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Liam Collard Photography

See how the beautiful couple celebrated their love with an East Sussex wedding on a splendid New Year’s Eve!

2020 has truly changed the face of romance for lovers all around the world. Bryson and Sophie experienced the ups and downs of the pandemic–from the proposal to the nuptials itself–making their East Sussex wedding story pretty one-of-a-kind.

As one of the few couples we had the pleasure of working with through the pandemic, Stam and I were delighted that they both decided to join us in Lisbon, Portugal for a pre-wedding shoot in the late summer, where we got to know them and had the chance to capture some amazing images of them around the city.

Having the opportunity to spend time with them we knew their East Sussex wedding was going to be a day to remember and it did not disappoint.

East Sussex wedding

A Whirlwind Proposal

About 4 years before their wedding day, Sophie and Bryson met one night at a dive bar in the US. Theirs is a story strengthened by distance and differences, with the 2 living in separate continents and coming from different backgrounds. Add a crazy pandemic to the mix—you know these two have really gone through fire and water.

During the first Covid lockdowns in 2020, UK citizens were banned from the USA. Luckily, though, Sophie’s dad had recently become a US citizen and it was essentially the loophole that saved Bryson’s proposal plans. Because long before the border restrictions, Bryson already prepared something special for their proposal.

After spending 2 crazy hours in a customs room, Sophie got on the plane 10 minutes before take off and that’s when Bryson went to work. We’re sure he did his best to plan the perfect picnic for Sophie’s arrival, but Sophie fondly recalls how he forgot everything but the food: No cutlery, no glasses, no plates!

But these are pretty much minor mishaps when compared to the grand gesture Bryson had prepared. On a tree at the top of a mountain owned by Bryson’s family, the groom-to-be carved out letters “WYMM.” When Sophie sees and finally deciphers the initials, she let out a gasp, turned around and saw Bryson on one knee asking him to marry her. Now, that’s a pretty iconic proposal.

A Fabulous New Year’s Eve Wedding

The entire event was all about glitz and glamour: Black tie, sparkly gowns and hints of burgundy and gold for a classic New Year’s eve party.

Sophie had always dreamed of getting married in a simple but elegant wedding dress, but fell in love with a gown with a gorgeous train, floral embroidered lace, and some sparkly layers underneath. The gorgeous dress by Enzoani felt perfect from the moment she tried it on, and so she went with her heart.

Bryson, on the other hand, wore a custom made tux by Gresham Blake Tailor in Brighton.

The couple got married at Boxgrove Priory, a beautiful church near Sophie’s home. Founded in 1107, the amazing ruins in the area made for gorgeous photos of their special day.

Considering how they chose to have a wedding that coincides with New Year’s Eve, the couple made sure not to make the event too formal. Their bouquets from Buds n Blooms were simple but elegant enough, they chose a 4-piece band that played music that all generations can enjoy, and Sophie’s 12-year-old brother handed out confetti cannons just before midnight!

Sophie and Bryson chose New Year’s Eve 2021 as their date because they wanted to throw a wonderful celebration for the people they love. And as practical perfectionists, they also knew that there are no guarantees in England during summer. So they went for a winter date instead and banked on a horrendous day outside—and if it ended up being a great day, then that would just be a plus!

The couple and all their guests had a blast during their reception. The couple celebrated in a yurt in Sophie’s parents’ garden, freeing them from venue restrictions and ensuring they get the party of their dreams.

The band and Chelsey Chantelle were brilliant, fun, entertaining and even fit the bill by turning up in sparkly NYE attire. The food by Gastro Catering was phenomenal, too. Guests enjoyed amazing canapes, a filling and delicious winter dish, and a delightful assortment of cheesecakes.

When asked for tips for future brides and grooms, Sophie says a wedding coordinator for the day itself is a must – This way, you aren’t bombarded with questions about wedding logistics and other specifics, and are left to enjoy the whole day. “Worry less about the finer details. Make sure you have fun, be present and just ditch your phone!” she adds.

Sophie and Bryson also recommend hiring the best caterer and best band your money can buy, and to hire two East Sussex wedding photographers to fully capture the spirit of your celebration. Finally, they urge couples to “Have another event either the day after or before so that you can speak to everyone.” Now, that’s some great advice!

Everyone partied through the night and it just felt so good to be in the same space together, to be alive and well, and to witness Sophie and Bryson’s commitment to love.

We truly had a wonderful time as the couple’s East Sussex wedding photographers. We look forward to celebrating with more lovers around the globe and cannot wait to capture your sweet, precious, and once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Do you have the perfect wedding in mind but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! Our Wedding Planning Guide will empower you to turn your vision into reality.


Photography: Liam Collard Photography

Brides Dress / Designer: Nefertiti – Blue by Enzoani

Bridal Botique  Propasals

Grooms Suit: Custom-made by Gresham Blake Tailor

Shoes: Gianni Bini

Cake: Gastro Catering

Flowers: Buds n Blooms

Hair: Natasha Chanel Hair

Make Up Artist: Sophie Jane

Evening Entertainment: Chelsey Chantelle

Wedding Planner: Tammy Louise, TLC Weddings