Fridays call for epic celebrations and fun, and that is exactly what you'll be getting with Sophie and Matt's bright Winter wedding at Upwaltham Barn in Sussex. Everywhere you turn there is an abundance of colour. From the oversized floral bouquets to the adorable DIY pom pom decor, no hue has been missed. Bride Sophie even adds colour to her exquisite Joanne Flemming bridal gown, with a red embroidered bodice and fabulous faux fur cover up. As you'd expect everyone is full of joy and smiles, and, an there's not a shred of doubt in my mind that you won't be beaming too after you've swooned over the images by Epic Love Story Photography.
DressSophie the Bride: I knew I wanted a colourful wedding dress from the very beginning and fell in love with Jo’s beautiful and unique designs, her studio captured my imagination far more than anywhere else I visited and felt really special. It was important to me that my dress was bespoke and handmade in the UK, having studied textile design I really appreciated the craftsmanship of Jo’s work and wanted to support an independent and local business. Jo was spot on with the colour choice for my dress and I went mad for it managing to find some fab statement earrings from J.Crew only two weeks before and a gorgeous marabou feather coat that I spotted in Topshop which I bought immediately on impulse! My talented friend Kate Gwilliam designed a bespoke ‘Mrs Stocks’ patch using the colours from the wedding which I sewed onto the inside of my jacket for a personal touch and to remind myself of my newly married status! Beauty – I never wear make up usually but knew I needed some coverage for the day and found Laura Anne through a wedding blog. Laura was super friendly when I contacted her and I loved her boho hair styles and the variety of different make up looks she creates. I had an absolute blast with her, she is super talented and made me feel so confident and at ease on the day. I loved how she completely understood what I was looking for and nailed it. Her knowledge and passion for all things beauty really showed and I am still using products she recommended for me from the wedding! I would highly recommend her to anyone!
The Grooms Fashion & AccessoriesMatt wears a suit everyday to work so wanted something a bit different that suited the time of year for our wedding. Suit Supply was the obvious choice as they fit him like a dream and have a really good selection. He only tried two suits on and bought the second one, easy as that! We tried to find a tie to match the colour of the bridesmaids skirts but what we found was a bit much even for me so we opted for a maroon coloured tie from M&S which all the groomsmen wore too.
The VenueMatt and I are both from Sussex so it made perfect sense to get married somewhere nearby. Upwaltham felt like home from our first visit, Nicola and Tim who own the venue are extremely friendly and the whole team there were so happy to help with any request no matter what it was! Our wedding planner Kate, who works for the venue, took care of absolutely everything and offered us great advice throughout the process. Matt and I selected the venue knowing that they would ensure everything ran smoothly in the run up to the wedding and on the day and they didn’t disappoint! The team there are absolutely incredible and we had a fantastic day that we could fully enjoy knowing everything was taken care of.
Colour Scheme/DecorI am colour crazy, Matt goes along with it, and we knew we wanted our wedding to reflect that! I also have an unhealthy addiction to all things pom pom related and knew this was an opportunity for me to go big with them! All of the colours we picked for the wedding can be seen dotted around our home and even though we got married in November we like to think that the colours made it look as thought it could have been in Summer. The venue is beautiful enough that it didn’t need much decoration but we wanted to add a few personal touches. I created two pieces that attached to the top beams in the reception barn that were a cascade of pom poms which hung down to just above peoples heads. Each hanging had roughly 250 pom poms on and I spent days making them and hand threading them onto clear thread, praying they wouldn’t tangle prior to being installed. It was very strange making something that you coldnt se in place until the day before the wedding, there was no going back then! These then inspired the design of the stationary that my lovely designer friend Naj created for us along with the pom pom flowers, handmade Mr and Mrs sign and handmade cork notice board using pom pom push pins that was used for the seating plan.
Flowers/FloristWe found Zuzana from Fig Tree Flowers on Instagram, her flowers were beautifully messy and unique and I guarantee that she is one of the loveliest and personable florists anyone will ever meet! Her enthusiasm for trying to incorporate my mad pom poms into the flowers was amazing and they looked fantastic thanks to her! We went all out on my bouquet and it didn’t disappoint! It added so much colour to all of our photos and we were really pleased Zuzana persuaded us to go for it. I had sunflowers in my bouquet in remembrance of my brother George that was really special to me and the bridesmaid’s bouquets matched perfectly with the colour of their skirts thanks to the added pom poms! They were a great way to bulk some of the flowers out whilst keeping within our budget, seven bridesmaids is a lot of flowers! The real showstopper was the piece that Zuzana created above the doorway that we walked under for our confetti shot. It was incredible and people were in total awe of the pampas grass which she had surprised us with! If I had any advice to give on flowers I would say that spending a little more is totally worth it, they really shape the look and feel of your day and are a huge focus in so many of your photos. We did overspend but have absolutely no regrets! Ensure that your are completely in love with your florist’s designs and trust in their abilities, you can’t control everything.
The Wedding Party FashionI wanted the bridesmaids outfits to reflect our colour scheme and by complete coincidence I found the perfect coloured satin pleated skirts on asos that matched! As we had a winter wedding I couldn’t resist adding some sparkle with their mismatched tops. Matt was slightly unsure about the two-tone look to begin with but came round in the end! I loved how each of the girls looked individual, felt comfortable in their outfits and those skirts were so much fun on the dance floor! My niece Georgina, who is only 6, looked through pinterest to find her perfect flower girl dress including some 7 inch pink heels! I realised that I would have to make her dress if I was going to give her the princess style dress with a huge skirt that she was dreaming of! I found a dress tutorial on pinterest and made her into my little pom pom princess with a matching headband and sparkly flower girl basket. I had so much fun making it for her and may be making one in my own size soon…..
CeremonyWe wanted a short ceremony which is why we chose to get married in the barn at the venue. We knew the sooner we were officially married the sooner we could celebrate and relax! When we look back it was all a bit of a blur but the readings we chose for my brother Harry and oldest school friend Maria made it really special. Matt was pretty calm throughout and I had been calm all morning until I stood at the top of that aisle and saw Matt, I began to shake like a leaf! It is funny how emotions can creep up on you on the day.
EntertainmentMatt and I love live music and had decided very early on that we wanted a band in the evening. Matt was in charge of this and after many you tube videos of numerous bands we settled on Soul Fresh as their playlist had a mixture of old and new songs and they looked like they could get a party started. After visiting the venue one afternoon we decided to go for a quick shop nearby and saw a couple of guys busking. There was a huge crowd of people around them and I was dancing the minute they started to play and we knew we had to book them for our afternoon drinks reception! Alex and Simon from Steel Strum are very talented and are really fun to watch with their guitar and steel drum, the kids also got to have a go at the end! It was such a crowd pleaser on the day and really got everyone into the celebratory mood and was something a bit different.
FoodThere is nothing worse than being at a wedding and feeling underfed in our opinion so we wanted lots of food without compromising on quality! Our venue catered the food on the day and after a tasting evening there we went with ‘Pie and Mash’ for our main as it felt very appropriate for that time of year. The venue catered for everyone’s dietary requirements whilst putting up with my impossibly high standards and I have to say the food on the day was incredible. Food is a huge part of the cost of a wedding but it was something we really wanted to invest in to ensure our guests and us enjoyed it all. Our cake was the food highlight of the day for me, Matt’s was the pie! Lucie creates the most incredible cakes and after a tasting session at hers we were completely sold! We went for a carrot cake with salted caramel piping and a buttercream frosting and I could eat it all day every day. I should have worn a floaty wedding dress so I could have eaten more! She is a real perfectionist and not only are her cakes delicious they look phenominal, I would highly recommend her.
PhotographerMatt and I are not big photo people so we really wanted someone who took relaxed and fun shots. We contacted a few people but Emma’s super friendly and excitable approach won us over and of course her photos are amazing! We chose to meet Emma in person before the big day which I am so glad we did as she have us some great advice on confetti, the timings of our day plus many other things and it meant that we felt completely at ease with her. Seeing our photos for the first time was so much fun and they completely exceeded all our expectations! I don’t think you will find a photo of Matt and I not smiling or laughing throughout the whole day and part of that was definitely down to Emma’s humour and how relaxed she made us feel in front of the camera. Matt and I aren’t that funny in real life…..! We don’t even remember her taking half of the photos on the day, she is a camera ninja! We chose not to have a videographer as we felt Emma’s style of photography would capture the day perfectly. It is definitely worth investing in a photographer and really looking through their portfolio to ensure you will get exactly what you want. I would also say that it is so important that you connect with your photographer on a more personal level too as you do spend a lot of time with them on the day.
DIYFor as long as I can remember I have been a lover of all crafty things, Matt not so much! I knew if we were going to get married that I was going to go all out and craft the nuts out of it! I couldn’t have done half of what we did without the help of my Dad who is a complete DIY god. All of my weird and wonderful requests were brought to life thanks to him and they made the day so unique. A huge thank you Dad!
AdviceMake sure your shoes and dress are comfortable, you are in them all day, if you love an idea that may seem out of the norm go for it as it is likely that this is what you will remember in years to come, above everything else have fun on the day and don’t stop smiling!
Bridal Gown: Joanne Fleming Design | Jewellery: J.Crew | Bespoke Patch: EmbroiderybyKGDesign | Bridal Shoes: Carvela Kurt Geiger | Hair & Makeup: Laura Anne Hair and Makeup Design | Venue: Upwaltham Barns | Florist: Fig and Flower | Cake: Lucie Bennett Patissier & Chocolatier | Caterer: Nibbles 2 Nosh at Upwaltham Barns | Stationery: Naj Ellwood | Entertainment: Steel Strum, Evening – Soul Fresh (Ear Candy) | Groom : Suit Supply | Bridesmaids Skirts: ASOS | Tops & Beads: Coast