

Roll up, roll up – today we’re heading back to Emma and Tony’s whimsical family summer fete wedding in July, this year.

This lovely Lindfield couple, with two children of their own, had a wedding that involved over thirty under 10’s at Westmeston Parish Hall in Hassocks, West Sussex, an outdoor ceremony AND vintage ice cream van. This really does look like one helluva FUN wedding…

We caught up with dapper groom, Tony to hear all about the inspiration behind their big day, getting friends DIY-ing and why he thinks mother in laws are ‘invaluable’:

The proposal

I proposed whilst on a day trip to Brighton with Emma and George (Sam was just an ever growing lump at that point). I had planned to propose on the beach but as it was a particularly bitter March day, I opted for the relative warmth or at least dryness of the Brighton Wheel instead.

Whilst on the Wheel I got down on one knee and popped the question. I had a whole speech prepared, explaining my love for her and how brilliant she was but I think in the end I was lucky to just mumble out something about how much I loved her and would she marry me.

My sisters who had inherited my mum’s engagement ring had very kindly offered it to me for Emma to have (assuming she said yes of course) and I was over the moon to hear the magic word “yes” come from her lips and for my mums ring to fit perfectly on Emma’s finger as it then became her ring.

After a few games of Dolphin Derby on the pier the three of us then had a ‘romantic’ fish n’ chip meal to celebrate!

We chose to get married in Sussex as we live here, think it’s stunningly beautiful and wanted to show it off to our families.

We wanted a child-friendly venue…

Our eldest child used to go to nursery at the Parish Hall and when it came to choosing a venue for our wedding it seemed an ideal choice. Having children we wanted a very child friendly/outdoor venue and knew that this place would fit the bill. Having found the venue we then sourced some of the main suppliers trying to go as local as possible.

I have always wanted my children to be present at my wedding. There is no one else in the world I wanted to see me devote the rest of my life to my amazing, lovely Emma than our gorgeous boys. We had also both always wanted a relaxed outdoor wedding and one that would be fun for our boys and all the other children present. This ruled out many traditional venues with limited outdoor space and prolonged periods of sitting down and so when we found that we could hire Westmeston Parish Hall we knew it would be the perfect venue.

The idea for the day was that it would be like a small relaxed summer fete and as such had a hog roast from the butchers in Lindfield and Vintage Scoops ice cream van to feed the masses. The whole day was pretty much outside, with about 30 under 10’s present we wanted plenty of green space for them to run round on.

We were legally married the day before…

We had been legally married the day before in Horsham so had much more leeway to do things our way for our ‘proper’ wedding. We got our good friend Will to be the celebrant and my best friend Vish and his amazing wife Susy decorated the whole venue and organised the whole day.

They are very creative and were able to make the place look even better than we could have possibly ever imagined. Suzy has an eye for what works and what doesn’t. We told her our ideas and she would run with it or amend it and explain why it would work better a different way and she was always right. They also made sure the whole day ran smoothly and allowed Emma and I to enjoy it stress free. I’m not sure I’ll ever say ‘thank you’ enough to both of them!

Being able to do it our way was brilliant!

Choosing a place that means so much to us and being able to have 100% control over how the place looked was wonderful. Also being able to choose all the suppliers to match our needs was great, down to being able to get my favourite Dark Star ales for the bar to serve.

My top tip for other Sussex grooms (and brides!) to-be are…

Simple can work and if there are going to be loads of children there, make sure it works for them as well as you. Happy children allow for a happy bride and groom! The most important guests were George and Sam’s best friends!

My least favourite part of wedding planning was…

I now know why people get married before having kids. Trying to plan a wedding whilst also trying to bring up two boys is not easy and obviously the wedding planning always took second place to the boys. If it wasn’t for help from friends and family we’d have been doomed. Mother-in-laws can be invaluable.

If we could do it all again we would…

Do it exactly the same! I could not imagine a more beautiful, perfect wedding. From the moment Emma appeared in the vintage car looking stunning the day just went perfectly … apart from I would not give Sam (our two year old) hummus in the car on the drive to the venue!

Team wedding:

Photography: James Winspear | Venue: Westmeston Parish Hall | Dress: Debenhams

Hair: Tammy McDermid | Makeup: Lia Boccia

Groom: Next, Ted Baker & House of Fraser| Rings: Baroque Jewellery | Cake: Catwalk Cakes

Flowers: Flowercraft | DJ: Platinum DJs | Transport: Premier Wedding Cars

Lighting: Mid-Sussex Party Hire | Catering: Glyn Thomas & Son & Vintage Scoops

Drink: Mobile Bars 4 Events

All together now; awwww! Anyone else really touched my groom Tony’s words? It was so sweet to hear about why he wanted to wait to get married and have their gorgeous boys at their big day, as well as those lovely words about his wife, Emma. Tony, you’ve really made us melt here!

We just loved how child-friendly this fun, enchanting Sussex wedding was, yet still seemed really relaxed at the same time – they totally nailed the perfect balance didn’t they?!

Thank you so much Tony for chatting to us, so soon after your stunning Sussex wedding and massive LSW LOVE to the newlywed’s photographer James Winspear for sharing these wonderful photos with us all.

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