One of the best things about planning your wedding is most definitely taking time out to flick through brochures (or just even Google) dreamy destinations to visit on your honeymoon. Honeymoons are the icing on the (wedding) cake as far as we’re concerned, when it comes to celebrating your marriage (YAY!), as it gives you precious time together to have adventures or just chill out after a busy pre-wedding build-up.
However, deciding just where to go – with so many choices – can cause honeymoon headaches. To inspire your once-in-a-lifetime trip, we’ve collated Sussex couples’ top ten honeymoon destinations, from the last 100 couples weddings we’ve featured… enjoy!
Ah, the Maldives. White sands, turquoise seas, palm trees – in a word: paradise! We can certainly see why it’s such a popular dream destination for so many couples from Sussex and beyond. Chill out in post-wedded bliss on tropical shores, go snorkelling and enjoy cocktails as the sun sets.
Food, shopping and architecture more your thing? New York – the city that never sleeps – could be the perfect destination for you! Take in the amazing sights, stroll through Central Park and indulge in some of the finest restaurants in the world like Love Sussex Weddings readers Anna and Chris, Francesca and Matt and Louise and Lee.
To celebrate the re-opening of Southover Grange a beautiful historic manor house in Lewes, East Sussex, following its £1.5 million refurbishment by East Sussex County Council, couples are being offered the chance to win their wedding ceremony for FREE on the opening day (29th April 2017) of this beautiful Sussex wedding venue and register office.
Councillor Chris Dowling, county council lead member for community services, said:
“The restoration has breathed new life into a stunning period building while maintaining its unique character. This competition will allow people to be part of history and for their ceremony to be the first of its kind at the newly-refurbished venue.”
The lucky winners will win the right to be the first couple to tie the knot in the newly refurbished, 16th Century Manor House with the registrars.
The competition is also open to those planning: a civil partnership, a renewal of marriage vows or a baby-naming ceremony. Each ceremony will be held on the opening day.
Cllr Dowling added: “We’re delighted to be in a position where we’re now taking bookings for ceremonies and celebrations at Southover Grange, which will provide a fantastic backdrop.”
photo: Andrew J R Squires
The winning couple will win their ceremony with the registrars officiating free of charge on the opening day, with up to 55 guests able to attend. [CLICK TO READ MORE]
You may remember a while back we told you that we were working on something big behind the scenes, a big sister wedding website to Love Sussex Weddings. Well we’re very excited to tell you that our new national wedding website WOW Our Wedding has now launched!
Happily Ever After Creative Wedding Fair will land in Brighton on Sunday 12th March 2017 and anticipation is already growing. It is to be held at the prestigious Brighton Racecourse and will feature 100 creative sellers showcasing their unique creations for couples who are on the look out for something a little different. There is also going to be craft workshops and live entertainment.
A selection of exhibitors have already been announced and we’ve picked just a few out to introduce to you today.
We love the work of Brighton based illustrator Georgie St Clair. Shown here is an example of something brides could create with their hens at a workshop. Georgie will be holding a workshop on the day of the fair too.
Looking for a real head-turner? Meet Rusty, of Chic ‘n’ Cheerful, suits all kinds of venues, and all kinds of couples! Perfect for Groomsmen, Bridesmaids and happy newlyweds. [CLICK TO READ MORE]
2016 may have been a rather explosive and testing year, but one thing’s for sure; the weddings were as wonderful as ever. Whilst the world seemed like a crazy place at times, we loved getting all happy and reminiscing with our lovely couples’ stunning Sussex wedding days – we hope you did too.
Before we wave goodbye to 2016, we wanted to take another peek at the weddings that wowed us last year. So whether you’re a regular reader in the midst of wedding planning or a recently engaged bride or groom (congrats to you! We hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration throughout the site!), grab a cuppa, your trusty notebook and perhaps a few tissues and just enjoy…
Neil Walker Photography
We started the year swooning over Tara and James’ amazing Arundel ‘do. This gorgeous couple (who are originally from Horsham) won us over not only with their elegant and intimate wedding at Arundel Town Hall and Arundel House, with just a handful of their closest family members, but also had us bowled over by their love story. Seriously, it’s like something out of our fave Hollywood films. Within just a month of meeting in the quaint market town of Horsham, they headed off on holiday and within two; they were planning on starting a new (and successful!) life together in Dubai! See more from Tara and James’ wedding – with photos from Neil Walker – here.
Photography by Daniel Karczag
It wasn’t just Tara and James who embarked on loved up adventures – Brighton couple Julie and Sam (who had a super EPIC Sussex barn wedding at Upwaltham Barns, West Sussex) planned their bloomin’ fantastic big day in an impressive six months and then jetted off FOR A YEAR LONG HONEYMOON backpacking around the world. How amazing is that? Their awesome wedding was filled with bold blooms, travel-inspired details, oh and an actual FUNFAIR. Yep, this is one you really need to see. Take a peek at their post, with pics from Daniel Karczag, right here.
Pippa Heath Photography
Backpacking and travel seems to be a common theme for our 2016 newlyweds as gorgeous couple Jackie and Dan met whilst hostel hopping around Australia. Returning to the bride’s pretty hometown of East Grinstead in West Sussex, they tied the knot in a picturesque church and celebrated in vintage style at a quaint hall. What we loved most about this fun-filled family affair was the personal touches included – even down to the cars used to transport the bridal party with good ole dad’s lovingly restored VW and the cutest bubble car we ever did see taking centre stage. Go on, check it out here.
Another wedding that had us seeing ALL the heart eyes was Suki and Thea’s beautiful tropical Brighton cinema wedding. As artists, they wanted to let their ‘creative imaginations run riot and create something truly special’. And oh boy, did they! Tying the knot at the historical Duke of Yorks in Brighton with a memorable ceremony on the theatre stage in front of their loved ones and then celebrating with a Worthing garden party, filled with music, food and dancing – their day was utterly personal. Want to see more? Feast your eyes here.
As festive weddings become more popular, our friends over at Alive Networkhave rounded up 5 of their favourite winter wedding tips from former Christmas couples. So, if you’re thinking of getting festive for your Sussex wedding, dig out a mince pie, get the kettle on and make sure you have your note pad at the ready…
1. Embrace the fact that it is Christmas!
‘We went for it and created our own winter wonderland outside our venue. We had steaming mugs of mulled wine and hot coco served to guests on their arrival. We also had a roast chestnut cart, along with a gingerbread stall and to top it off- Victorian style carol singers to provide the perfect soundtrack!’ – Natasha & Alex
2. Don’t run out of daylight when you need it most!
‘We booked our wedding ceremony for 3pm which meant we entered the church in daylight and exited in darkness. We would recommend you book your ceremony for 1pm so you’ll still have some daylight for photos etc.’ – Sarah & James
3. Invite Santa Claus to entertain the kids!
‘Weddings can be boring if you’re not an adult…lots of waiting around and sitting still, which can be hard for the kids. With that in mind, we got the little uns excited by a video message from Santa during the speeches ‘beamed directly from the North Pole’, as well as surprise sacks of gifts hidden under the tables for the kids to open.’ – Liam & Adam
4. Use lanterns, tealights & fairy lights to dress your venue!
‘With the night’s drawing in, we went crazy with the lighting at our venue. Using lanterns, tea lights, an open fire to light the venue and lined the aisle and walkways with candles.
As you already know; we LOVE to see couples celebrate their day in their very own way – and OH MY did Paul and Lydia do this in spectacular punk style.
The cool couple (who hail from Birmingham) said ‘no thanks’ to the usual suits, bridal heels and a reception (they’d done this earlier in the year already, but wanted something that was ‘just them’) – favouring instead a laid-back beach blessing, with a bridal dress bought from eBay, chunky black boots and having a few ‘quiet’ drinks around Brighton afterwards. Oh and it all has a super-awesome Tim Burton gothic vibe. Basically if we could insert all the heart emojis, we would.
Right, enough rambling from us. Here’s Paul and Lydia to tell us ALL…
We wanted a personal ceremony and kick-ass photos, we married earlier in the year at a hotel and had a sit down meal, speeches, and a party. Our photographer Rob did a great job finding some areas in the hotel that matched our style, but mentioned at the time about an ‘after wedding shoot’. This got us thinking we would have loved a beach wedding and decided to do it all again with just us. All on Paul’s birthday!
We love the alternative scene, and Brighton was perfect. We wanted a beautiful beach setting and were blessed on the day with perfect weather. Brighton and Hove is such a wonderful place!
Inspiration for our wedding came from our love of the same music; punk/post punk/new wave/gothic/alternative music. We had a gothic/punk theme. We are both big fans of Tim Burton, so there was a theme running throughout our special day!
It was all non-traditional
It was all non-traditional. We were married by Ellie of Alternative Ceremonies who was perfect for us with the theme we wanted. Rob of Rob Farrell Photography also came up with some cracking ideas for the shoot (as you can see!). They were perfect for us and we highly recommend them for anyone wanting to do something different for your special day.
As you may have already seen, we’re big fans of the new Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, so when we were asked if we wanted to pop down to their first ever wedding fair on Sunday (23rd October), we jumped at the chance! A Sunday afternoon spent sipping fizz, talking to fun and fabulous wedding suppliers at Brighton’s newest wedding venue sounded far too good to miss, didn’t it?! Love Sussex Weddings’ feature writer Shelley headed down to find out more….
The Fair (organised by Empirical Events) was free to attend and after meeting the organisers and the lovely Charlotte – the hotel’s Sales Manager – I was shown into the beautiful Marine Room.
The magical room, complete with original stained glass windows and views out to sea is where the hotel hopes many couples will say I Do. It really is a stunning setting that has one of those sense of occasion atmosphere’s about it.
It’s one of those rare finds – a beautiful calm space in the bustling heart of Brighton boasting stylish original features, yet it’s contemporary enough that any theme you dream of could easily come to life there. Seeing it done up with tables, sequin table clothes, glassware and those wedding must haves; the giant light up LOVE letters (all provided by the fabulous Sam at Mulberry Events), certainly got my creative wedding juices flowing! I overheard other brides (and grooms to be) aahing and creatively dreaming up how they would love to use the venue too.
I then had a good ole natter with amazing suppliers including gorgeous photographer Lucy Carnaghan (these are her fab photos too!), Hove’s MODE Bridal and her to die for designer gowns, the super-passionate Weaver Family Limousines (who started their chauffeur business after retiring because they wanted to share their love for classic cars!), blooming fabulous Nell’s Flowers (and the equally awesome Shelley from Sussex Flower Farm!), cake baker and designer extraordinaire Dotty Rose, jolly toastmaster and celebrant Guy Boyling and designer honeymoon and holiday planner Debbie Hammond from Designer Travel, to name just a few!
After all of that talking, Charlotte gave me a private sneaky look-see of the tranquil spa. As soon as I walked down the steps into the scenic spa, I instantly felt calm. The oasis has relaxing and stylish treatment rooms – including one for couples, which would be perfect for a pre or post wedding pamper together! The hotel will shortly be opening its stunning swimming pool and hydrotherapy suite and get this – by next summer will have a roof top pool! Just imagine; taking a dip overlooking the city and the sea the morning after your wedding. Sounds like heaven!
My love affair with the new wedding venue then hit dizzying heights as I was shown the hotel’s honeymoon suite. And OH MY is it lush! The plump bed looks every inch luxurious with crisp white bedding and sumptuous pillows. There’s also a Nespresso machine AND gin and sherry decanters for complimentary use.
But of course, it was all about THAT view. What could be better than seeing your wedding day out than with a glass of champagne, as the sun sets over the sea? I practically had to be dragged out of there with a heavy heart!
All in all, I loved my time at the Brighton Harbour Hotel Wedding Fair – I already can’t wait for the next one! A big thank you to Charlotte and the team for the invite! Also, massive love to super-awesome photographer Lucy Carnaghan for taking these photos from the day!
Brighton Harbour Hotel and Spa opened just this summer and we jumped at the invitation to head down to meet the lovely team, have a drink at the HarBar and have a little look-see around at Brighton’s newest seafront wedding venue!
Located on Kings Road (and quite literally a stone’s throw from the pebbly beach), the seafront venue (dating back to 1850) offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the beach and sea – guaranteeing a beautiful backdrop for vows, whatever the weather!
The magical Marine Room is newly renovated and licensed for up to 100 wedding guests, it boasts colourful stain glass windows and is just a few steps away from Brighton beach. The sumptuous décor also adds a true sense of chic sophistication to proceedings and will definitely wow your guests.
Speaking of your lucky wedding guests, there’ll be no need for them to sit in city traffic or worry about needing to pay for a taxi to get home when there’s 78 luxurious bedrooms, (we loved the sunken beds and amazing sea views), to reside in before and after the big day! Of course, the hotel’s convenient location to The Lanes, Brighton Pier and the British Airways i360 will provide plenty to see and do. There’s also the spa for post and pre wedding pamper time too!
KA-POW! Becky and Christian’s super-cool Broyle Place wedding was packed full of personal touches – and references to the groom’s ‘superhero geek’ side (as the beautiful bride says!). Love Sussex Weddings reader Becky added loads of surprises for her Batman, including a hidden Batman in their wedding cake AND rocking a funky garter. Team this with a gorgeous springtime outdoor ceremony (in April!) and blush and grey tones and you’ve got one helluva wedding day! You ready to hear more? Here’s Becky to unleash all the goss!
We spent the day choosing the perfect ring
After three years together we both knew that we were going to be getting married in the near future but on a day out in London, Christian surprised me with a trip to Hatton Garden and we spent the day choosing the perfect ring.
We chose to get married in Sussex as we wanted to remain local. A lot of my family live in London and Essex and travelled down for the bank holiday weekend which was great. As soon as we walked through the gates of Broyle Place we knew immediately it was where we wanted to get married – we didn’t even look at anywhere else!
Our planning came through recommendations, online searches, wedding fayres, magazines and blogs (including Love Sussex Weddings!). Word of mouth was great, as was wedding fayres getting to speak to the suppliers directly. The internet was probably the biggest help. I would spend hours searching for suppliers both in the local area and further afield. Pinterest became my new best friend for inspiration!
I would describe our wedding theme as rustic with a hint of superhero! Our colours were grey and blush pink.
Making it personal
We wanted the whole wedding to be as personal as possible. We created a table full of both families wedding photos throughout the years. The guests each kept their photos which they all loved.