Danielle and Matthew’s Laid-Back Country Wedding

Bride and groom stood infront of a vintage car

Danielle and Matthew’s natural country wedding featured flowers, feathers and some Tolkien-inspired touches. The wonderfully relaxed atmosphere of the day was just what the couple had hoped for.

Finding ‘the one’

Danielle and Matthew started the search for their wedding venue online and, after shortlisting a number of wedding barn venues in West Sussex, they arrived for their showround at Upwaltham:

“Whilst we were going round, we just fell in love with the natural style and sheer beauty of the place. Each barn, courtyard and cottage we were shown just made us love the place even more.” – Danielle.

Bride and groom stood outside of vintage beetle

It’s fair to say that the rolling green hills that surround Upwaltham and the warm and friendly welcome all played a big part in Danielle and Matthew’s choice and before they left, they’d already decided that Upwaltham Barns was the wedding venue for them!

Bride and groom stood in the outdoor space at Upwaltham Barns

Styling Upwaltham Barns

Danielle and Matthew describe themselves as an ‘outdoorsy’ couple so it’s no surprise that their wedding decorations were inspired by nature. Their centrepieces were gorgeous log slices and church candles surrounded by ivy along with toadstool and pinecone shaped candles.

Orange and white decor at Upwaltham Barns

“We used a hessian table runner on the top table and a wooden ‘D’ ‘&’ and ‘M’.  For our card table we used an old picnic basket next to our guest book which was a plank of wood with our names on, guests were invited to sign the plank which will then go on our wall at home. We decided to keep our decorations to a minimum as the venue was so beautiful itself it didn’t really need anything else.” – Danielle.

Guests sign the wall at Upwaltham Barns

The couple also collected pheasant feathers and these were added to the bouquets and buttonholes alongside flowers including roses, carnations, lisianthus and calla lilies.

Danielle and Matthew’s love of literature was also evident in their day:

“Our table names were locations from Lord of the Rings because we’re huge Tolkien fans. Matthew wrote and designed these and drew them onto slates.” – Danielle.

Dressing for the occasion

Danielle wore a beautiful Sottero & Midgeley gown and has boutique Opulence & Grace to thank for her wedding day look, especially as the dress she wore was one suggested by the advisor in the boutique:

“When I came out of the dressing room, I realised that it really suited my figure and pale complexion. I stood staring at it in the mirror and when I was asked if I wanted to try the next one on, I realised that I didn’t – I just wanted to stay in that one! I loved the way it made me feel.” – Danielle.

Brides wedding dress and white and blue heels

Danielle completed her outfit with quirky shoes from Irregular Choice and a simple pair of drop earrings. A silver bow bracelet, inherited from her Gran, was the perfect finishing touch.

Matthew definitely wanted to be the best dressed man at the wedding so opted for a bespoke suit from Victor Valentine in Southampton. The Herringbone tweed, complete with burgundy highlights and a burgundy and green lining looked amazing and the double monk strap brogues from ASOS were the ideal choice.

Brooch bouquet of colourful flowers

The bridesmaids wore long Hunter Green chiffon dresses, made to order by For Her & For Him with their own choice of shoes and accessories.

Bride and bridesmaids with their bouquets

The wedding day

After their ceremony at a local church, Danielle, Matthew and their guests arrived at Upwaltham ready to celebrate. The festivities started in the main courtyard with Elderflower G&Ts and delicious canapés that included salt and pepper squid, oak smoked salmon and pulled pork wraps.

Fried squid rings for you and your guests

The wedding breakfast included breast of chicken filled with Jarlsberg cheese and asparagus wrapped in Parma ham and a sticky toffee pudding with local vanilla ice cream for dessert. During the evening, guests enjoyed bowl food with everyone tucking into lamb tagine with spiced couscous. For those with a sweet tooth, the couple then served their wedding cake. This naked cake was made by my aunt Catherine Hayes, the blueberry and mint jam in the cake was made by The Hungry Guest and was decorated with fresh blueberries and icing sugar.

Danielle and Matthew's wedding cake at Upwaltham Barns

“As we had a summer wedding and because we were off travelling for three months straight after our wedding, we opted for the practical favour of sunglasses! The Wayfarer style glasses had our names and wedding date on the arms!” – Danielle.

Table decorations and favours at Upwaltham Barns

The evening party started with a simple slow dance as Danielle and Matthew opened proceedings dancing to ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole. From there, the fabulous band Blue Juice took control:

“Blue Juice were incredible. They managed to get everyone dancing and played a wide range of music to suit all our guests.” – Matthew.

Bride and grooms first dance at Upwaltham Barns

Wedding tips and advice

“Do what YOU want. Listen to advice from others but ultimately decide for yourselves what you would like.”

“Remember to take some time out during the day to be alone with each other, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. This really does make a huge difference.” – Danielle.

Bride and groom in the outdoor space at Upwaltham Barns

Looking for more inspiration for your wedding day at Upwaltham Barns? Then why not check out this happy couple’s amazing vintage wedding day? You won’t regret it!

Danielle and Matthew's real life wedding at Upwaltham Barns

Photography by BeUnveiled



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