Bignor Park Weddings

Oct 20, 2020WEDDING PLANNING

About The Venue

Bignor Park is a historic and exclusive wedding venue in West Sussex sanctioned for civil ceremonies. As a privately owned, family run 1100 acre estate in the heart of West Sussex, their availability is limited to 12 weddings per year so I highly recommend reaching out to avoid disappointment. 

Louise has been the venue manager at Bignor Park for nearly ten years and she tells us that since they only ever have one booking per weekend, all Bignor Park Weddings have exclusive use of the space, which gives you two days to set up.

Everything You Need To Know About Bignor Park Weddings

Address:

Bignor Park House, Bignor Park, Pulborough, West Sussex. RH20 1HG

Opening times and contact:

Bignor Parks hosts a limited number of weddings between April and October each year. It’s a private estate so you’ll need to pre-arrange your visit. To do that, you can contact the lovely Louise Hartley.

Email: louise@bignorpark.co.uk

Phone number: 07798 807043

Quick facts and pros of a Bignor Park Wedding:

  • Historic wedding venue
  • Exclusive use
  • Elegant and quintessentially West Sussex
  • Availability limited to 12 weddings per year
  • Panoramic views of the South Downs
  • Flexible and full creative freedom
  • Friendly and experienced venue manager 
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Personal touch
  • British Countryside meets French Riviera vibes

How many guests can you host at Bignor Park?

The Stables can accommodate around 100 people comfortably in the inside space and in the Quadrangle.

Up to 150 can fit in a marquee in the courtyard of the Stables.

Or up to 200 in a stand alone marquee on the Croquet Lawn (limited to three per season from June to early October due to the nature of the lawns).

Can legal ceremonies take place at Bignor Park?

We are licensed for Civil Ceremonies, and they take place in the Greek Loggia for up to around 150 people – a beautiful stone porch set in formal, walled gardens, and one of only a handful of outside settings for ceremonies. In addition, Ceremonies can also be held in the Coach Store of the Stables for up to around 80 people.

How far in advance should a couple book if they’d like to get married at Bignor Park?

Usually around at least 18 months in advance – because we have a limited number per season, dates tend to go quickly so the more time you allow to plan, the greater flexibility you will have on available dates and available suppliers.

Is there on-site accommodation?

No, there is no on site accommodation, but up to around 35 people can camp in the grounds overnight, or glamp in bell tents. I have a detailed list of local places to stay, some within walking distance.

Do you have a space for the couple and their wedding squad to get ready either together or separately?

There is a room at the Stables set aside for the Registrar interviews, and this can be used for the bride and bridesmaids afterwards if needed, but it is in a 200 year old Stables, so not  ideal for bridal preparation.

Useful To Know about Bignor Park Weddings

  • You can provide your own alcohol, none of our caterers charge corkage.
  • Cars can be left overnight

How to get there

From PETWORTH – 5 miles

Take A285 Chichester road for 2 miles. Down into valley, over narrow bridge, up woody hill and just over the top slow down so you can take immediate left, signposted Burton Mill & Roman Villa.  Past Burton Mill Pond, straight over next crossroads, signposted West Burton & Roman Villa, then after a mile fork right, also signposted West Burton & Roman Villa. Round a bend and after a quarter mile straight Bignor Park  front gate is on the right.

From PULBOROUGH – 5 miles

Take A29 Bognor road. After 2 miles turn right signposted Fittleworth. Turn left at T junction. Take first right signposted Bignor and West Burton. Bignor Park drive is straight ahead at the crossroads.

From ARUNDEL – 7 miles

Take A29 Pulborough road. About 1 mile beyond bottom of long steep hill, fork left signposted B2138 to Petworth. Take second left signposted Bignor and West Burton. Bignor Park drive is straight ahead at the crossroads.

Is a Bignor Park Wedding right for me?

The starting point really has to be the venue hire fee – you must have a wedding budget in mind right from the start to ensure Bignor Park fits. Bignor Park is not a package led or price per head venue and they have approved lists of caterers and marquee companies to chose from which you will need to contact for pricing.

Everything else is up to you! Couples that choose Bignor Park as their wedding venue tend to like the flexibility and embrace the rural elegance it has to offer. This freedom does mean that although Louise will support you every step of the way, there will be quite a lot you will need to organise by yourself. You could always choose to hire a wedding planner, stylist or coordinator to save yourself time and energy.

How to book

The lovely Louise handles all the wedding enquiries right from the start so you won’t have to worry about dealing with lots of different people and she will make you feel right at home.

You’ll need to book a date for your first viewing but if you haven’t quite made up your mind (or if you just want an excuse to go walk around the orchard and the beautiful Dutch garden again) you can arrange a second visit.

There are lots of options of how to use the space dependent on the number of wedding guests you’re planning to have and whether you’ll have your civil ceremony on site. Once booked, Louise will take you through the entire process and she can also help you find the right suppliers to make your Bignor Park Wedding come to life.

Booked couples can visit on the morning of other Bignor Park Weddings to really see how the venue works when it is all set up ready to go. Sometimes it can be hard to visualise how your wedding day will come together so I think having this option is a huge bonus!

When it comes to planning your Bignor Park wedding, other than the caterer and marquee choices which must be on their recommended suppliers list (which includes plenty of options by the way), you will have full creative reign.

The Best Photography Spots For A Bignor Park Wedding

As a wedding photographer, the light is one of the main priorities. Because Bignor Park is at the top of a hill, you’ll have beautiful views and gorgeous light until later in the evening, giving your photos a magical feel.

  • Croquet Lawns at the back of the house for golden hour
  • The conservatory next to the Dutch garden
  • The orchard in the evening

Louise’s favourite spots at Bignor Park

“The gardens are really spectacular – the formal gardens around the loggia for ceremonies, sweeping lawns, the temple and zen pond, there are 11 acres of gardens in total!”

Louise’s tip for choosing your wedding venue

“Finding a wedding venue is rather like house hunting: it is important to look at a few to see what is available and you will probably work out what you don’t want more quickly than what you do want, but this is all part of the decision process. Comparing like for like is very difficult as every wedding venue does things differently, so ultimately I think it is all about gut feel – if you visit a place and can imagine having your wedding day there, the rest is down to logistics to make it work, which is where I come in.”

Louise’s tips for a successful Bignor Park Wedding

“All Bignor Park weddings are joyous, wonderful occasions, and I see it as my responsibility to ensure that, to the best of my ability, our wedding couples have their dream day. I have a fabulous job looking after a very beautiful place and it is often seen as very glamorous, but it is hard work behind the scenes!

However, it is all in the planning, so most of the hard work goes on months prior to the wedding – by the time the day approaches, every last detail should have been discussed and thought through. If everything has been organised properly, it is possible to accommodate any potential mishaps.

Communication with the Bignor Park team (gardeners, grounds maintenance, cleaners, estate administrator) is essential so that the everyone is on board with the plans and, for example, lawns get mown on the right day etc.”

My tips for a unique and elegant Bignor Park Wedding

  • Consider having your legal ceremony prior to your wedding and having a friend officiate the ceremony at Bignor Park. This gives you the freedom to choose exactly what time and where to have the ceremony. I would suggest a late afternoon ceremony when the light is softer, on the Croquet Lawns behind the house overlooking the South Downs.
  • Make time for couple portraits at golden hour. If you choose to have your wedding at Bignor Park, it’s likely that you’ve fallen in love with its sumptuous gardens and how magical it all feels. It would be a shame for that vibe not to shine through on your wedding photos and the best way of making that happen is to make sure you make time for couple portraits during day and at golden hour.

Quick Q&A with Louise

What’s your favourite part of a Bignor Park wedding?

“The amazing moment I escort the bridal party up to the loggia, and give the signal to the Registrars for the ceremony to start. So special, such a privilege!”

What are your favourite sources of inspiration for your work?

“My wedding couples! Every season there will be something that crops up that we have never had before, or a new trend coming through for decorations or styling and I am never disappointed. No two weddings are ever the same, it is always fresh and exciting to see what new ideas come through. In my opinion, the weddings that are the most lovely are those with lots of personal touches, and ideally not too many Pinterest copies!”

Do you have any projects on the horizon you’d like to tell us about?

“We have a really exciting styled wedding shoot coming up this September, with a brilliant new photographer to Bignor Park – Manon Pauffin…” (That’s me! Take a look at the full gallery from the styled shoot to get inspired and start planning your Bignor Park Wedding).

What do you think? Have we convinced you?

If the answer is yes and you’ve booked a site visit at Bignor Park with Louise or you’ve even gone ahead and booked your wedding, don’t forget to get in touch with me for a custom wedding photography quote!

Bignor Park Wedding Inspiration Styled Shoot – Full Credits:

Photography + concept | Manon Pauffin Photography
Design + styling | Pink Palms Events
Flowers | Dove & Myrtle
Venue | Bignor Park
Makeup | Becky Howie
Hair | Your Event Stylist
Dress | Halo & Wren
Stationery | Penelope Margot Design
Cake | Avant Garde Cake Studio
Furniture | The Little Wedding Warehouse
Tableware decor | Your Plates Or Mine
Candles | Hardwick & Lamb
Jewellery | Tilly Thomas Lux
Couple | @jessica_dessica + @sbarham

manon x

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