A wedding in Clayton | Connie & Hermes

Anglo-Brazilian wedding

A Sussex village, a part of Brazil…

A summer wedding in the tiny village of Clayton, in East Sussex, for Connie and Hermes – with a large dose of Brazil and a bit of Ancient Greece too…

An English summer wedding, so, of course, you are watching the sky, refreshing the weather forecast app….would the rain come? Would a garden wedding be washed away? Would the tents in the neighbouring field be too? Connie had said – it could be a ‘wellies and umbrellas’ wedding? As it was the high humidity of previous days, dissipated during the day. The sun even made a brief appearance, during the outdoor speeches. But it largely stayed dry.

Clayton is a tiny village, at the bottom of the South Downs, just north of Brighton. The local landmarks, the ‘Jack and Jill’ windmills, sit above it. It’s where Connie grew up. The village got very involved with this wedding. Neighbours opened up their fields, helped with the preparations – a real community wedding. Connie and Hermes, also did it their way!

Hermes’s father, Flavio, an artist in Brazil, had created a massive mural on cloth – to serve as a backdrop in the open-sided tent. A unique homage to the couple. This was an English wedding with a Brazilian flavour and a hint of Greece. Having studied Classics at Oxford, Connie brought some of that history to her wedding day. The dress, the sandals, the headdress. But also the readings in the ceremony, extracts from the writings of Sappho, about marriage – read out in Greek and English.

(My wife is another Oxbridge Classicist. There were some ‘discussions’ with Guildford’s registrars, as to the text she wanted at our wedding ceremony, many years ago. Plato’s Symposium. But also, just a week before this wedding, being married to a Classicist, we found ourselves sat at the top of the ancient theatre at Epidaurus, Greece, watching a play by Euripides, as the sun set over the nearby hills. One from her bucket list ticked off! – see pic at the end)

Clayton Church wedding

Connie got ready at the house, just down the lane from the church. Up at the church, the small St John the Baptist, with 12th-century murals of The Last Judgement, Hermes was getting his multi-coloured shoes photographed by every wedding guest. Instead of going inside, they all waited along the churchyard wall to the road. Waited for Connie and her father to arrive on their horses. Connie then changed into her wedding dress in the village hall, opposite the church.

The guests went in and Hermes was escorted down the aisle by his mother. Connie followed, after a few minutes, with her father. The tears could start now. (Hermes 😉 ) Once out, after the ceremony,  it was an impressive blizzard of confetti, from just the best men and bridesmaids. Connie and Hermes sneaked off around the back of the church, as the wedding guests formed lines for the real confetti event. Four confetti cannons now appeared! The couple disappeared from view…

Everyone walked back down the lane, to the reception in the garden. A mix of games, plenty to drink and eat, before the meal, in the tent.

After the meal, there was a brief pause – as guests set up their tents in the field, the donkeys paid a visit and a lot more wedding guests arrived for the evening. They arrived in time for the emotional speeches, delivered from a garden bench. Cake cut, dancing followed, with music from both the DJ booth and Connie’s brother’s band. The music drifting over the South Downs as nighttime fell.

Here are just a few images from this relaxed wedding day in Clayton…


First dance


and Epidaurus…








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