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Vintage West Sussex Wedding

Photos By: Joanna Brown

As a lover and admirer of all things English, I was tickled pink to see this wedding sent over by Joanna Brown. Bride Rosie embraced her British heritage and arranged a wedding day full of lots of love, handmade goodness, and vintage details. Her silk wedding gown was last worn by a bride in the 1930s, and came with a portrait of the original owner on her wedding day!

vintage wedding dresses

From the bride, Rosie: We wanted it to be relaxed and informal but still stylish – without looking overdone. The emphasis throughout the day was sharing-from our food choices and seating plan right through to the evening entertainment.


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bride getting ready

pleated wedding gowns

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fuchsia dahlia bouquets

Our style was vintage, country, rustic chic, with a good measure of Brit-love thrown in! We got married during a year where the world was hooked on the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics so we wanted to celebrate all that is great about England and particularly Sussex (the county where we live and got married). There were lots of DIY touches — bunting made from vintage hankies that guests could help themselves to during the speeches; to photos of our families weddings from the 1920s to the 1970s for guests to write messages on; hand-stamped name tags with the words ‘spread the love’ stamped on the reverse, tied to mini jars of jam and honey, which doubled as place settings and favours; to giant wooden initials which we threaded with white LED lights.


bride with father

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bride and groom

chapel wedding ceremony

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newlyweds during ceremony

bridesmaids during ceremony

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I bought my dress from a vintage dealer-on the strength of one photo! I travelled three hours to see it and fell in love instantly. When it fit like a glove, with no alterations required I knew it was meant to be. It was an original 1930s oyster crepe-backed silk satin gown. Last worn in 1937, and purchased along with a photo of the lady who wore it and a copy of her order of service.


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Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t rush into booking suppliers just to tick things off the list. And go with your gut instinct. Meet people, talk to them. If they embrace your ideas the chances are it’ll all go smoothly on the day. Try taking on some DIY projects. You don’t have to be naturally ‘crafty’ — I’m definitely not, but they do add a personal touch. Buy local. We sourced food, soft drinks, and our wine all within a 20 mile radius of where we live. It helped make the day feel very personal to us and supported local producers. Shop around before handing over your credit card — and take the time to track down small suppliers. You’ll get a more personal service and end up with something you want to buy-not something they want to sell. Sign up to Etsy. I sourced several original vintage pieces including my French beaded bouquet and my 1950s head piece by Hattie Carnegie for a fraction of the cost it would have been from a boutique.


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vintage wedding portraits

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jam wedding favors

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bride and groom


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Lindfield, West Sussex, England / Wedding Photographer: Joanna Brown Photography / Event Design: Bride, Roses All Over / Wedding Flowers: The Home Grown Flower Company / Wedding Dress: Vintage via Abigail’s Vintage Bridal / Hair: Mandie of Strands and Co. / Makeup: Ruth McHugh / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Frock Me / Groom’s Suit: Reiss / Groom’s Tie: William Hunt / Wedding Caterer: Jacqui Hobbs / Wedding Music: The Vintage Give / DJ: Stick It On / Wedding Invitations: Sam Warner / Transportation: Premier Wedding Cars

12 Comments on Vintage West Sussex Wedding

We love reading your comments! Remember that the couples who chose to share their weddings with us are real people, so please be respectful and mindful of that. We love promoting engaged couples’ unique tastes, so sometimes their style may not be the same as yours. Ruffled reserves the right to remove comments that we find inflammatory, offensive, and self-promoting. We will respond to any questions regarding the feature above in this thread, so everyone can benefit from the answer. Thank you!

  • 1

    i LOVE her dress!!! absolutely gorgeous.

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  • 2

    That dress was meant to be. I love the lines, her hair and all the details that give this wedding an out of this world, timeless edge. It looks modern, lovely and love all the personal touches.
    I must paint this lovely Mr.&Mrs.
    pve

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  • 3

    I loved capturing every minute of Rosie & Martyns wedding it was a total dream, so chilled, so stylish, full of laughter and sunshine. And a massive thank you to Charlotte Powles for assisting me and being just fantastic all day long. Thanks for the feature on one of my all time fav blogs xxx

    Reply
  • 4

    Wow! What a beautiful day. I just adore Rosie’s dress. I think the Rosie and Martyn picked the perfect photographer for their day.

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  • 5

    So excited to see our wedding day featured on Ruffled, which was a massive source of inspiration to me when we were planning it all. We can’t thank Joanna – and Charlotte – enough for capturing our day exactly how we remembered it – full of love and laughter with a local flavour. We want to do it all over again! Thanks for all your lovely comments – you are so right about the dress. I hate cliches like ‘the one’ but it really was everything I had hoped to find and so much more. And a lot of that was down to Abigail who made the whole finding/buying experience a dream – she’s a far cry from snooty boutique owners that’s for sure! xxx

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  • 6

    her headband is killer! love it!

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  • 8

    Gorgeous vintage touches. Love her dress :)

    xoxo

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  • 9

    I love the unique, vintage bridal dress and the bridesmaid outfits and all the accessories. Absolutely original!

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  • 10

    Wow, everyone looked fantastic. Rosie you were right the dress was “the one”, and you obviously had a fabulous day and it was a delight to help you find your dress.

    Thank you everyone, and ruffled, for you kind words and Rosie is right: I’m not snooty at all!

    Oh, and I think a Babycham is in order!

    Love to all,

    Abigail.

    Reply
  • 11

    Such a beautiful wedding! We are having our wedding reception in Court Gardens in June! Can I ask where you got your mirror seating arrangement? Did you make it?

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  • 12

    I really enjoy all the little details, the cute favours, the bridesmaid gloves, the straws, all of it adds up to a very gorgeous wedding! Thanks for sharing with all of us :)

    Reply

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