Real Weddings

Blue by Enzoani for a Luxe Tux Wedding at Boxgrove Priory – Sophie & Bryson

Sarah Symonds

Today we’re bringing you rich tones, black tie and more than a dash of sparkly NYE joy as we catch up with Sophie and Bryson to relive their incredible celebration at Boxgrove Priory!

We all know that weather can be a concern during the wedding planning process. Many couples opt for midsummer dates to attempt to secure a sunny day but, in England, that’s never a certainty! Today’s bride, Sophie, knew that she couldn’t count on the weather here in Blighty so she planned a midwinter wedding instead, knowing that she could at least then be prepared for the season! Genius!

The party atmosphere of the most wonderful time of the year worked in their favour and the photos are certainly lasting proof of that. Check out those happy faces! From the decadent cheesecakes, the black tie, the candlelight and the stunning gown, we reckon you’ll find plenty to be inspired by in this riot of a wedding.

With photography by Stam Chananakhon Photography


Well, Bryson is from Arkansas, USA and I’m from the UK. During the first lockdowns, UK citizens were banned from the USA. I was supposed to be Maid of Honour at my friend’s wedding in the States, which was set for August 2020. Bryson was already in the US at the time, having travelled home to apply for his student visa in the UK. 

Being a UK citizen, I wouldn’t have made it to the US BUT, as my father had recently become a US citizen, there was a tiny loophole in the rules… 

Fortunately, they did allow me to enter the country, although it was touch and go! They finally let me leave customs 10 minutes before my flight took off! Bryson was on the phone with me during these crazy two hours in a USA customs room at 4am, and little did I know how important it was to him that I made the flight!

I arrived and, as it was a nice day, Bryson suggested we go for a picnic up the mountain that has been owned by his family for decades. As we were walking up through the long grass we heard a scuffle. I HATE snakes and immediately screamed “WHAT WAS THAT!?” Determined to not let anyone or anything ruin his proposal plan, Bryson casually told me it was just a squirrel. I looked to the left and saw this black snake jump up onto a tree branch. Later on, Bryson told me it was a poisonous cottonmouth snake – lovely! 

But we got to the top of the mountain eventually where he told me he and his sister had been messing around and carving into a tree. The tree was set on the top, looking down the mountain. Bryson had spent weeks clearing out the area so that we would have a space for our picnic. He asked me to look and what I saw was a heart carving with WYMM inside. I was confused for a few minutes as I was expecting a ‘BB (his initials) 2020’ or some other similar carving. When I finally realised what WYMM stood for I let out a gasp, turned around and saw Bryson on one knee!


It was New Year’s Eve! As a total control freak, I wanted to plan a date that the weather couldn’t affect. We would have had a summer wedding, but with no guarantees in England during summer, we chose a winter date so that we could plan it around being a horrendous day outside and if it ended up being a great day then that would be a bonus! Plus…well, it’s New Year’s Eve!

We chose Boxgrove Priory for our ceremony, a beautiful church near where we live with some amazing ruins next door that we thought would be great for some post-ceremony pictures. Our reception was in a yurt in the back garden of my parents house. We would recommend both! The church was just exceptional and having the reception at home gave us complete control over what we could do, so we had the wedding we wanted without any venue restrictions.


We didn’t particularly have a theme but formal black tie and sparkly attire was encouraged. Our colours were black, white, burgundy and gold. In the end everything looked how we hoped.


I always wanted a plain white elegant dress but ended up not liking anything I tried. They all felt a little too boring. I tried several places and ended up with a dress with a fairly long train, embroidery, and some sparkly layers underneath – not what I was expecting but I absolutely loved it from the moment I tried it on. The gown was the Nefertiti from Blue by Enzoani, bought from Proposals, Chichester.


Bryson wanted a tuxedo but always likes to be a little different. He decided to go with a black velvet jacket instead of plain, with a burgundy feather bow tie. He looked amazing!

It was custom made by Gresham Blake Tailor, Brighton.


All different – all bridesmaids had totally different heights and body shapes so we let them choose their own so they could be comfortable. I asked them to all choose something in a burgundy colour.


We had Natasha Chanel Hair, Chichester on hair duty and Sophie Jane MUA doing the makeup.


Our photographer Stam Chananakhon Photography so artistic, so friendly, and we had tons of compliments about how great she was. We were amazed at how long she spent during the day snapping photos. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. We are so happy that we chose her, and will suggest her to any future friends who are planning their own special events!


We didn’t have loads of flowers at the wedding; just bouquets for the bride, bridesmaids and flower girls. They were white and red with some eucalyptus. I didn’t want them to be too formal and thought they worked well. They were by Buds n Blooms, East Preston. Our table decorations were just candles and I think candles give the most beautiful magical ambience. My mother and sister in law crafted the stationery all by themselves!


We opted for cheesecake instead! Gastro Catering made us Baileys and chocolate, New York and salted caramel flavours. It was all gone so I guess it was good!


Our caterers Gastro Catering were PHENOMENAL! Our main meal was more of a heavy wintery dish so we didn’t have starters and capitalised on the canapés instead – who doesn’t love a canapé?! We had great comments on the food so can’t thank them enough.


We had a four piece band; vocalist Chelsey Chantelle, a female guitarist and saxophonist and a male drummer/vocalist. The band were brilliant, fun, entertaining and fit the bill by turning up in sparkly NYE attire! The dance floor seemed to be packed for most of the night so they were a bit hit. We made sure to include music that would work for all generations so the party was great.

Special touches

My little brother, who’s 12, handed out confetti cannons at midnight to celebrate the New Year which was really fun! Though one guest accidentally had it the wrong way around and shot himself..!

Thanks to

Our planner and stylist, Tammy Louise of TLC Weddings, Worthing! 


No plans yet. We plan to go away in the summer instead.


We were told a million times to spend time with one another, and we managed it! Also, do the engagement shoot! And get a wedding coordinator for the day so you aren’t asked questions and are left to enjoy the whole day. HAVE FUN! Don’t make the guest list excessively big as you won’t have time to spend with everyone. Or, have another event either the day after or before so that you have time to speak to everyone.

Worry less about the finer details. Make sure you have fun and don’t have your phone! Also, get a good band, a good caterer and get two photographers!

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