It’s a kind of magic….
Christmas really is a magical time to propose, with fires crackling and fairy lights twinkling - what better time to pop the big question? Over the holidays there have been engagement rings wrapped in tiny boxes tucked under the tree; popped inside Christmas crackers or simply presented on one knee. There have been unplanned proposals with Haribo rings standing in until the real thing has been chosen. Shrieks of surprise and excitement, tears and happiness have been heard in homes across the country.
Whether it is just the two of you or surrounded by family or friends, a Christmas proposal is quite frankly magic. It therefore comes as no surprise that creating a magical wedding day is often top of a “want list” for many couples after their Christmas engagement. So, with ring fingers sparkling - or perhaps a little sticky from a jelly ring - the hunt for the perfect, magical venue begins…but where to look exactly?
In the little medieval town of Battle in the heart of East Sussex you will find The Pilgrims Rest. Nearly 600 years old, this beautiful old Wealden Hall house is full of rustic charm and historic soul - a unique and truly magical wedding venue. As well as being a stunning building with its medieval vaulted Great Hall, The Pilgrims Rest boasts three working inglenook fireplaces, ancient beams, linenfold doors and oak floors. With all the cost advantages of a dry hire venue (with no fixed suppliers no corkage charges and the choice to have your own bar) it is as far removed from “dry” as you could possibly want.
The Pilgrims Rest has been designed and furnished to need little extra decoration; The Great Hall is furnished with benches and furs for the ceremony and safety church candles. You can say your “I do’s” with the fire burning in the huge inglenook.
Off the Great Hall to one side is The Dining Room comes with wide, lime washed trestle tables and Chivari chairs. A selection of pewter candlesticks on the tables (with real candles), vintage decanters Vintage decanters, wine buckets, a cake table and rustic stand are there should you wish to use them. Another fireplace keeps the Dining room cosy for your guests. On the other side of the Great Hall is the cosy Webster Bar complete with huge open fire with pea-lights and hops. The rustic bar comes with champagne baths, a drinks fridge and drinks dispensers for Pimms or fresh lemonade. It goes without saying that there is plenty of wood for all three fires.
In the morning The Bryant bridal changing rooms with its vintage dressing tables and chaise longues and panelled sitting room are perfect for pre-wedding photographs and getting ready (a further changing room will be completed by the end of February). A member of the wedding team will be there on the day to hold your hand.
The Pilgrims Rest is decorated with elegant garlands and pea-lights (which can be used or stored away if you prefer), essentially designing a backdrop so that couples to add their own finishing touches making a beautiful wedding without spending a fortune a reality. At the beginning of each season, the creative team designs a new seasonal look. Last October, burnt orange, dried oak leaves and vintage books gave a pop of Autumnal colour. In December, the team were found foraging and decorating hazel twigs, hanging them above the tables with pretty decorations and tea-lights. It goes without saying that ideas for the Spring look are already in the air…
If you are looking for a unique wedding venue with a little added dusting of magic and would like to make an appointment to meet one of the wedding team at one of the wedding open days then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photography by Jessica Bevan.