Mark's proposal to Josie was a total surprise! After waking up to a room full of bubbles, going for a walk to watch the sun rise and having lunch in Havana in Brighton where they went on their first date, Mark then drove Josie to Shoreham airport - pretending to get lost.
Mark's proposal to Josie was a total surprise!
He announced we were going in a helicopter. We flew over the school where we both worked when we met and then over Brighton where we'd had our first date, finally we hovered over where we lived together. We ended up above Arundel Castle, Mark came through my headphones and said 'Josie - Will you marry me?', presenting the most beautiful diamond engagement ring. Of course I said yes and we landed to a standing ovation at the airfield.
Josie and Mark think Bartholomew Barn is a very relaxed yet elegant and spacious venue. "The rolling hills and large glass doors make the space feel big but it retains the intimacy and character of the old barn. We loved the old brick walls with lots of tiny windows for candles and the owner Frances was so friendly and helpful." Bartholomew Barn was booked a year in advance.
Josie's dress was a beautiful Ian Stuart dress called Sancerre with honey and dusky pink flower detail. The dress was worn with a mid length veil with satin trim, hair slide, small tiara with diamond detail, tiny diamond earrings and ivory satin shoes with diamante detail.
The bridesmaids wore gorgeous midnight blue organza prom dresses from Debenhams with a black petticoat, accessorised with silver shawls from Monsoon and silver shoes.
Mark wore a custom made organic river washed denim suit, gold motorcyle cufflinks, ivory shirt, black silk tie and black brogues, all from Gresham Blake in Brighton.
Josie had dusky pink roses in her bouquet and the bridesmaids and groomsmen had ivory roses, except for Mark who had a bright red rose for his buttonhole. The Mothers had a forget me not corsage. They kept the barn very simple, it did all the work for them with the exposed brick work, open fires, wooden beams and lots of candles. The table centrepieces were simple white ceramic pots with white orchids with six Kilner Jars with tealights around the orchids in a circle.
Josie and Mark travelled to Bartholomew Barn in a 1970's cream VW Beetle Cabriolet. The bridesmaids were driven in a 2008 cream VW Beetle convertable and the parents in a yellow VW Campervan.
For favours Josie and Mark gave each guest a handmade Lego figure with something in common with the guest. These were also used as place names as each figure was mounted onto two Lego bricks to match their table 'colour' and wrote their name on the bricks. For the children they placed a Lego kit in the centre of each table. The cake was a big melty, gooey, messy pile of white chocolate, underneath was a rich fudgey chocolate cake. On the side of the cake was two dark chocolate lovehearts with their names in and on top was a Lego bride and groom. It was served with vanilla icecream and chocolate sauce.
We asked Josie what was the best part of the day;
All of it! Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle, the bumpy, but beautiful journey to Bartholomew Barn in the Beetle. It was a moment alone to reflect on the wonderful ceremony and what it meant to us. Also the first dance, my Dad had secretly had lessons and wanted the opportunity to give me away through a dance, so we did the cha cha to Paul Simon's Father and Daughter. He handed me over to Mark for our first dance, it felt very emotional.
We also asked Josie if there was anything she had learnt that she thought was an important tip for future wedding couples?
Don't restrict yourself to a theme or plan early on - trust your instincts and what you enjoy or what characterises you as a couple. This will make the day unique and give all your guests the chance to see a side you share.
All images courtesy of Paul Fletcher Photography ©