Sammi & Greg’s Farbridge Barn Wedding was set at the gorgeous Farbridge Barns near Chichester in West Sussex. It’s a lovely venue set in stunning countryside with beautiful gardens. Sadly we didn’t get to see much on the day as it was belting it down! However this is totally a story of how to manage your wedding day when it’s soaking outside. How to go with the flow, how to make the best of what you have and how it NEVER rains the whole day.
We met at work and hit it off immediately – we hadn’t met anyone who had as much in common as us so stuck to each other like glue at after work drinks and lunch hours. He made me laugh until my sides ached! I initially wasn’t too sure about dating Greg as I had plans to move to South Korea (as you do) but his persistence paid off and soon we ended up buying a house together and getting two cats! I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We decided together that we would get married and picked out a ring together. Greg really wanted to keep the proposal a surprise so I was on edge for about three months waiting for him to ask! One day in October 2016 we went for a lovely walk in Ashridge country park where a family of deer ran across our path (magical) and spent the afternoon in a lovely pub laughing and having loads of fun together. Greg thought there was no better time and so when we caught the sunset together in a field near our house later that day he proposed. I’m not sure who cried more! We were engaged for about 18 months before our wedding and had great fun organising the big day. Any excuse for spreadsheets and ring binders, and what could be more fun then planning a huge party with all your favourite people to celebrate how in love you are?
Your venue + location
Both of my grandparents lived in Sussex and I have so many lovely memories of visiting in school holidays. I also went to university in Sussex, as well as numerous weekends away with Greg – it felt like a really special place and we wanted to get married somewhere different to where we lived. We found Farbridge barns quite quickly after a cursory Google search on Sussex venues and we loved it immediately. The layout of the venue is perfect, it’s steeped in history and it’s so beautiful set in the heart of the South Downs. The staff are impeccably organised which made us feel at ease straight away.
Your outfits + accessories
I was adamant I wanted a short dress as I feel they are really fun and comfortable. This of course meant I had to find some killer shoes to show off (what a shame). I found some amazing Vivienne Westwood heels and snapped them right up! A good friend lent me her veil, I chose some earrings from John Lewis, I had flowers in my hair and I was good to go! Greg bought me a lovely Tiffany bracelet as my wedding gift that was engraved with our wedding date, which finished it off perfectly on the day. Greg wanted a grey suit that was a bit tweedy which he bought from Moss Bros. They embroidered our wedding date inside the jacket which was a special touch. He chose to wear a black knitted bow tie which looked very smart over a white shirt. His absolute favourite part of the ensemble was a pair of custom cuff links, made in the image of our cats from Etsy!
Decor + styling
We chose a local florist called Full Bloom, and gave Meera relatively free rein over the flowers. Our bridesmaids were in pale pink and we wanted to bring that colour into buttonholes and bouquets. The bridesmaids had gypsophila bouquets. She did a beautiful job. As gin enthusiasts we really wanted to incorporate it into our decor. Each table was set with gin bottles holding flowers, I made gin favours and our talented friend Charlotte illustrated our table plan where each table was named after a brand of gin. We had photos of our cats dotted around the venue (we’re obsessed) and had them atop our cake as well: I chose to make our cake myself, as I love baking! Assembling the cake on the morning was actually great at soothing my pre-wedding nerves.
Our ceremony was very us – filled with lots of laughter and silliness. We aren’t particularly serious people so keeping it informal was important to us. I walked down the aisle to our favourite song ‘Angels’ by The XX (or rather I power walked – I think my Dad was very nervous!). One of our bridesmaids and Greg’s sister did beautiful readings for us.
We had a dj for the evening reception, and at our request the last hour was reserved for Hip Hop and R&B! We put most of our efforts (and money) into ensuring that there was plenty of drink for people throughout the day – I think the free wine lasted all night! Our first dance was ‘You’ by Dayo Bello. It’s a beautiful song, and our lovely best man treated us to tickets to see him play in London when we got back from honeymoon which was so special.
Our favourite part of the day
Probably the speeches. I was and still am amazed by them! My dad, our maid of honour, Greg and our best man spoke and each one was incredible. They were so heartfelt and hilarious – our best man had a full PowerPoint presentation! Greg’s favourite part was definitely the time spent of the dance floor. He got the moves!
Words of wisdom
One thing I learned for the day itself is do not concern yourself with trying to speak to every guest. There isn’t time. I had a word with myself at about 8pm – you have to make sure you enjoy your day to the fullest and that meant four hours solid on the dance floor. You only get that day once. In terms of planning – delegate furiously. I did not do much of this and it would probably have removed some of the stress in the lead up.
We had two and a half weeks travelling around glorious Italy, drinking and eating more than we thought humanly possible. It was amazing and kept our bubble of happiness going after the wedding.
About Larissa Joice Photography
An old school peer used Larissa to photograph their wedding and I was obsessed with her work immediately! The reportage format, the creativity, the informality and warmth that shone through them was exactly what we wanted for our wedding photos. Larissa was thorough and organised. My two favourite traits in a person! She got us to consider things we hadn’t thought of and even gave us a checklist for things to remember to pack like nice hangers for dresses. We got brilliant service from Larissa and couldn’t be more in love with our photos. They are so great – so much joy, emotion and hilarity captured in every photo. We’ll treasure the memories forever.
My favourite parts of the day (by Larissa)
Honestly I loved the whole day. Sammi & Greg were a joy to work with. Their friends and family were so so lovely. There were tears and laughter and so much love. Because I spend a lot of time getting to know my clients I am 100% invested in their day. I am very aware that as a supplier I have a duty to make beautiful memories, not crappy ones. And because of that I get excellent memories too. I had the moment a quail walked into the venue and the bridesmaids shoo’d it out! I have the walk we had up to some old cow sheds just as it was getting dark and had FINALLY stopped raining. The light was astonishingly beautiful and we got some gorgeous photographs. But we also got some rather creepy horror film photographs that may or may not end up in the wedding album. But the creative in me had so much fun! It was a day that fed my soul and my creativity. Thank you so much Sammi & Greg xx