A Slinky Halterneck Dress for a Post Lockdown Wedding at Long Furlough Barn in West Sussex

Long Furlongbarn Wedding 2

So so very many couples who have finally celebrated their wedding this year, the planning was far from easy.

Covid prevented original wedding dates and plans from going ahead and introduced enormous pressure on couples and suppliers to postpone and rearrange. This is what happened to Helen and Stewart, who finally got to marry one another on 25th June 2021 at the beautiful Long Furlong Barn in Worthing, West Sussex. Images by Joseph Kinerman.

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“We chose Long Furlong Barn for its stunning setting and beautiful views.”

“It was perfect for what we wanted, which was an informal barn venue, big enough for 100 guests and with a lovely outside vista.”

“We also found the staff very friendly and professional. We know the Surrey and Sussex areas well and our friends and family are mainly based in the south east too.”

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“We’ve known each other for many years, having grown up in the same area and with shared friends, however did not become a couple until 2010 when Stewart asked me out for a drink when I was home from University.”

“We had been together 9 years when Stewart proposed on our anniversary, at a beautiful forest lake having spent the day mountain biking together.”

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“We had been engaged for two years when we got married – though it was originally only meant to be one year.”  

“Our original wedding date was 1st July 2020, our 10 year anniversary, however we sadly had to postpone until 25th June 2021 due to COVID.”

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“Unfortunately due to the restrictions we also weren’t allowed to have all of our guests and we were limited to a maximum of 65. This meant we had no evening guests.”

“Our guests, wedding party and all suppliers had to submit evidence of a negative lateral flow test before being allowed to attend.”

“Guests also had to wear face masks when inside during the ceremony.”

Wedding Guests Silk Facemasks

“The dancefloors were closed and no dancing was permitted inside, therefore the venue arranged for a marquee to be placed in the courtyard outside so the band could set up there and we could still dance.”

“There was no bar service and food and drink had to be served to tables with guests sitting down.”

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“As stressful as rearranging the wedding was, and how hard it was having to wait another year, it was of course totally worth waiting for.”

Being together and being married (but also being able to have a proper party!) was the most important thing to us.”

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The couple hired Porto’s Flowers of Worthing as their florist.

“I chose my flowers because I liked the neutral colours and slightly wilder look. I’ve always liked thistles and eucalyptus.”

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The couple wrote their own vows together for their ceremony, lead by Humanist Celebrant, Jane Blackman.

“Our legal marriage ceremony was conducted at Leatherhead Registry Office, four days before our wedding day.” 

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Helen’s chic halterneck gown was from Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath, London. A regular here at Love My Dress, Blackburn bridal carry a number of top luxury designers as well as designing their own wedding dresses.

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“Russell Blackburn and his team at Blackburn Bridal Couture were a dream to work with. Russell had designed a range of very simple and elegant dresses, which was exactly what I wanted.”

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“I found my halter neck dress and fell in love with it. The dress design originally had a key hole back but I had always wanted a backless dress and I’m pleased to say Russell was able to do this for me.”

“I also chose the beautiful crepe fabric and a particular skirt shape. Every fitting that I had was really enjoyable and the whole process a pleasure.”

“Russell and his team were very attentive and committed to me and my dress, I felt very special and very welcome every time I visited.”

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“I wanted a sleek and very simple dress and I have always found halter necks to be the most flattering shape on me. I wanted to show off my shoulders, arms and back.”

“I loved the dress because it fitted me like a glove and to be honest I felt like a movie star.      

“I wore a veil, also purchased from Russell Blackburn Couture. It was also plain with tiny diamantes all over it, and I wore it very long beyond the train of my dress.”

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“Our photographer, Joseph Kinerman, phtographed my friend’s wedding and we loved the quality to his photos and the relaxed style.”

“The photos Joe took of our wedding were incredible, so much better than expected and exactly what we wanted.”

“He captured the key moments so naturally but also so many beautiful and subtle moments.”

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“The pictures have such a nice quality to them, natural and never forced and are very flattering.”

“Ever the professional and a pleasure to work with, Joe made us feel at ease all day and was never overbearing, instead he was gently encouraging and helped us to relax, even when tensions were high.”

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“We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunset and Joe produced photos that are stunning and emotive, real show-stoppers.”

“We love the softness to the photos and how Joe produces everything in black and white as well as colour. We 100% recommend Joe as a wedding photographer.”

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“My bridesmaid, Rachel Balchin made our cake. She is an excellent baker. She made two tiers, one of each of our favourite flavours; lemon and poppy seed, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing.”

“She also made vegan and gluten free red velvet cupcakes to cater for all of our guests.”

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The couple hired cover band, The Indie Killers, and took to the dancefloor, surrounded by their friends and family, to the sound of Aretha Franklin’s ‘You Send Me’ .

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“Music was very much a theme with a bit of a retro style. Stewart plays guitar and bass and has played in many bands.”

“We had a guitar for our guests to sign, a vinyl record guest book and a custom Marshall amp wedding sign.”  

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Try not to get too caught up in the planning and get carried away. Try and think about what makes you both comfortable, rather than what you think is expected of you.”

“The day will go by very quickly, so keep things simple.”

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Credits & Thanks


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.