WWW readers Sarah and Nick tied the knot back in August, with a humanist ceremony followed by a pretty marquee reception at Northease Manor, East Sussex.
They wanted their wedding to be relaxed and fun. They had so many wonderful DIY details which they crafted with their loved ones, with crochet hearts, pom poms and bunting.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Ruby Roux Photography for sharing their images with us today.
The Proposal… Rome, Italy on our 11 year anniversary. Nick booked a surprise trip to Rome without me knowing anything. He’d never done anything like this before so it was a massive amazing shocker! He told me we were going away but didn’t say where so when we were on the train and he told me to get up when we arrived Gatwick Airport I freaked out! ‘Have you got my passport?’ ‘Where are we going’ etc etc! Anyway off we flew to Rome! On the first morning in we woke up and exchanged anniversary cards. Nick opened mine and glanced at it briefly and chucked it on the bed, which I thought was a little odd/rude… now I know he was a bag of nerves bless him! He gave me my card… it said ‘Dear Sarah, Happy Anniversary, can I ask you a question?’ He was suddenly down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes and we both hugged and cried and hugged again! The ring was made by a local jeweller using a diamond that belonged to Nick’s great grandmother and I fell in love with it straight away.
The Vision for the Day… We really wanted the day to be relaxed and fun and not too stuffy. The most important thing to us was to have as many of our friends and family members there as possible; to drink great drinks and eat good food. We were always keen to have a countryside setting with some outdoor elements. It was important for us to have a humanist ceremony, as we wanted to make it as personal as we could.
The Planning Process… We had pretty much decided what kind of wedding we wanted to have within a few days after getting engaged. We had a guest list drawn up the day after! The great thing about having been together for over 10 years is that we know each other so well and were completely on the same page. Nick took charge of the financial planning and we had about 100 spread sheets! Thanks to his amazing planning skills we were able to plan the wedding pretty quickly – 8 months from getting engaged to getting married. 6 months from booking a venue.
Budget… We spent about £17k overall.
The Venue… Northease Manor, Lewes. Set amongst the rolling countryside of the South Downs and dating back to the 17th Century. We had a humanist ceremony in the Tudor hall (thatched roof). We decided on a humanist ceremony as neither of us are religious. We had been to a friend’s humanist wedding a few years ago and both absolutely loved the ceremony and all it’s personal touches.
We had drinks and ice cream after the ceremony in the rose garden, although the weather was a bit dodgy people didn’t let it dampen their spirits! We then had the wedding breakfast in a marquee in front of the Tudor hall.
The Dress + Accessories… My dress was the Belle from Belle & Bunty in cream silk satin with a small puddle train. The dress was unbelievably comfortable to wear and was admired all day! It was exactly what exactly what I was looking for.
I wore a pair of pearl earrings that were a present from Nick a few birthdays ago and my late grandmother’s diamond engagement ring. My mum gave it to me on my 21st birthday so it seemed like the perfect occasion to wear it.
Finding the Dress… I always knew I wanted something a little different from the usual typical big ‘wedding dress’. I love the vintage look and especially 1920s and 1930s style and wanted to find a dress that was classic and beautiful but also easy to wear. I came across Belle & Bunty from obsessively reading wedding blogs such as this one! Once I found their website I fell in love with every single dress they had listed but eventually settled on the Belle dress in cream silk satin. Alice and Hannah and everyone at Belle & Bunty made the whole wedding dress buying process amazingly chilled and stress-free. Mum and I enjoyed a lovely cup of tea in china cups whilst browsing the shop. Perfect!
Groom’s Attire… Nick had a bespoke suit tailor made from Hugo Morris in Brighton. It was a light grey with a subtle windowpane plaid. He really wanted a suit that he could wear again and Mark and his team at Hugo Morris were so helpful in helping him choose fabric and the style which can be quite a daunting task if you don’t have to wear a suit every day for work! He had aqua blue piping and flashing which matched the bridesmaid dresses. Hugo Morris also made him a cream shirt to match my dress and avoid any clashing! He wore a slim aqua blue silk tie from Hugo Morris and tan brogues from Grenson.
The Readings + Music… We chose Ben Harper – Forever as our entrance music. It’s just a really beautiful song with very lovey lyrics. The Readings we chose were A Lovely Love Story – Edward Monkton which was read by Nick’s brother Chris. It’s such a cute little story. Our second reading was from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières which was read by my uncle Ray.
After the ceremony we had a jazz trio play 1920s ragtime jazz as we walked outside through an arch decorated by my dad. Everyone threw confetti over us!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… were my bestest friends who I met at secondary school, Alice & Jess. I couldn’t have got through the wedding morning and months leading up to it without them – BMG forever (that’s Bridesmaid Gang for those that don’t know!). They wore crinkle chiffon dresses in spa by Lela Rose by Dessy and both looked stunning! I wanted them to be able to wear the dresses again so we went for something quite relaxed and comfortable.
The Flowers… Laura, one of my oldest friends I’ve known since I was 2 years old is a floristry teacher and she did my flowers for me as a wedding present. My bouquet and the two bridesmaid bouquets included, roses, stocks, alcheamilla and veronica. We chose creams and peaches to match the wedding colours of coral, cream and aqua. I was very keen to have something elegant with a vintage and countryside vibe.
The Cake… I’m a huge cake fan and enjoy a bit of weekend baking myself so this was an important part of the day for us. At first we debated baking it ourselves but I soon realised I would not have the time or energy! My dad recommended Sam from the Cake Tin as he works with her and she brings in amazing cakes to work! After the most amazing home tasting, where Sam bought us 12 cupcakes to try at our house one Sunday we knew she was the right choice! We decided on a tower of carrot, lemon, chocolate, vanilla and mango cupcakes with cream, coral and aqua blue icing.
Your Photographer… Liz – Ruby Roux. Our amazing photographer was recommended by a friend’s wedding photographer. We hit it off with Liz straight away when we met for our engagement shoot on a raining day in a bluebell wood. She put us at ease and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. We loved her style of photographing and we’re so over the moon with the outcome of the photos and can’t wait to get our photobook!
The Details + Decor… We wanted to add some personal touches to the day. We decorated the marquee with homemade paper tissue pom poms, bunting, Pebbles (to represent Brighton our home) in jam jars with paper windmills, sweet peas grown by my mum in jam jars with ribbon. We hung loads of old photos of us on string for people to laugh at! Our tables were named after landmarks in Rome (engagement connection) and we displayed this on a vintage map of the city.
Favours were homemade strawberry jam and jars of sweeties! Name tags were tied to the jam jar favours and everyone had a crochet heart brooch – delicately made by my amazing bridesmaids.
We held a very wholesome craft day at our house in the summer where we cooked a BBQ for our friends and they all helped make pom poms, fill jam jars and glue felt onto the crochet hearts! It was such a fun day and a great way to involve friends.
We also displayed old wedding photos of our parents and grandparents in the Tudor hall – this got lots of lovely comments from people.
Nick and I both love ice cream so we hired our favourite ice cream café in Brighton to serve our guests an amazing selection of flavours such a cream tea, salted caramel and mojito flavoured ice cream and sorbet.
The Honeymoon… We went to St Ives in Cornwall for a Mini Moon on the Monday after the wedding, which was just lovely. I don’t think either of us realised just how much we needed a break after a crazy couple of months planning the wedding. Our guests donated to our honeymoon fund and we are going to the Caribbean for 2 weeks in January 2014 – we can’t wait!
Memorable Moments… There were so many! Seeing Nick for the first time at the ceremony – I was just so pleased to see him even though we had only been apart for a day! The best part of the day for us was just the fact that everyone was there for us! It’s really quite touching. We also made sure we took a few moments on our own away from everyone to take it all in. It’s a cliché but the day really does fly past so make sure you enjoy it!
Advice for Other Couples… Just do what you want to do. Don’t worry about what other people might or might not think. It’s the one day where you can justify being a bit selfish! Also just make sure you take time to enjoy the day and take it all in together before we have too many wines!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Venue: Northease Manor, Lewes, East Sussex
Photographer: Ruby Roux
Dress: Belle & Bunty
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ozone weddings
Groom’s Suit: Hugo Morris
Make Up: Lucy Freeman
Hair: Louisa Bush
Cake: The Cake Tin
How utterly gorgeous. I so love a couple that inject fun and personality into their day :-)
Thanks so much to Sarah and Nick for sharing their beautiful wedding with us XOXO Lou