Nick proposed to Hannah at one of the most romantic times of the year, Christmas. In the run up to their seasonal celebrations, Nick presented Hannah with a card which read “Merry Christmas to my girlfriend.” Within the card, Hannah found another envelope, inside she was given the instruction to answer Nick’s question. “I looked up he was on one knee with a ring! When I opened the next envelope the card read “Merry Christmas to my fiancée”,” smiles Hannah.
The wedding checklist
Once the couple had celebrated the season and their engagement with friends and family they began to plan their dream wedding. First on the agenda was the venue. “We already knew we wanted to get married in St Mary’s Church in Storrington. St Mary’s is where both my sister and I were christened and where my sister got married. But when it came to the reception venue we needed to do our research. We wanted one that was fairly close to the church and somewhere where we were able to supply our own drinks,” explains Hannah. It wasn’t long before Hannah and Nick stumbled upon Bartholomew Barn and fell in love with its beauty. “We knew we had found the right place. The barn was beautiful and set in stunning Sussex countryside. It also had a relaxed feel that we knew we wanted,” says Hannah.
When it came to their wedding theme, there was no doubt about what Hannah had in mind. “I really love 1950s fashions and the elegance of the time so I wanted my wedding dress and bridesmaids to have that feel. I decided upon a grey colour scheme – it’s neutral and timeless which would be great when we looked back at our wedding day photos,” says Hannah. The couple brought elements of 1950s fashion, lifestyle and trends to almost every aspect of their wedding. They hired a jazz band, Silk Street Swing, to play during their drinks reception; booked a classic car, the Jaguar Mark II, for their wedding day transport; and choose wonderful attire reminiscent of 50s style. “My dress was called Audrey and was by Blue Bridalwear. When I put it on it felt so light and made me feel very graceful. It had such a big skirt I just wanted to spin around in it all day!” smiles Hannah. She complemented her gown with a veil and hairband with pretty pearl bow detail. Hannah’s bridesmaids wore 50s style LK Bennett dresses with cardigans embellished with a pearl neckline. They accessorised with box clutch bags to complete their chic, retro look.
Beating the budget
With a clear idea of how they wanted their big day to feel, it wasn’t hard for the couple to decide where to make savings and where to splurge. Hannah and Nick took advantage of family talents. They asked Hannah’s brother-in-law to make their wedding cake and Hannah’s mum to make homemade peach pickle favours. As celebrations, fine dining and dancing were high on the couple’s priority list, they decided to splurge on a marquee to attached to the side of Bartholomew Barn. “The addition of the marquee meant we had two rooms, one for dining and one for dancing. We also included a starlit ceiling and dance floor in the marquee,” explains Hannah.
Before long, the couple’s wedding day was upon them. On the 29th March 2014, Hannah and Nick tied the knot at St Mary’s Church. They chose two readings, St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, and Give us Grace, by Robert Louis Stevenson, both read by close friends. When the ceremony was over, the couple enjoyed canapés and champagne in Bartholomew Barn’s courtyard before tucking into a delicious three-course meal. Their wedding day menu featured a caramelised balsamic red onion tart for starters, lamb roast for main, and apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla crème Anglaise for dessert.
Touches of the 50’s and the couple’s love of travelling were evident throughout their wedding day décor and came to fruition in their first dance. “Our first dance was to Otis Redding’s Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. We chose this because of our love of travelling and enjoyment as we sat in the evening sun watching the world go by. My bridesmaid Clare went to dance school and choreographed a routine for us. It wasn’t complicated but it made us feel a bit more confident!” smiles Hannah. With the couple showing off their fab moves on the dance floor, it wasn’t long until friends and family joined in to the sounds of the wedding band, Murdock Crazy Eyes. “We provided animal masks for people to wear on the dance floor and flat shoes for the ladies to wear. They both went down really well,” says Hannah. ‘’We had an amazing day – even the weather was perfect. The only thing I regret is not hiring a videographer. There’s just so much to take in at the time!”
Hannah’s top tips:
- Make a plan for the day before the wedding. This way you’ll minimise the stresses on the day itself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to help out with your wedding chores. There’s a lot to do and they are normally more than happy to help out.
Images © Sarah Legge Photography