Despite having a limited budget, Lizzie and Mark were still able to find the perfect wedding venue with wow factor at Buxted Park Hotel in East Sussex.
Keeping costs down when planning a wedding can be tricky and if neither parents of the bride and groom are able to contribute, such as in this case, it can make a huge difference when it comes to what venue you can have with the cost impacting on other factors too, like the dress, cake and photographer.
Fortunately for Lizzie and Mark, they found such a good venue deal that they were able to plan for the wedding of their dreams. “We were on a very tight budget and while we only had 50 guests we still wanted a wedding that would wow everyone.
When I looked into Buxted Park, I couldn't believe that we could afford it. We nearly did a U-turn coming up the drive as I was worried that I had done the maths wrong when we saw how grand it was! The value for money is just incredible.
“The Grade II listed Palladian mansion is just stunning and each of the historic rooms hardly needed dressing - a godsend when you have limited funds. We also loved the fact that the hotel has such a welcoming and relaxed feel to it. “Moreover we wanted somewhere that would become part of our lives and Buxted definitely lends itself to that – we can walk the dog around the surrounding Ashdown Forest parkland and pop in for a drink one day, or completely glam up for dinner another day. I don't think we will ever get bored of visiting.”
Lizzie and Mark also wanted it to be about them as a couple. So the table names, for example, were all after streets that held a special memory for them and the favours were pick and mix in blue and white stripe paper bags placed in vintage tea cups that Lizzie bought from charity shops. To help make it fun, and with the Easter holidays the following week, there were bowls of mini eggs and fluffy chicks on display, and for those guests that were staying Easter eggs were left in their rooms.
In fact, while there was no particular theme, a few of the final flourishes ended up being inspired by the time of year. So, there were seasonal bouquets made up of multi-coloured tulips with gyp and mini daffodils, which brought in a welcoming touch of colour and looked spectacular in the Orangery, where the couple had their wedding breakfast.
Talking of which, the couple made sure they budgeted for a celebrant as they chose to give notice of marriage at Hastings town hall so that we could share the moment with their very intimate family, and then have a renewal of vows ceremony with everyone else special to them. “Kate was amazing! She completely put me at ease, calming all my pre-wedding nerves and whipping my lovely bunch of guests into a fun-loving frenzy as I waited to go down the aisle. She had them whooping and even doing Mexican waves, but on a more serious note she also helped to tailor the words so perfectly that by the end there was laughter and tears. Everyone had shared our most precious moments together in the most perfect way,” reveals Lizzie.
From the get-go Lizzie and Mark’s day was relaxed, but outrageously fun. Straight after the ceremony Lizzie slipped on some white converse trainers with red roses while Mark cracked out the cigars with his friends and people contributed to the guest book by way of Polaroid pictures. The Master of Ceremonies also helped to ensure a happy-go-lucky vibe throughout the day, making sure everyone was having an enjoyable time.
The band Cream Cracked proved to be the perfect end to a fantastic day and got everyone up on the dance floor to fill the ballroom. Specialising in 50s, 60s and 70s and Rock and Roll there was something for everyone and even the most introverted guests ended up being dragged up for a boogie!
“We were ecstatic! The food was amazing – satisfying the most fussy of our guests, who couldn't stop talking about how delicious their lamb was, the service from the entire team of staff at Buxted Park was fantastic, and then to top it off we had some fantastic suppliers.”
The photographer Danni went above and beyond, doing an engagement shoot for the pair – on a gloriously sunny day at Columbia Road flower market, a shoot of the marriage ceremony – on Hastings beach in the snow, and then what they call their actual wedding day at Buxted. “We now have so many stunning pictures to choose from we don't have enough walls in the house! Danni really became part of the wedding party. Someone you are glad is with you during your pre-wedding nerves and to enjoy the day with you. I have made a friend for life.”
As these two have proven a little ingenuity will go a long way to cutting the cost of your wedding, and when it came to Lizzie’s dress she shopped savvy and then got a seamstress to work her magic. “Katherine made a bargain of a wedding dress truly special, like it was designed for me only. Her tailored service was just divine and she really did exceed expectations, so much so, right before the wedding she was involved in a car crash – with my wedding dress in the back! It was hung up in A&E and still she got it completed and washed in time! She truly was a superstar and someone I have recommended to absolutely everyone!”
The best part of the day for our newlyweds was having everyone they both adore under one roof, and having put so much effort into making their wedding stand out despite having a limited budget, we’re sure that the guests loved sharing the moment with them.
SEAMSTRESS FOR WEDDING DRESS: Bridal Alterations 07776 339501
PHOTOGRAPHY: Danni Sanchez Photography 07966 934522
FLOWERS: The Floral Boutique Ltd 01580 880977
ENTERTAINMENT: The Cream Crackered Band 07528 215977
CELEBRANTS: Kate and Kate Celebrants