Kate and Andrew - Notley Abbey

An April 2019 wedding at Notley Abbey featuring gorgeous flowers and a surprise firework display in the evening. 

Newlyweds at Notley Abbey

A Destination Proposal 

Kate and Andy met on the dance floor in a Chelsea night club and their first date was a 4am breakfast the following morning; the rest was history. After a 4 ½ year relationship the couple booked a dream holiday to Bali and at the end of their trip, Andy produced a temporary ring and popped the question to Kate. Filled with excitement, Kate accepted and the couple shopped for an official engagement ring in London’s Hatton Garden after sharing their special news with family and friends. 

 

The bride and groom at the front of Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire
Sage green bridesmaids dresses at Notley Abbey

Choosing a Buckinghamshire Wedding Venue 

The couple weren’t set on a specific location for their wedding venue – it was more about finding the dream venue! They visited a couple of unique wedding venues in Yorkshire and a few barns outside of London, but nothing compared to Notley Abbey – a romantic, historic, exclusive use wedding venue in Buckinghamshire. Kate had originally seen an image of Notley Abbey on Instagram and believed that it was the perfect combination of a rustic barn, stunning views and a breath-taking driveway; she was right! Kate and Andy visited Notley Abbey twice towards the end of 2017 before securing their April 2019 wedding date with a deposit.

When booking a venue with Bijou Weddings you’re automatically given access to a detailed online wedding planner. Kate, loved it! “It was a godsend, especially the messenger functionality which meant we got almost instant answer to questions and it made the whole process run flawlessly.”

Getting Ready 

Kate visited the luxurious Caroline Castigliano flagship store in Knightsbridge to fine her dream wedding dress. After trying on 15 unique styles, Kate chose a whimsical, figure hugging A-line gown with unique embroidery; her mum and sister knew it was ‘the one’ the moment she tried it on. 

As Kate had chosen such a stunning dress, she had to buy a very special pair of wedding shoes to go with it. She wore cream, satin, Jimmy Choos, chosen from the bridal range. 

Kate’s two sisters and two friends formed her bridal party and they wore multi-wear dresses in a shade of sage green from a brand called Jollie. The groom bought his wedding suite from Gieves and Hawkes, and even though the rest of the groom’s party wore their own suits in a navy shade, they were gifted a matching tie to wear on the day. 

Kate booked Bijou Partner Gemma Sutton to do her wedding day hair and bridal beauty. She opted to have her hair half up and half down with gorgeous natural makeup. 

The Big Day: Friday 12th April, 2019

Kate and Andy had originally thought about having an outdoor wedding, but in the end, their perfect nuptials took place in The Monks’ Refectory at 2:30pm in front of 100 guests. Large milk churns filled with flowers had been placed at the front of the ceremony room and small jam jars filled with floral arrangements were placed on the chairs lining the aisle.
Kate walked down the aisle to ‘Tale as old as time’ from the Disney classic movie Beauty and the Beast, and two reading were ready throughout the ceremony; Kate’s mother read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and one of her best friends read ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley. 

Upon exiting The Monks’ Refectory as husband and wife, the couple and their guests walked towards the front of the house for the confetti line and the drinks reception. 

After a selection of delicious canapés, including chorizo and aubergine skewers, smoked salmon mousse and lemon crostini, and tomato, olive and pepper crostini, the newlyweds and their guests ventured back in to The Monks’ Refectory to find their table name, which had been based on Kate and Andy’s previous travels around the world. Tables were decorated in a rustic fashion, with wooden logs, jam jars, candelabras and lots of beautiful flowers, which had all been displayed by florist Richard Randall. Peonies and Roses were the main flowers used in the bouquets, but hydrangeas and roses decorated the top table and each individual arrangements were placed on each table. Guests found their place at each table by looking for a laser cut coaster, which also acted as their wedding favour. 

Spring Wedding Banquet Menu

Starter: Baked French brie parcel, served warm with a bacon, redcurrant and caramelised orange salad    
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Main Course: Slow braised sticky Hampshire beef with creamed parsnip mash, Root vegetable crisps and Olivette carrots
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Dessert: Chocolate pot with a melting middle, Jack Daniels ice cream and chocolate crumbs

Evening Buffet: Mini burgers and mini bacon butties    

The couple bought their own vintage suitcase to Notley Abbey and decorate it with flowers and bunting as a place for guests to leave cards and gifts. Plus, a company called Branch Out provided a stunning flower wall installation which was used as the perfect backdrop for photographs. Debra at White Hyacinth Cakes created a simple yet elegant wedding cake for the newlywed couple to cut through. The three tiered, cream coloured, wedding cake featured flavours including vanilla, elderflower and chocolate and tasted delicious! 

Kate and Andy celebrated their marriage by throwing the ultimate after-dark wedding party and invited an extra 10 guests to celebrate with them until late in the evening. All of their friends and family commented on how it was the best party they’d been to and the highlight of the day was when a live bongo, saxophonist and DJ played re-mixes of popular dance tunes. The first dance was to the acoustic version of ‘Latch’ by Sam Smith, which then turned in to a dance tune and everyone piled on to the dance floor. A surprise fireworks display by Jonathan's Fireworks completed the day and was memorable for everyone.

For their wedding gift list the couple asked for a contribution towards their dream honeymoon; a trip planned to Sri Lanka and the Maldives for December 2019, although they did go on a not so ‘mini’ moon to Goa and Mumbai just after their wedding. 

Best Moments of the Day: 

“Walking out to the confetti shower with all our best friend and family was a moment we’ll never forget. Dancing our socks off to the best music and sax and bongo player was also a huge highlight! I also found it very special getting ready with my mum and bridesmaids and Andy felt the same about his ushers and best men. We also loved the fireworks which were a complete surprise for our guests and a really special moment! We can’t thank Bijou enough for everything they did to give us our dream wedding, it really was the best day of our lives!”

Final Thoughts from the Bride: 

“Just enjoy it! I am an event planner and stressed about every minute detail of the day, I just couldn’t imagine it all coming together and being how I wanted it. However on the day I completely relaxed and let the venue manage it all. Lisa kept me calm and was absolutely fantastic - everything was literally perfect and I couldn’t have asked for things to run more smoothly!”

Kate and Andy’s Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Notley Abbey
Wedding Photographer: Ivory Fayre Wedding Photography
Wedding Dress Designer: Caroline Castigliano 
Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo 
Bridal Beauty: Gemma Sutton 
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jollie
Groomswear: Gieves and Hawkes 
Wedding Flowers: Richard Randall 
Wedding Cake Designer: White Hyacinth Cakes
Entertainment: Piano DJ 
Faux Flower Wall: Branch Out 
Fireworks: Jonathan's Fireworks
Wedding Insurance: Debenhams

 

A wedding welcome sign outside Notley Abbey
A unique wedding venue in Buckinghamshire
Wedding flowers over the arch at Notley Abbey
Caroline Castigliano Wedding Dress
Bridal beauty by Gemma Sutton
Wedding ceremony in The Monks' Refectory
Wedding ceremony at Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire
Wedding vows in the historic Buckinghamshire wedding venue
The bride and groom exiting the wedding ceremony
The confetti line at Notley Abbey
The bride in the grounds at Notley Abbey
The bridesmaids dresses were sage green
The bride with the groom's party
Banqueting in The Monks' Refectory at Notley Abbey
The beautiful grounds at Notley Abbey
Notley Abbey is full of wonderful backdrops for wedding photography
Newlyweds at Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire
Speeches made at the wedding reception
 Wedding cake design at Notley Abbey
Wedding party on the dance floor
Exciting wedding fireworks at Notley Abbey