Real weddings: vintage train-themed wedding at the Bluebell Railway

Horsted Keynes Station on the Bluebell Railway
Horsted Keynes Station on the Bluebell Railway

It’s here! The first ever real-life railway wedding on Railway Weddings! I’m so excited to introduce Laura and Joe, who are planning a vintage, wartime-themed wedding at the beautiful Bluebell Railway in Sussex next June.

“We really wanted to give our guests a day to remember,” says Laura. “It’s important for us that people don’t get our wedding mixed up with all the others they have gone to (something we’ve done before!) so we wanted something different.”

Laura started looking into alternatives and was excited to find that the railway was an option. “My Dad used to take us to a steam railway every holiday so I have lots of great memories associated with old trains,” she says. She’d visited the Bluebell Railway on one of these childhood holidays, and it turned out Joe had too, so having part of the wedding day there seemed like a lovely way to connect their past and their future. Laura says: “At first Joe wasn’t impressed by the idea (and the in-laws still aren’t!) but after seeing the pictures from other weddings and visiting the stations along the Bluebell Railway line, he was won over.”

Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park station
Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park station

The theme developed as their plans progressed, evolving into a combination of vintage, railway, travel and wartime. “My sister calls it the ‘make do and mend’ wedding as we’re making the small touches ourselves,” says Laura. These ‘small touches’ are lovely, well-thought-out details like using train tickets as invites, designing the order of service to look like a timetable and sending postcards from the Bluebell Railway as thank you cards.

Vintage train ticket wedding invitations from HydraulicGraphix at Etsy
Vintage train ticket wedding invitations from HydraulicGraphix at Etsy

“The station looks like a set from a war movie (in fact some have been filmed there),” she adds. “Plus, Joe will be getting married in his Army uniform so it probably will look like a wartime wedding in the pictures!” The station in question is Sheffield Park, originally built in 1882 and now painstakingly restored, making it the perfect backdrop for a stylish photo shoot. It really will look like Laura and Joe have stepped back in time!

Sheffield Park station on the Bluebell Railway
Sheffield Park station on the Bluebell Railway

In keeping with the theme, Laura, Joe and their guests will be transported to Sheffield Park on board a vintage bus after their ceremony, which they’re holding at a small church in West Sussex. There, the glamorous Golden Arrow Pullman steam train will await.

Vintage wedding bus
Vintage wedding bus

The Golden Arrow Pullman is a faithful recreation of the famous 1920s luxury train that once whisked the rich and sophisticated between London and Paris. This time though, it will be taking the newlyweds and their guests on a three-and-a-half hour circular journey through some of Sussex’s most stunning countryside, from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead and back again. As they settle back into the luxury seats and enjoy the scenery, they’ll be served a sumptuous three-course silver service meal.

Golden Arrow Pullman
Golden Arrow Pullman

Back at Sheffield Park station, Laura and Joe will get to ride on the footplate of the historic steam engine, bringing to an end a fabulous day that’s sure to be as different and unforgettable as they hoped.

We’ll catch up with Laura and Joe next year to find out how their Bluebell Railway wedding went – check back then!

Are you planning a train-themed wedding – or have you already had one? We’d love to feature your story too so drop us a line