As a county, East Sussex has a rather romantic feel, with couples enjoying walks in the South Downs National Park, as well as picnics beside Bodiam Castle.

With that spark in the air, we all know someone who’s engaged and looking to plan a perfect local wedding, but what’s the best way to go about it?

With so much to prioritise that it can become overwhelming, it’s worth focusing on the bigger picture and ensuring essentials are taken care of before you start worrying about seating plans and distant cousins.

We spoke to luxury car suppliers Sussex Chauffeurs to get their top tips on wedding planning in Sussex:

Choosing the venue

After ‘when’ the first question asked about upcoming nuptials is ‘where’? It’s the one aspect that can make or break a wedding day, so it needs a lot of thought. Once numbers are roughly known, it’s time to create a shortlist of venues to visit in the area, all of which need to be booked for a walkthrough. Aside from churches and religious establishments, castles are a fantastic option, with Sussex offering them up rather generously. Hever Castle and Wadhurst Castle are both popular, partly because they’re easy to reach and make for absolutely stunning wedding pictures.

If a wedding party is going to be rather small, then the Strand House in Rye would be ideal. As a venue it highlights how in our county, you want to make the most of the countryside and views. Once you’ve double checked your budget and invite list, lock down your first choice with plenty of time – roughly a year before the date – and plan the design of your invites.

Arriving in style

Particularly for the bride, the walk to the venue from the car is essentially a red carpet; all eyes on them looking wonderful. This makes choosing suitable transport a top priority as it sets the tone for the whole day and will feature as the backdrop to hundreds of photographs. Go for favourite car brands, such as Mercedes, for classy entrances, or even opt for a limo.

A top tip would be to choose a local company who know the roads well and can get you there in perfect time. Good quality cars, whether modern or vintage, will be the first place a couple get a private moment together as newlyweds. With this in mind, limos give you the option of spacious surroundings and champagne to toast the occasion.

It’s also worth noting that tailored transport means you get extra luxuries that can help control nerves before the aisle, such as playing your choice of relaxing music.

Catering to all tastes

Whilst everyone is there to make incredible memories, guests also rate weddings on the quality of food and service. When looking for a caterer check online reviews and set yourself a budget to work from before you check availability for your chosen dates. When you speak with a company, make sure you also get samples and that they’re able to cater for different allergies, preferences and food conditions.

During a tasting session (highly recommended), take special note of presentation. Does it suit the style of the rest of your plans? Presentation is doubly important when the dishes become a part of your table plan and decor, so there should be some parallels keeping everything in sync.

Honeymoon bliss

We’re very lucky in Sussex to have a major international airport in our midst, with Gatwick serving frequent flights to most of Europe, as well as long haul destinations. A local honeymoon may appeal, but for most newlyweds the aim is to get away and concentrate on each other without everyday distractions.

Wherever you’re based, it’s a great chance to book that dream holiday you’ve always wanted and try out somewhere new that you can return to together in the future. Sunshine and cocktails on the beach are usually a winning combo, but cultural city breaks should also be considered. After all, what’s more romantic than a gondola ride for two through the streets of Venice?

When all’s said and done, you have to put your own personal touches on everything and absorb as much advice as possible to help you make the right decisions for you.

No matter what you plan, relax and enjoy celebrating on the big day.