Sussex Wedding Venues

A Guide to Sussex Wedding Venues

Sussex has some of the best and most varied wedding venues in the UK. From ancient rustic barns and the cosiest pubs to the Georgian chic of Brighton and the grandest of country houses – this corner of south-east England has it all for the prospective wedding couple. And most of these wedding venues are within an hour or two of London. With each wedding venue there’s a link to a real wedding I photographed in my documentary style.

A bit about me

I’m Michael, a Sussex documentary wedding photographer, based a few miles north of Brighton. Before I became a full-time professional wedding photographer in 2014 I was the editor of Canon Europe’s pro photography website and magazine. You can read more about me and read a few of the reviews I’ve received from wedding couples.

Sussex Barn Weddings

Upwaltham Barns weddings

This family-run West Sussex wedding venue is located in a beautiful valley in the South Downs about 7 miles north east of Chichester. With the Downs rising gently on either side, the scope for dramatic, romantic photography is almost endless.

The complex of barns, gardens and the main courtyard together make Upwaltham Barns one of the prettiest I’ve seen. The East Barn (for civil wedding ceremonies) is very light and airy with views onto the Downs and seating for up to 150 people.

Across the spacious courtyard to the left is the South Barn, which can also hold up to 150 people. It has a really rustic feel for that perfectly relaxed and charming Sussex countryside wedding. And I love the super-cozy Moroccan-style seating area in the adjoining garden. Great for post-wedding breakfast drinks.

Then there’s the beamed Jasmine Cottage overlooking the courtyard. It’s a beautiful hideaway for bridal preparations and the first night’s stay. It even has it’s own balcony.

Have a look at a selection of pictures from Tanya & Will’s Upwaltham Barns wedding.

Blackstock Country Estate weddings

Blackstock Country Estate in Hellingly is located on a ridge on the Downs of East Sussex with stunning far-reaching views.

Aside from the laid-back atmosphere and warm welcome, one of big attractions at Blackstock is the outdoor space. It’s set in 70 acres of meadows and woods in which guests can take a stroll and feel properly away from it all. The grounds also go all the way down to the River Cuckmere.

There are two barns that can be hired separately or together, and there’s a good size patio overlooking the grounds. There’s even an indoor soft play barn and outdoor play area for children to let off steam during the festivities.

Weddings at Blackstock Country Estate can accommodate up 180 guests so there’s loads of flexibility depending on how big your bash is and age of your guests.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Lisa & Tom’s Blackstock Country Estate wedding.

Fitzleroi Barn weddings

Owners of Fitzleroi Barn, Julia and Mark, were the first to be married in the 400-year-old Main Barn more than two decades ago. Their wedding inspired them so much that they’ve been hiring it out ever since.

Fitzleroi Barn is set in the beautiful rolling farmland of West Sussex not far from Pulborough. The huge courtyard is flanked by two barns, both licenced to hold civil ceremonies. The Main Barn seats 120, while the Long Barn can accommodate 75. A marquee can also be added in the courtyard for extra covered space.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Chloe & Paul’s Fitzleroi Barn wedding.

English Wine Centre weddings

The English Wine Centre, near Alfriston in East Sussex, is the perfect combination of old and new.

The 17thcentury Old Barn can accommodate up to 130 guests with the attached marquee (May to September). Or couples can choose the Oak Lodge function room for smaller wedding receptions of up to 60 guests.

The stylishly modern Oak Lodge itself offers four double bedrooms and a bridal suite, just a few seconds walk from the Old Barn. The two-acre landscaped gardens look fabulous and are offered exclusively to couples and their wedding guests.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Karen & Peter’s English Wine Centre wedding.

Sussex Country House Weddings

Buxted Park Hotel weddings

Buxted Park Hotel, near Uckfield in East Sussex, has everything a couple getting married would want from a country house wedding.

The grade II-listed Palladian mansion has attracted many famous people over the centuries, including Wordsworth, Churchill and Marlon Brando.

It can accommodate up to 120 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, and an additional 80 guests for the evening reception. It also has a licence for an outdoor ceremony. There’s a spacious ballroom, an elegant Victorian orangery, and even a 13thcentury church next door.

Buxted Park Hotel has large, sweeping lawns, and the beautiful terrace above the formal gardens is just perfect for a drink on a summer’s evening.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Lizzie and Jamie’s Buxted Park Hotel wedding.

Milwards Estate weddings

The privately-owned Milwards Estate, near Lewes in East Sussex, is one of those very friendly and welcoming wedding venues.

It can accommodate up to 150 wedding guests and is dominated by a 5-acre lake surrounded by stunning gardens and woods. The Coach House can seat up to 60 guests for ceremonies and or couples might want to choose to get married on the lawn by the lake.

And there’s a marquee with a bar and dance floor, and a fabulous raised terrace with views across the lake and grounds. The Milwards Estate is certainly a very romantic place to get married.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Anna & David’s Milwards Estate wedding.

Broyle Place weddings

This grade II-listed Elizabethan manor house not far from Lewes is another of East Sussex’s privately owned romantic wedding venues.

It’s an exclusive-use venue set in 30 acres of beautiful lawns and ponds, and can accommodate up to 150 wedding reception guests. Wedding ceremonies in the Great Hall can seat up to 50, and the pretty Boat House (for outdoor ceremonies) can take up to 150.

The purpose-built marquee at Broyle Place features a solid wooden floor and carved wooden bar. French doors open out onto lawns and terraces in the summer months and it’s heated for weddings held in the cooler months.

There’s lots of space for lawn games either side of a sweeping driveway leading up to the impressive manor house.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Jessica & Steve’s Broyle Place wedding.

Hoath House weddings

This beautiful, historic country house sits in the High Weald just over the East Sussex border into Kent. There’s a real old-world charm that makes it perfect for a relaxed country wedding.

Hoath House, is nestled in some of the most stunning English countryside visible for miles around. Parts of the Tudor house date back as far as 1350 and the whole place is steeped in local history.

Weddings can be held outside at the wedding arch or inside in the Library, which holds 100 guests, or in the Drawing Room which seats up to 65.

Hoath House and the six acres of gardens can be hired for exclusive use, with the house itself sleeping up to 50 guests.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Aisha & Kordel’s Hoath House wedding.

Ramster Hall weddings

North of Petworth, just over the West Sussex border into Surrey, is the elegant and historic, family-run Ramster Hall.

It’s another exclusive-use wedding venue with a licence for weddings and civil ceremonies. The long drive that curves down to Ramster Hall gives the venue a really memorable first impression, and the 20 acres of gardens at Ramster Hall are simply stunning.

Ramster Hall comprises three main halls flanking a beautiful courtyard. The elegant Great Drawing Room can accommodate 160 guests. The Long Hall, which dates back to 1604, can seat 160 for a wedding breakfast, or up to 200 for a stand-up wedding reception.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Julia & Andy’s Ramster Hall wedding.

Bore Place weddings

Just over the East Sussex border, into the High Weald of Kent, is a truly unusual wedding venue.

Bore Place House dates back to late-Tudor times and the beautiful walled garden with its formal lily pond gives it a romantic and elegant feel.

But Bore Place is much more than your traditional Kent wedding venue. If you’re interested in the environment this is the perfect venue for a ‘green wedding’. It is home to The Commonwork Trust set up over 40 years ago by Neil and Jenifer Wates soon after they bought Bore Place. The Trust is all about exploring how to live and work sustainably.

The organically-managed estate is set in hundreds of acres of farmland and woods in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Couples getting married at Bore Place are offered overnight accommodation for up 50 guests and lots of additional room for camping.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Kirsty & Steve’s Bore Place wedding.

Pennyhill Park weddings

OK, so Pennyhill Park is not exactly in Sussex, but I just had to include this Surrey wedding venue, because it has just about everything for couples wanting to get married in a country house location south of London.

Set in 123 acres of Surrey countryside, this exclusive hotel and spa has so much choice and flexibility if you’re getting hitched.

It can cater for well over 200 wedding guests, indoor and outdoor, and if money’s no object you can hire the whole place exclusively.

At the heart of Pennyhill Park is the stunning 19thcentury, ivy-clad mansion and it’s surrounding lawns and terraces. It makes the perfect backdrop to a luxury wedding.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Claire & Darren’s Pennyhill Park wedding.

Sussex Country Pub Weddings & Country Hotel Weddings

Weddings at the Bell, Ticehurst

Sussex and its neighbouring counties have some of the cosiest and coolest pubs in which to tie the knot – and none more so than The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex.

This multi-award winning pub was built in 1296. Yes, that’s not a typo. 1296! But despite its traditional country pub charms (of which there are many), The Bell also has an exuberant and quirky style that will make any wedding couple feel special.

The stunning Assembly Hall can hold up to 90 wedding guests for ceremonies, and up to 120 for wedding receptions. There’s a great little Snug for couples to relax in, the Stable with a Table for post ceremony drinks and the garden complete with the Love Nest for the couple’s first night.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Mel & Jez’s wedding at The Bell in Ticehurst.

Anchor Inn & Boating weddings, Barcombe

A few miles upstream from Lewes on the banks of the River Ouse lies the picturesque Anchor Inn & Boating pub. As it’s name suggests the pub offers customers the chance to potter about on the water, up to 100 at a time!

Along the riverside drinks terrace is a purpose-built marquee that can seat up to 160 wedding ceremony guests, with even more space available for the evening reception.

The pub, built in 1790, has a relaxed charm to it and the location on the Ouse makes it a special place for wedding couples. You can even arrive by helicopter in the field next to the pub if you fancy ‘making an entrance’.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Aicha and Dan’s wedding at the Anchor Inn & Boating, near Barcombe.

The Mill at Elstead Weddings

This Surrey pub wedding venue on the River Wey, not far from the West Sussex border, occupies an old working mill that dates back to the English Civil War.

These days it can offer wedding couples a range of options. For smaller ceremonies of up to 25 there’s the Cromwell room. For ceremonies of up to 65 guests couples choose the dual-aspect Cygnet room overlooking the river. The Mill at Elstead can seat up to 90 guests for the wedding breakfast and 120 for the evening reception. Outdoors, the big attraction is the millpond and the surrounding lawns for guests to relax on.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Kym and Roger’s wedding at the Mill at Elstead.

Weddings at the Montagu Arms Hotel, Hampshire

Here’s another wedding venue that’s not actually in Sussex, but is not too far away in Hampshire. I just couldn’t not include it, as it offers something different to the usual country pub wedding experience.

The Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu is perfect for couples wanting a relaxed country pub/hotel wedding, but one that combines the elegance of a country house wedding.

There’s also something timeless and very English about this New Forest venue, with its oak-panelled rooms and formal garden. In fact, the small town of Beaulieu itself is one of the jewels of southern England. And it’s also the classic car capital of the UK with its National Motor Museum.

The Montagu Arms has over 24 rooms and is licensed for civil ceremonies for up to 90 guests, and 150 guests for evening receptions.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Eleanor & Nick’s wedding at the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu.

Sussex Town Wedding Venues

Weddings at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Also known as the Brighton Pavilion, this iconic Grade-I listed building is one the UK’s most glamorous and exotic places to get married.

Built during the Regency period of George IV as a ‘pleasure palace’, the Royal Pavilion has been restored to its 1820s splendour. With its Indian-inspired exterior and Chinese interior, this is a wedding venue like no other.

The famous Music room with its gilded ceiling, lotus-shaped chandeliers and blue silk drapes can be hired in the evenings for up to 90 guests. The stunning Red Drawing Room retains much of its original flamboyance and can be hired for daytime or evening ceremonies. It can seat 44 wedding guests.

There are lots of other stunning reception rooms to choose from including the Adelaide Rooms, complete with a balcony overlooking the Royal Pavilion gardens.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Carine & Neil’s wedding at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. They followed up with a reception at the wonderful Pub du Vin and its stunning domed dining room.

Weddings at the Worthing Dome

Just a few miles west along the Sussex coast from Brighton is the Worthing Dome, a really fabulous building that’s perfect for couples looking for a bit of British seaside nostalgia.

The Worthing Dome was built in Edwardian times as a ‘leisure centre’ and is perfectly located on the seafront opposite Worthing pier.

Wedding ceremonies can be held in the top of the Dome itself – in the Whispering Gallery – which holds up to 50 guests. An additional 35 gusts can view from the Atrium Bar. Alternatively, there’s the Main Lounge for larger ceremonies of up to 150, with its large private balcony overlooking the seafront.

The Worthing Dome is also a very photogenic venue to tie the knot. Couples can arrange to have access to the Edwardian cinema on the ground floor, and of course, there’s the beach, stunning pier and local gardens. And there’s plenty of hotel accommodation within a very short walk of the Dome.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Sophie & Andrew’s wedding at the Worthing Dome.

Weddings at the Chichester Harbour Hotel & Spa

This beautifully-restored, grade II-listed boutique hotel in the heart of historic Chichester can accommodate weddings of up to 150 guests.

Its charm, and there is plenty of it, lies in its blending of Georgian elegance and sleek modern design. The centrepiece is undoubtedly the sweeping Georgian staircase flanked by floor-to-ceiling sash windows.

The two Chichester Harbour Hotel’s function rooms – The Guildhall Suite (up to 120 wedding guests) and the Priory Suite (up to 35) – offer wedding couples lots of flexibility. And with 37 lovely bedrooms in the hotel, along with a spa, there’s lots on offer for guests during their stay.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Daisy & Chris’s wedding at the Chichester Harbour Hotel.

Aviator Hotel weddings, Hampshire

Over the West Sussex border into Hampshire is a hotel wedding venue unlike any other I can think of. The Aviator Hotel, located alongside the famous Farnborough Airport, was designed to reflect the golden age of air travel and is perfect for couples looking for a modern-retro venue.

The sleek, modernist architecture, of the Aviator Hotel gives a wow factor to any wedding. The atrium and ascending repeating curves of its staircase add a mid-20thcentury glamour reminiscent of New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

From the Wright Room on the ground floor (up to 150 wedding guests) to the Sky Lounge up on the 4thFloor (up to 110) the Aviator Hotel offers pretty much everything for couples wanting a glamorous, modern wedding venue.

The Aviator Hotel has also designed what it calls its ‘Echo’ experience comprising a range of weddings packages that can be tailored to couples’ preferences.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Georgina & Matt’s wedding at the Aviator Hotel in Hampshire.

Sussex Outdoor Wedding Venues & Sussex Village Hall Weddings

Knepp Castle Estates Weddings

For couples looking for a tipi wedding venue in Sussex with a conservationist flavour, Knepp Castle Estates near Horsham could be the perfect place.

Available from May to September, the location next to a lake in the re-wilded Repton Park, gives any wedding a rustic, laid back feel.

If you’re a nature lover you’ll be excited by the free-roaming animals, the nearby woods and a cabin with a commercial kitchen. Couples and guests can glamp or camp in fabulous cabins, tree houses and bell tents at nearby Knepp Safaris camping ground.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Lou & Tom’s wedding at Knepp Castle Estates, West Sussex.

Barcombe Village Hall Weddings

Located on the outskirts of the pretty East Sussex village of Barcombe near the River Ouse is a modern-style, eco-friendly village hall perfect for DIY weddings.

A combination of beautiful wood and brick gives the venue a Scandinavian feel. Barcombe Village Hall’s environmental credentials are likely to rank with the best of any wedding venue in the country. Designed by Camilla Nordgren of Satellite Architects specialists in sustainability, the Barcombe Village Hall has a ‘green roof’ that also collects and reuses water.

And the views across the Sussex Weald through the huge windows at the rear provide a beautiful backdrop to a homespun wedding.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Annie & Charlie’s wedding at Barcombe Village Hall in East Sussex.

Weddings at Queen’s Hall Cuckfield

This village hall-style wedding venue is located in a handsome grade II-listed Victorian council building right in the middle of the picturesque village of Cuckfield, West Sussex.

Queen’s Hall is licenced to hold civil ceremonies in three different places and is perfect for DIY weddings. There’s the council chamber upstairs for smaller weddings, and for larger weddings there’s a garden or the main hall with a stage. There’s also a kitchen and bar room so you can choose your own caterers.

Have a look at a selection of pictures I shot at Becky & Ross’s wedding at Queen’s Hall wedding in Cuckfield.

My Style of Documentary Wedding Photography

This short photofilm with music called ‘Life Isn’t Posed’ captures my approach to wedding photography perfectly. If you like it and want to check my availability for your wedding I’d love you to get in touch

Advantages of documentary wedding photography:

Real pictures capturing genuine emotions

An unobtrusive photographer means you can focus on enjoying your wedding day

Not having to stand around posing for pictures with cheesy grins or fake emotions

A good documentary wedding photographer will be able to ‘tell the story’ of your special day and capture moments that the couple would not even notice

Find out more about my approach to documentary wedding photography. Or simply get in touch to check my availability.