Sunshine? Check. A country venue? Yep. Rustic DIY touches? You betcha! Rozie and Al’s summer Sussex wedding ticks all the beautiful barn wedding boxes and so many more. It’s well and truly brightened up our day!
This gorgeous couple (who live in Surrey) county hopped to Arundel in Sussex, near to where the groom grew up for a big day with DIY twist. They didn’t hire a traditional venue, got everyone involved making and creating and had a picnic instead of a traditional three course meal. Refreshing, non?
Here’s Rozie to talk inspiration, being a DIY bride and becoming obsessed with Excel spreadsheets:
We chose to get married in Sussex as while my family have moved around a lot, Al’s are based in West Sussex. Arundel is a beautiful part of the country and Al has fond memories of playing cricket there when he was younger.
For ideas, I looked at a couple of wedding magazines, but most of my inspiration came from Pinterest and ridiculous ideas I’d had since childhood! The wedding was completely DIY as we had a blank-canvas reception venue and we did all the planning ourselves. Excel spreadsheets became an obsession. There was a list for everything: guest contact details, cake arrangements, timings, table plan, usher responsibilities (you get the idea) and my friends and family still love to mock me about my over-organisation!
When we started planning, we both agreed that we wanted the day to be as relaxed as possible and that the main thing was for all our friends and family to enjoy themselves, so everything centered around that aim. We tried to ensure that things that mattered to us were reflected in the day.
We didn’t hire a professional wedding venue, instead we hired a barn on a farm and cleaned and decorated it and hired in all the furniture. Rather than a three course meal we had a catered table picnic, which gave things a much more relaxed theme, we opted for giving to charity instead of having wedding favours, and I chose to say something during the speeches as well as Al’s sisters sharing some marriage advice.
There are lots of great venues in the area, so look around a few to get ideas.
We had a lot of personal touches: instead of buying vases we collected old jars and decorated them with lace and then filled them with flowers the day before, we hand-painted pallets from Freecycle as signs, made cones for confetti out of paper doilies, had cheesy personalised love hearts, bought an old picnic basket and decorated it to hold cards and presents, and I made about 40 meters of bunting! For table numbers, we chose significant numbers in our lives, e.g. the door number of our first home together etc.
I made all the invites, but my main tip is plan your time well and recruit helpers in good time. We also designed all the menus, table numbers and signs for the wedding on the computer and printed them on good quality card – this is a really good way to save money. You can download some great fonts online for little or no money.
The messages we received when people got their invites. We also took a lot of time to plan the ceremony, as that mattered the most to us.
Our least favourite part of wedding planning was…
Making the invites – I did not plan enough and got overwhelmed by card and lace!
Put the ceremony start time on the invite 15 mins earlier than we intended to start.
We have so much love for this rustic ‘do, how about you?! From the handmade stationery to the bride’s beautiful dress, the picnic party food to the fact they held their wedding reception in an actual working barn, it really is one of those WOW weddings, isn’t it?
Thank you Rozie for chatting to us and giving us your top tips and also Sarah Williams Photography for sharing these seriously pretty pics with us!