Catherine & Scott - Notley Abbey

Catherine and Scott held their Spring time wedding reception at Bijou's Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire.

THE STORY

The preparation: 

We looked at the Notley Abbey website and fell in love, however we visited 2 venues prior to Notley and found we kept finding faults. As soon as we drove down the amazing driveway we knew we were going to come away with a date set and a venue found! 
My best friend was also wedding planning and my other bridesmaids were super helpful & creative so we really enjoyed the panning stage and making our own invites / order of services etc. 
After we chose the venue, my next task was flowers. I love flowers, especially roses, and wanted them in abundance. Our table names were even named after different flowers, with that particular flower as the centrepiece. 

The planning process: 

The Bijou planner was priceless. We could play around and look at the options/costs etc. without having to send hundreds of emails to our Bijou Wedding Planning Manager. With that being said, all messages/emails were promptly responded to and the staff were so helpful. 

Picking our menu was so much fun. We got to try all of the yummy food Notley Abbey offered, and hosted a “wine tasting” evening with the wedding party to decide what wine to have. Everyone commented on how lovely the food was on the day. 

The theme: 

Rustic spring romance - lots of flowers, pastel colours & rustic decor (such as our wood slice centrepiece stands) 

The day:

Although I had some nerves on the day, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle! The morning was so relaxed in the bridal suite with our hair & make up being done and the bridal party checking out the beautiful grounds. 
I loved the church service, our vicar was so laid back and made our guests laugh, and put Scott & me at ease from the start (he bought Scott a hip flask of his expensive whiskey after he found out he is a whiskey lover!). I will remember the whole day forever, as it was perfect. We are glad we had an amazing photographer and videographer who captured our whole day so we will never forget it. 

The Reception: 

We had a mixture of reception drinks- peach Bellini’s, Peroni & Pimms and was lucky enough to have glorious sun so we could have our reception drinks at the front of the Abbey whilst listening to our harp player. We were relieved that the staff saved us each a drink and some canapés and even some of our wedding cake. 
Our wedding breakfast was Brie & bacon parcel, pork belly, and the fruit crumble. It was delicious.  
Our cake was 4 tiered - carrot cake, coffee cake, lemon cake & salted caramel. We had models of our 2 cats on the cake- they are our babies & had to be incorporated into our wedding. 
We did the speeches before the wedding breakfast Scott was nervous and I didn’t want him to be nervous throughout the meal & not enjoy his food. This worked really well. 

The evening: 

We used the Bijou disco for our entertainment; he kept the dancefloor full after everyone had finished catching up with each other! Our first dance was to ‘Stolen’ by dashboard confessionals- a band we grew up listening to. 

Where was your honeymoon?
We visited St Lucia which was bliss- the BodyHoliday, which is an all inclusive spa! 

Top tip(s) for other Bijou brides:

Enjoy the day and try not to worry- it will be perfect no matter what. 
Consider doing the speeches before the meal if the groom / best man are nervous. 

Life after Bijou 

We are attending many other weddings this year, which is really nice, and are doing some home improvements! 

Who did what?

Photography: AS Photography
Dress: Jasmine Bridal 
Accessories: Jenny Packham shoes 
Wedding rings: Smooch - they come out & visit you 
Bridesmaids dresses: Debenhams
Hair & make-up:Hair- Mandy Stacey-  Wedding Hair Boutique, Make up Lorna Sheppard. 
Groom’s outfit: Hired from Debenhams
Stationery: Day Invites- The Vow Sheffield, Order of Services & evening invites we handmade 
Flowers: Violets Garden
Cake: Elegantly Iced 
Transport: Pear Tree weddings  
Videographer: Kady Eliza
Entertainment:Tori Handsley harpist, Bijou disco