It may have been raining at this Brighton Bandstand wedding but the spirit of the guests and this celebration were certainly not dampened. Lifted not only by the brightly coloured umbrellas but undoubtably the love shared between this stylish couple. Groom Max dons a sharp Hugo Boss suit and Bride Emma looks radiant in bridal separates. Mixing a romantic Halfpenny London tulle skirt with an elegant Sassi Holford corset. I also absolutely adorable her daisy Luna Bea headdress which matches her wild bouquet perfectly. As well as ogling the momentous Brighton bandstand and all the fashion prepare to swoon at all the portraits captured by Michelle Wood Photographer. Talk about romantic. This couple are seriously adorable.

The Dress

Emma the Bride: I wore a two piece, which came together to look like a dress. The top (by Halfpenny London) was a low back corset with a long trailing bow and lace detail, and the skirt (by Sassi Holford) was full length layered tulle. I initially thought my style would be more boho, but I couldn’t find a dress that was flattering on my shape (Skinny-Pear). As soon as I tried on dresses with a small fitted top and full skirt, I immediately felt happy. And really, you only get one chance wear a dress which is essentially a ball gown – so I went for it, a decision I didn’t regret on the day, and I felt so special. I fell in love with my daisy hair pins, which were by a really cool East-London designer called Luna Bea. Each daisy was hand made, gold plated and adorned with moonstone. They are now a treasured possession, which I hope to pass on to someone one day. My bridal shop, Leonie Claire, in Brighton, was brilliant from start to finish. They are a full service bridal shop with excellent customer support and this helped ease the last minute stress. It also helped that they are walking distance from my house.

Grooms Attire

Max wore a grey suit from Hugo Boss. I really wanted navy, but it was his choice and actually was the right decision as it seemed like the other male wedding guests were in navy. The best man, Pat lent the tie (his something borrowed and blue!), also by Hugo Boss, which he had bought in a charity shop in Chelsea. It was a really beautiful blue with delicate pink flowers, and weirdly, it worked.


We chose our venue, St Ann’s Wells Gardens, as we didn’t want anywhere too formal, and we needed somewhere we could play loud music, as Max is a musician. This was quite important to us, so right in the middle of a park was perfect. The café is surrounded by a lawn and beautiful trees, which we decorated with festoon lights.

Colour Scheme & Decor

Our colour scheme went through quite a journey, from sunset colours - oranges and pinks - to what we eventually chose - more natural whites, greens and grey. As our wedding was in a white and green bandstand, with the grey Brighton sea behind it, and the reception was in a green leafy park, the colours were a natural fit. I really love French outdoor themed weddings so I took a lot of inspiration from that for the decor, the banquet style tables, with foliage table runners, white candles, that sort of thing.


I choose my florist Bettie Rose Flowers because she seemed young and vibrant, as we didn’t want anything to be too traditional. Flowers are another thing that I changed my mind about a lot. I realized as my dress was more traditional that I should have fun with the flowers and go for a more relaxed bunch of loose daisys for the whole bridal party.


My bridesmaids all wore grey dresses. As each bridesmaid had different tastes we went with different styles for each, but in the end they all liked dresses from Monsoon. This worked well as the tones of grey all matched. We all got ready together at the Grand Hotel on Brighton seafront. We wanted a relaxed, pampering morning so we drank champagne, ate finger sandwiches and listened to girlpop as we got ready. Meanwhile the boys woke themselves up with an early morning swim in the sea.


Max’s Dad works in the film industry and was able to hire us a 1930’s Citroen Traction Avant car – the kind you see French gangsters in in the movies – to take us to the ceremony.


Our wedding ceremony was held at Brighton Bandstand, on the seafront. We absolutely loved this place. It really sums up Brighton summer beach vibes. I never imagined I would get to have a ‘Beach Wedding’. It felt really special and looking out to sea during the service was incredible. We hired chairs, covers and decoration, and were really pleased with the results, as sometimes it’s going that extra mile really made the whole thing feel special and beautiful. As our venue was outside we were worried about the rain, so at the last minute we hired a whole load of multicoloured umbrellas to hand out to the guests. Partway through the ceremony it started raining so we saw a sea of colour unfold before us. Max’s sister Florence did a beautiful reading before we exchanged vows, called Touched By An Angel, by Maya Angelou.


The DJ we had hired cancelled the day before the ceremony. Thankfully we had lots of musical friends to call upon and had a set list of three different DJ’s who played a nice mix of retro songs for everyone to dance, ending in futuristic house music.


We decided upon a range of burgers with brioche buns, served with Champagne. This was inspired by trips to Paris and our engagement, which was in a secret cocktail bar on the left bank. The cake was made by a local Patisserie. We decided upon strawberries and cream with Genoise sponge and Italian meringue. We also served cheese based canapés in the evening, which went down pretty well.


Our photographer, Michelle Wood was simply amazing, she worked so hard and really understood the kind of photos we wanted. We picked her because the Best man had recommended her from a previous wedding. As soon as we saw her website we loved her work. She felt like an artist, so all along we were quietly confident she was going to produce something brilliant – she did.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Bridal Outfit: Halfpenny London - Skirt | Sassi Holford - Top | Bridal Boutique: Leonie Claire | Headpiece: Luna Bea Bride | Jewellery: Number Ten Jewellers | Bridal Shoes: French Sole | Bridesmaids: Monsoon | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss | Venue: St Ann's Well Gardens | The Garden Cafe Hove | Florist: Bettie Rose | Cake: The Real Pattisserie | Stationery: Etsy - TheVowSheffield

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