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Kim and Scott’s Wedding at Notley Abbey

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An October Wedding at Notley Abbey

Kim and Scott met in the town of Thame and dated for only two years before Scott felt ready to make Kim his bride.

Whilst holidaying in sunny Madrid, Scott chose the perfect moment to propose to Kim, within the grounds of a palace! The couple chose an engagement ring together and the couple spent the next 17 months planning an intimate wedding in the autumn for 60 of their close friends, family members and their 2-year-old son.

Choosing A Country House Wedding Venue

Kim and Scott looked at only three wedding venues during their search, but knew instantly that Notley Abbey was for them! It had everything that the couple had dreamed of; from the perfect rural location to the beautiful, tree-lined approach and the stunning Abbey featuring the spacious Monks’ Refectory, ideal for entertaining guests in the evening. The couple found Bijou’s proprietary online wedding planner a life saver when it came to communicating their wedding plans to the Bijou team.

Finding the Dress

Kim tried on around 10 different wedding dress styles before finding ‘the one’.

The beautiful lace, slim-fitting gown by Suzanne Neville fitted looked truly elegant on Kim; the back featured miniature silk buttons and a stunning train. She knew that she simply had to have this magnificent gown from the moment she slipped it on. Instead of a traditional white wedding shoe, the bride-to-be purchased a smart pair of nude, Jimmy Choo court shoes; a pair that she’ll be able to wear time and time again!

Kim was lucky enough to have celebrity hair and makeup artist Caroline James attend to her on the day. Caroline James works with Irish band The Corrs and Katie Melua and ended up doing a wonderful job for the bride and her bridesmaid. Kim wore her blonde hair in a low chignon with flowers to match her autumnal colour scheme. She also wore a veil for the wedding ceremony but removed it later in the day for a more relaxed bridal look.

The Bridal Party

Kim chose her oldest friend Jo to be her bridesmaid on the big day. The ladies shopped for the perfect dress together and found a perfect, floor-length gown in a burnt orange tone to match the rest of the October wedding colour scheme.

When it came to dressing the groom’s party, Scott chose to wear a bespoke, charcoal grey suit so that he’d stand out. However, he decided to stick to British tradition when it came to his best man and two ushers; they wore black suits with tails that had been hired from Moss Bros.

The Big Day: 21st October, 2016

Kim and her bridesmaid arrived at Notley Abbey at 11am on the day of the wedding and headed straight up to the bridal suite to get ready.

Wedding guests, who were blown away by the beauty of Notley Abbey, gathered outside and then headed in to The Abbot’s Hall before the civil wedding ceremony was about to commence. The bride walked down the lantern-lit aisle with her father to the sounds of ‘A Day Like This’ by Elbow and two readings were read during the ceremony. Kim and Scott’s marriage was sealed with a kiss and the couple celebrated with their guests outside in the glorious autumnal sunshine.

The couple took a walk down to the fabulous driveway to have some wedding photography captured of their first few moments as husband and wife, before inviting their guests to enter the wedding banquet which had been set up in The Monks’ Refectory. Bijou partner, Party Lights, had decorated the ceiling of the Monks’ Refectory with twinkly lights and the couple displayed tall candelabras in the centre of each table, surrounded by a ring of pretty flowers that had been provided by Bijou’s preferred florist, Sonning Flowers. Men were given a drink token as a wedding favour and women received a small hessian bag filled with a packet of ‘Party Feet’ to give them comfort in their heels throughout the night.

autumnal Family shot at Notley Abbey

Sonning Flowers also created Kim’s stunning bridal bouquet which featured a selection of roses, orchids, freesias and berries, all of which tied in to the burnt orange, autumnal wedding theme.

At their Wedding Planning Wednesday session with their dedicated wedding planner Ann, the couple decided on a banquet menu consisting of the red onion tart to start with, followed by the Hampshire sticky beef and Bijou’s specialty chocolate pot with Jack Daniels ice cream for dessert. The couple ordered a four tier, naked wedding cake decorated with fresh fruit that was cut and distributed to guests after the emotional wedding speeches.

40 additional wedding guests arrived to congratulate the newlywed couple in the early evening and a band called Mr Kanish played the slow version of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ as the bride and groom danced their first dance surrounded by their nearest and dearest. The first dance set the tone for the whole evening and the dance floor wasn’t empty from that moment on, for the rest of the night. To keep the ladies comfortable, Kim had arranged for a basket of flip flops to be displayed in The Monks’ Refectory for guests to wear if they needed them.

The Honeymoon

Instead of creating traditional wedding gift list, Kim and Scott set up a gift list through Trailfinders so that guests could contribute towards their honeymoon if they wanted to. This gave the couple the opportunity to book a short trip to Florence immediately after the wedding, followed by a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon to South Africa; a trip that they could celebrate with their son.

Advice from the Bride & Groom

When asked if there was anything further that they’d like to share with us, Kim and Scott mentioned that using Bijou’s preferred suppliers saved them an awful lot of time and stress. It was great to know that they were professional, reliable and the fact that the knew the venue was a huge benefit.

“The staff at Notley Abbey were absolutely super from the minute we arrived to when we left the next day. They really made our day special! Barbara and Jack our event managers were fabulous!” Kim & Scott

Kim and Scott’s Wedding Suppliers

Wedding Venue: Notley Abbey
Wedding Photographer: Mark Bothwell
Wedding Dress Designer: Suzanne Neville
Wedding Hair and Beauty: Caroline James
Wedding Flowers: Sonning Flowers
Wedding Décor: Party Lights
Wedding Band: Mister Kanish
Wedding Gift List: Trailfinders
Wedding Nanny: Tinies Childcare

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