LUXURY WEDDING VENUES IN SUSSEX

Apr 20, 2021WEDDING PLANNING

Just engaged and looking for beautiful, luxury wedding venues in East Sussex or West Sussex? Searching for the perfect venue to plan your wedding can be a little overwhelming – oh yes, I remember! – so I’ve put together a list of my favourite wedding venues in Sussex or within driving distance.

Hi, I’m Manon – Sussex wedding photographer.

I create intimate wedding photographs filled with emotion for couples who follow their hearts and I’d love to share my knowledge with you so that you can plan the magical destination wedding you deserve.

Every couple’s priorities for their wedding day are different. The key is to find a wedding venue that aligns with your values and expectations and this list is a great place to get started because this isn’t just another generic wedding venue list like most of the ones out there. Instead, I’ve focused on unique wedding venues in Sussex that have a little something special. 

  • Bignor Park
  • Firle Place
  • Botley Hill Barn
  • Pelham House
  • Hampton Court House
  • Bury Manor Barn

Why choose a luxury wedding venue in Sussex? –

If you’re getting married in Sussex, it’s likely that you live around here or have ties to the area, but there are other reasons to have a Sussex wedding! From stately manor houses to modern luxury refurbished barns and exclusive use venues as well as options for weekend hire, Sussex has a variety of wedding venues to offer. Whether you’d like the wedding venue to be in East Sussex, West Sussex or Surrey, you’ll be a short drive from Brighton and London making it really easy to get to.

Choosing a beautiful venue with a luxury feel will make your wedding memorable but it also means you won’t necessarily need to decorate it as much as other venues.

Things to keep in mind before choosing your luxury wedding venue in Sussex –

With such a wide variety of venues available, it’s important that you decide what your priorities are for your wedding day before booking. Is it the party? Make sure the venue has a late license available. Do love the idea of a symbolic wedding ceremony by the sea? Choose a venue that’s only a short drive from the beach. Would you like to make it an immersive experience by having a weekend wedding? Make sure there’s on site accommodation.

You might also want to keep in mind the general vibe of the day. For example, if you love wedding photographs filled with light, avoid getting married in a rustic wedding barn with no windows. On the other hand, if your top priority is to make it as easy for your guests as possible and minimising travel time, you’re going to want to choose a wedding venue where you can have the reception and that is also licensed for civil ceremonies so you can have everything in the same place.

The legalities of a Sussex wedding – 

There are two main options to get legally married. You can either choose a wedding venue in Sussex that’s sanctioned for civil ceremonies, meaning that the Registrar will perform the legal ceremony on your wedding day at your chosen venue, or you could get married at your local town hall and have a symbolic ceremony on your wedding day instead. 

This is a very personal choice and you should think about what you want carefully. Wedding days go by in a blur and from my own personal experience, I found that having the legal ceremony prior to our wedding day allowed us to really focus on each other and be able to take it all in. Having a symbolic ceremony also opens up your options for the time and location of the ceremony. You’ll also be able to have a humanist wedding or ask a friend to officiate, which are two fantastic ways of making sure your wedding ceremony is as unique as you deserve it to be.

Six Beautiful, Luxury Wedding Venues in Sussex & Surrey – 

1. Bignor Park, Luxury Wedding Venue in West Sussex

Bignor Park is truly magical and one of my favourite wedding venues in Sussex. With its intimate feel, gorgeous gardens and striking house, every corner you turn is full of wonder. You’ll have complete creative freedom to make it your own and plan a wedding that’s unique to you.

This is a historic and exclusive wedding venue in West Sussex, roughly a one hour drive from Brighton and it’s sanctioned for civil ceremonies. They have a strict limited availability of 12 weddings per year so you can expect a tailored wedding experience and amazing service.

Pro Tip – 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. If you’re opting for a symbolic ceremony, you could choose to have it in the late afternoon at the back of the house with a breathtaking view of the South Downs.

Address: Bignor Park House, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1HG

Opening times and contact: Bignor Park is a private estate so you’ll need to pre-arrange your visit. To do that, you can contact the lovely Louise Hartley by emailing louise@bignorpark.co.uk or head to their website: www.bignorpark.co.uk/

Quick facts – Bignor Park wedding venue, West Sussex:

  • Exclusive use
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • 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 
  • Wedding reception: up to 200 guests
  • Wedding ceremony: up to 150 guests
  • No onsite accommodation
  • Outdoor and indoor spaces
  • British Countryside meets French Riviera vibes

To read more about Bignor Park weddings and get inspired with some beautiful Mediterranean styling, head to this blog post.

Would you like to know more about Bignor Park weddings? Head to this blog post for an interview with their venue manager, Louise and some Mediterranean vibes inspiration.

2. Firle Place, Luxury Wedding Venue in East Sussex

Are you looking for a beautiful, exclusive wedding venue in East Sussex? Imagine saying your vows in a room infused with heritage and history followed by reception drinks in the sunshine to then celebrate the night away in the Georgian Riding School.

Firle Place is a unique wedding venue near Lewes, East Sussex and only half and hour drive from Brighton. It’s set in this gorgeous privately owned Manor House nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park. It also has a beautiful secret garden so you’ll be spoiled for backdrops for your wedding photos.

Pro Tip – When planning your wedding timeline take into account the sunrise and sunset time as well as when the sun will be at its highest as this will vary depending on the location and time of year. Make sure you set aside 15 to 20 minutes during golden hour (usually about one hour before sunset) for couple portraits with your wedding photographer.

Address: Firle Place, Firle, Lewes BN8 6NS 

Opening times and contact: Since this is a private estate, you’ll need to get in touch to book a viewing. Email weddings@firle.com or use the contact form on the Firle Place website.

Quick facts – Firle Place wedding venue, East Sussex:

  • Beautiful and unique wedding venue
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Choice of different outdoor and indoor spaces
  • Creative and styling freedom for a truly bespoke wedding
  • Wedding reception: up to 250 guests
  • Wedding ceremony: up to 250 guests
  • No onsite accommodation
  • Elegant, stately manor vibe

Curious about Firle Place weddings? I’ve put everything you need to know in this blog post and I also asked their venue manager, Bryony for inside tips.

3. Botley Hill Barn, Luxury Wedding Venue in Surrey

Imagine saying your vows surrounded by your loved ones followed by reception drinks with a gorgeous view over the Surrey Hills to then have dinner in this beautiful, modern barn with those stunning floor to ceiling windows with the sun rays filtering in. 

Botley Hill Barn is a luxury wedding venue in Surrey within easy access of London and only a 50 minute drive from Brighton. There aren’t many venues as unique as this one that also have that “wow” factor.

Pro Tip – If you book Botley Hill Barn to be your wedding venue it’s likely you’ve fallen in love with their floor to ceiling window, considering the light when planning your timeline is even more crucial if you really want to make the most of this unique feature. Imagine having your first dance while the sun sets behind the hills for example. It all depends what time of year you’re getting married so make sure you check sunset and golden hour timings.

Address: Limpsfield Rd, Warlingham CR6 9QH 

Opening times and contact: Make sure you contact the venue to book a site visit before going. You can send them an email at weddings@botleyhillbarn.co.uk, call them on 07920 085454 or visit the Botley Hill Barn website.

Quick facts – Botley Hill Barn wedding venue, Surrey:

  • Unique exclusive use venue
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Beautiful views of the Surrey Hills
  • Onsite accommodation available
  • Outdoor and indoor spaces
  • Tailored service with a personal approach
  • Creative freedom
  • Ceremony capacity: up to 128 guests
  • Late night license available
  • Contemporary, striking and intimate vibe

4. Pelham House, Luxury Wedding Venue in Lewes, East Sussex

Elegant and exclusive wedding venue in the heart of Lewes with on-site accommodation and a secret private garden overlooking the South Downs. This luxurious 16th-century Georgian townhouse was recently transformed into a magical wedding venue combining original features with art deco style. 

Because it’s only a 25 minute drive from Brighton and within walking distance of Lewes Train Station, Pelham House is easily accessible and is the perfect setting for a modern, elegant wedding in Lewes. 

Pro Tip – Go for a minimalist styling and be intentional with your decorations to highlight the venues existing features or go all in for a truly decadent 30’s feel. Consider making time for a few intimate couple portraits inside while your guests are mingling outside to create some unique wedding photos of your wedding at Pelham House.

Address: Pelham House, St Andrew’s Ln, Lewes BN7 1UW

Opening times and contact: To book a visit, email wedding@pelhamhouse.co.uk, call 01273 030203 or visit their website: www.pelhamhouse.co.uk

Quick facts – Pelham House wedding venue, East Sussex:

  • Unique and exclusive use venue
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Secret private garden
  • On site accommodation 
  • Choice of outdoor or indoor ceremony
  • Ceremony capacity for up to 125 guests
  • On site catering
  • Central location
  • Elegant classical achitecture and art deco exclusive townhouse vibe

5. Hampton Court House, Luxury Wedding Venue in Surrey

Hampton Court House is a romantic and iconic wedding venue set in Surrey, just South of London. Surrounded by magical gardens, it’s perfect for a dreamy and the best wedding photos.

The Georgian Mansion ihas a heart shaped lake, a decorated shell grotto and a gorgeous conservatory. Expect a beautiful ceremony room, lavish interiors, fantastic grounds for your wedding photos, a tropical lush garden, sunlit conservatory and a flexible and friendly team.

Pro Tip – Be sure to get some photos in the conservatory and the tropical garden to capture the vibe of your Hampton Court House wedding. 

Address: Hampton Court House, Hampton Ct Rd, East Molesey KT8 9BS

Opening times and contact: To arrange a viewing, email emily@hamptoncourthouse.co.uk or call 020 8614 0860. You can also head straight to the Hampton Court House wedding website.

Quick facts – Hampton Court House House wedding venue, Surrey:

  • Exclusive use
  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Pet friendly
  • Beautiful gardens
  • Flexible and friendly service
  • Choice of indoor and outdoor spaces
  • Luxurious and romantic vibe

6. Bury Manor Barn, Luxury Wedding Venue in West Sussex

Couple getting married at Bury Manor Barn, West Sussex

Bury Manor Barn is an elegant and unique wedding venue near Pulborough, in West Sussex. This dreamy Tudor barn with a unique outdoors amphitheatre and a medieval garden is a hidden gem in my opinion!

Beautifully renovated, this barn is bright and light. The outdoor amphiteather is perfect for a humanist ceremony and in the walled garden you’ll be able to get intimate, natural couple portraits on your wedding day.

Bury Manor Barn is for you if you’re dreaming of a stylish and tasteful wedding but you still want the day to be laid back and relaxed.

Pro Tip – When styling your wedding, choose lots of greenery to add that “Italian wedding” vibe and some neon signs for a contemporary hint. Take a look at A+O’s gallery for some Bury Manor Barn wedding inspiration. As always, discuss timings with your photographer to make the most of the light and your wedding venue.

Address: Bury Manor Barn, The Manor, Church Lane, Bury, Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 1PB

Opening times and contact: Arrange a visit by visiting the Bury Manor Barn website, emailing info@burymanorbarn.com or calling 01798 831791.

Quick facts – Bury Manor Barn House wedding venue, West Sussex:

  • Sanctioned for civil ceremonies
  • Secret walled garden
  • Flexible and friendly service
  • Choice of indoor and outdoor spaces for your ceremony
  • Laid back elegant and romantic vibe
Couple married at Bury Manor Barn, Sussex

Alice & Ollie’s wedding at Bury Manor Barn was featured on Bride & Tonic. Take a look at their beautiful real wedding for styling inspiration and to get a feel for this unique Sussex wedding venue.

How to get the best wedding photos in Sussex – 

Time flies, memories fade away and your loved ones won’t always be there. I capture intimate wedding photos filled with emotion so you never forget your wedding or how you felt.

Here are my top tips for great wedding photos:

  • The most important thing to consider is the light. Depending on the time of day the light will be completely different which will give your wedding photos a completely different vibe. Try to set aside 15 to 20 minutes around golden hour to do couple portraits with your wedding photographer. If you’re getting married in the height of summer, consider having the ceremony a bit later for example to take advantage of the softer light and prevent your guests from getting heatstroke.
  • Prepare for rain, anything else is a bonus. If you’re able to embrace whatever the weather throws at you, you’ll have the time of your life regardless and that will show in the photos. As wedding photographers we’re used to think on our feet so a little rain shouldn’t be an issue. Clear plastic umbrellas are a great way of doing photos outside if a light rain is falling because they let the light through while keeping you dry.
  • Don’t create a shot list. Trying to recreate inspiration images from Pinterest can hinder creativity but most importantly, your wedding day is uniquely yours so you should focus on creating your own memories rather than recreating someone else’s.
  • Book a photographer you trust and whose work you love. I truly believe everyone can look good in photos as long as they’re comfortable and having a good time. Your wedding photographer will be with you all day long so it’s important you get along.

Are you after a relaxed and creative wedding photographer who will capture who you are and the moments that matter most in a natural, effortless way?

manon x

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