I fell in love with Alice and Chris the first time I met them, and then fell that bit harder when I arrived at their beautiful venue!
Cissbury Barns offers a romantic and idyllic setting, nestled within the picturesque South Downs National Park, the barns are not even visible until you reach the top of the drive through the estate. The secluded setting and rustic features such as beautiful brick and flint walled gardens and a fabulous outdoor bar area add to the unique charm that Cissbury Barns offers.
I found Alice and her three beautiful bridesmaids getting ready in the very grand and beautiful Mansion House on site, Sophia King of Sophia’s Hair and Lauraine of Ellis Beauty were both there working hard on hair and make up, respectively.
Antonia at The Wild Flower Box arrived with some of the most beautiful bouquets, centre pieces and hair flowers I’ve ever seen.
I began my day getting stuck in with bridal prep photos and then went to familiarise myself with the venue as this was my first time at Cissbury Barns. The very talented Adam Frost of Grapevine Audio gave me a lift in his car as the actual wedding venue is a good mile away from the house via a stunning driveway up a hill where you are greeted with some of the most fantastic views of the South Downs once at the top.
Tucked away behind beautiful mature trees there are two large barns, one fronted by a lawned garden and the other by a large patio and bar area, both have huge floor to ceiling glass doorways that allow natural light to flood in to them, a photographers dream!
The amazing Forget Me Nots were on site adding the finishing touches to their beautiful showpieces, such as their new flower hoop, ‘I Do’ letters and ‘Love’ sign.
When we got back to the Mansion House it was a hive of activity as Alice’s three gorgeous little flower girls had arrived and were keen to be transformed in to princesses! Once ready, I took them outside for a little play and captured some lovely images of the three of them.
Soon it was time to head back up to the barn where Chris was busy greeting guests, once his ushers had seated all of the guests in the ceremony barn Alice made her way up.
Their ceremony was sweet and intimate, I swear that every woman on earth deserves a man to look at her the way Chris does Alice!
One of the bridesmaids, Rachael is an amazing classically trained singer and sang to the congregation in Italian whilst the register was signed. We then all made our way outside for the all important confetti and formal family photos.
Once all of the formalities were over the new Mr and Mrs Howden took some time to have a very well deserved glass of fizz and then I whisked them away for ten minutes to capture their happiness and the beauty of our surroundings.
Cissbury Barns have an excellent bar set up, meaning that come rain or shine your guests can still be outside under one of their canopies enjoying a drink and in this case, a great ambience.
Guests eventually made their way in to the beautifully decorated West Barn and took their seats ready for a ‘posh BBQ’ meal.
Once the meal was over the speeches commenced. Alice’s father kicked them off with a very emotional speech about his wonderful daughter and her new equally wonderful husband, he was then followed by Chris who gave an even more emotional speech which resulted in his own tears – in my view, every groom should cry at least once on their wedding day, I’m sure it’s an unwritten law……….
Then Alice’s bridesmaids took centre stage and each spoke about the different ways that the couple were special to them and then they read a poem that they had written, next was Chris’s best man who let’s face it, did what best men do and lowered the tone somewhat during his speech haha!
All of the speeches went down well and were followed by more drinks and fun.
Later that evening, the guests made their way back in to the barn for the cutting of the stunning and utterly delicious cake that Alice’s Aunt had made while the awesome Blue Juice set up and began playing an amazing selection of tunes that were sure to fill the dancefloor! Not gonna lie, even I had a little wiggle, it probably wasn’t the best wiggle I’ve ever done though thanks to being bogged down by my harness and cameras, but it was a wiggle all the same!
Fajitas were served and everyone ate, danced and were merry.
Then, just when everyone thought that such a perfect day couldn’t possibly get any better the groom and his groomsmen took to the dancefloor and surprised us all with an excellent version of the notorious Inbetweeners Dance!