Your Sussex Wedding - October/November 2023 (Issue 105)

WIN! A Yorkshire break worth £1,000 Meet the county’s wedding entertainers HOT TOPIC This time it’s personal! Boutiqu BLISS Wedding dresses to suit your vibe LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL OCT/NOV 2023 £3.55 Lub Mushtu on health and wellbeing SUSSEXWEDDING

Tilgate Park Weddings YOUR VENUE YOUR WAY OUTDOOR OR INDOOR • CEREMONY OPTIONS BEAUTIFUL WEDDING GARDEN • NATURE CENTRE • BEAUTIFUL LAWNS • STUNNING LAKES • ANCIENT WOODLANDS • MAZE • THE WALLED GARDEN Playing host to peaceful formal gardens and ponds, an evergreen hedge maze, events arena and cafe, the Walled Garden is the perfect location for celebrations like yours. Entering the magnificent tall wooden gates of the Walled Garden, it’s like stepping into a secret garden, being greeted by a 40-metre long pergola of beautiful wisteria, roses, clematis and grape vines. The Family Garden within has been transformed into a magical private garden, able to seat up to 100 guests either side of the aisle leading to a wooden arbour where the ceremony can take place. Afterwards, it’s the ideal location to serve your guests with some prereception drinks whilst you take the opportunity to explore the rest of the park with your photographer. For something different, animal lovers may want to visit the Nature Centre to take photos with the fun-loving meerkats or adorable goats. EVENTS ARENA At the other end of the pergola, the Arena is the perfect location to host a wedding breakfast and/or evening reception in our brand new marquee. Our 24m x 12m marquee is fully lined with ivory drapes, has chandeliers, fairy lights, and a hard floor which is carpeted. It also includes an amazing Zone Array speaker system which provides fantastic sound for dancing but also ensures your guests can chat amongst themselves comfortably whilst sitting only a few metres away. Outside the marquee the Arena, which measures more than 1,000 square metres, provides ample room for extra entertainment like giant garden games, a mobile bar or catering and it’s conveniently located next to the evergreen hedge maze where both young and old enjoy finding each other around each twist and turn. Although there’s no guarantee that the sun will shine, we have the advantage of also having The Barn, which is licensed, so you can choose to move indoors if you prefer. TO FIND OUT MORE OR BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR Email: | Visit: TILGATE PARK, TILGATE DRIVE, CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX RH10 5PQ tilgateparkweddings Tilgate Park has long been known as a top visitor destination in the heart of the south. Fans come from far and wide to enjoy more than 200 acres of woodland, gardens, lakes and even a mini zoo. Now this beautiful venue has opened its doors for unique weddings.

REGULARS 7 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the county 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 57 HOT TOPIC This time it’s personal! Find out how to personalise your nuptials 97 COMPETITION Win a romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2023 VENUES 19 SPOTLIGHT ON... Local hotspot Brighton 24 A GRAND OLD TIME We check in to The Grand in Eastbourne to find out what five-star service is really all about 27 RAISING THE BARN We round up the county’s beautiful barn venues FEATURES 51 LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL Whether you’re looking for a relaxed vibe, a riproaring time or something completely different, Sussex’s wedding entertainers have you covered 60 WISHING HUE A WONDERFUL WEDDING DAY Check out our wedspirational guide to palette perfection whatever the season 63 BOUTIQUE BLISS We chatted to the county’s bridal boutique owners to find out how to dress according to your big-day’s vibe On the cover This issue’s cover shot of real wedding couple Daisey and Lee was captured by DB Photography Sussex ( Find out more about their big day from page 45. 51 88 3

FASHION & BEAUTY 68 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 69 STYLE ALERT Burnt orange, green, and champagne colours are trending for bridesmaids this season 70 ALL DRESSED UP The new season bridal edit of dreamy dresses features delicate details, fairytale-inspired florals and flowing fabrics 75 STANDOUT SLEEVES Make your entrance in style wearing statement sleeves that will take you from day to dancefloor 83 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 84 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 86 BEST FACE FORWARD We investigate the much-discussed bridal must-have treatment, HydraFacial 88 LADY OF THE DANCE Strictly’s Luba Mushtuk talks health, wellbeing and the all-important first dance REAL WEDDINGS 32 BLOOMING MARVELLOUS DAY Horticulturalists Leanne and Alex styled their big day with an abundance of beautiful blooms 39 LOVE AT FIRST SWIPE Lucy and Daniel incorporated heaps of personal touches into their big day to show guests how much they appreciated them 45 WE ARE FAMILY Daisey and Lee tied the knot at The Bell in Ticehurst and made the most of the venue’s own quirky style 13 45 32 92 HONEYMOONS 90 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 92 RURAL ROMANCE Discover the delights of Provence at Hôtel Crillon le Brave 94 MAGICAL MAURITIUS Explore this year-round honeymoon hotspot for a taste of the local cuisine, lush scenery and sustainable hotel choices 96 TOTAL BODY BLISS Experience a weekend of wellness and total body bliss at Warwickshire’s Ardencote Spa GROOMS 78 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 79 SKIN DEEP WarPaint For Men shares its make-up and skincare tips for grooms-to-be 80 SOMETHING BLUE We’ve rounded up some of the latest products for the groom-to-be 39 4

VISUAL STORYTELLERS FOR THE WILDLY IN LOVE Ellis Gray Weddings are a wedding videography team based in Surrey whose style is candid and romantic, with a touch of cinematic flair. Experienced in intimate weddings, destination weddings and elopements. Pop that bottle of champagne, get cosy and watch back every moment from your special day with your very own Ellis Gray Weddings film. Email: Web: Annabel Healy Photography Capturing the natural moments on your wedding day... ...everything from the venue to the precious details, including the love, laughter, emotion and memories. 07801 481 117 | QUALIFED CHEFS, LOCALLY SOURCES SUSSEX FOODS Fantastic foods for weddings and events, elegant plated meals, canapes and sharring boards Looking after around 300 weddings every year, our dedicated and experienced staff have put their passion and knowledge into our menus. We have so many fantasic menus to chose from including great funky dishes, salads, meats and fabulous side dishes to canapes, main courses as sharing bowls or plated meals, delicous desserts and evening suppers. Pay bar service and drinks packages also available. Resident caterers for 10 fantastic venues. Established over 10 years. GENERAL CATERING BUFFETS PAELLA BBQS WEDDINGS PARTIES CORPORATE EVENTS AND MORE... Check out our fantastic reviews on Google!

24 COASTAL GRANDEUR I visited The Grand in Eastbourne recently and discovered what five-star service really means. cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Yes, I successfully survived the summer – hurrah! To be fair, I don’t know if we can even describe the last few months as summer, but never mind, it suited me down to the ground! Now, here we are in autumn already. This season is growing enormously in popularity for weddings and is one of my favourites as I love to see couples getting super-creative with their themes and colour palettes. Think rich jewel tones, which are stunning on their own or used with pastels as an accent colour. Rust is huge at the moment. Oh-so modern, it comes into its own during the autumn months. More so than any other season, autumn immediately conjures up associated colours typified by nature at this time of year, such as the reds and oranges of turning leaves. It’s also ideal timing if you fancy something a bit quirky. With Halloween on the horizon, add plenty of pumpkins to your styling. What about carving your own romantic scenes into them to represent your unique love story and using as illuminated centrepieces? Gothic and enchanted forest vibes also work particularly well at this time of year. What’s more, the much-loved rustic feel really comes into it’s own when given a harvest-time twist. September and October are also awash with wedding fairs, so as well as being a lush time to get married, it’s the ideal time to flesh out your vision with supplier soul mates! Our sister brand, County Wedding Events, is hosting an array of wedding shows across the South East this autumn including one at Selden Barns in Worthing. Head over to to register. This issue we’ve got three stunning real weddings for you offering a whole heap of wedspiration. Meanwhile, the county’s wedding entertainers and bridal boutiques, give us the benefit of their wisdom to aid you in your quest to put together your dream day. So, as ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x Kelly Andrews, editor Autumnal creations ISSN 1750-3477 Your Sussex Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your Sussex Wedding is published six times a year. 32 AB FAB Honestly, who doesn’t love a showstopper? Just look at Leanne’s incredible train, veil and bouquet. Oh so breathtaking, on-trend maximalist and utterly bridal. 97 WIN! A romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 63 LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT I love a boho gown and this pretty number with floaty sleeves, Strawberry Fields, has stolen my heart. It’s by Amy Duke at Velvet Birdcage in Findon. Find this stunner and more in this issue’s local bridal boutiques feature. ADVERTISING Account Manager Lorraine Whitehead | 01376 535 607 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Deputy Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | 01376 535 611 EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Cottesmore Hotel Golf & Country Club, Buchan Hill, Pease Pottage, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9AT T: 01293 528256 E: W: Ceremony Room, Reception Rooms, Enclosed Courtyard, Outdoor Ceremony Space, Lakes, Bar & Restaurant, 26 Hotel Rooms, 7 Self-Catering Lodges, Health Club, Swimming Pool, Beauty Salon & 27 Holes of Golf Brand new function rooms and romantic outdoor ceremony space nestled within a tranquil tree lined glade licensed for up to 150 guests Photography by The perfect country wedding venue set within 247 acres of stunning Sussex countryside

Catch up on the latest from around the county NEWS MUM’S THE WORD Lady M Occasion Wear based in Newick, East Sussex, has just been voted the winner of Women’s Best Clothing Brand 23/24 by Prestige Awards. Our huge congratulations go out to the team! The boutique offers a wide range of mother-of-the-bride and -groom attire by the best designers in the business and can accommodate all types of weddings, from formal to relaxed and everything in between. You’ll find a full range of sizes and styles to suit all body shapes and tastes, as well as a good selection of wedding guest outfits, plus a collection of hats and fascinators to coordinate beautifully with any outfit. Most importantly, Lady M Occasion Wear boasts a wonderfully friendly team, who offer a safe and relaxed environment for that special lady in your life to browse, try on and have an enjoyable experience as she prepares to support you on your big day. “We want our customers to leave feeling and looking as special as the event they’re attending,” says owner Sue. Lady M is open seven days a week by appointment only, and also offers dressmaking services to ensure your outfit of choice fits perfectly. Find out more at Nearlywed WILDFLOWER WONDERS Inspired by the wildflowers of the Sussex Downs, jeweller Gabriella Casemore has launched a new range of innovative, transformable poppy hairpins that beautifully combine modern bridal styling with sustainable longevity. Created for brides and bridesmaids, each piece is cleverly designed to instantly transform into timeless jewellery to wear forever, as a unique reminder of the most special of days. Personalised bridesmaids’ gift packages are available too, perfect for an unusual pressie idea. Hand-crafted with meticulous dedication to sustainability, each piece is created using recycled silver and ethical gemstones. Other flower designs are also available with a variety of jewellery choices at SLEEP IN STYLE It’s all go at Cottesmore Hotel Golf & Country Club! Last issue we gave you a sneak peek inside the new getting ready room, and now the team have announced the stunning new makeover of the venue’s honeymoon suite. The dual aspect, first floor windows overlooking the grounds offer swoon-worthy views across the golf course. Using a mixture of rich, velour fabrics in blue and sage green with hints of ochre and red, it really is a room you’d wish to return to after your perfect wedding day. Animal prints and fauna appear in the bespoke wallpaper and artwork, which is a feature throughout the whole venue. There’s also a spacious bathroom with a roll-top bath, walk-in shower and his-andhers basins. This lovely room is offered complimentary in all three of the venue’s wedding packages but the first package includes that little something extra with a bottle of Bollinger Champagne and hand-picked chocolates. Find out more at LOCAL NEWS 9

COUNTRYSIDE CALM The UK countryside offers some of the most dramatically beautiful and diverse retreats you could ask for when it comes to a spa escape. The most popular destinations have been revealed by, with East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa featuring in the top five. All rooms in the contemporary East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa overlook either the resort’s 18-hole championship golf course or the 1,000 acres of lush green South Downs countryside, setting the scene for a relaxing getaway with your best girls or your soon-to-be spouse. To keep in shape, the hotel’s Health Club runs yoga, pilates and studio cycling classes, after which a refreshing swim in the heated indoor pool will be just the tonic. Besides an aromatherapy room and monsoon shower, the main event here is the menu of luxury treatments, which range from an invigorating massage to a relaxing facial. To book your next relaxing spa break head over to A GRAND OCCASION While visiting The Grand Hotel Eastbourne recently, I was able to pop in to its autumn wedding fair where guests could see this breathtaking venue wedding-ready in all its finery. Able to accommodate weddings of all sizes from 16 guests for a wedding breakfast on the Gallery to 250 reception guests in The Compton Room, The Grand had the whole range on display. I loved the intimate wedding area, with the Arundel Room set up for a ceremony, the Norfolk Room set up for a drinks reception and the Arlington Room set up for the wedding breakfast. Peacefully secluded along their own corridor these three rooms make sure you have the privacy you’d want on your big yet small day. Flutterby Events ( and Buds That Bloom ( had decorated the three rooms to perfection, with the grand banqueting table opulently adorned in gold tones befitting The Grand’s own décor. The Compton Room is the complete opposite. A real showstopper it’s truly reminiscent of the grand balls and dinners than must have gone on in the past. So, the fact that it’s now used as the venue’s biggest wedding celebration space seems only right. The opulent plasterwork, high ceilings and balconies only add to the sense of grandeur, and the space was beautifully decked out again by the dream team of Buds That Bloom and Flutterby Events. Here, there’s space for 192 wedding breakfast guests and 250 reception guests. It’s a space made for entertaining, and with the Hotel’s recommended suppliers this is well taken care of. First and Foremost Entertainment (, Twilite (, Letters in Lights (, MTA Events (, Kevin Morton Magician ( and more, all seemed to have the matter well in hand! Finally, guests got to experience the gorgeous Princes Room set up for a ceremony with gorgeous blush pink floral arch and on-trend dusky pink sashes draped around Chivari chairs, complementing the room’s gold and cream palette. It can host 120 guests for the ceremony, 77 for the wedding breakfast, and 120 for the evening. Helpfully, so you could imagine your dream dress as you walk down the aisle, Claire De Lune Bridal ( had some gorgeous gowns on display, with Celebrant Elegant, Maureen Marsh (, on hand to discuss the “I dos.” Don’t forget though, should you wish to experience an al fresco ceremony with the sea breeze in your hair, The Grand’s newly licensed ceremony space in the gardens is now an option for you and up to 120 guests. You can find out more about tying the knot at The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne at EDITOR LOVES Scan to view video TIPPED FOR THE TOP Kate and Kate Celebrants are super-proud to be named in a 2023 industry list of the top 29 celebrants in the UK, especially since they're the only ones from Sussex! Kate and Kate say, “As we’re knee-deep in 2023 wedding season we’re loving meeting our couples, hearing their stories, getting a feel for the vibe they’re after for their ceremony, throwing ideas about and drawing on our many years of experience to give them the best wedding ever. In fact, we still love the whole process as much as we did when we started. We’re so thrilled that our couples thought enough of us to not only nominate us but follow up with votes of confidence in the form of five-star reviews and being in the top 29 celebrants in the whole of the UK is just amazing. We’re so grateful to all the wonderful couples we’ve worked with over the years, who’ve put their trust in us to tell their story and give their ceremony a bit of K&K sparkle.” If you’d like your ceremony to be award-winning too, make a date with Kate and Kate, via 10

Creating luxury wedding stationery, tailor-made just for you. Stationery | Signage | Calligraphy | 078 21 14 07 00 de Havilland Memories Hi, I’m Vicky, With a background as an actor, broadcaster and writer, I’m a celebrant with a broad skill set, a big imagination and a fabulous network of contacts. From romantic elopements to weddings with bells, whistles and Mariachi bands, I’ll ensure that your ceremony is as individual as you are; an occasion that ts you as comfortably as a pair of trusty old Doc Martens, but that sparkles like crystal-encrusted Jimmy Choos. @spotonceremonies Wedding ceremonies with heart, soul and WOW!

Gorgeous giveaways and discounts up for grabs GET 10% OFF BEAUTIFULLY HANDMADE BRIDAL JEWELLERY AND ACCESSORIES Sussex-based jeweller Gabriella Casemore has always been entranced by flowers; growing them, drawing them and creating them for others to wear. Fascinated by their beautiful precise perfection, she strives to create delicate yet lasting jewellery from the most fleeting inspiration. Known for her meticulous attention to detail and use of the highest quality sustainable materials, Gabriella designs and makes her collections from her studio at Brass Monkeys in the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove. After many years of making jewellery Gabriella, inspired by her own wedding, created a new collection of sustainably made bridal headpieces. Made from certified recycled silver, they are carefully designed so that after your wedding day they can be recreated into effortlessly wearable pieces of jewellery, becoming lasting treasures from your big day, to be worn again and again, destined to become heirlooms. We’ve partnered with Gabriella to offer readers a 10% discount site wide. To claim simply head over to to shop and use code SUSSEXWEDDING at checkout. Offer available until 30th November, 2023. WIN PERSONALISED BRACELETS Are you dreaming of making your special day even more memorable for your beloved bridesmaids? Look no further! We have an exciting opportunity for you to win personalised bracelets for each of your bridesmaids, courtesy of Merci Maman. Merci Maman understand the importance of thoughtful and meaningful gifts, especially when it comes to your bridesmaids. Its handcrafted Personalised Pastille Chain Bracelet is a bestseller, a timeless and beloved piece testament to the elegance and charm that the brand’s jewellery carries. Crafted with love and attention to detail, these bracelets will serve as treasured keepsakes for your bridesmaids, a symbol of your lasting friendship and gratitude. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Merci Maman to give readers the chance to win two personalised pastille chain bracelets worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, Freebies& OFFERS FIT FOR A QUEEN Inspired by organic shapes and capturing fluid elements in motion, Lucy Quartermaine creates stunning jewellery from remarkable designs that will transform your bridal style. Originally produced to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Royal Pearl collection complements 925 silver with freshwater pearls for a timeless design perfect for a wedding day. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to give readers the chance to win a threepiece set of Royal Pearl pieces worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 2023 ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents At County Wedding Events each show is professionally and meticulously run to ensure a variety of suppliers are on hand to help you plan your big day and are hosted by some of the loveliest premier venues in your area. All our shows offer you free entry and parking, a goody bag each containing gifts, and useful local information to plan your wedding. You will also have the opportunity to enter prize draw competitions and take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts on the day. SUSSEX SUN 22 OCT | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL EAST MIDLANDS SUN 15 OCT | RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, Kettering, NN14 1RR 12PM-4PM

ESSEX SUN 29 OCT | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 15 OCT | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 15 OCT | THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH 12PM-4PM As part of KD Events and Publishing Ltd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit our website WORK WITH US SUN 8 OCT | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US KENT SUN 12 NOV | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 12 NOV | MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD LONDON

• Free entry • First 100 couples receive a free wedding journal keepsake • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • Bridal fashion shows • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Demonstration areas • Competitions • Entertainment • Refreshments • And more... Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of Pre-register at London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 28TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 3:30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 7TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON ASCOT RACECOURSE, 7TH APRIL 2024 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 28TH APRIL 2024 Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Autumn 2023 wedding show season – perfect for all those couples that got engaged over the Summer period. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues to our larger Signature Wedding Shows, we can’t wait to welcome nearlyweds to our events and help plan their wedding day. Each event will boast a huge range of specialists who will be on hand to talk through your planning ideas and requirements; venues, bridal boutiques, photographers, florists, cake makers and more, there’s everything you could need to plan your wedding under one roof. On the day refreshments will be available to purchase from each of the venue’s on-site restaurants, bars and cafés. Couples will need to pre-register in advance for an allocated arrival time, although on the day visitors are always welcome, and attending our shows are free! For more information, visit County Wedding Events’ website. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Sarah Ellis, Sales and Events Director County Wedding Events. Psst! Our pre-registered Signature Wedding Show visitors will have the chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Weddings at the oldest pub in Brighton Available for exclusive hire, late license and is perfect for Weddings, Engagement parties and other celebrations. The Greene Room @ The Cricketers 15 Black Lion Street, Brighton, BN1 1ND 01273 329472 Three stylish interlinked rooms hold up to 70 people with buffet or canapes, or 45 people for a sit down meal. Private Bar Sound System & TV Bespoke Food & Drink Options Visit our website now to enquire or drop us an email Intimate wedding venue set in the heart of 'The Lanes' Just a stones throw away from Brighton Town Hall and the famous Brighton Bandstand we're the perfect venue for your intimate wedding reception. holds up to 120 guests sit down & buffet options own bar & facilities large car park The Ladies Mile FUNCTION HALL Located on the outskirts of Brighton in Patcham Wedding Receptions at the ladies mile, mackie avenue, patcham 01273 554647 Paul, Gayle and the amazing team at the mile are at hand to make sure your day is as special as can be! TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR ON OUR WEBSITE

BRIGHTON Spotlight on... Tie the knot in a local hotspot ROYAL PAVILION, BRIGHTON 03000 290 905 | Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is an icon of the city and emblematic of its rich Regency heritage. This inimitable former royal palace offers a unique venue for civil wedding ceremonies and receptions in the heart of Brighton and Hove’s cultural quarter. After many decades of restoration, today it can be enjoyed in its original 1823 splendour. An extraordinary building, the Royal Pavilion is often referred to as a fantasy palace. Where there was once a modest house by the sea, George IV created one of the most strikingly beautiful buildings in the UK. Designed as a royal party palace, the purpose of the Royal Pavilion has always been to delight and enchant guests at every turn. Today, it continues to serve this purpose, both as a visitor attraction and as a remarkable wedding venue. The Royal Pavilion’s glorious estate is one of the few surviving examples of a Regency garden in the country. Designed to lead guests on a journey of discovery, the views have been maintained for centuries, ensuring these magical moments can be enjoyed by guests today, offering a pictureperfect backdrop for your big day. The Red Drawing Room is licensed for ceremonies and retains much of George IV’s striking 1820s decorative scheme, featuring distinctive dragon wallpaper and palm tree pillars. Not open to the general public, it benefits from its own private entrance leading directly from the Regency garden, equating to exclusive-use of this area of the palace. It can host 44 loved ones and is available for day and evening hire. The Music Room too is licensed but available for evening hire only. Imagine exchanging vows in the dazzling splendour of one of the most spectacular and impressive state rooms. If you’re looking for a ceremony space to take the breath away, this is it! The extraordinary interior is lit by nine lotus-shaped chandeliers, with stunning panels of rich red and gold, supported by painted dragons. Meanwhile, the gilded domed ceiling is made up of hundreds of plaster cockleshells creating an illusion of height, making it hard not to gaze upwards as you enter the room. The Royal Pavilion can be hired for your reception even if you’re not holding your ceremony here. The King William IV Room is situated on the first floor of the palace above the Red Drawing Room, and offers an elegant setting for both day and evening receptions. With exquisite handpainted floral wallpaper and hanging lanterns, it also benefits from a private entrance, its own lobby and caterers kitchen. It can host 80 for a drinks reception, 60 for a seated dinner and 70 for a standing buffet. The Banqueting Room, which is available for evening hire only, is one of the palace’s state rooms and has hosted many opulent feasts for George IV and his guests. A glittering and extravagant room, it is quite simply awe-inspiring. From the huge mirrored dragon chandelier to the hand-painted wallpaper, carved wood edging to gilded ceramic lamps, no detail is left unembellished in this spectacular space. Your guests can enjoy evening dining around the huge banqueting table, laid out with porcelain and flickering candles. Here you can welcome 180 for a drinks reception, 90 for a seated dinner, and 150 for a standing buffet. It’s worth noting that as a historic building, the Royal Pavilion is not suitable for parties, and dancing is not permitted. LOCAL VENUES 19

THE CRICKETERS 01273 329 472 | Hidden upstairs at The Cricketers is The Greene Room, a stylish and elegant venue for private parties, functions and events providing a whole floor dedicated to decadence. With its own well-stocked bar staffed by the venue’s friendly team, sublime gourmet menus, views overlooking the Lanes and a flexible layout across three interlinked rooms, it has everything you need to get the party started. If you’re getting married in central Brighton, The Cricketers is just a stone’s throw from the Town Hall or a short walk from the seafront bandstand. It’s the perfect spot for your elegant and intimate wedding reception, exclusively available for you and your loved ones to celebrate your big day in style. Bubbles to beer, whatever your preference, drinks will be ready and waiting for your guests on arrival and throughout your reception. What’s more, the team is well aware that food is one of the most important aspects of any wedding and will work with you to make sure it’s perfect. From canapés and gourmet small bites, charcuterie and cheese boards to a full sit-down three-course meal, a delicious menu will be created to work with your preferences and budget. With all of this, three rooms for your exclusive use, and a sound system, the team provides a more flexible and personal alternative to hotel or restaurant banquet rooms. The Greene Room can seat up to 45 people for a sit-down meal or 65 for a more informal or cocktail and canapés-style event. BRIGHTON I360 03337 720 360 | The Brighton i360 Viewing Tower, along with its spacious beachside event rooms, offers a wonderful backdrop for your vows and photographs. The glass viewing pod is ten times the size of a London Eye capsule and travels from ground to 450ft, offering uninterrupted 360-degree views of Brighton, the South Downs and the beautiful Sussex coastline. The South Coast’s highest bar, The Nyetimber Sky Bar, is one of the most exclusive venues in the city and offers an unforgettable location for your guests to toast your union with a glass of this award-winning local sparkling wine in hand. The pod can accommodate up to 175 people standing or 60 seated theatre-style. After a ceremony in the sky, inspire your guests further with the venue’s event rooms: Attenborough, Birch and Constable. The flexible spaces are open to private beachfront terraces offering stunning views of the sea and the West Pier. All rooms have natural daylight, audio-visual facilities and views of the sea, the beach and the historical West Pier. They can hold between 100 and 480 loved ones. Alternatively, you can host an intimate reception in the reconstructed 1866 West Pier toll booth, which also has a private sea-facing terrace for 20 wedding breakfast and 40 evening guests. And, whether you’re looking for a formal banquet or a sumptuous beach barbecue, the venue’s chefs will create your menu according to your personal taste using the finest seasonal ingredients, many of which are sourced from the South Downs region. Image courtesy of Brighton i360 © Kevin Meredith 20 | 01323 870248 | ~ Exclusively Yours ~ A beautiful country house hotel located in the historic village of Alfriston, set in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Exclusively yours for your special day, you can make the most of the picturesque surroundings for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception. Selected late availability offers available for Winter/ Spring weddings from February - June 2024 Contact us today on 01323 870248 for a copy of our brochure or to meet with our events team to discuss your special day. Sandman Signature London Gatwick Hotel | 18-23 Tinsley Lane South | Three Bridges | Crawley | West Sussex | RH10 8XH | 01293-561186 | For the most important day of your life, look no further than Sandman Signature London Gatwick Hotel. We know that your wedding day is the realisation of your dreams, so let us tailor-make an event so it is as individual as you are. Our beautiful Vancouver Suite is the perfect place to say ‘I do’ with a license to welcome up to 150 special guests to watch you become legally married. We welcome you to the Canadian Suite, our wedding receptions space. Adjoining a private pre-event area including a full bar it’s the perfect place to celebrate your love and dance the night away.

Sarah Lacey Drycleaning Monday to Friday 8.30 - 5.30 - Saturday 9.00 to 1.00 If you care about your clothes let Sarah and her team take care of the cleaning. Specialist in the care and heirlooming of Wedding Dresses, Evening gowns, Christening Gowns etc. 1 College Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1QN Telephone: 01444 416644 /sarahlaceydrycleaning 07926 987500 OFF THE PEG WEDDING DRESSES  SIZES 8 TO 30 NEW DRESSES WITHOUT THE DESIGNER PRICE TAG One Moment In Time Bridal Boutique 2022onemomentintime_ Let Marks Meals Wedding and Events feed your imagination and delight your taste buds with individually designed menus tailored for your special occasion. Weddings at The Observatory The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 1RN | | 01323 832731 Celebrations under the stars, amongst our historic telescope domes. Offering a unique experience with total flexibility. contact us to book a viewing.

DOUBLETREE BY HILTON BRIGHTON METROPOLE 01273 720 710 | Recently refurbished, the hotel brings a modern and contemporary vibe while still holding on to its original Victorian charm. This iconic red-brick building is a staple of the Brighton seafront, taking its place proudly in the skyline of the city. Built in 1890, it stands out among the more modern aspects of the city helping to make Brighton what it is today. With sea facing balconies, it’s perfect for those all-important photos of your special day. The grand staircase too is a popular spot for couple shots. The Ambassador Suite is located just off the hotel’s main foyer, its arched ceiling incorporates a central dome feature. While the adjoining room acts as the perfect guest reception area. It can host up to 96 loved ones from ceremony to celebrations. The Clarence Suite offers an impressive space for your ceremony. Originally built in 1819 as a chapel in the grounds of the hotel, it boasts a high-vaulted barrel ceiling with three grand central chandeliers. It can hold up to 120 guests for your ceremony or drinks reception. The spacious Regency Room offers the ideal setting for larger wedding parties. Conveniently located off the main foyer of the hotel, it also has an adjoining suite perfect for guests to enjoy reception drinks. It can hold up to 250 guests for your ceremony or celebrations. The venue offers its couples a menu-tasting for two along with a complimentary bedroom for the night of the wedding. THE OLD SHIP HOTEL 01273 329 001 | With 154 well-appointed bedrooms, this four-star hotel comfortably combines its traditional heritage with the expectations of the modern world. One of the oldest hotels in the vibrant city of Brighton with Grade II listed function rooms, parts of the building date back to 1559. Standing proudly on the seafront of this historical city, with panoramic views from many bedrooms, the Hotel is perfectly placed to put its guests at the heart of the action. The Hotel sits a mere five-minute walk from the Brighton Palace Pier, historical Lanes shopping district, Sealife Centre and 10 minutes from the Brighton i360 viewing tower. It’s also just a covenient two-minute walk from the Brighton Town Hall and registry office. For ceremonies, the Fecamp Lounge can accommodate up to 70 nearest and dearest, the Gresham Suite up to 80 and the Regency Suite up to 120. Brighton’s original Assembly Rooms form part of the hotel’s 11 function rooms, suiting events of up to 150 for a sit-down banquet in the Paganini Ballroom, and being Grade II listed they’re forever preserved in their Regency splendour. There are several more intimate rooms suitable for wedding breakfasts depending on the number of guests you have. This ranges from the 400-year-old cellars for up to 30 nearest and dearest; to the Fecamp Lounge, Gresham and Regency Suites, which are perfect for seating numbers between 35 and 60. The venue offers a menu tasting for its nearlyweds, accommodation for the two of you on your wedding night, discounted accommodation for your guests and a 20 per cent discount in the restaurant for dinner the night prior. LOCAL VENUES 23

The impressive facade of The Grand Eastbourne cuts a fine figure, dominating the shoreline with its magnificent 19th-century grandeur. Often affectionately known as the White Palace, it was commissioned by local resident William Earp and built in 1875 at a cost of £50,000. It opened its doors as a hotel in an era when the upper classes ruled and loved nothing more than to holiday by the sea, bringing with them their entire staff and entourage. Having hosted a plethora of the great and good over the years including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Conan Doyle and King Constantine of Greece, the hotel today offers the warmest of welcomes to every guest to step through its doors. I was delighted to be part of this long tradition. The reason I harp on about history is that it’s no small part of the appeal of this incredible place, not only does it physically envelope you, it’s also present in the service and attention received before you even exit the car. There’s an old-fashioned charm in the way the staff look after you and I mean that in the best possible sense, as this is something that’s by and large been lost over the years. I’m talking about the warm welcome received by the porters as you drive into the car park and get shown to your reserved space, the staff who remember your name and wish you a ‘good morning’ as you pass, the fact that your luggage is taken from you at your earliest convenience and magically finds its way to your room, and the consideration for what you might need before you even know you need it. LADY KELLY I found myself imagining myself at the upper echelon of Victorian or Edwardian society as I made my way through the lounges and corridors having left all my troubles and stresses behind. I could almost hear the sound of string and piano music drifting through even though all was quiet. We were being shown to our Master Suite on the ground floor by the charming Chris who seemed genuinely delighted to show us around, while I did my best to play it cool! The footprint of the suite was probably larger than the ground floor of my entire house! The vast master bedroom featured a king-size bed, and was definitely worthy of its title. I decided to sleep in the smaller, but no less luxurious bedroom, to save my mum the ordeal of my snoring and we both enjoyed a restful night’s sleep. The highlight of the suite for me was the living room. Beautifully appointed, its huge windows lining two walls offered views of the terrace and outdoor pool, allowing us to feel in the heart of the action. I left mum relaxing in the comfy sofa and armchairs, while I headed to the outdoor pool to cool off. COOL COMFORT If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know by now that I... don’t... do... heat. So, on what was unexpectedly one of the hottest days of the year midSeptember, the outdoor pool was most welcome. The lovely spa with OLD TIME A grand Editor Kelly Andrews checked in to The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne to find out what five-star service is really all about 24

FIND OUT MORE The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne 01323 412345 its ample facilities is also well worth a visit if you’re staying, and with treatment rooms too, you can get in some pampering before the vows. But I must confess to only having a quick nosey as the 30-plus degree heat was beckoning me to cooler waters. I managed to grab a sun lounger and settle in – it wasn’t long before I got that summer holiday vibe. I’ve never been one for laying around a pool but for once I actually understood the appeal! If you tie the knot here in the summer, this experience is definitely not to be missed. Even if you don’t encounter the ridiculous temperatures I did, the pool is heated to a comfortable 28 to 30 degrees, so it’s as comfortable on cooler days as it is the scorchers. C’EST BELLE! Feeling human again it was time to head to The Mirabelle, The Grand’s fine-dining restaurant. Since it opened it’s been recognised with several awards and accolades from the UK’s top food writers. Not only is it considered one of the finest restaurants in Eastbourne, but The Independent placed it in the top 50 best restaurants in the UK. Mirroring the seascape beyond its windows the décor is awash with Wedgewood blue and greys, creating an elegant and calming environment, which detracts in no way from its divine menu of modern European flavours. It’s no wonder that this beautifully tranquil environment attracts many couples, there were at least two celebrating their anniversaries that I was aware of. You can, in fact, celebrate post-vows in The Mirabelle. Able to accommodate up to 50 guests, it’s available to book exclusively for your wedding breakfast and even has access to its own garden, which can be used for reception drinks during the warmer months. If you’re both foodies, I’d highly recommend this option. I’ve eaten here several times and on each occasion I declare it the best meal I’ve ever had, this time was no different. What’s more, the waiting staff offer the finest service the hospitality industry has to offer. MUSIC TO MY EARS The Grand Hotel has a long and auspicious association with music. Debussy completed his Symphony Le Mer in Suite 200 in 1905, and The Grand Hotel Orchestra would broadcast live on the BBC from the Great Hall every Sunday night from 1924 to 1939. As well as music being part of the fabric of the place with a pianist tickling the ivories as you dine in either restaurant and live music in the lounge on Saturday evenings, there’s still a regular programme of music events throughout the year. Do check out the website to find out more on that. Never knowingly missing out on a cocktail, we made a beeline for the lounge after dinner. Having selected Sweet Opinion from the impressive menu, we settled in to the elegant surroundings to listen to a live jazz band and watch couples glide across floor, practising their best ballroom moves. This feel of a bygone era and ultimate escapism isn’t something you find just anywhere. WHERE TO WED Princess Room 120 ceremony 77 wedding breakfast 120 reception Arundel Room 60 ceremony 48 wedding breakfast 50 reception Dukes Room 80 ceremony 48 wedding breakfast 80 reception The Compton Room 192 wedding breakfast 250 reception Arlington 55 wedding breakfast 70 reception Norfolk 36 wedding breakfast 40 reception Gallery Suite 16 wedding breakfast 16 reception Mirabelle Restaurant 50 wedding breakfast Pssst... Check out Nearlywed News to learn more about The Grand’s wedding showcase and suppliers. Scan to view video REVIEW 25

Peelings-Manor-Barns peelingsmanorbarns A perfect blank canvas for your special event A charming, rustic, spacious, DIY venue. The site features the stunning, Grade II listed, traditional Sussex flint barn, and enclosed outdoor spaces front and back. Contact Sarah Blessington on 07933 092102 or email: Available for hire between 1st April and 31st December 1 Peelings Farm Cottages, Hankham Road, Hankham, Pevesnsey, East Sussex, BN24 5AP WEDDINGS At DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole All event spaces have been fully refurbished ready for your perfect day. With a variety of event rooms to pick from, this venue is the perfect mix of Brighton's colourful culture and the hotel's Victorian charm. FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO BOOK EMAIL: 10% off Ceremony Room Hire until the end of 2023 @dthilton.b.metropole @dthiltonbrightonmet 10 UP TO OFF %

SOUTHLANDS BARN 01798 306 550 | Southlands Barn is a rustic 17th-century structure, part of the Southlands Farm Estate, which is situated in the heart of West Sussex in the quaint village of West Chiltington. Here, you’ll find two barns allowing your entire day to flow smoothly. There’s also a fabulous bar area, plus indoor and outdoor courtyard areas. Don’t miss the snooker room with comfy couches and fireplace. With its rolling fields, picturesque lake and breathtaking views of the South Downs, Southlands Barn is a working farm, which means there’s plenty of wildlife roaming around, so keep an eye out for pheasants, foxes, hawks, ducks, geese, native birds and the farm’s very own freerange cows who wander in each evening for their dinner. Ceremonies are held in the 17th-century barn, which has a capacity of 150 guests. Alternatively, if al fresco vows are what you dream of, the pergola overlooking the South Downs offers spectacular views. It too can accommodate 150 loved ones. Once you’re wed, celebrate in the Cattle Barn with 150 of your nearest and dearest. This is the second converted barn with glass bottle chandeliers, drapes and fairylights. Indeed, very little additional décor is needed for this characterful space. The venue offers its couples a free wine tasting evening allowing you to blind pick your wines. You’ll also have use of the bridal suite in which to get ready. With its three-day exclusive hire, the venue is yours from Friday to Sunday to use as you wish. Midweek hires are for two days. Raising We round up some of the county’s finest barn venues THE BARN Video by Scan to view video BARN VENUES 27

GRITTENHAM BARN 07788 467 051 | Grittenham is a Grade II listed Sussex barn set in stunning gardens complete with lake, orchard and woodland, all with breathtaking views across the glorious countryside and South Downs. The carefully maintained barn, farmhouse and outbuildings all form a historical site mentioned in the Domesday Book. The barn itself has been thoughtfully renovated and features an impressive central fireplace, vaulted ceiling and traditional iron chandeliers, which look incredible adorned with flowers. The space is both beautiful and flexible. With lighting, flowers and candles you can easily create the mood you want for your wedding. Set in seven acres of glorious gardens, you can admire the views of the South Downs and neighbouring vineyard, visit the farm’s donkeys and pigs, or watch the ducks paddling on the lake. The barn itself and parts of the grounds are licensed for civil ceremonies, with the lower barn capable of accommodating 120 loved ones for the “I dos.” The entire structure is separated into two by the fireplace, and it’s the lower end that’s the ceremony space (later transforming into the bar end), while the upper end is used for the wedding breakfast and dancing. You can also invite 120 guests for the wedding breakfast, with a total of 250 welcome for the evening celebrations. What’s more, there are two cottages on site that are available to rent. BURY MANOR BARN 01798 831 791 | Bury Manor Barn is a Tudor structure set in the picturesque rural village of Bury, near Pulborough in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The barn and its idyllic surroundings can be found in the grounds of Dorset House School, one of the oldest prep schools in the country. Steeped in history, records of the Manor date back to the Domesday Book. In addition to its stunning riverside setting and views, the Bury Manor Barn site includes several distinct areas including an amphitheatre with lighting to extend time spent outside. There’s also a peaceful walled garden with shady areas for hot days, perfect for guests to congregate for group shots. The fabulous covered terrace area with elevated views of Amberley Castle and the South Downs is ideal for a champagne reception. Meanwhile, the woodland area with a wonderful avenue of beach trees, and the magical pond with jetty and weeping willow overhead both offer idyllic spots for those all-important couple photos. Ceremonies take place in the beautiful inner barn or outside in the amphitheatre with stunning views across the Wildbrooks and River Arun. The venue holds a civil wedding licence here for 130 loved ones. Receptions are hosted in the 16th-century outer barn, which is divided into two distinct areas by a pretty glazed wall. There’s also the freedom to decorate according to your chosen theme. The barn has retained its original wooden beams, which you’re free to dress. There’s also a superb state-of-the-art LED lighting system in place. The inner barn is also available for receptions if not being used for the ceremony, and can accommodate 108 nearest and dearest seated at banquet rounds. For the wedding breakfast and reception, the inner and outer spaces combined can hold up to 228 guests. The venue offers its couples a complimentary wine tasting with Digby Fine English at their beautiful wine tasting room in Arundel. Scan to view video Video by 28