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

Gemma and Matthew planned a day that was truly them featuring their beloved converted camper Images courtesy of Elizabeth Ruby Photography “ ROMANCE on the road Gem and Matt met at university and soon discovered a lot in common both in terms of interests and values. They became friends, and even now, after their relationship blossomed into something much more, Matt still says that Gem is his best mate. During lockdown the couple converted an old school mini bus into a campervan and planned a four-week trip around the UK for when it was completed in the summer of ‘21, taking them from Durdle Door to the NC 500 in Scotland. When they arrived at the campsite at their first stop and finished setting up, they headed down to the beach at Durdle Door for a sunset walk. It was at this romantic spot right on the shoreline, that Matt proposed. “I was completely shocked and so happy,” Gem tells us. “We’d literally worked full time and spent all of our spare time working on the van, so I have no idea when Matt had a moment to plan it all. He smashed it!” The couple were in love with Southend Barns from the moment they laid eyes on the venue during their first visit. “We wanted somewhere with relaxed, festival, outdoor vibes but still had a touch of class and elegance – Southend Barns has all of this and more,” Gem explains. “The team were so flexible and allowed us to make the venue our own. They were attentive, helpful, kind and understanding, and always fun to talk to. They took our ideas to the next level and displayed a real love and energy for what they do.” So, the pair wasted no time in setting the date for 5th August 2023. Read on as the bride gives us the lowdown... 42