This wonderful winter wedding featured 9 bridesmaids, a classic story book theme, an indulgent chocolate cake and an unforgettable bouquet toss.
About the Couple
Gemma was photographing an event in Milton Keynes for Heart Radio and Joss happened to be a guest. Gemma took a photo of Joss, the couple started chatting and the rest, they say, is history. 5 years after making their relationship official, Joss designed an engagement ring in preparation to ask Gemma a very important question that would change both of their lives, forever. Joss started to plan the perfect proposal with the help of his brother and sister-in-law. One late afternoon, the couple were walking their dog and came across a candle-lit clearing in a special part of the woods, close to where Joss grew up. Joss proposed to Gemma as the sun was setting and as she said yes, their families appeared out of the surrounding woodland to congratulate the happy couple. It was a moment that the couple will never forget and a story that they’ll forever be able to share with friends and future family. The couple spent a year and 2 months planning their romantic winter wedding at Notley Abbey.
Designing a Dream Wedding Dress
Gemma always knew that she wanted to wear something classic with a lot of sparkles on her wedding day. But, after trying on a few different dresses in various shops, she opted to have her wedding dress made-to-measure. She chose a tight-fitting bodice with a sweetheart neckline and trumpet skirt designed with lace and tulle with a large train. To add extra sparkle, Gemma had a beautiful diamante belt sewn around the waist. The bride-to-be loved every element of designing her own wedding dress; from the initial sketch that she drew with her mother, to collecting her dream gown just before her wedding. It was all a very special experience.
Gemma teamed her wedding dress up with a luxe pair of Jimmy Choo wedding shoes and when it came to her bridal hair, she asked for the help of close family friends Paolina Genova and Hollie Butler. The bride was experimenting with different hair styles, but opted for a classic up-do after her father told her that she looked like a princess during her trial. Make-up artist Polly Marchant was hired to do make-overs on the bride and her 9 bridesmaids. So much fun was had getting ready in the bridal suite at Notley Abbey on the chilly morning of Gemma and Joss’s wedding.
Choosing a Winter Wedding Venue
Gemma and Joss fell in love with Notley Abbey when they were driving down the romantic, tree-lined approach to the venue. They’d previously seen two alternative wedding venues but upon walking through the grand entrance to Notley Abbey, the couple knew that it was the venue they’d been hoping for. The more they walked around the house and grounds the more they fell in love with the elegant and tasteful rooms; they also loved the staff and knew then and there that they wanted to start planning their dream day at Notley!
Gemma and Joss found Bijou’s proprietary online wedding planner one of the best things about planning their wedding at Notley Abbey. They knew that by filling their online planner out completely, all of their wedding plans were communicated effectively to the Bijou team and no stone would be left unturned. “It certainly made the day run very smoothly” said Gemma.
A Busy Bridal Party
Gemma had 9 bridesmaids; her two sisters, Joss’s sisters, her three best friends, her niece and goddaughter. All of the girls wore different dress designs that they’d chosen themselves in a range of gold, nude and Champagne colours. The girls all looked beautiful on the big day and did a great job in helping the bride and groom where needed.
The groom and his party chose to wear slightly different attire from Moss Bros. Joss wore a grey-checked, tailored tuxedo jacket with a black waistcoat and trousers and the grooms party looked super smart in classic black tuxedos with wing collars and bow ties. They all looked charming!