Real weddings and wedding ideas

See how other local couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from Your Sussex Wedding Real Weddings features.

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From this day forward

The spark between Charlotte and Josh was clear from the moment they met and it was obvious to friends looking on that they were witnessing love at first sight. Five years on, and by that time a couple, they'd quit their jobs to go travelling for seven months. Charlotte was quizzed before she left about whether Josh might propose, but she was adamant he wouldn't. Sri Lanka was the first stop on their travels and whilst there they made sure to visit a restaurant recommended by a friend. Charlotte tells us,... read more

A touch of elegance

Gemma and James spent their first date in Brighton, where a flight on the i360 was followed by a walk along the seafront, rides on the pier and a meander into Hove for dinner. Gemma says, "It was the longest first date! We spent eight hours chatting, but conversation between us was easy." James proposed on a beach in Cape Verde. "He'd been joking about giving me a shell as a ring for days, so when he told me he had something to give me as we walked along the beach I just kept going. But he got down on one knee and proposed with an actual ring," Gemma tells us. While she was surprised, she did have a sneaking suspicion that the all-important question was imminent as a week beforehand her dad let it slip that he and James had met for a coffee.... read more

Anyone for tea?

Emma and Joe met in Bali. Emma was travelling solo and Joe was on holiday with friends. They were staying in the same hostel and the evening before Joe was due to head back to the UK they had dinner together and danced all night. They exchanged numbers before he left and Emma continued on with her adventures through Indonesia and Australia. "We fell in love during those eight weeks," Emma says. Due to the time difference, the pair would wake up in the middle of the night to talk to each other. When Emma arrived home, they couldn't wait to be together again, and she drove to Catterick, where Joe was based as an army captain, the very next day. "We've been inseparable ever since. Within eight months we'd bought our first home and our cat, Martha," Emma tells us.... read more

Teal death do us part

Laena's first impression of Jonathan, on overhearing him converse fluently in another language at a mutual friend's birthday party, was that of an exotic Italian gentlemen. However, once she'd headed over to speak to him, it materialised that he wasn't Italian at all! Nonetheless, their connection was instantaneous, so much so he proposed to her that same night! It only took Laena seven years to say "yes."... read more

Lights, camera, action

Melissa was 15 minutes late for her first date with Jim, leading him to believe he'd been stood up and mistaking a speaker for a seat in his distress. "He quickly realised though that a quarter of an hour is practically early for me," Melissa laughs. Despite her time keeping and his seating incident, they both had a wonderful time and set their second date for Valentine's just a few days later. "Jim met me off the tube with a rose and a bag of dolly mixtures," Melissa explains. That's true love for you!... read more

Falling for you

Despite attending the same school, Chloe and Luke never shared more than the occasional chance meeting at the time. It wasn't until a mutual friend encouraged Luke to join him at an Explorer Scout meeting, which Chloe was leading, that the pair started to get to know each other. They quickly hit it off and were out on their first date a couple of months later. Although they'd discussed the idea of getting married at some point in the future, when the proposal did come it was nevertheless a surprise for Chloe. "We were on holiday in Suffolk and visited Eye Castle where we ventured to the top of the viewing platform. I spent five minutes trying to read a plaque there, and by the time I turned round Luke was on one knee," Chloe remembers. Fortunately, his joke over breakfast about her having something sparkly by the end of the day had completely passed her by!... read more

To new be-GIN-innings

Joe's cousin had no idea that one day, he'd be welcoming Fran into the family, when he introduced the pair. They were school age when they met and their first date involved Joe getting on the local bus to visit Fran, who says, "I knew straight away that he was a genuine and caring person, which is what drew me to him." Four-and-a-half years later, Joe organised a surprise trip to Barcelona for Fran's 21st birthday.... read more

All you need is love

Rosalind and Alex were the first couple to say their vows at Southend Barns since it was forced to close for events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The pair enjoyed a small ceremony with just eight close friends and family in the setting of The Secret Garden, the venue's fully licenced outdoor wedding area.... read more

The perfect day

Jessica and Martin tied the knot at Swallows Oast in Ticehurst on 30th August, 2019. Although Jessica and Martin's initial attraction was purely physical when they met on a Saturday night in Hastings, a deeper relationship soon blossomed once they began dating. Jessica worked for TUI and it wasn't long before she needed to work abroad for six months. However, absence certainly made their hearts grow fonder, and they haven't been apart since.... read more

Lady in red

The palette of Alison and Peter's day was inspired by the bride's scarlet dress, combined with an industrial glam edge. Alison and Peter met at a house party hosted by mutual friend, ex-politician and Great British Railway Journeys presenter, Michael Portillo. Alison tells us, "As soon as we bumped into each other we had a jokey, verbal jousting kind of rapport, and there was an instant attraction."... read more

Above the clouds

Joanna and Liam's wedding theme was a natural choice given they'd travelled the globe to visit hot air balloon festivals, including the capital of ballooning – Albuquerque, U.S.A... read more

Memories are made of this

Julia and Sam styled their big day with a rustic vibe at Gildredge Manor on a sunny day in July.... read more

My treasure

Jessica and Maria chose a venue that meant to world to them, and enjoyed a wedding day packed with fun and laughter. "Maria asked her friend about me the moment she first saw me. Despite being told I wasn't looking to date anyone at the time, she then went on to wager a crate of wine that she'd be able to charm me," Jessica says of the pair's initial encounter on a night out with mutual friends. We're pleased to report that after several months Maria's charms did indeed win Jessica over, "combined with her humour, intelligence, obvious beauty, and dance moves," she recalls.... read more

Bee mine

Libby and Jack's celebrations at Barcombe Village Hall were eco-friendly with a nature-inspired theme. Libby and Jack met while working at a pub in Brighton. Libby was a student at the time and Jack was taking a couple of years out before starting university. They had a lot of fun together at work and romance eventually blossomed as they got to know each other on the walks home after shifts.... read more

Rockin' around the Christmas tree

Holly and Josh injected a healthy dose of Christmas cheer into their nuptials on 22nd December, 2018. Having met through mutual friends as teenagers, Holly and Josh were together 10 years before becoming engaged. The couple were living on the West Coast of Australia at the time, when they decided to take a month-long road trip over to the East Coast. Holly remembers, "On our second to last day, we were driving to Cairns and Josh pulled over so we could have one last walk on the beach. There wasn't another soul in sight and that's when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!" Although her family in the UK had known of the proposal plan for three months, it came as a complete surprise to Holly.... read more

Woodland wonder

Kerry and Craig went back to nature with the Fantastic Mr. Fox at Two Woods Estate... read more

Decadently deco

Rebecca and Luke tied the knot at Worthing Dome, with Art Deco twists complementing their historic venue... read more

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