Your Sussex Wedding - February/March 2024 (Issue 107)

Lydia and Damien met at university and quickly became great friends, bonding over laughter, silliness and a shared love of festivals and animals. It wasn’t until six years later though that their loyal friendship turned into something more and they began dating. Damien proposed in Zakopane, Poland, the couple’s favourite place. He spent hours looking at maps to find the exact magical woodland path that had stunned Lydia so much the first time they’d visited in order to pop the question there. The pair started looking for wedding venues and both fell in love with the views of the South Downs and abundant green space that Slindon House offered. “We were blown away by the Great Hall with its high ceilings, beautiful décor and the amount of natural light,” Lydia explains. “We were also delighted to meet the resident donkeys and alpacas!” So, the date was set for 29th July, 2023. Read on to discover more about it from the bride herself... SETTING THE SCENE Lydia and Damien were both keen to have as little waste or single-use elements as possible on the day, which fed into most of their planning decisions, including décor and flowers. Also keen to let the beauty of the Great Hall shine through, they dressed it simply with greens, cream and gold. The fireplace’s mantelpiece was dressed with eucalyptus joined by the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets after the ceremony. The couple hired a moongate too, adorned in foliage and faux florals. This offered a grand focal point for the ceremony as well as for the rest of the day. As a further accent, they hired a super-cool neon sign reading: “Together is a beautiful place to be.” “This really summarised the feeling of the whole day,” Lydia says. The duo opted for banqueting tables for their wedding breakfast layout as they wanted it to feel like a party with their loved ones nearby. These were dressed elegantly with green and cream napkins, gold cutlery and green glassware. Lydia’s best friend’s mother, Diana, made 20 beautiful wreath centrepieces with foliage from her garden, along with roses, chrysanthemums and lisianthus with a pillar candle in the centre. She also created the posies that were tied to the ceremony aisle ends, in keeping with the couple’s palette. “These looked gorgeous on the chairs during the reception too,” Lydia remembers. The bride made the place names herself in the months leading up to the big day using a eucalyptus design card and gold ink to stamp guests’ names onto it. The table plan and welcome sign were designed to reflect the greenery and roses in the centrepieces. In the interests of avoiding single-use elements, the couple sourced silk bouquets from a talented local florist for the bride and bridesmaids. “It’s so special to have my bouquet in our living room in all its glory still and the bridesmaids loved keeping theirs too,” Lydia tells us. They chose buttonholes for the groomsmen and fathers to match the bouquets, which also made special keepsakes for the gentlemen. “Focus on each other and why you’re doing this at all times.” FOOD FOR THOUGHT Lydia and Damien are big foodies and get immense joy from cooking and eating together. So, they knew that food would be an important element of their day. The bride shares: “We really enjoyed meeting with Susan from Quinn’s Events to decide on our menu, and loved the stylish presentation of the canapés for the drinks reception. Susan’s passion for food and using Scan to view video 31 REAL WEDDING