Tuesday, 6 June 2017
It was my Godmother's wedding day on Saturday, and it was such a special day! They chose one of my favourite places to get married in, and one that features often on this blog- Southover Grange Gardens in Lewes. I have never actually been inside the building itself though as it is usually reserved for such occasions, so that was an extra special treat.
The Grange itself is 16th century and built from stones taken from the ruins of Lewes Priory (as many of the old buildings in Lewes are). It has a few connections to royalty, with King George IV being a frequent guest in the 1790s, even taking his secret wife, Maria Fitzherbert, there in 1793. Queen Elizabeth II planted trees in the garden when she visited Lewes in 1951 as a Princess, and as Lewes has quite a few historical royal connections (Anne of Cleeves' house is just up the hill), there may have been many other visits that aren't so widely documented.
The ceremony took place in a beautiful room overlooking the gardens, and was short and very sweet with vows solemnly taken and a poem read. Photos were taken outside amongst the garden itself, and if we could have ordered the weather it would have been the beautiful sunshine that blessed the day. The wedding dress was gorgeous with scroll lace motifs and a short lace train that hooked up to be carried when not flowing on the floor- traditional and pretty at the same time.
The garden was looking spectacular with colourful roses climbing the walls and entwining in the box hedges, and there were lots of archways for photograph staging. Different sides of family and friends were called upon one by one to be present in the many photos of smiling, happy guests sharing in the couple's special day.
The reception and wedding breakfast was being held at the nearby Shelleys Hotel which definitely did us proud with champagne ready and waiting on our arrival having walked up the hill (in high heels) to reach the hotel. The only problem with Lewes is that it is very old and built on a hill which means lots of very steep and cobbled streets- not good for posh dresses and stilettos!
There were canapes in the garden whilst guests relaxed and chatted, and the newly married Mr & Mrs could mingle and greet everybody.
We were eventually called into the dining room which was stunning with chandeliers, decoratively dressed windows, tables set with fabulous floral displays, and the wedding cake which features the couple's two dogs and had been made by a relative all the way up in Coventry!
There was a guest book to sign, and little wooden hearts to decorate and pop into a specially made frame for them to keep as a momento. I was asked to make a few decorative hearts to fill in the spaces which kept me occupied after the speeches (some very emotional) were made and the excellent lunch was being washed down with coffee.
It was a beautiful setting and a beautiful day, and I hope that they will be very happy together and make many more memories to accompany this one.