Katherine Hudson, founder of the Arabian Tent Company, explains: “People want their wedding to be unique. And the combination of our beautiful themed tents and a venue in the heart of the South Downs National Park is a winning combination.
“Beanstalk is near Firle in East Sussex and we were having a shoot to promote the venue when some ramblers out for a day’s walk saw the word LOVE spelt out in large letters on the hillside and must have thought they’d fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole! It was such a surreal scene, the tower on the top of the hill, the LOVE letters on the hillside and our models in their wedding dresses!”
Models Charlotte Morgan and Dani Brown posed on a beautiful spring day showing off their retro wedding dresses by Crystal Vintage to stunning effect. “Crystal Vintage source their costumes and accessories from all over the world,” says Katherine, “and they also have a dressing-up bus called Gloria they can bring along to weddings as a fancy dress area.” Larkspur Flowers, who specialise in seasonal, uncomplicated, natural wedding bouquets, provided the flowers for the shoot which looked as if they had been freshly picked from the surrounding meadows.
Magic, as well as LOVE, is what all brides want their wedding to be about and Beanstalk has the winning formula. “It’s in a location officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” says Caroline Fuller who runs the Countryside Catering Company which laid on the wedding feast for the shoot and is lucky enough to live at Beanstalk.
“It’s a fantasy location in many ways, surrounded by the South Downs on all sides with a tower that looks like a castle overlooking the venue. But it’s also very practical. There’s almost unlimited space both for Katherine’s wonderful tents but also for guests who may want to camp here themselves for a couple of nights. And as for noise, well we don’t have any neighbours, so what’s the problem!”
While the huge field behind Beanstalk is the main venue for the wedding party and the Arabian Tent Company marquees, guests can also use Beanstalk’s garden for the reception. “We’ve designed it to be the ultimate romantic country garden,” says Caroline, “like a wildflower meadow with pink campion, cow parsley, wild carrots, clematis and all sorts of bee-friendly plants. We’ve also got apple, cherry and chestnut trees. It’s a real picture on a beautiful summer’s day.”
And as the passing group of ramblers discovered, Beanstalk is a venue to let your imagination run riot. “The hillside and the tower opposite the venue are just perfect for those little touches that make weddings unforgettable,” says Katherine. “You can use our LOVE letters or spell each other’s names out in full view of the guests or even arrive from the church in a hot air balloon. Now that really would be magic!”
Tents, Decorations and Styling
Arabian Tent Company
Countryside Catering Company