A Laid Back DIY Wedding at The Tin Tabernacle: Jen & Michael

The East Sussex wedding of Jen & Michael had a gorgeous laid back vibe. The day started with a moving ceremony at Lewes Register Office, and ended with a rockin’ reception at The Tin Tabernacle, an amazing teal green building on the outskirts of Barcombe Village. The space is a large area with high ceilings, wooden floors and white washed walls. The building was originally built as a chapel and it proved to be the perfect backdrop for this couple’s quirky wedding.

“Our venue was so amazing!” Jen began. “They were kind of vague and just left us to it, which was exactly what we wanted. I never wanted some stylish affair that we’d handed over to professionals – in fact the only professional we hired was our photographer Lee, who was amazing. He’s wonderfully warm and kind and fun, and his photos are absolutely stunning. I knew as soon as I’d met him that we had to have him there. At his insistence we even photographed the 50 or so handmade sock puppets in a variety of artistic poses. We had to try not to wet ourselves laughing.”

DIY was the name of the game for this couple. Everyone was involved in the wedding and helped out where they could. From the flowers to the room decor, and the transport to the and the food; this couple put their own unique stamp on literally everything. “I think DIY is the way forward,” Jen continued. “Consume less and create more! Michael and I both try to live by these principles anyway and they served us well in the run-up to the wedding.”

“Everything was homemade with labour and love. The most exhausting items were the pompoms and the ten litres of chutney for wedding favours. On the morning of the wedding I cut out the “YES” letters on a whim and they turned out to be one of my favourite things about the decorations. We also didn’t have traditional wedding invitiations. Instead we just emailed everyone! It saves trees and money, and also gives them a chance to hijack the email list and plan surprises for you. We had an incredible play written in our honour by a playwright friend, which for some reason involved all of our guests making sock puppets.”

“By doing things our way, we got closer to the people we love, pissed ourselves laughing at our shoddy homemade efforts and learned some new skills (high speed chutney-bottling, dog bowtie-designing, pompom-fluffing). Our friends and family got to feel involved and excited about their contributions, and we have some great memories of time spent with them working on things for the wedding. Then we got to be super proud of the wonky and beautiful final result because it was our love and effort, and our friends’ many kindnesses, that built our wedding, and those are all the things I hope for in my future with Michael too. So even if I’d had thousands to spend on a wedding, I wouldn’t have done it any differently.”

Just gorgeous.  Now this is a wedding I wish I’d been at! Huge love and thanks to Jen & Michael and their fabulous photographer Lee of Robbins Photographic for sharing today.

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: Robbins Photographic
Ceremony Venue: Lewes Register Office
Reception Venue: The Tin Tabernacle, near Barcombe, East Sussex
Bride’s Dress: Vintage
Bride’s Coat: Charity Shop
Bride’s Headpiece: Gil Fox Hat Designs
Bride’s Jewellery: Vintage
Bridesmaid’s Dress: Charity Shop
Cake, Flowers, Props, Catering, Transport, Stationery: DIY
Band: Alison and the Earthquakes (bride’s band), BuntyMartha Rose & Willkommen Collective (all friends)


  1. Meg

    Such a beautiful warm looking wedding, you can feel the love just from looking at the pictures :-)

  2. Steph

    Oh my goodness just lovely.
    Someone please talk to me about those cocktail urns – need, want, must have xx

  3. Lorraine

    Jen and Michael, I am so inspired by your DIY wedding, I have decided that in my next life, should I be married again, I would want you to be totally in charge of preparation, dress code, venue, decor, food, music….all of it!

  4. Ahh! I recognise that lovely bride – congratulations Jen!! The photos are amazing, your wedding looks beautiful and I LOVE the venue!xx

  5. Yes! This wedding was the best!, and that venue was so great for all of our dancing! It was really emotional too, I am actually quite glad all the pictures Lee snapped of me crying are not up on here!!! I love that he did get pics of the meat wagon and my lovely fella manning the BBQ. And my cakes, they took me hours.
    Well done guys it was a super day. xxxxxxx

  6. Ellen Merry

    What a beautiful, gorgeous and quirky affair. It oozes style like the bride. I had quite a DIY wedding but with too many guests – it didn’t have that intimate glow of Jen’s. Lovely xxx

  7. Beautiful in every way! So inspiring to see something so unique and personal, the photos just glow with happiness!

  8. Love that venue. It’s adorable and so perfect for a quirky wee wedding like this. Fab to see so much love and attention given to all of the details. The cake! OMG. And yay for pretty candle light and dancing and happy smiley faces. :)

  9. Hello everyone very new to this! really loving the colours and style for Jen and Michael’s wedding. Lee your work is clear and crisp, right up my street thumbs up. Yummy cake whooooop. x

  10. Definitely a real beautiful moment can be feel through the truly well captured photographs. Each and every photograph is telling their own joyful moment and specially that yummy cake as jennie said…
    Glad to see it.

  11. huh, I live down the road from the tin tabernacle and I’ve often driven past that place and always wondered about it. It is so lovely, but I thought it was shut. Great to get a peek in and see that it’s such a great venue. Great wedding!

  12. Clare

    Sqeeeaaallll! We are having our wedding there next month – Jen & Michael, you did an awesome job with the decor!! Congratulations!!

  13. kate

    Wow so pretty! Does anyone have a contact number for the tin tabernacle? The website doesn’t seem to be working.


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