Emma & Lucy’s Relaxed Early-Autumn Wedding

The two brides kissing under the archway at Upwaltham Barns
For their relaxed wedding in a traditional barn setting, Emma and Lucy chose Upwaltham Barns and set about creating their laid-back wedding with a vintage feel which couldn’t have been any more perfect.

Finding ‘the one’

When it came to choosing their venue, Emma and Lucy were looking for a special place that would provide the relaxing, calming and enjoyable location for their big day.

“When we visited, we’d chosen Upwaltham Barns before we’d even left the car park! We completely fell in love with the charm of the venue and its setting. It was just such an original venue and it’s surrounded by the most beautiful countryside scenery.”

 A bridal gown hangs outside Upwaltham Barns wedding venue in Sussex

The East Barn at Upwaltham Barns is set up for a wedding ceremony

The East Barn at Upwaltham Barns is the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony

The South Barn is set up for a country wedding at Upwaltham Barns in Sussex

A sign outside the East Barn directs wedding guests around Upwaltham Barns wedding venue in Sussex

Styling Upwaltham Barns

Keen to bring their own style to their wedding and create a day that had an old style, vintage feel, Emma and Lucy enlisted the help of one of their talented friends.

“Lucy’s best friend Harriet is very creative and she made a lot of the decorations for us including the sign post we used to direct our guests, the bunting in the main barn, the garlands twisted around the central beams and our seating plan.”

Emma’s mum also designed and created a table full of sweet treats that brought an old style, sweet shop feel to the occasion along with teacup candles for each table’s centrepiece. Lucy’s mum created the gorgeous autumnal flower baskets that greeted the couple’s guests.

“We actually had a craft day where we decorated the pegs that held the bunting in the bar area and my step-mum decoupaged two boxes that held handmade macarons. It was very much the creative, handmade wedding we wanted. So much thought and effort went into every part of our day and it was so much fun!”

Upwaltham Barns is decorated with DIY wedding decorations for this autumn wedding

A gin inspired wedding table plan directed guests to their seats for the wedding reception at Upwaltham Barns

Gin bottles were used as wedding table centrepieces for the wedding reception at Upwaltham Barns in Sussex

Tags with sprigs of rosemary were used for wedding place names for this autumn wedding at Upwaltham Barns

Dressing for the occasion

Lucy wore a Pronovias dress from Teokath and the antique lace look of the dress worked so well with the feel of the day. Lucy accessorised her look with a single pearl necklace, lent to her by a friend, and fabulous Jimmy Choo shoes.

The bride walks down the wedding aisle in the East Barn at Upwaltham Barns in Sussex

Emma wore a vintage, lace tea dress from White Leaf Bridal, a bespoke bridal boutique in Brighton. She wore the lace sleeves for the ceremony and then removed them for an alternative look during the evening. Emma’s Harriet Wilde shoes looked amazing and she also wore her great aunt’s watch, a beautiful pearl bracelet and droplet earrings.

In the East Barn a bride makes her way down the wedding aisle towards her wife-to-be

For the wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns the bride wore her great aunt’s watch as her something borrowed

“We really wanted the bridesmaids to be in dresses that they felt comfortable in. We decided to provide them with a colour swatch and some money and then asked them to source their own outfits. We were happy for them to express themselves and their personalities – the end result was amazing! Every one of them wore a different style of dress and one even wore a jumpsuit.”

The brides are joined by the bridal party after their wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns

However, for the bridesman and groomsmen, the couple did take charge.

“We wanted them to all be in outfits that suited the theme and style of the venue. We sourced gorgeous tweed waistcoats, which we paired with stone coloured trousers, white shirts, brown shoes and an aubergine tie or bow tie.”

The wedding day

The day started for both Emma and Lucy at Upwaltham Barns in Jasmine Cottage. Lucy got ready downstairs while Emma prepared for her wedding day upstairs! The ceremony was then held in the East Barn and included a special reading, given by one of the couple’s friends.

The brides prepared for their wedding ceremony in Jasmine Cottage at Upwaltham Barns

The brides say I do during their wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns wedding venue in Sussex

The brides enjoy a confetti moment after their wedding ceremony at Upwaltham Barns wedding venue

The celebrations began immediately after the ceremony with drinks and canapes in the courtyard. Two incredible violinists played while the guests relaxed and enjoyed themselves. To continue the laid-back feel of the day, the canapés formed the wedding breakfast starter and everyone enjoyed socialising whilst sampling the delicious food.

Wedding canapes were served to guests during the drinks reception at Upwaltham Barns

 A caravan wedding photo booth was great entertainment for guests during the evening reception

After moving inside, it was time for the main course and this was met with smiles from everyone – fish and chips!

“This went down an absolute storm – who doesn’t like fish and chips? For our dessert, we wanted something different that again followed the theme of our wedding. We found Sussex Vintage Ices who have a lovely vintage style ice cream van that provides homemade, locally produced ice creams and sorbets. Our guests could choose from over ten flavours and have as many helpings as they liked!”

Emma and Lucy opened their evening reception with their first dance to a song that was playing the night that Lucy proposed.

“We chose a track that was very special to us, Michael Jackson’s ‘Love Never Felt So Good’. We decided to just freestyle it and enjoy the moment!”

Brides enjoy their first dance in the South Barn at Upwaltham Barns wedding venue in Sussex

As Lucy and Emma are both self-confessed cheese addicts, cheese just had to feature in their wedding day.

“We decided to combine our wedding cake with the evening buffet. We tried and tested several types of cheese and finally chose five rounds of cheese from The Cheese Shed for our guests! Upwaltham Barns beautifully decorated the cheese tower with fruits and after we ‘cut the cake’, the cheese was taken off to be served in the evening with an array of breads, crackers, chutneys and fruits – a buffet made in heaven!”

As an alternative to wedding cake for their wedding at Upwaltham Barns the brides chose a cake made from cheese

Wedding tips & advice

Both Emma and Lucy say that their favourite moment of the day is seeing each other at the start of the ceremony. They are also very happy that the relaxed wedding they planned came together perfectly.

“The events team at Upwaltham Barns were perfect. There wasn’t a detail that they hadn’t thought of! We felt so relaxed and were able to enjoy the whole experience.”

The brides enjoy the gardens during their wedding day at Upwaltham Barns in Sussex

“If we were to offer any advice, we would say to try and enjoy the preparation phase – enjoying the day itself goes without saying but enjoy the time you take to plan and arrange the finer details too. The whole experience as a package was incredible. So much thought went into every last detail and so many special people were involved. This is such as special memory that we’ll never forget.”

If you’re still looking for some inspiration for your special day at this charming West Sussex wedding venue, take a look at Raye and Robin’s Relaxed DIY Wedding. It’s full of lots of fun and colourful wedding ideas that you could use!

Images courtesy of © James Grist

Brides wedding at Upwaltham Barns

Are you looking for a brochure?

Simply get in touch and we will send one straight away.

Request a brochure

Need to check if your big day is available?

Get in touch to check available dates.

Check a date

Plan a visit to Upwaltham Barns

Seeing the venue first hand is the best way to experience it.

Plan a visit