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Real Wedding

Kate and Andrew’s Wedding at Notley Abbey

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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.

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 find 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 readings were read 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.

Notley Abbey Fireworks Buckinghamshire

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.

Wedding Banquet Menu


Baked French brie parcel, served warm with a bacon, redcurrant and caramelised orange salad


Main Course

Slow braised sticky Hampshire beef with creamed parsnip mash, Root vegetable crisps and Olivette carrots



Chocolate pot with a melting middle, Jack Daniels ice cream and chocolate crumbs


Evening Buffet

Mini burgers and mini bacon butties

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!”

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

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