With 18 months to plan their August wedding, Jessica and Jon were on the look out for a barn wedding venue in West Sussex. Spotting a photograph online of a beautiful venue, Jessica discovered that it was Upwaltham Barns.
“We visited soon after getting engaged and loved it straight away,” smiles Jessica. “We loved that there were different spaces but we could have the whole day in one place, and the grounds and beautiful scenery were perfect for photographs.”
Design and Décor
Deciding on a rustic, vintage theme, embracing 50s style and pastel colours, the happy couple were keen to make many of the decorations themselves. Jon’s mum made pretty bunting as well as hessian favour bags and table runners. Meanwhile, Jessica’s nan and sister collected sweets for the sweet table and made personalised labels for the jars and pastel-coloured buckets that were filled with retro sweets.
Wooden signage added to the rustic style and fun traditional garden games featured a tin can alley and coconut shy. Other well considered details included a photo booth guest book, ice cream caravan and personalised seating plan.
The fabulous floral designs were created by Samuel Baker and adorned the barns. Milk churns made fantastic vessels for outdoor arrangements alongside crates full of wild flowers and log slices with mason jars on each table.
When it came to the bouquet, Jessica carried a hand-tied bouquet of pink roses and gypsophila.
“Flowers were one of the last things we thought about as we didn’t know what we wanted,” says Jessica. “It’s amazing how much they added to the day.”
And the Bride Wore…
Jessica wore an Essense of Australia dress in a mermaid style with corset back.
“The train really sold it to me,” says Jessica. “It was just what I wanted. It all became very real when I put the dress on and the excitement kicked in!”
The beautiful bride accessorised with pearl jewellery and a John Richard hair piece.
Her three bridesmaids looked stunning in 50s style pastel dresses in pink, yellow and mint green.
“Instead of carrying bouquets, I hired each of them a giant balloon from Bubblegum Balloons,” explains Jessica. “They were so striking walking down the aisle and in all the photographs.”
The bridesmaids wore vintage style heels during the day and changed in to pastel-coloured Converse for the evening – simply perfect!
Continuing the Style
Jon chose a suit from Topman which was then tailored to fit. He completed the look with a shirt customised with his initials and a bespoke waistcoat by Victor Valentine. His groomsmen looked the part in slightly paler suits and ties from Next. Finally, Jon asked his groomsmen to wear pastel-coloured socks which made for a fantastic photograph!
Order of the Day
Following their romantic ceremony in the ceremony barn, drinks and canapés were served outside while a band called The Swing Band entertained the guests.
Moving in to dine, the newlyweds chose to have a barbecue, just the thing for an August celebration. Meat, fish and salads were followed by a delicious trio of desserts – chocolate brownie, lemon posset and meringue with fresh cream.
“Instead of having wine on the tables, we opted for pitchers of summery cocktails,” says Jessica. “The speeches were heartfelt, funny and embarrassing of course!”
All About Cake
“The cake was one of my favourite decorative elements from the day,” smiles Jessica. “Each tier was a different flavour and the pastel colours matched the bridesmaid dresses.”
A sugar tea-pot made a quirky cake topper.
As day turned to evening, Doug from Toast DJ’s filled the dance floor. The newly married couple danced their first dance to ‘I Wasn’t Expecting That’ by Jamie Lawson and it was time to party!
“At the end of the night, we had a sparkler send off which was my favourite part of the night!” smiles Jessica.
Advice from the Bride
“Don’t stress over the little things. And, everyone will say this to you but enjoy every moment of the day – it goes so quickly."
Images © Danni Beach Photography