An Elegant Notley Abbey Wedding for Charlotte and George

Charlotte and George, both Senior Marketing Managers, were married at Bijou's Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire during the spring 

Wedding Planning

We really didn’t know where we wanted to get married; I started our search on Pinterest and my first pin was Notley Abbey. I fell in love with it immediately! We looked at 7-8 wedding venues and then went and looked at Notley Abbey; from the moment we started driving down the drive leading up to the Abbey, we had fallen in love. 
The service once we were there was impeccable and they made everything seem easy and went out of their way to ensure we could have the perfect day.

A bit like the venue I didn’t really know what dress I wanted. My mother-in-law came with me on my dress hunt and I tried on everything! It was the 2nd shop and dress 27 when I knew this was 'the one'. 

Once I had the dress and we had chosen our dream wedding venue, the theme started to come together. A very talented friend of mine designed our entire wedding stationary and brought to love the jumbled images in my head! The stationary really brought our theme to life. I spent much of my time on Pinterest and found amazing accessories to dress the venue of eBay and Etsy, we had simply decorations as Notley Abbey really doesn’t need much added – it is just simply stunning as it is.

The planning process was amazingly easy. Once we had found Notley Abbey it was a breeze. We had Ann our wedding planner who couldn’t have been more helpful. We lost George’s father, Mike, 18 months before the big day and had lots of little touches throughout the day to make sure he was part of it and this started at the wedding breakfast. Notley Abbey accommodated all our wishes, so we were able to have beef wellington for our wedding breakfast, Mike’s favourite meal and his favourite cocktail after dinner in his memory.  So everything for the day was made incredible easy and along with our wedding Wednesdays, I couldn’t have asked for more support. On our wedding Wednesday we meet all the suppliers and like the venue the service was faultless. Mandy the florist helped me through the mine field that are flowers and brought everything in my mind to life and the cake tasting was a definite highlight! Even touches such as taking the wine home to try made the process incredibly easy and allowed us to enjoy every stage! The online wedding planner was the icing on the cake, making everything so manageable, allowing even the budgets to be stress free.

Choosing a Wedding Theme 

Shabby-chic was the theme of the day – a lot of burlap and lace and simple flowers, hydrangeas and gypsophilia. As Mike, George’s Dad, had worked in the coffee industry and his best friend James Aston of James Aimer Ltd had generously made our favours for us which were sachets of coffee in burlap bags and fitted in with our theme perfectly. 

I love simplicity and the navy suits, burlap and beautiful gypsophilia looked amazing and everything I had in my mind came to life. 

Our theme really complemented the beauty of the venue. 

The Big Day

Our day really was perfect. I was so much more relaxed than I thought I would be and after a couple of hours of getting ready, I heard George arrive in his Dad’s Aston Martin and didn’t stop smiling from this point onwards. My little niece Emily made the getting ready process even more enjoyable – we were princesses for the day!
The feeling of walking down the aisle towards the man of your dreams and best friend is just incredible. When we first looked at each other my smile grew even bigger! 

The Wedding Reception 

After the ceremony the weather was in our favour, it had turned from a rainy day into a glorious hot summers afternoon. We had the reception drinks outside on the lawn, this is where, as absolute foodies it all became very exciting. We had delicious canapés of arancini balls, chicken satay and sun blushed tomatoes & mozzarella wrapped in Zucchini with Prosecco and strawberries to wash it down. Our day really was all about food and drink!

Allister Freeman was our photographer on the day, he is a documentary style photographer, and this meant a really relaxed, informal and unobtrusive style that captured the real essence of our day without the need for us to do too much posing! We love his natural style and feel he really captured the beauty of Notley Abbey and the gorgeous cherry blossom that was out. 

Evening Reception

Before the first dance we cut our cake. Our cake was beautiful. 4 layers of different flavoured sponge. We had Victoria sponge with vanilla cream and raspberry jam, lemon sponge with lemon butter cream and lemon jelly, red velvet with praline butter cream and a coffee cake on top. 

  • First Dance – Coldplay, Magic
  • Dance with my Dad – Frank Sinatra, You Make Me Feel So Young

Becoming Mr & Mrs Cheeseman meant a cake of cheese was an absolute must along with bacon rolls and mini fish 'n' chips in bamboo cones. The food was incredible and we danced off all the food in the evening with an amazing DJ who took us back to our youth with some old school garage music! Our last song of the night was ‘Just in Case’ and the dance floor went crazy and is an absolute highlight of my day. We also had a photo booth, which proved to be very popular, and a lot of fun and have left us with some amazing memories.
It really was the best party with all our closest friends and family all in one place, it really was a very overwhelming day and made us realise just how very lucky we are.

The Honeymoon

A tour around Sri Lanka for 2 weeks taking in the gorgeous scenery, tea plantations and elephant safari’s followed by a week relaxing in the beauty of the Maldives.

Top Tips for Future Bijou Couples

Don’t let it take over your life. Your wedding day is one to be cherished and enjoyed, don’t let it become hard work. Relax, on the day everything will happen and you will love it no matter what. Throughout the day take some time out as a new couple and look in at what is happening around you and relish in it – it goes much too quickly!

The best part about being married is nothing changes – you just feel that little bit happier! Life has quickly returned to normal and we are both busy travelling with work, still reminiscing about the day and looking at our photos wishing we could do it all over again! 

Charlotte and George's Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Notley Abbey
Photography: Allister Freeman
Dress designer: Augusta Jones
Wedding rings: Bespoke – made in Dubai
Bridesmaid’s dresses: In One Clothing
Hair & make-up: Helen Alexander – Alexander Wedding Belles
Groom’s outfit: Fogarty Formal Hire, Leighton Buzzard
Stationery: Nimish Palmer
Flowers: Sonning Flowers
Cake: Bijou
Entertainment: Paul Fynn – DAW Steppers