Sussex is a fabulous county – we live here so we are a bit biased! – and in the last few years Barn weddings in Sussex have soared in popularity. With its tranquil surroundings, countryside views, atmospheric beamed interiors and vast photography opportunities, it’s no wonder couples are choosing Sussex for their big day. This article aims to give you some ideas about why Barn weddings work so well, why Sussex is an amazing county for a barn wedding and maybe inspire you for your own wedding.
So why choose a Sussex barn wedding?
Sussex is famed for it’s rolling hills and lush countryside but it’s close proximity to London makes it an appealing choice for city dwellers, and in the height of English summer nothing beats enjoying a post-ceremony chilled glass of Pimms while gazing out across idyllic fields. Of course rural locations make the perfect backdrop for wedding photography too!
A MINI HOLIDAY
Many barns have additional accommodation on site with many couples choosing to hire the venue for their entire wedding weekend so that family and friends can all stay together, relax and extend the celebrations over a few days.
MAKE YOUR OWN MARK
Most barns will allow you to add your own decorations and customization to the venue (within reason!) so you can really make your wedding your own – ideal if you’re a more creative type. We’ve photographed some fantastic barn weddings where couples have made their own outdoor party games with coconut shy’s, welly throwing and hook a duck, along with play zones to keep children entertained.
Ok, not the most thrilling topic… but nothing annoys a wedding guest more than having to park miles away from the wedding/reception or pay extortionate amounts in parking fees. The benefit of a rural location is that most barns will have an abundance of free parking on site, ideal if you have elderly guests, those with prams and buggies (or guests with very high heels!).
NOT WEATHER DEPENDANT
Even the best party planners can’t guarantee sunshine for your wedding day and most savvy barn venues have options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies/receptions, so even if it does bucket down on your big day your celebrations won’t be affected.
Over the years we’ve photographed some beautiful barn weddings in Sussex so here is a list of some of our favorite venues to inspire you:
Grittenham Barn, just outside of Petworth is a really lovely stone barn, situated in a beautiful spot with gorgeous views over the South Downs. The open court yard (complete with donkeys!) is just the loveliest spot for an afternoon of celebrating in the sunshine, get the music playing and champagne flowing and you’re in for a great day.
The gardens, lake, orchard and woodland give plenty of options for gorgeous wedding photographs and the internal area of the barn is delightful whatever the weather.
We’ve a brilliant working relationship with Katherine and the staff at the barn and it’s always a pleasure to get back there, which is rather frequently actually – given that they kindly show off our work to lots of their potential couples!
Recent weddings at Grittenham Barns include Sophie and Adams wonderfully relaxed, heartfelt celebration – which was complete with an ice cream van, a pizza oven and lawn games; and Heather and Tim’s gorgeous autumn wedding day – full of gorgeous autumn details – even the donkeys had flowers on them!
Upwaltham Barn is a lovely spot for a wedding, don’t just take our word for it – they picked up the Wedding Industry Awards 2017 Award to prove it. We photographed our first wedding here about 7-8 years ago and its always a treat to go back.
Located just outside of Chichester – it’s a pretty barn wedding venue, with tons of outdoor and indoor space – ideal for a relaxed country wedding. Upwaltham is family-owned and that shines through in the friendliness of the staff, we’re always made to feel very welcome! We especially love the layout of the barns and the courtyard – it really lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere with a nice flow between indoor and outdoor sections of the day.
It’s also brilliant that you can get ready here – meaning no chance of the bride getting stuck in traffic on the way to the ceremony!
Farbridge is a sweet venue – a stones throw from Chichester. We were there first for Liv and Neil’s gorgeous wedding, and are looking forward to being back there again later in the year for another wedding. It used to be an old dairy, and it’s been beautifully and tastefully restored to make it a great space for a celebrating.
The fact you can stay onsite is a huge bonus too – makes wedding day logistics much more relaxed! We love the mixture of indoor and outdoor space – our first wedding there was during a torrential rain storm – but we still had so many great opportunities for photos inside and the venue made sure everyone was well taken care of, so the weather was pretty inconsequential! It also has amazing outside space too, so when the sun is out we have lots more locations we can use to get incredible wedding photos.
Fitzleroi Barn is wedding venue near Pulbourough, in the heart of West Sussex. The barn is over 400 years old and has spent the majority of its life being used for agriculture and farming – but it’s now a beautifully rustic wedding venue. Jessica and Hugh took over the barn for their wedding a few years ago and we were delighted to be there to photograph it. It’s a brilliant space for a wedding – the outdoor courtyard really lends itself to a relaxed day with guests chilling out for the afternoon before heading into the barn for a great evening of dancing and fun. We’re heading back to Fitzleroi Barn for 2 more weddings in the coming months.
If you are looking for a outdoorsy, rural wedding venue, that you can really put your own stamp on – Laughton Barns might be right up your street. Set a little bit outside of Lewes (one of our favourite towns!), it is surrounded by 84 acres of gorgeous grounds and has not one, but two stunning lakes.
Our first wedding at Laughton was the brilliant Victoria and Graeme’s, they truly made the venue their own with their 1920’s themed wedding – a wedding that received so much media attention, across so many international blogs and publications – it made our heads spin!
We also adore the fact you can get married outside – there is something truly special about outdoor wedding ceremonies!
THE SUSSEX BARN
The Sussex Barn is a beautiful 400 year old barn situated on a working farm in Hellingly, which is pretty close to Eastbourne. If you’re after a really characterful barn – this is the place. The layout really lends itself to relaxed summers afternoons with guests relaxing in the courtyard – with it’s stunning views ovet eh surrounding courntyside.
The first wedding we photographed here was for the wonderful Jess and Chris – having grown up in Hellingly, it was the obvious choice for Jess to get married, she adorned the barn with lots of beautiful DIY details and literally miles of bunting.
Pangdean barn is a candidate for the award of our most visited venue – it’s just outside of Brighton and we’ve found ourselves there many, many times over the years and it always delivers a fabulous day. It’s a delightfully intimate and atmospheric function venue that offers an amazing balance of countryside setting, but with easy traffic links. Their barn is just breathtaking, with a ceiling literally covered in fairy lights.
They also have a fabulous garden for outdoor ceremonies, as well as lovely afternoon drink receptions – perfect for soaking up the sun, before an evening of dancing.
Having been to Pangdean so many times, we have a great relationship with Nikki and Michael, and all the staff at the Barn and they’re always so helpful and accommodating, ensuring everything runs flawlessly.
Rumbolds Barn near Billingshurst, is located on a farm surrounded by beautiful pasture land and oak forests. The barn is fronted by a gorgeous covered drinks patio making it idea to spend relaxed, summers afternoons enjoying canapes and drinks, before moving into the gorgeous barn for a cosy evening of dancing and entertainment.
It’s nestled in beautiful gardens with far reaching views over the surrounding countryside and we adore the lake, it’s just ideal for getting beautiful wedding photos. It’s also one of thr are venues that allows you to have an outdoor ceremony – overlooking the gorgeous lake, no less!
Jess and Chris had their wedding at Rumbolds Barn and it was just the most beautiful day. They had planned their wedding remotely – entirely from their home in Germany, and the way everything ran without a hitch just highlights how brilliantly they did, but also how wonderfully the staff at Rumbolds run things and support couples in their planning.
Brookfield Barn is a pretty new barn wedding venue near Horsham. IT’s a beautiful, big barn built a few years ago and has the most wonderful terrace outside, over looking a lovely lake and golf course – it’s the kind of venue that takes all the stress out of planning a wedding, as you can get ready, have your ceremony and reception all at the same location – minimizing travel and logistical stress – whilst maximising relaxation and fun.
Our first wedding at Brookfields was the lovely CJ & Luke’s wedding – a day crammed full of fun, golf buggies and laser clay pigeon shooting – a first for us at weddings!