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Blue Door Barns is a stunning array of rustic, unique barns that have been renovated by owner’s Bryony and Emma, snuggled at the foot of the downs just outside Lewes. Helen of Doily Days and I needed somewhere to stay for some planning and gossiping and I wanted to know more about the three venues that are linked to this bolt hole. (Glynde pictured above, Firle below)

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As I drove up the gravel drive way towards Blue Door Barn I saw a glimpse of what was on offer and I knew instantly that I was going to love this place. There are 4 very beautiful places to choose from here, 3 are converted stables and 1 has been built by this dynamic duo. Sleeping 12 in total, across two family lodges which sleep up to four and then two double rooms perfect for couples, they are all unique and stylish, the details like the hide rugs, vintage pepsi box side tables and stag heads makes this place. I did a little squeal when I was shown intoThe Lodge (pictured below) where Helen of Doily Days and I would spending an evening planning and gossiping.

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As we were here to review and blog about this glorious bolthole and what it has to offer I thought I should probably sample a treatment, a half hour of pure indulgence shortly after my arrival in the warmest, most relaxing ‘shed’ called The Snug was just what I needed. I would definitely recommend booking a treatment if you come to stay here, it was such a fab start to mine.

So what’s this got to do with weddings?” I here you cry! . .  Bryony picked me up after I had recovered from my deep tissue massage and told me the story of how her and her partner Emma and their two children had relocated from London, to transform a country house and it’s rundown out buildings into something really special, and By Jove have they got it right. This small but perfectly formed team brings a mix of experience in PR, marketing, event and celebrity management, photography, interiors and styling. Not only do they run the barns as B&B accommodation, they also hold the key to three of the most unique and awesome wedding venues in the Sussex countryside.

Bryony then drove to a wedding venue like no other, Glynde Place

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Think old school elegance in the heart of East Sussex with a view over one of the finest stretches of countryside that is also home to Glyndebourne Opera House. This place oozes style and grace but has an undertone of gothic, with a twist of aristocratic quirkiness. I was that couples can get married in the house (with up to 140 guests) and was shown a room that took my breath away with it’s dark wood, chandeliers, enormous works of art and views to die for. Reception drinks take place in The Long Hall, an impressive stone-floored room with pillars, giant fireplaces and steps leading down a gravel terrace. Outside, a flint bridge is placed over the ha-ha (dry moat to you and I) which leads you to your wedding yurt/tent/marquee. This places is screaming out for a chic festival style wedding, with it’s stunning outside space and the awesome backdrop of the house itself.

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From Glynde Place we drove through the village, past ‘The Trevor Arms’ (one of my favourite names for a pub ever!) to Firle. Bryony took me on a lovely stroll though the grounds of Firle Place and explained to me that Blue Door Barns Events has exclusive access to two private areas of Firle Place, all very different from each other, where you can hold your wedding. I should also mention the most idyllic little church within the grounds that is available to all couples booking Firle Place for their reception.

Firstly, there’s the divine South Lawns that include two separate areas: the ‘dingly dell‘ of my dreams with it’s walled garden and little round, thatched, dairy house; the actual South Lawns, Lord and Lady Gage’s private gardens tucked behind the stately home with views of the Downs and a sweeping space for a marquee/yurt/tent. All in all, it’s an utter delight and can accommodate up to 200 guests. 

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Secondly and particularly apt if you are a couple that love the outside and all things nature, there is the 18th century Firle Place Herb Garden, a tranquil, magical space created by Lady Gage. When couples book this space, they lead their guests through an archway of a forest into the herb garden for reception drinks and then into an adjacent orchard where a marquee/tent/yurt can be pitched for a party of up to 120. This place has some truly quirky elements to it and I reckon one viewing and you’ll be begging to hold your celebration here.

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Unfortunately I was unable to visit the third venue that Bryony is involved with, Mount Harry, as there was rather a well known ‘shabby chic’ shop holding a photo shoot there but I tell you what, I can’t wait to go and have a look. Situated in the South Downs National Park this is a georgian-style country house set on Mount Harry Hill with 40 acres of private, formal gardens, mixed woodland, horse paddocks and a working vineyard, not to mention the camping yurts and bell tents. Watch this space for a further blog about that little gem.

After a day of being shown around by the utterly divine Bryony it was a pleasure to sit down, sip wine and talk shop with Helen in The Lodge.  I can’t not mention breakfast, again, divine styling in the space and a utterly delicious food.

You can meet the team from Blue Door Barn Events at The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair at Brighton Centre on May 10th.

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I think many people find talking flowers a bit daunting – especially wedding flowers.

There is that worrying feeling of ‘but I don’t know anything about flowers’ and the fear that you are going to come out of your wedding consultation having agreed to some arrangements you weren’t really sure about but the florist seemed to LOVE!

But rest assured (most) of us florists are down to earth people who really enjoy talking flowers and love nothing more than helping a couple design the flowers for their dream day.

1. Finding a good fit

It is as important as with any part of your wedding that you choose a supplier you feel truly suited to as we’re all very different. Florists all have different styles and ways of working so I’d advise you do a little bit of research into who you are choosing and take the time to talk to them properly. Have a look at their website or ask to see their previous work so you can get a feel of what their style and experience level is. If you are into sleek and modern you probably don’t want to head to your local traditional florist which had been selling the same style bunches for 60 years…

2. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas

There’s no way around it, some people can be pushy and that is no different with florists, if you don’t feel you are being listened to then perhaps you haven’t met the one yet. But, remember there is a fine line between expressing your ideas and being forceful yourself and not listening to the advice and experience of an expert!

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3. Beware of occasions

All flowers have their moments and also are subject to pretty extreme price fluctuations. It is worth checking out if there are any large scale national or international days or events any time near your wedding as this will really affect the price of your wedding flowers. Red roses are going to be at least double the price near Valentine’s day yet in July the price often comes right down – sometimes even half their normal price. An experienced florist will know important dates, in Britain but also in Europe and how they will affect prices.

4. Choosing seasonal

Hands up who loves Peonies? Yep you guessed it – they are an extremely popular choice for weddings (I get it – they are super beautiful!) I have brides asking all year around for Peonies but they really only have a very short season between late April – late July and this is also weather dependent. It might be that the beautiful bloom you had your heart set on just isn’t available at the time of year you need it. Alternatively you may be able to get your favourite flower but it will be imported from the other side of the world and will be twice the price!

By choosing seasonal you are always going to get the most for your money, flowers are not only abundant but at their very best.

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5. Be realistic

Budget is an uncomfortable subject but it really is best if you are upfront about your expectations and budget limitations. A good florist is able to work within a budget and suggest the best ways to make your money go as far as it can. That being said – we aren’t magicians and we can’t produce something out of nothing!

Best of luck with the wedding planning and I look forward to meeting you at the Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair.

Lib at Bettie Rose x

www.bettierose.co.uk

 (Bridesmaids looking up – Blinc Photography//Green dress – Ride Again Photography) 

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