A 1920's Snowy Affair in East Sussex

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With the amount of the snow the UK has had in the past couple of weeks, this wedding is very fitting, for it was a very white wedding :-)

Becci and Christian were married last winter at Buxted Park Hotel in East Sussex, the bride wore one of my favourite Jenny Packham designs ‘Joy’, and the beautiful bridesmaid’s dresses were designed by Joanne Fleming.  I just love this authentic vintage 1920’s feel the couple have captured, even incorporating 1920’s music into their ceremony. The details and accessories are just beautiful, i love the peacock feathers :-) Becci had gone to great lengths researching everything, down to which flowers would be most authentic to the 1920’s era.

Even the snow didn’t stop them having their dream wedding, even when chaos beckoned.

The beautiful photography is from the brilliant East Sussex wedding photographers Hector Photo, thanks so much to them for letting me use their beautiful work today, here is what they had to say about the day;

“Well what a day, 7 years we have waited for a snowy wedding with blue sky. We did a wedding last february when it snowed but the day it snows it is grey and dark, this was 8 inches of snow with blue sky and sunshine. Still blimin cold but a breathtaking view from all angles at Buxted Park. Becci was very brave in the cold weather!”

The Proposal….

To be honest we had been discussing getting engaged for a while and eventually, one sunny day in July, we packed a picnic and a bottle of champagne and carted ourselves and our dogs off to a nearby lake to mutually pop the question! Not surprisingly we both said ‘yes’!!

The Vision for the day….

A fun, elegant and individual 1920s and 30s style occasion. We wanted the day to be enjoyable, memorable, and emotional for all our guests and were keen to have our stamp on every single element.

The Dress…..

The dress was ‘Joy’ from Jenny Packham in platinum. It was the first thing I saw when I walked through the door at the ‘Designer Wedding Show’ in London. I thought it was absolutely breathtaking and perfect considering the theme but I didn’t think it would suit my figure so didn’t even bother to try it on. After trying on several other dresses at different shops I stumbled upon ‘Joy’ again and tried it on. It was completely ‘me’ and looked so vintage and 1920s – I had to have it!

The Planning process….

Every single part of the day was planned to within an inch of its life! I firmly believe that half the fun is in the planning and was determined to be entirely involved in everything. I spent hours researching our theme and visiting blogs, such as this, to get ideas.

Beautiful bridesmaids…..

The maid of honour was my sister Tiffany, the bridesmaids were my youngest sister Holly, my cousin Caroline and my brother’s girlfriend Nadya.

They wore navy silk creations from Joanne Fleming. They were designed in different twenties styles to suit each bridesmaid. Finding dresses for the bridesmaids actually proved to be one of the most difficult tasks. I really wanted them to be able to wear different styles to suit their different shapes but of the same fabric and keeping with the 20s theme. Normal bridesmaid dress suppliers and dressmakers just didn’t cut it. The dresses were too structured and safe. I tried to find something in the high street shops but the colours just weren’t right.

Then I stumbled across Joanne Fleming Design on one of my many googling sessions. Her previous collections were just perfect and on meeting her she understood exactly what we were after. The final dresses were exquisite, beautifully made and with exceptional attention to detail. Thank god we found her! The girls looked stunning!

They were accessorised with pearls and diamante and for their heads I made them headbands from feathers, beads and vintage brooches.

The Suit….
Christian’s suit was a chocolate brown long line suit with ivory waistcoat and gold tie hired from ‘Hugh Harris’ Woking. They also provided a cane, watch chain and brown leather shoes to complete the outfit. He wasn’t a fan of the formality of morning suits so the long line was a perfect compromise. He also wore some striking gold revolver cuff links from Gresham Blake in Brighton which I gave him that morning.

The Venue…

Buxted Park Hotel, Uckfield, East Sussex, UK. Christian’s family is from Brighton and mine is from Woking so we looked at venues that were between the two places. Buxted Park was perfect as, not only was it a beautiful and imposing venue, we could have the whole day in one location and I loved the idea of getting married in an orangery. On the day all the natural light was beautiful!

The Ceremony Readings + Music….
I walked down the aisle to ‘It had to be you’ by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Kahn, first published in 1924. The musicians were relatives from Canada and New Zealand. The readings were an extract from ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ by Margery Williams and ‘Yes, I’ll Marry You’ by Pam Ayres, read by two of my friends and Christian’s sister. During the signing of the register we played several songs from Christian’s favourite video games which loosely fit with the theme: ‘I don’t want to set the world on fire’ by the Ink Spots (featured in ‘Fallout’!) and ‘La Mer’ by Django Reinhardt (featured in ‘Bioshock’!) We went back up the aisle to ‘Anything Goes’ the Frank Sinatra version.

The Cake…

5 Tier Vanilla Profiterole Chocolate Fudge Frenzy Cheesecake from the English Cheesecake Company.  We wanted something a bit different as we aren’t keen on fruitcake and don’t like to do the obvious! I found this supplier online and the cake looked spectacular but the proof was in the tasting! We went to their stall at the ‘National Wedding Show’ to try some and it tasted amazing! Christian must have eaten nearly a whole cake’s worth himself in free samples!!

The Flowers…

They were by Pollen Flowers, Brighton. They were made up of aubergine and ivory calla lilies, green and hydrangeas, peacock feathers and hanging crystals. Very decadent and very 1920s! Pollen was fantastic – they were enthusiastic, creative and communicative throughout the whole process.

The Details + Decor….
My ever suffering mother and I spent hour upon hour making items for the big day. These included:
– place mats for the tables which were a copy of the menu and a peacock feather under perspex
– scented candle favours for the women made in 3 different christmassy scents with our monogram and wedding date on them
– crackers filled with green & blacks chocolates, a mini baileys and some balloons
– order of services with crosswords and word searches on the back and a pencil attached.
– instructions for making balloon animals for the dinner tables. There was a prize for the first table to make all animals on the instructions provided! (We were determined that no one would be bored!)

Ups and Down’s on the day…

The day started in panic! We had stayed at the hotel the night before when the skies had opened and snow like we’d never seen before settled heavily on the ground. It was so thick that many guests and staff from the wedding that night were not able to leave and had been forced to sleep on makeshift beds around the hotel! The implications of this had not really dawned on us until we woke the next morning amid rumours that the registrar was snowed in, soon followed by calls from suppliers saying they couldn’t get to us. I quickly had my mobile confiscated and my bridesmaids were tasked with keeping me occupied and oblivious! The hotel and my family worked miracles and against all odds all suppliers and most guests managed to get there and the day went without a hitch! It was the most wonderful day, Christian and I were walking on air throughout and the snowed provided a stunning backdrop to the whole occasion. We could not have been luckier!

Advice for other couples…

It’s your day – have it exactly how you want and don’t be pressurised by others.

Enjoy every element of the planning and build up as the day itself goes so quickly. Whatever you do, don’t stress about it as it will all be absolutely perfect regardless!

If you dare – write your own vows! We are so pleased we did as we kept our vows secret from each other and it was lovely to hear what the other had to say – Christian’s were beautiful! We got loads of comments from people saying how personal and emotional the ceremony was.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good photographer and videographer – do your research! Ours were professional, discreet and completely indispensable. They produced some amazing work and captured so many parts of the day that we missed.

Because of the weather conditions on the day we relied heavily on the organisational skills and experience of the hotel staff. They ensured that the day went without a hitch and were completely indispensable. It was only after the event that I became aware of their importance and was so grateful that we chose a venue that came with that level of support. It was only due to their professionalism and level of communication that we were able to completely relax and enjoy the day as we could trust that they would ensure it went smoothly. I don’t mean to gush but at one point it looked like the months of preparation were about to fall apart around us!!

Thanks so much to Becci and Christian for sharing their day with {www}.

Credit where credit’s due…

Dress – Jenny Packham

Videographer- Dreamweave productions.

Photographer – Hector Photography.

Bridesmaid dresses by Joanne Fleming.

Florist – Pollen Florist Brighton, East Sussex.

Cake – English Cheesecake Company.

Band – Sophie Garner Band – booked through Warble entertainment.

Charicaturist – Paul Raymonde – booked through Alive Network.

Casino – Takeagamble Fun Casino Co.

Suits –’Hugh Harris’ Woking.

Venue – Buxted Park Hotel

Chair covers – Amaryllis Events

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