A spectacular wedding in the heart of West Sussex

“Last weekend was honestly the best weekend of our lives and you were all so instrumental in making it all run so smoothly. We are still wishing we could do it all over again!”

On July 8th this summer, we teamed up with some fantastic suppliers in the area to create a wedding that will never be forgotten.

Antonio and Emerald were married in The Cowdray Ruins, West Sussex on one of the hottest weekends of the year.

We are fortunate enough to work with many wonderful couples from all over England, and the world who all have different ideas, different visions and dreams of how they want their weddings to look. Antonio and Emerald certainly knew what they wanted and that was a perfectly understated, natural, free, beautiful country garden within the ruins itself. Karen from This Floral life and her team created exactly that.  On entering the open-air ceremony room, the theme was all about colour with an aisle runner of glorious spires of English flowers of Delphinium, snapdragons, peonies, garden roses to name but a few in yellows, blues, pinks and whites. A large double arch made by the Cowdray Estate forestry team and decorated with birch and beech branches, garden roses, peonies and delphiniums, was situated at the end of the aisle.

Whilst you can never be too sure on the weather in England, the weekend of the 8th July was definitely one for some serious heat. Set within the walls of the historic ruins with the enormous Tudor windows, fireplaces and the old stonework, it was very important to remain in keeping with our surroundings. We worked with Southdowns Marquees to create Emerald and Antonio’s vision and in order to bring in as much of the ruins as possible, we used a clear roof over the whole marquee. It was extremely hot work preparing everything in the marquee during the day, but by the time guests were called for dinner, the sun had dipped behind the façade of the ruins to provide the perfect shade for the evening.


On entering the marquee, guests were greeted by a picture-perfect dinner scene. During the reception, the floristry team brought in hundreds of flowers for the tables, as it was hot this had to be done very last minute. With 240 people for dinner, it is important that the room did not look like a school dining hall and by using a mixture of round and long tables this was avoided. We wanted to keep the colours all quite similar, very earthy, lots of greens and browns that were in keeping with the surroundings. The tables were laid with clay coloured cloths and loop back wooden chairs with ivory seat pads were used. Every table was covered in an array of different garden flowers in bottles and jars with tall and low candles. The top table was adorned with huge candelabras to add to the dramatic back drop of the huge Tudor ruined walls. The wedding party sat down to two Italian inspired courses and finished with a mini pudding buffet created around a handmade tree that we crafted into a garden of puddings.

top table flowersmarquee clear roofs

“People are still talking about how delicious the food was and we couldn’t agree more”

Sharing starter:
Organic Sardinian cured meats with Italian buffalo mozzarella from Puglia, organic Nutbourne vine tomatoes, roasted peppers and marinated artichokes

Main course:
Sea bass with parmesan polenta, pea puree, warm bean, pea and pancetta salad, tomato, caper and rosemary dressing

Mini dessert buffet:
Tarte Tatin
Pecan Pie
Buttermilk panna cotta with poached blackcurrants
Summer berry and elderflower jelly with lemon posset and meringue
Chocolate brownie


After dinner, the sun had gone down and the incredible Starlight Design had been brought in to illuminate the ruins to provide a spectacular setting for the party in the evening.  The features of the old Cowdray House vibrantly lit with an array of vivid colours was truly remarkable.

The evening came to an end and Emerald and Antonio left through a sparkler tunnel, try organising one of those with 240 people!


Jacaranda are lucky enough to be located right next door to the Cowdray Ruins on the Cowdray Estate. Therefore, we, I, got to see the vastness of how big this wedding actually was. However, it doesn’t go without saying that we, along with every one of our suppliers had to be incredibly careful with how everything was carried out being such an important historic heritage site.

Having the chance to be a part of Antonio and Emerald’s big day really was a privilege for me. We spent months with many emails and meetings putting together this huge day for them, and from the beginning of the planning to the last good bye, every minute was so enjoyable. This is one couple and one wedding I will never forget. Teamwork is always a big thing for me, but when you are in a team with your bride and groom, this is what makes a great wedding.

coco and ruins uplit

Thank you to every supplier involved in Antonio and Emeralds wedding:

Marquee: Southdowns Marquees

Reception and evening bar: Coco Dining & Ecobarco

Florist: This Floral Life

Photographer: Damion Mower Photography

Loo’s: Southdowns Shepherds Huts

Dress: Margaux Tardis, The Mews Bridal

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Ghost and Jenny Yoo, flower girls Wild and Gorgeous

Suit: Charlie Casely-Hayford

Lighting: Starlight Design

Bar/cocktails: The 43 Club

Band: Rollacoaster


Leave a Comment