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Sara and Paul’s vintage day in the country

Sara Hauffé and Paul Brett married at Upwaltham Barns in West Sussex

Sara and Paul – The Proposal

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Photographer: Martin Ayley Photography

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“I took our wedding theme from my engagement ring,” says Sara Hauffé-Brett. “It’s an antique from the 1920s, so a vintage glamour theme felt ideal.” Paul proposed to Sara on a pedalo on the Blue Lagoon. “It was fun, relaxed, romantic, different… just perfect,” she says. “I was smiling from ear to ear for days. I had no idea he was going to do it, and was hugging him so much he had to remind me that I hadn’t said yes yet!” The couple were married at the church of St Mary The Virgin in Upwaltham, West Sussex, followed by a reception at Upwaltham Barns.

Sara and Paul – The Ceremony

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“We married in a wonderfully simple 12th century church,” says Sara. “It had a real old country feel. We just about fitted everyone in, either seated or standing – the vicar was so accommodating, he just kept saying ‘The more the merrier!’” Sara, her mum and her bridesmaids walked up the hill to the church. “It was so fun, and the pictures were much better than if we’d used a car!” she says. They kept church decoration simple, with jugs of lilies with black feathers, and a pedestal of oyster and lime roses with feathers and pearls.
“My worst fear was everyone staring at me!” says Sara. “I had to look down as I entered the church, and my mum (who was giving me away) was nervous too, but as soon as I saw Paul, and he took my hand, it all melted away.”

Sara and Paul – The Proposal

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Sara’s sister had arranged the perfect surprise for guests as they walked out of the church – a pink ice cream van to serve everyone Mr Whippy (try Honours for similar). “We all walked down the hill again to the barn, where we had delicious canapés and champagne, G&Ts and Pimms on the lawn!” says Sara. “The barn suited us perfectly as it fitted with the theme and allowed us to put our own stamp on things. It also made for great country-style photos in the yard!”

Sara and Paul – Bridal Dress

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Sara looked stunning in her intricately beaded La Sposa dress in oyster satin. “I loved it!” she says. “I found it in a little shop in Sussex called Opulence & Grace. Beth from the shop was so helpful, she made it a really fun experience. I also wore my mother’s veil from her wedding.” Sara made her necklace herself using antique pearls, a necklace her sister gave her and a brooch. “I added brooches to everything for individuality – even my Carvela shoes! – and I wore a hair clasp from Butler & Wilson.”

Sara and Paul – Bride with bridesmaids

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Sara’s three bridesmaids (sister Su, and friends Delicia and Aimee) wore full-length glamorous Monsoon dresses. “They looked really glam – and fitted perfectly with my vintage glamour theme and the black feathers in my flower arrangements!” says Sara.

Sara and Paul – flowergirl

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Sara’s neice was her flowergirl, and wore a white tiered dress from Debenhams.

Sara and Paul – Flowers

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Sara’s bouquet had oyster and green roses, pearls and feathers to match the church pedestal, with trailing ivory anthuriums. It was made by florist Amanda Bright

Sara and Paul – Groom

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Paul wore a smart tailored suit from a shop in Liverpool St (try A Suit That Fits) and a silk neck scarf made by Sara’s mum. “He loves fashion and wanted something a bit different but still in keeping with the theme,” says Sara.

Sara and Paul – Wedding Reception ( venue)

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The reception hall was decorated according to the vintage glam theme, in ivory and black. “We made the centrepieces ourselves by wrapping feather boas round polystyrene balls and placing them in tall vases with LED lights,” says Sara. “They had real impact and looked great in the space, plus it was budget-friendly! We covered the middle of the table with feathers and loose pearls, and the top table had vintage candelabras wrapped in ivy and pearls to set the mood.”

Sara and Paul – Venue (seating plan)

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Sara also made all the wedding stationery. “The table names, place cards, and table plan (hung on a vintage mirror) were made of textured paper, ribbon, pearls and Swarovski crystals,” says Sara

Sara and Paul – Venue (decorations)

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“We decorated the pillars with ivy and the beams with hanging hearts (find similar at Cox & Cox),” says Sara

Sara and Paul – The Cake

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The couple’s cake was from Waitrose. “We bought and extra chocolate tier for those who don’t like fruit,” says Sara. “It was really budget-friendly and looked great when my sister and I decorated it with ribbons and brooches.” The high tea with finger sandwiches, scones and cakes and the evening hog roast were supplied by Nibbles2Nosh. “It was all delicious, and they were so helpful.”

Sara and Paul – First Dance

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The evening do went off with a bang, as the couple had hired a live band called Mr Smith. “Paul saw them at a gig and just had to have them at our wedding!” says Sara. “They were brilliant and really made the evening – the floor was never empty and they even let a few people sing with them! King’s Of Leon’s Sex On Fire was a particular highlight. Our first dance was to Take That’s Greatest Day, because it had a great beat and guests could dance along.” The couple then let off sky candles for a romantic end to the reception. “It was more beautiful than I could’ve imagined – truly magical,” she says.

Sara and Paul – Bride and bridesmaid

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“My tips for brides-to-be would be to simply relax and not to lose sight of what it’s all about,” says Sara. “I used internet forums to get tip-offs from other brides and carried a notebook everywhere so I didn’t forget anything I saw, or any details.
“On the day, it was better than I ever imagined. I loved having all our family and friends there to celebrate with us. Highlights were the speeches – my Mum gave a great speech – and all the funny moments. I loved watching our (usually cool!) friends attempting All Things Bright And Beautiful, which has to be the longest hymn ever! Also, we just managed to stop Paul’s mates putting the hog’s head in our bed – thankfully! A perfect day,” added Sara.