A floral wedding in West Sussex that moved not one, but five times
16 Feb 2021
It was fifth time lucky when Amy Chuter and James Morris married at Upwaltham Barns but luckily all their wedding suppliers were able to accommodate their new dates
Photography: Melissa Megan Photography
How was (if at all) your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We were due to get married on June 28, 2020. We postponed to October 1, 2020 then again to February 28, 2021. When we realised things were not going to be too different we realised we just wanted to be married so moved it again to November 22, 2020. Plans went ahead but just over three weeks before the day, we went into lockdown again. We then had December 12 and 18 pencilled in with the venue and were waiting to see if we came out of lockdown on December 2. We then managed to get it booked for December 12 – it was fifth time lucky. We were lucky that all of our suppliers were able to pencil in each new date.
What restrictions were in place at the time of your wedding?
We could only have 15 people, including us. Masks had to be worn when we were inside so my step mum made the masks to match the groom, groomsmen and dad’s ties.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We chose a floral theme as I love flowers. James and the groomsmen had floral bow ties and the dad’s had a tie version in the same pattern.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Upwaltham Barns – we loved the venue and we wanted a barn. The surroundings are amazing with all the fields. We liked the feel of the venue when we first arrived - it was the first venue out of three that we viewed, and I think we both knew that was the one.
Tell us about the dress
I got my dress from WED2B, but I wasn’t out that day to find a dress. My bridesmaid and I were passing so decided to pop in and have a look. It was quiet so I decided to try some on. I tried on four, all completely different to what I thought I wanted - the one that I tried on closest to what I thought I wanted just didn’t look right at all. My dress is completely different to what I thought I would have - fitted with no sleeves. I didn’t buy it that day but when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and looking at photos of it I decided I really wanted it. I loved the lace and the flattering fit so called them to reserve it and went back to collect it.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
I had two bridesmaids, my sister Gemma and my friend Rosie. They wore a blush pink off the shoulder dresses with ivory low heeled sandals.
What did the groom wear?
James got his suit from Astares based in Havant and he wore a Herbie Frogg suit. The waistcoat and trousers were dark navy and his jacket was light blue/grey colour. The dark navy matched the groomsmen’s suits which we got from Next.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
The flowers were the biggest thing for me. I wanted a big bouquet full of greenery and ivory and pastel colour roses. When the season of our wedding changed, we added some darker colours to go with the pastel colours. They were purple, pink, lilac and ivory. In my bouquet, I had a single sunflower that was subtle and facing me, in memory of my gran who passed away and loved flowers, especially sunflowers. When the season changed, I worried this wouldn’t be possible, but our florist managed to get one which just made my day. The bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet and the buttonholes were roses which all the men wore.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
I handmade a lot of the extra details for the day. I made my own hessian confetti cones, cupcake toppers, place names, gift bags and thank you cards. We also had handmade face masks to match the ties which my step mum made. I had cupcakes made and put in individual boxes rather than a big cake.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt so excited that after all the disappointment we had had leading up to the day it was finally happening!
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We had songs playing that we chose that all meant something to us. Most songs were from artists we had seen live as we love live music so wanted to include those memories.
What was your most memorable moment?
Walking out through our friends and family to This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) with them clapping and then we gave a big cheer when we exited the barn. We then walked back round the barn and had a moment of realisation that we had just got married. Also, we all got our wellies on at the end and took a walk through the fields with our family and friends and after wondering for so long if it would ever happen, it was just a perfect way to end the day.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
All the uncertainty with Covid-19 and restrictions. What we were allowed and what we weren’t and also if the day would go ahead at all with being in and out of lockdown. Before Covid, I really enjoyed the whole wedding planning experience and didn’t find it stressful at all.
What was the most important investment for you?
The flowers were so important. We had limited guests and couldn’t stay all day, so we really went for it with the flowers. Also making sure we did something after the wedding, we drove to Cornwall straight from the wedding in our outfits to stay at a hotel on the beach, Carbis Bay, which we wouldn’t have done if the wedding went ahead in June. We also got a company to live stream the ceremony so everyone could watch from home, we had some friends and family who dressed up to watch from home and sent us photos to include in our wedding album. We also paid extra to have a copy of the video which I would recommend any couples do, we both love that we can watch it back whenever we want.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We couldn’t have a first dance, but I walked down the aisle to Love Someone by Lukas Graham. I changed it at the last minute from Tom Odelle, as I know how much James loves the song so changed it as a surprise.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We wouldn’t change a thing, everything from start to finish was just perfect and worth the wait. Even with no reception and less guests, it really was perfect and we had the best day.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
How perfect a small wedding could be, it would have been far less stressful when waiting and moving dates.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Enjoy it! I really miss the planning now it’s done. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, do what makes you and your partner happy. I did little bits each month which helped everything come together nicely. If you are having to have less guests or postpone, the day will be perfect however you do it and it will be worth the wait!
Steal Their Style
Photography: Melissa Megan Photography
Venue: Upwaltham Barns
Make-up: Rosie Howard (bridesmaid)
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Chi Chi London
Groom’s outfit: Astares
Cake: Emma Seekings
Flowers: Flower Vogue
Videography: Watch Our Wedding