A Small and Intimate Arundel Wedding ~ Tara & James

One of the things we love most here at Love Sussex Weddings HQ is sharing the love stories between couples and oh boy, do Tara and James have one of the sweetest stories ever! Meeting in Horsham (where they are both from), within a month, the couple were off on their first holiday and within two, they were planning an epic move to Dubai!

Fast forward a few years later to October 2015, and the couple returned to Sussex to hold their intimate do at Arundel Town Hall and then the gorgeous Arundel House – for just a handful of their closest family members. Needless to say, we’ve fallen head over heels for this beautiful couple and their stunning Sussex wedding!

Here’s bride Tara to give us all the goss about planning her wedding from abroad:

James and I first met in our hometown through mutual friends and a month later were on a skiing trip together in France. Once we returned from skiing James told me of a job offer that he was considering in Dubai and asked if I would be crazy enough to go join him, having only known each other for two months! I instantly said yes, somehow I knew that it was meant to be. It had been a crazy three years together, then in May last year he surprised me with a ‘late birthday’ trip to Oman. We visited the most magical place I have seen called Wadi Ash Shaab; we swam through natural valleys to a cave with its own waterfall inside. That night we camped under the stars in the desert where James got down on one knee to ask me the big question…of course I said yes.

Getting married in Arundel

We chose to get married in Arundel as we are originally from Horsham in West Sussex and both love the area and surrounding villages and countryside. In Arundel we had found the perfect intimate wedding venue for us, and it is a lovely place to go back each year for our anniversary!

We did most of our research online as we are living abroad. We then had three weeks during our trip back to the UK in August to book everything ready for our wedding in October the same year! We visited Arundel Town Hall and fell in love with the idea of getting married there.

We then spotted Arundel House that looked like the perfect cosy dinner venue and even three gorgeous rooms for our guests and us to stay the night afterwards. We booked both there and then.

When deciding where to try on some wedding dresses Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique also in Arundel and just around the corner, seemed like a good place to start…so going back to Arundel this time with my mother and mother in law to-be, we found the most amazing dress and luckily for me Catherine and her team were able to accommodate my very short schedule, I had to be back in Dubai in a few days and the wedding was only two months away! I had my first fitting straight away, the next time I would be returning would be a week before the big day! We managed to fit in two further fittings that week to get the dress perfect!

The morning of the wedding

I prepared my own hair and make-up at home on the morning of the wedding and then made my way to Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique, who had kindly kept my dress in safekeeping for me. Catherine had also agreed that I could get dressed at the shop and our photographer (Neil Walker) met us there to start capturing the day. Catherine and her team were great and made the morning completely stress free! We even found time for a drink of prosecco before heading up the hill to the hall.

Small & intimate

We had a small intimate wedding with immediate family only, we are planning on returning to the same venue next year for a party with our extended family and friends. Arundel Town Hall was perfect for a very small wedding of 11 but can also cater for up to 120 visitors for a party.

My top tip for other brides (and grooms) to-be is…

Don’t stress – do exactly what you want to do and how, everyone will understand if it’s not what they were thinking

What we enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…

Deciding on the venue!

Our least favourite part of wedding planning had to be…

Getting started!

If we could do it all again we would…

Do it all the same!

Honeymoon hotspot: Anantara, Maldives

Team wedding:

Photography: Neil Walker

Ceremony: Arundel Town Hall

Reception: Arundel House

Dress: Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique

Flowers: The Flower Shop

Thank you so much to Tara and hubby James for chatting to us about their big day – we hope your BIG wedding reception bash goes well later this year too! Fab idea, don’t you think; holding a massive party on your first anniversary?! We’ve just noted that one down!

Of course, we also must thank the fabulous Neil Walker for sharing these wonderful images with us all. We *might* have shed a few happy tears (alright, we did!) over those gorgeous photos of Tara’s dad seeing his beautiful daughter as a bride! Like everything about their day – it was lovely, personal and touching!

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