A sunny autumnal wedding styled with lanterns & drapes

A marriage proposal on top of Chanctonbury Ring set the stage for a wedding with the Sussex countryside at the heart of Gemma & Jean Paul’s special day. Luck was on their side with a picture-perfect crisp & sunny autumn day, perfect to enjoy the outdoor surroundings of Upwaltham Barns.

How did you choose Upwaltham Barns?

“JP started looking for venues as soon as I said yes. One afternoon JP was sat googling barn wedding venues when he came across Upwaltham, he arranged straight away for us to visit the next day.”

“The setting of the barns stood out straight away, we are outdoorsy people and love the countryside, the rugby post was a bonus with pretty much an entire rugby team attending.”

“We were both so impressed when we saw the ceremony barn and loved all the wooden beams and stone walls, the room was full of natural light. When we then realised there was a second barn for the wedding breakfast we were blown away as we were not expecting the second.”

How did you choose you suppliers?

Gemma & JP attended one of our open days where they met some of their suppliers & felt a real connection with people who knew the barns well.

“We built a really good relationship with some of our suppliers, we still speak to them even now the wedding is over and honestly I think it just added to the experience.”

“When we first visited Upwaltham we looked at some of the photo albums they have on display, we looked through the incredible Danni Beach’s work from a previous wedding. We loved how natural Danni’s photos were and how unique the images were. When we attended an open day, we actually met Danni and we knew we had to have her photograph our special day.”

How did you style the barns for your wedding day?

“The flowers were important to us both as we felt it helped show the natural and outdoorsy side of our personalities. Flowers were a big part of our centrepieces. Findon Flowers were amazing, they even made me a practice bouquet so I was able to see what it would look like.”

“We used To Have and To Hire to decorate the barns for us, Sara was at the open day, and we instantly got on with her and she had brilliant ideas. For the ceremony we had an ivory drape over the beam in the ceremony barn, white lanterns spread down the aisle and a collection of lanterns in front of the ceremony table, creating a natural & rustic look.”

Dressing for the day

“Wedding dress shopping was my biggest fear, I teach PE and live in my sportswear.”

“My sister arranged my appointment at Anya Bridal Couture, the shop is actually the most beautiful rustic barns in a lovely location just outside of Chichester. When I tried my dress on for the first time, I loved how it was fitted in all the right places and it had a blush pink lining underneath, so it wasn’t completely white. I loved how different the dress was and I was so comfortable on the day.”

JP & his groomsmen chose their dark navy three-piece suits from Next adding burgundy ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. Each bridesmaid chose their own dress style to ensure they were comfortable and felt themselves for the day.

“The website we used was JJ’s House, they were reasonably priced and offered a huge selection of different colours and styles.”

Tell us about your wedding breakfast

“As we were getting married in October and couldn’t call the weather we decided against any courtyard entertainment.”

However, the sun was shining and the couple were able to have their drinks reception and canapés outside in the courtyard.

“We choose our canapés after the wedding experience evening as they were all so yummy we couldn’t decide.”

This was followed by a traditional roast dinner in the South Barn & speeches full of laughter & happy tears.

“Our wedding breakfast was a nice homely roast dinner; guests choose either roast chicken or beef followed by either sticky toffee pudding or seasonal fruits Eaton mess.”

What are your top wedding tips & advice

• Enjoy the planning, it’s all part of the excitement!
• Visit Upwaltham throughout the process to help visualize how you want your day to look
• Gemma loved her spreadsheet! Excel is your friend and helps you stay organised.
• JP created a wedding website so guests could RSVP online and this made life so much easier.

PhotographerDanni Beach Photography
VideographerNine Elms Film
FlowersFindon Flowers
Venue DecorTo Have and to Hire
Wedding CakeCloud 9 Brighton
Bride’s DressAnya Bridal Couture

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