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Photography by Charlie Waring & Nigel Cull

Written by Barb Hogan

Why get married in Arundel?

Are you thinking of getting married in Arundel? Of course you are! Arundel is synonymous to weddings – the town is stylish, inspirational, unique yet traditional.

There is everything you need for a wedding and masses of choice. Fantastic venues for the wedding ceremony and reception, churches for religious services, amazing photography opportunities and independent shops selling everything from a mother of the bride outfit to the wedding rings.

Consider all the options you can and that way you will find out what it is you don’t like and so that leaves what you do like! Then you can start to really plan your day in whatever way you want to.

Where in Arundel can you say your I do's?!

Everyone asks – ‘Can you say I Do at Arundel Castle? and the answer is sadly no you can’t but what about Arundel Cathedral or 14th Century St.Nicholas Church and the answer to that, is a resounding yes you can!

In the town itself and within the local villages there are venues with civil ceremony licences so you can say ‘I do’ and have your reception without having to go anywhere else.

Avisford Park Hotel, The White Swan, Arundel Town Hall, Norfolk Arms, Slindon House and Selden Barns – Countryside Wedding Venue in West Sussex.

There is in fact another local castle where you can get married and this is the ancient, beautiful and historic Luxury Castle Hotel & Restaurant in Sussex – Amberley Castle.

couple getting married at Arundel Town Hall

What kind of service do you want?

It is going to be religious; will you want to have a celebrant or perhaps a clergyman you know well?

Do you want to write your own vows? What music will you have? If there is going to be poetry, prayers and readings and if so who is going to do this for you?

This is the part of the day when you are promising to love and cherish – it’s a personal and special moment so really needs to be perfect for you.

Give this some thought and the wedding service will flow beautifully.

Need a helping hand on the day?

Often a reception venue will have allocated you a ‘go to person’ who you can contact for whatever the reason so be sure you know who this is and are happy dealing them.

Always allow a bit more time to do everything as no matter how long you have allowed to sort everything out – you will always somehow need more!

Perhaps you would rather let someone help you by taking away any concerns so all you need to do is relax, sip some bubbles and focus on having loads of fun! There is someone who can do this and that person is Amanda Hopkinson – Wedding Day Coordinator who will keep the whole day running smoothly – just what you need! This ‘On the day Wedding Coordination’ service, picks up the reins about 3 – 4 weeks before the big day and makes sure everything is as it should be. Now that sounds well worth considering!

What to wear - here comes the bride!

Lots of brides and grooms choose a colour theme so their outfits, decorations and flowers are all coordinated but there are no rules, so anything goes!

You need to be mindful that some ideas may be seasonal, or if you want to follow a particular style or colour scheme, think about what time of the year it will be and what décor will be available then.

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you are comfortable, and everything fits ok! This also applies to your bridesmaids and groomsmen so check they are all happy with their outfits too.

There are several independent fashion boutiques in Arundel with a fabulous selection of outfits that are often unusual and unique so have a look what’s out there Clothes & Accessories.

What about an alternative to a traditional wedding veil for your big day? From bridal hats, crowns, birdcage veils, hair combs and fascinators, Isabella Josie – Bespoke Millinery will design and create your dream bridal headpiece. And remember they can also help with handcrafted headwear for the mother of the bride, groom and wedding guests too.

If you like the idea of a bit of glamour and bling then Trevor’s Costume Jewellery, located in Nineveh House, will provide all of that and more! They might be able to help you fulfil part of the saying – something old, something new, something borrowed something blue!

After the Ceremony and having tied the knot!

Arundel and the surrounding villages have a huge selection of Pubs, Bars & Breweries, Hotels, and Community Venue Hire are perfect places for holding a reception.

Or what about a marquee in the grounds of a historic house with breathtaking views like at Slindon House or the rural lakeside venue at Decoy Ponds?

There are also beautiful gardens and scenery at Denmans Gardens and West Dean Gardens Weddings.

If you do want to think about having a marquee, Tents N Events, based in Arundel, have years of experience providing beautiful structures. They can supply all the furniture, dance floors, bars and lighting that you might need too.

Check out the many other venues in and around Arundel Weddings, Events & Entertainment. They would all love to see you and chat about your requirements.

What shall we have to eat and drink?

You need to make sure your guests don’t go home hungry or thirsty. Summit Tasty can provide a gourmet loaded fries food van that comes to you. With such a great selection of dressings, who knew fries could be so exciting?!

Why not have a look at Quinn’s Catering? This is a well-established, local family run business, who provide professional catering services and will make sure your special day is truly unique.

Situated right in the heart of Arundel, Digby Fine English will help you choose the best wines to go with your food and provide the bubbles for the toasts. You can hire their Tasting Room in the High Street and make it a special occasion! Ask your family and friends to come along to help – you won’t need to ask them twice! This could be considered as the best part of the wedding planning process!

Cultural Weddings - often big, with bold colours and very beautiful decor

If a couple are looking for a venue where they can hold a large celebration for say 500 guests or so, then just outside the town Fontwell Park Racecourse will be delighted to help – they are so much more than just a racecourse!

Being very experienced in arranging large weddings, they totally understand how to help organise a big event and that the bride and groom may like to use their own caterers and provide the decorations. So Fontwell Park Racecourse is happy to provide the venue hire, tables and chairs and you can arrange everything else – exactly as you wish – truly ensuring your big day is special, completely individual and unique.

The Speeches!

Love ‘em or hate them you just have to have ‘em! There are people to thank, stories to tell and toasts to make. Whether what is said is better or worse than you hoped for, always practice the speeches before the big day on someone who will honestly tell you how it all sounds.

Remember, although it’s a good time during the speeches for everyone to have a bit of a rest, the dance floor and bar could be beckoning so short(ish) speeches could be good!

Staying in Arundel

Lots of the Pubs, Bars & Breweries in town can offer rooms. There are Camping & Caravan venues for those who like the freedom they provide and lots of Self-Catering and Bed & Breakfast accommodation too.

Those all important add ons and extras!

Get the invites and order of service designed and printed in plenty of time. Charlotte Wilson Design will be glad to help and suggest ideas.

Make sure you have chosen your rings and they fit! It’s unclear how the origin of giving wedding rings came about. It is said that the Romans thought a blood vessel ran from the fourth finger – the ring finger – directly to the heart so rings worn on these fingers meant their hearts were connected too! A lovely idea and a good story! If you want to have individual handmade rings and jewellery, visit Dandelion or Ruben König Jewellery who will design something for you that’s total unique.

Have a chat to Beachtown Blooms Weddings and Civil Partnerships about your flowers. Check the number of buttonholes you’ll need and what sort of a bouquet you would like. Beachtown Blooms make the whole floristry experience simple and yet enjoyable.

beach town bloomsYou may want to have some pampering before the big day to help you relax. Do you need some ideas for make-up and hair? If so visit Health, Beauty & Wellbeing.

Your hairdresser will always help you to try different styles out before the big day AR Hair & Beauty Lounge have a wealth of knowledge and experience to make sure all goes well.

Or if you fancy a pamper or day spa experience, try The Spa Club, they also offer lots of treatments.

The gentleman will also want to look their best so they can call into The Perfect Gentlemen or Arundel Golden Blade Barber Shop and they will look wonderful too.

In the words of the famous song ‘Get me to the church on time!’ you might need some reliable transport to ensure this happens! Castle Cars who have years of experience providing vehicles for weddings, will be glad to make sure you do indeed arrive on time.

Woods Travel – Private Coach Hire will give you a tailor-made transport service with modern coaches, having between 16 and 53 seats. Enough room for however big or small your wedding party is.

Will there be many children coming along and if so, do you want to consider some games or entertainment for them?

Sometimes the best planned wedding can have a hic-up so what about some insurance in case you had to cancel. In sickness and in health as the saying goes is a bit of a reminder that brides and grooms could have an illness or an accident just before their big day – things can go wrong so insurance could be worth a thought.

Sustainable Weddings - your wedding doesn’t have to cost the Earth

Weddings can be expensive but for richer or poorer, you can cut costs. Willow & Eve are a preloved clothing boutique who care about the environment and offer a wonderful selection of branded and designer womenswear footwear and accessories. Call in and see what they have – their stock changes all the time.

Many charity shops can provide wonderful wedding outfits at a fraction of their original cost. Couples often have pre-loved wedding dresses, outfits, accessories, and decor and are happy to pass this on to help another couple.

Decorations can be re used, or do you know anyone who can make new decorations, arrange flowers or a bouquet? Ask around and you may be pleasantly surprised who will be pleased to help.

Remembering your day

Photographers all have different styles, so chat to a few and see what sort of services they offer. Explain how you want your day to be remembered.

Videos and drone footage can be great fun too.
Arundel is so full of photo opportunities with amazing locations to use as a backdrop like Swanbourne Lodge Tearooms with a beautiful lake where the many resident swans and ducks may try to photo bomb your wedding day images!

If you like beautiful views then go to Angmering Park Estate, Arundel Park and Hiorne’s Tower from where you can see right down to the coast. Arundel Castle is almost always visible wherever you are in the town with magnificent stone walls, huge towers and a portcullis.

The riverside paths alongside the scenic Arun, The River are always a favourite as are the majestic Arundel Cathedral and ancient St Nicholas Parish Church.


After the wedding, you may want a bit of a break so whether you want to go near or far have a look for ideas at Travel & Holidays​.

A few tips & tricks

When you set the date, always try to avoid clashing with big sporting fixtures. You don’t want your guests to be wishing they could find a TV to watch a special game on!

Find out when the busy local events are like those at Goodwood Racecourse, Fontwell Park Racecourse and Arundel Castle Check out the Events Calendar to see when the roads might be busy and avoid possible traffic jams.

goodwood racecourse

Your wedding day will of probably of had a big build up and once it arrives everything will whizz by very quickly! There is so much going on and so often the whole day can seem to pass in a sort of haze so, make a special effort to remember it all as it happens.

That way you will look back and be able to think about all the lovely things that you enjoyed – how did your partner look at you when they saw you for the first time on the day?

Look at the happy faces of your family and guests, how did the cutting of the cake and speeches go, what things made you laugh? Do make a point of consciously remember things as they happen, or your day may just end up being a bit of a blur!

Lots of people will want to help and that’s just great but maybe give them specific jobs to do or it may all get a bit out of control!
If you just want to have a legal ceremony, then you will need to contact the West Sussex Registry Office in plenty of time as they do get busy.

If you are having a marquee, make sure you have allowed for plenty of room between tables and a big enough dance floor. Will you need toilets and a separate add on tent for the caterers? Is there good dry access and room for all the vehicles to park? Tents N Events  will help you with all this so don’t be afraid to ask them loads of questions as they would be glad to chat to you about everything!

Make lists as you think of things you need to ask suppliers so that way you won’t forget anything!

And finally, it's all happy ever after!

So, if you do have your wedding in Arundel, what an amazing day you will have as the town will embrace you within its’ warmth and beauty.

You will be part of this wonderful and magical place forever knowing that in Arundel, you and your partner started on the journey of a lifetime together, towards your very own Happy Ever After!