Pulling off a fantasy wedding without it being gimmicky is HARD, but super stylish Bride Alex and Callum have created a day inspired by Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit that is so enchanting, it pulls you in and makes you think perhaps you should be a little braver with your wedding design. Southend Barns was the perfect backdrop for this fantasy wedding, lofty beams, high ceilings and fire pits transport you to another world, with Alex and Callum as our heroes.

Our Story & The Proposal

Alex & Callum : We met online with the intention of becoming friends (it isn’t often 2 redheads come together). After 2 weeks of constant conversation via Facebook we decided to meet in person as there seemed to be an instant connection and almost everything in common. Once seeing each other in person it was like a classic comic book love story. We instantly became best friends and fell in love with each other in a matter of days. We have been side by side ever since.    After a year together, Callum proposed while on holiday in Cyprus. Standing on the balcony, watching the sun set - it was perfect. The engagement ring had been custom made by a jewellers just a few yards from where we were staying.

Fantasy Wedding At Southend Barns Inspired By Lord Of The Rings

After lots of searching for local wedding venues, a few caught our eye - specifically converted barns seemed to have the character we were looking for. The second one we visited was Southend Barns in Chichester, and it just ticked all the boxes. It looked fantastic, even without any decorations. We knew straight away that this was it. A couple of days after our first viewing, we returned to put a deposit down for our desired wedding date.   As huge fans of most things fantasy, we drew a lot of inspiration from the likes of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As a converted barn, the venue was easy to picture as something straight out of one of these stories, and with the addition of numerous handmade decorations, Southend Barns became even more the fairy-tale wedding venue we imagined from the start.   A lot of people were surprised to discover that the flowers we used were in fact fake roses purchased from The Range. Alex’s mum bought piles of them and tirelessly arranged them and fixed them together with fake ivy to add to the woodland theme.  

The Entertainment

Entertainment for the whole day was taken care of by our Master of Ceremonies, Gary Evans. He helped provide the music for both the ceremony and reception. It was important for us to include the music titled Concerning Hobbits from The Lord of the Rings - this was played during the bridal party entrance - magical. As we are both huge metal fans, our first dance was to one of our favourite bands, Metallica. With the addition of a symphony, their track Nothing Else Matters was the perfect balance of elegance and rock’n’roll.   We had the legal ceremony as part of our wedding day. This was conducted by a local registrar at Southend Barns. This made the whole day run much smoother and avoided us having to travel to various venues.  

The Food

Our wedding breakfast included a BBQ buffet. Perfect for a summer wedding - although it did pour with rain - typical! The buffet included a delicious spread of various meats, salads, potatoes and breads followed by a series of mini desserts. Our wedding cake was in-keeping with the fantasy theme, it was designed to look like it was made from wood and was wrapped in roses and ivy. The design of this was impeccable and it also tasted divine.

The Photography

Our photographer, Nicki Feltham, is a friend of Alex’s and has included her in a previous shoot. With this connection, there was no uncertainty over whether we should hire her to capture our special day. We cannot sing her praises enough as she has successfully managed to encapsulate how perfect our wedding day was.  


If we were to give any advice to brides and grooms currently planning their weddings, it would be to chill out and take your time. Have fun with planning and designing your special day. Also, don’t let anyone else tell you what you can or cannot do - it is YOUR day.  


Due to buying and moving into a property earlier in the year, our honeymoon following the wedding was not quite luxurious. We re-visited Cyprus and were lucky enough to be gifted a couple of nights at a 5-star resort called Elysium. Here we were truly pampered and treated like royalty. We are also excited to be visiting New York City in the new year as our honeymoon part 2.  

Wedding Budget

In total, we estimate that we spent around £25k on our wedding. Although, a lot of this could be down to the number of guests we were catering for.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Featured suppliers

Bride: Maggie Sottero | Boutique: Proposals | Headpiece & Ears: Muse Suite | Cake: Nic's Slice Of Heaven | Catering: Field & Fork | Groom & Groomsmen: Astares | MC: Gary Evans | Venue: Southend Barns

Inspirational articles you may also find useful