The Ruins at Cowdray


When Andi and Stuart told us they were getting married at The Ruins at Cowdray, we were really excited.  Not least, because the venue is so totally unique, we couldn’t wait to hear more about their plans and see the day come together.

Set in the heart of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, Cowdray is one of England’s most important early Tudor houses and was destroyed by fire in the late 1700’s.  The Ruins are a really popular visitor attraction but can also be used as the backdrop for a limited number of weddings each year.

Pippa Mackenzie was the photographer for the day; chosen for her eye for detail and natural documentary style images, and From the Hip were the chosen videographers.


The ceremony took place within the ruins themselves with Bride Andi arriving by white London taxi wearing a bespoke Stewart Parvin gown which he designed especially for her. She walked down the aisle alongside her mum as the Urban Soul Orchestra played.

Andi and Stu made their promises to each other with personalized vows which was really important to them both in terms of creating a ceremony that was completely unique to them.

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed canapés and drinks from caterers Caper & Berry as the orchestra continued to play.  It was a really hot day and so guests were able to mingle outside and really take in the backdrop of the ruins which made for a fairytale setting.


Prior to dinner, guests were invited to find the Heinz Tomato Ketchup miniature with their name and table number on it and then made their way into the marquee to find their seats.  All of the girls had a lovely surprise of flip-flops on the backs of their chairs to help with sore feet later on!

The styling of the marquee was luxurious, grand and elegant with large candelabras, rose bowls brimming with flowers and garlands and huge displays on pedestals decorating the space – all created by florist Bergdorfs Flowers of Copenhagen .  There was also a large bowl of marshmallows situated in the centre of the room for guests to enjoy and huge colourful pom poms hanging from the ceilings.

Guests enjoyed a lovely wedding breakfast comprising the couple’s favourite dish of steak and chips as the main course – it was lovely!


In contrast to the dramatic surroundings, Andi and Stuart wanted to create a soft and pretty, elegant wedding using muted pastel tones with a hint of grey.  As the backdrop for their ceremony was so striking, everything else was kept very simple, whilst in the marquee they opted for grand decorations to fit the backdrop.


As night started to fall and the speeches came to a close, bride Andi changed into her second dress of the day – a shorter Stewart Parvin number which showed off her glittery Jimmy Choos and signalled the start of the party.

The clear marquee showed the ruins in all their glory as they were lit up as darkness fell and the circular bar glowed to draw people away from the dinner through to the dance floor as the dancing got underway.


Music in the evening was provided by both a DJ and the Urban Soul Orchestra band which created a lively atmosphere until last orders were called at the bar.  At this point, guests were invited outside to send Andi and Stuart off with a sparkler farewell.  This is always a little tricky to orchestrate but it was a fantastic end to a really beautiful luxury wedding!

We provided a tailored wedding planning service to Andi and Stu, sourcing a number of their suppliers and then coordinating the wedding on the day itself.  If you are interested in hearing more about this level of support, then please get in touch to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Venue: The Ruins at Cowdray  // Marquee: Alresfords Marquees  // Bride’s Dress: Stewart Parvin  // Photographer: Pippa Mackenzie  // Videographer: From the Hip  // Florist: Bergdorfs Flowers of Copenhagen  // Caterer: Caper & Berry  // Choir: Urban Soul Orchestra  // Celebrant: Lesley Edwards  // Stationery: Cutture

Highlights video by From the Hip

Leave a Reply

Stay Tuned

for the latest news

follow us