Reader’s wedding

Rachel Soothill heads to Chichester’s Southend Barns to meet one couple whose wedding left guests with a spring in their step.

If your partner gets down on one knee and proposed with a joke doughnut ring some may be a little taken aback. But for Candice it was the perfect proposal.
Candice and Ben wedding-624Candice and Ben met while studying at Lancaster University but did not get together until two years after leaving.
“Ben chased me for a good year until I decided to take the scary leap from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend,” says Candice. “Once it happened it felt so natural and we never looked back or regretted it.”
The proposal took place in Valencia during a romantic weekend away.
“Ben suggested going for a walk along the beach before getting the train back,” she explains. “I dragged my heels and moaned a little, I was hungry, slightly burnt and wanted to eat, but after some persuasion he walked me to a quiet part of the beach and popped the question.”
The joke ring with a doughnut on top was inspired by his nickname for Candice, ‘doughnut’, during their early years Candice and Ben wedding-30together making it a very fitting proposal.
Having returned from their long weekend away the couple began researching venues and after stumbling upon the website for Southend Barns in Donnington, Chichester they knew straight away it was just the place they were looking for.
“We loved that everything was in one place and it was beautifully decorated but unfussy and natural.”
Although they agreed the barns needed few additional decorations, Ben and Candice still wanted to add their own touches and got the whole family involved in helping to create their perfect day.
“Deciding on the colour scheme was the hardest part, but once we decided on that, everything just came together from there,” Candice smiles. “Bright vibrant colours really lift our mood so we wanted something spring-like and fresh. We picked two of our favourite complimentary colours – yellow and turquoise.”
These colours were used for details throughout the day, including Ben’s outfit, which featured a pastel yellow slim tie, a homemade matching pocket square and yellow socks.
Meanwhile Candice’s dress had an elegant, vintage feel to it.
Candice and Ben wedding-684“I chose an Essence of Australia wedding dress. It was the beautiful detail of the lace back that sold it for me, as I wanted something that looked stunning from the back as well as the front.”
Using local florist, Blooms in Chichester, the couple picked seasonal and simple flowers for the day, including craspedia, roses, camomile and freesia to complement their colour scheme.
“We wanted to keep the cost of the flowers down so while Blooms did the key decorations, my mum filled little turquoise jars and ceramic milk jugs with flowers to decorate the tables,” Candice says.
In the ceremony barn, turquoise and yellow hearts, made by Ben’s mum, were tied on to the pew ends.
These then doubled up as wedding favours for the women while the men were given biscotti biscuits made by Candice and Ben wedding-54Candice’s dad.
“We couldn’t have put the wedding day together without help from family and friends,” says Candice. “We found they were actually honoured to be asked as opposed to feeling that we’d placed a burden on them.”
Unlike more traditional table layouts, the couple chose to have one long banquet style table, which had been decorated with a turquoise table runner and various items hired online.
“We used bright yellow flowers in cream buckets and turquoise jars down the middle of the breakfast table as well as beautiful bird cage candleholders.”
For refreshments the wedding party were treated to yellow and blue coloured cocktails served in decorated jam jars Candice and Ben wedding-408with candy-striped straws.
This was followed by a sumptuous feast by Field & Fork of barbecued meats with salads, breads and chutney.
The couple had also come up with an unusual three-tier wedding cake, which had been moulded, iced and decorated to look like Simpson style doughnut, in recognition of their doughnut-themed proposal.
The day ended with a live band, which kept most guests on the dance floor while others enjoyed the more peaceful atmosphere in the Collecting Yard where marshmallows were toasted on the fire pit.
“The day was perfect, it flew by too quickly but we have wonderful memories,” Candice says. “We feel blessed to have been able to share such an amazing day with our closest friends and family.”

Candice and Ben wedding-36For more information about Southend Barns, visit

Blooms of Chichester can be found in Little London, Chichester visit

To find out more about Field & Fork, visit

Pictures by Alexa Loy –


admin January 30, 2014 Culture and Events, Travel and Lifestyle