A Vibrant, Floral Grunge Inspired Barn Wedding in West Sussex…

Barn Wedding with Colourful Fiesta Styling…

What a delight of a real wedding we have to share with you today!

Luke & Zoë incredible Celtic hand fasting ceremony took place at The Secret Barn in West Sussex and included colourful fiesta styling, handmade wedding stationery, a cool ASOS wedding dress, vegan food and giant geometric piñatas!! Its a proper explosion of colour…

Photography by Paloma…

couples portrait photography with smoke bombs

How did the couple find you?

I met Zoë and Luke in 2015 at a wedding fair in Brighton. They won a competition I was running for an engagement shoot; we had it on Halloween in the South Downs. It was epic, we had red smoke bombs and made friends with some cows!

What was your favourite part of the day?

The piñata! I loved seeing both bride and groom bash the shit out of them with a bat and then they got all their guests to do the same. There were sweets and lollies flying about everywhere. I thought it was hilarious!

What was your favourite shot of the day, and why?

A close up portrait of the couple. I loved it because in all the craziness of the staged photos (we were doing smoke bombs posed ones in honour of their engagement sesh) they found the time to have this incredible unstaged moment and I was there to capture it.

wedding games creative, edgy wedding portrait photography

Zoë and Luke…

How did you meet?

We met when we were both 18 at Battle Bonfire Night through a mutual friend. He lent me his gloves. It was love at first sight.

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged at the end of the harbour arm at Mullion Cove in Cornwall. It was sunset and we had Cornish pasties then Luke popped the question. 

Was there an overall theme to your day?

We didn’t have one strong theme to our big days but a few subtle influences. We had a floral grunge print for bridesmaids, bridesman and the ties of our 2 best men. We had a woodlandy feel inspired by the gorgeous engagement shoot photos from Paloma and we also incorporated a bit of a fiesta feel with our piñatas and white papel picanto flag bunting, oh and biodegradable face glitter on all the tables that went down a storm! Our colour scheme was grey, soft pink, rose gold and our grungy floral print.

The secret barn in West Sussex vegan wedding catering geometric piñatas

How would you describe your day?

Our first day was a small celebration kept to just our immediate family and oldest, closest friends. No more than 20 of us all together. It was informal and perfect. The Grange registry office is a gorgeous old building set in stunning gardens. Our photos in the gardens have such a lush feeling as it had rained that morning so everything was so fresh and green. After our ceremony and photos we had a homemade picnic in the gardens.

The second day was still small in wedding terms but huge for us. We had a celtic hand fasting ceremony for our informal second ceremony, which was conducted by an old friend. He learnt the hand fasting knot especially! Just like our first day, the second day of our ceremony was super relaxed, informal and fun. We never wanted anything too stuffy.

first wedding service brides outfit Vibrant Floral Grunge Inspired Wedding at The Secret Barn

How long were you planning it for, and what was the best bit?

We were engaged/planning for 3 years. We loved so much of the planning process including working with so many of our talented friends and family. One of my favourite parts of planning with designing all of our wedding stationary. As an illustrator I really enjoyed using my existing skill to bring something personal to our wedding. I also loved making our geometric piñatas!

How was your day unique to you?

Our days felt so personal because of all the handmade elements that we created. Also because we had no specific theme but ourselves, everything was just us. We didn’t have a band or DJ but instead opted for a playlist for the reception. In terms of entertainment we made piñatas that was SO much fun and a great ice-breaker . As it got dark we also had a friend perform her fire spinning act. It was fantastic, crazy and not something you expect to see at a wedding!

What are your favourite details of the day?

Again, there’s so much to choose from! Smashing the piñatas was amazing as well as dancing to terrible music with our friends. We have to give a shout out to my maid of honour who managed to spontaneously organise her Eminem Karaoke performance! She belted it out from nowhere with a quickly organised mic to a crowd of cheering wedding guests. On top of everything though has to be the moment we saw each other on the first of our big days. Walking down the isle with my dad to see Luke looking amazing in his suit, surrounded by our nearest and dearest. It was a perfect moment.

wedding street food couples portrait photography with smoke bombs naked wedding cake with peonies cacti wedding favours

How did you find your suppliers, and why did you decide on them?

We came across Paloma, our photographer at the Quaint, Queer, Weird Wedding Fair in Brighton. Certainly the most extraordinary wedding fair we went to with loads of amazing suppliers, drag acts, whips and a life size chocolate Benedict Cumberbatch! We entered Paloma’s competition and won an engagement shoot! She was so great at our engagement shoot and the photos were amazing so we HAD to ask her to shoot our big days too.

Our wedding favours were sweet tiny cacti in terracotta pots. These and my bouquet were supplied by the super talented Sabina of Hi Cacti. Sabina did such an amazing job on my bouquet and I’m now growing the succulents from it in pots. Our reception venue was recommended by a friend and was such a great choice. A beautiful space that needs almost no decoration at all! A lot of our other suppliers were friends and family with my Aunty making our vegan chocolate wedding cake and performances, hair, PA systems and celebrant all coming from our friends.

Tell us about your wedding outfits, and why you picked them.

We both wanted something a bit different with our outfits. I didn’t want the big dress with all the petty coats and also didn’t want to spend thousands so after lots of hunting online and pinterest scrolling I found my dress on Asos. It was floor length and covered in tiny iridescent beads so it sparkled in the light. I also opted for a faux leather jacket for the evening.

Luke wasn’t as certain to begin with but after visiting Paul Clarkes in Lewes he was shown so many less traditional options and eventually settled on his gorgeous grey suit, which he completed with silver fox pins from Etsy.

hand fasting wedding confetti

What was your budget?

Our budget was roughly £6000 which probably ended up being more like £7500 in the end.

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?

Do what you love, not what’s expected! Take those talented friends and family up on their offers to help. Between that and making a lot ourselves, we managed to keep our costs down.

Manage your time! Work out how long things will take then give your selves more time. The run up to the big day will always be a bit crazy but if you get everything done well in advance then that’s one less thing to worry about.

Lastly, on your big day steal a moment just the two of you. A second to soak up how amazing your big day is.

creative wedding portrait photography   naked wedding cake wedding stationery the secret barn West Sussex outside fiesta flag bunting creative festival inspired table decor funky wedding guests gin wedding stationery cool wedding taxi driver Celtic hand fasting first kiss as husband and wife hand fasting creative wedding portrait photography creative wedding portrait photography creative wedding portrait photography colourful wedding bouquet wedding guests wedding view smash the piñata and sweets coming down smiling bride and groom with sunglasses on bride and groom kissing Vega wedding cakes biodegradable glitter and homemade wedding stationery kids at wedding cows at weddings gin bottles wedding decor wedding guests around fire pit wedding flame thrower wedding entertainment

The Team..

Photographer: Photography By Paloma

Reception Venue: The Secret Barn

Wedding Stationery: By the bride

Bouquet & Cacti Favours: Hi Cacti

Brides Dress: ASOS

Grooms Outfit: Paul Clarkes



1 thought on “A Vibrant, Floral Grunge Inspired Barn Wedding in West Sussex…”

  1. John says:

    Barn weddings are so much fun!! Love the decor and the photos are gorgeous!!

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