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Emma and Matthew’s English church hall wedding in Sussex, by Duntons Photography

Transforming a simple village or church hall into a festive and pretty party venue takes ambition, style and vision! Emma and Matthew, along with a small army of family and friends, did a lovely job and their spring wedding at All Saints Church in Crowborough, East Sussex looks wonderful.

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Bride Emma is ever so beautiful – her portraits by wedding photographer Steven Dungate, of Duntons Photography, are gorgeous. She positively glows when joined by her new husband Matthew: a radiant couple so clearly full of love.

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The images are fabulous; the wedding report by Emma and Matthew is brilliant, and full of advice to help you design and style a church hall wedding. Here is a couple after my own heart: they kept their wedding budget to a minimum (including a dress for less than £100) and indulged in excellent catering and an amazing party!

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Welcome to Emma and Matthew’s English church hall wedding. Enjoy!
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Our wedding report: Matthew and Emma

Wedding photographer’s website:

Duntons Photography, by Steven Dungate www.duntonsphotography.co.uk

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Extremely!

Wedding venue:

All Saints Church, Crowborough, East Sussex

Wedding date:

24 May 2014

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

An English spring church wedding

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?

Absolutely brilliant. Steven captured our day so perfectly. Looking through the photos we really feel like we are re-living the day. He also managed to capture a lot of different angles and atmosphere that our (photography keen) guests’ pictures didn’t. The photos showcase everyone in a relaxed, happy and joyful mood due to Steven’s skill of taking photos in an unobtrusive manner paired with being a very likable guy.

Your wedding style and theme:

Relaxed, happy, whimsical, rustic spring, traditional and family orientated.

Any happy tears on the day?

Yes as my parents and grandparents were married in the same church.

How did the two of you meet?

Through our mutual hobby of scuba diving and underwater photography.

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

My parents, Jane and John, spent 14 months planning it.

Best bit of budget advice?

Buying reception hall decorations from eBay. Get theme inspiration from Pinterest or Google images, and then try to source similar items from eBay. We bought white cotton bunting, white fairy light nets, white pom poms, wedding favour bags and many other items from ebay. It seemed to work out cheaper to purchase these items than hire them!

Matt and I didn’t splurge on our wedding attire. My bridesmaids wore their own shoes and some of their own accessories. The best men and my father wore their own suits with matching ties and buttonholes.

We asked the lady who does the flower arrangements in the church to do our wedding. She is very talented in flower arranging and was able to source the flowers we desired and arrange them at cost value.

Hiring a church hall for the reception cut back on costs, but also meant we could afford to spend a bit more on the catering. We also provided all the wine, spirits, beer and cocktails for our guests (Waitrose and Morrisons accept return of excess alcohol and soft drinks). It was a very merry night.

Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:

My mum and I made the wedding invitations from DIY packs from Hobby Craft. Stationery on the day was handwritten on embossed card.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes. I also loved the price of it too, under 100 pounds.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

It was from an online bridal shop, Top Wedding.

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

A floral meadow crown from Rock n Rose and my treasured diamond and platinum engagement ring.

The groom wore:

Politix

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Long, strapless cornflower blue coloured dresses from Marks and Spencer.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

My bridesmaids and I hired the Hair Gallery in Crowborough for hair and makeup.

Wedding flowers:

Ruth Collingridge at All Saints Church, Crowborough. My bouquet and the table flowers featured cream roses, freesia, white September aster, cornflowers, and lots of foliage.

What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?

How relaxed and happy I felt and touched that everybody had turned out and dressed up in their finest for our wedding. I also remember how well behaved our 6 month daughter was.

Wedding readings?

Springtime Rapsody (Song of Solomon 2 v 10-13)

The Gift of Love (Corinthians Chapter 13)

Marriage Advice (Jane Wells 1886)

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Lots, it was a bare church hall, albeit modern and in good condition.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

Traditional with a rustic feel. It was made and iced by my parents’ fair hands from a meticulously followed Delia recipe.

Entertainment:

A good old fashioned disco and a cocktail table.

On the day tips and advice:

Try and remember it’s a joyous occasion and try not to worry about tiny details. It’s about celebrating your love. It should be fun and a party. Get rid of the paid bar.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my day. It was made even more special by many of my guests chipping in and helping decorate the church hall the afternoon before.

What’s the best thing about being married?

Feeling like Matt, our daughter and I are part of a team.

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Wedding photography: Duntons Photography, by Steven Dungate www.duntonsphotography.co.uk

Wedding dress: http://www.topwedding.com

Suit: http://www.politix.com.au

Floral crown: http://www.rocknrose.co.uk

Caterers: http://wildthyme.biz

 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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