For almost every wedding I shoot, I join the bride and her mates at a hotel where they’re all getting ready together. It’s one of the best times to get candid shots, as tensions are high, everyone’s excited and you get to see everything coming together. I feel privileged to share this part of the day, to experience the excitement of the morning’s wedding preparations and see the transformations.
However, a lot of the time, bridal wedding prep takes place in a plain hotel room without much character. I figure the getting ready bit is just as important as the rest of the day, details wise, as it’s the place it all begins. The anticipation is just as exciting as the actual thing – just like Christmas Eve is my favourite day over the holidays.
So I’ve come up with a list of the top 10 funky, unusual, quirky hotels in Brighton and Sussex for getting ready for your wedding – which are also perfect for the wedding night, to crash after a night of partying. I chose them based on their personality, style and uniqueness (and most of them also have a quintessential Brighton-ness too!)
If you love rock n roll then this hotel on Regency Square is perfect for you. If you’re a Star Wars fan, the Lord Vader’s Quarters room includes a Light Sabre, Darth Vader costume & Star Wars DVDs. The Rough Trade single room is perfect for vinyl junkies. Then there is the mod room with scooter side tables, which is Brighton personified (or room-ified) and the kitsch Pin Up Parlour. They also have Motown, Rockabilly, Dollywould, Knitting, Sex Pistols and Peep Show rooms. Whichever room you choose, your ‘getting ready’ photos will certainly be different!
Every room is unique at Snooze, from the vintage flea-market style Room 1, to the swinging 60s retro vibe of Room 5 and the bright clashing colours of Room 7. In the heart of Kemptown, this joint is Brighton all over.
It’s not just the rooms here that have personality, it’s the whole hotel. It’s quaint, cute and quirky and right in the middle of town. The ceilings have mini posters on, there’s a ping pong room and the whole place is covered in funky art. The hotel gave local artists free reign to decorate the place when it was renovated not long ago, so you’ll be surrounded by creativity. My favourite room is in the basement, where there’s an extra bed tucked away in a little wooden cabin off the room – amazing if you have kids with you!
If you’re looking for a whole house to sleep all your friends and family (or if you want to splash out and have the place to yourself) then this pad in Kemptown is the absolute coolest place in Brighton. It’s basically Alice in Wonderland’s House and it’s so amazing. There’s a Madhatter dining room with a chequered floor, super-long dining table, an oversized head chair and teacup stools, themed bedrooms and Alice in Wonderland references all over the place. The house has five floors and six bedrooms and feels like a rabbit warren – which I guess is the whole idea!
Why wouldn’t you want to stay in a treehouse? It makes you feel like a kid again, it’s in the middle of the woods and it’s a freakin treehouse! This one in High Wield is particularly lovely, it’s spacious enough for getting ready, and has a little outdoor terrace for pre-wedding champers. What’s more, you get to the treehouse via a ropebridge over a pond.
Sleep on a bus! In the middle of a field! The green bus has its own decking area, a fire pit and a beautiful pond, and this awesome quirky accommodation in Chiddingly is pretty much as unusual as it gets. Plus it’s on a glamping site called Sussex House Party, so you can have all your friends and family stay there in big bell tents too, like a mini festival wedding party. The bus was on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, too.
An Airbnb offering, you can rent this apartment for your whole family and have super stylish yet wonderfully unusual getting ready shots in the morning, with a London Bus Stop, grand piano and a shark head among the quirky decor. The walls are open brickwork and there’s a lounge and kitchen so everyone can hang out the night before. It sleeps 6 people and is located in the middle of Brighton on ‘the Food Street’.
This hotel is smack bang in the centre of Brighton right next door to one of the best coffee shops, and pretty normal – until you get to the carousel room – which has an actual carousel horse in the middle of it!
If you’re not sold on the stained glass window paintings of rainbows and the Pavilion, or the burlesque wallpaper, then maybe the Love Hearts and Fizz Wiz sweets will change your mind. Located on the edge of Kemptown, this funky B&B reflects everything the owners love about Brighton – including “finding new things which surprise you and make you smile”.
With two freestanding baths in the middle of the stunning Cristal Suite, so you can both have a bath after the wedding, it doesn’t get much more decadent than Hotel du Vin. It may not have the quirkiness of Pelirocco, but you can guarantee if you’re staying in the suite, your getting ready photos will be gorgeous and you’ll feel super relaxed in this massive, trendy room.
*All photos were taken from the hotels’ websites, they were not taken by me