Michelle & Fritz married at the gorgeous Grittenham Barn. It’s a blank canvas, which they loved, and so decorated it themselves completely. From DIY Chandeliers to pom poms to a handmade garland for the ceremony backdrop. This duo’s paper based talents extended to the stationery too, which they designed themselves. Clever people.
I kinda wish I’d been a guest at this one – there were so many games and activities to keep the guests entertained… I bet everyone felt really looked after. There are so many other amazing details too – you’ll just have to jump in and take my word for it.
Michelle The Bride: Fritz proposed to me back in 2012 while away on holiday in New York, one of my favourite places, it was truly one of the most beautiful moments ever shared – apart from the wedding of course!
We always knew we wanted our wedding day to be relaxed, laid back and just good fun for all our closest friends and family.
After looking at countless venues, we came across Grittenham Barn. I remember thinking this is exactly what we had been looking for, so the date was set for the 19th July 2014! We wanted to plan/design the majority of everything ourselves and the venue allowed us free range. The venue consisted of a barn, lake, gardens and even its own donkey! We didn’t have one definite theme but we felt it naturally took on a vintage/rustic look to the day. We choose a colour palette of mints, teals, peaches, pinks and golds styled with materials such as washi tape, twine, paper, and lace. I made a variety of decorations myself from finding fabulous DIY projects online, being a creative at heart I loved creating the decorationst for the wedding; from the DIY chandeliers to the DIY giant feather heart which adorned the fireplace. Online blogs allowed such creative freedom, I literally trawled through diy projects picking out projects I felt would compliment the venue as well as putting our stamp our personality on the whole wedding. We also brought a variety of decorations, like the paper fans that embellished the brick wall behind the top table and the bright pompoms that hung from the iron chandelier in the ceremony room. We know weddings can be a long day so want to keep our friends and family entertained. We put in comfy seating in one part of the barn and games such as giant Jenga, a coconut shy, full-on scalextric set, and the game pucket in the garden. In the garden we placed picnic balnkets and decks chairs for guests, adding to the laid back feel.
When it came to my dress I knew the back of the dress was just as important as the front. luckily the 2nd shop we came across I found the perfect dress, a beautiful lace slim fitting dress with a satin cowl that draped over the back. From the beginning I always knew how I wanted my hair and make up on the day, I was so grateful to find Kitty from ‘Kitty Boo’ she specialised in vintage styling she did an amazing job I was so happy with the results – thank you Kitty!
I found the pretty mint bridesmaid dresses on the high street, a steal at £50 per dress, this was a blessing as I did have 5 bridesmaids!
For Fritz’s suit, he set about searching the high street to find something slightly unusual. Unfortunately he couldn’t find anything close to what he wanted so he went to a few bespoke tailors in Brighton and decided to have the suit made by Gresham Blake. The fabric was actually a reverse of a darker teal in the sample book, and he wanted to go brighter which wasn’t a problem. For the lining he went with mint, as too with the back of the waistcoat, and then finished off the lining with pink piping. The shoes were from Next and had a casual feel, in keeping with the atmosphere of the day and with a teal sole, they complimented the suit. Like my dress his suit was kept a complete surprise from me until the day of wedding, we felt this was a lovely way to both share the special moment of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony.
With the groomsmen and best men suits fritz really wanted to avoid blacks, navys and dark greys. He relied on the ties and handkerchiefs to make the statement and the suit needed to be quite subtle. He hired the suits and chose a light grey suit and coupled with this with light teal / turquoise accessories from Manshop, Burgess Hill, which complimented both the bridesmaids dresses’ and his suit.
For the flowers we choose ‘Angel like Flowers’ they completely understood the feel I wanted the flowers to have and we chose a colourful wild and rustic theme for the flowers. To carry that through to the button holes I used peacock feathers and natural twine. For my bridal bouquet we chose a relaxed hand-tied bouquet of mixed flowers and foliage /buds a “just picked from garden” feel. The bridesmaids had hand-tied bouquets of Coral /Peach Snap dragons. For each table centrepiece we chose to have a selection of bottles and jam jars, all different shapes and sizes surrounded by tealights. Each group of bottles were placed on crochet doily’s which I individually brought from e bay. For the top table Angel made beautiful silver birch logs with matching wild flowers. Angel also created a cute antique gilt picture-frame with dangling tiny bottles and flowers inside that we hung above the fireplace in the barn.
For the food we decided to have a lamp spit roast. Vanilla Catering helped us though this decision and they were happy to arrange the cooked lamb served up on each table. We complimented this with a selection of lovely cold salads to give a more summery, barbecue feel to fit with the seasonal weather. Again, to have everyone sharing and passing around the lamb, salads, and rustic bread accentuated the feeling of a party, steering away from anything too formal and keeping the vibe relaxed. When we decided on the cake I had seen miniature beach huts cakes somewhere in Brighton and thought this would a perfect alternative to one larger cake, the design reflected our home town Brighton, seagulls included of course!
It was really important for us to have live music at the wedding, we found a great band Belle & The Whistles; a vintage style band playing a mixture of songs from the classics to modern day songs. They added an extra dimension to the day and got everybody on their feet for a cheeky dance.
I absolutely loved creating and planning our day, for us it was all the little projects that brought the day together as a whole. I would really urge people to use all the DIY projects out there, it really does allow you to add your own stamp on your wedding day. We would like to say a special thank you to Hannah May for capturing all the amazing moments, a truly incredibly talent and such a lovely lady she made us both feel so relaxed in front of the camera, and has captured some very special moments that we will never forget! We really can’t thank all our beautiful friends and family for making the day truly magical!
Photography by Hannah May
- Boutique Ocean Bride Studios
- Dress ‘Calla’ by Nicki Flynn ‘Vintage Lace’ Collection 2014
- Shoes BHS
- Maids Jane Norman
- Bride Headpiece Sheena Holland
- Groom suit Gresham Blake
- Florist Angel Like Flowers
- Venue Grittenham Barn
- Cake Maker Brighton Cake Company
- Caterer Vanilla Catering
- Entertainment Belle & the Whistles
- Transport Sussex Love Bug