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Real Wedding

Steph and Nick’s wedding at Notley Abbey

Explore Notley Abbey

Finding the venue

Steph and Nick came across Notley Abbey when searching online for an exclusive use venue, that catered for outdoor ceremonies. It was the second venue they viewed and instantly knew it was the one for them.

“From the tree-lined driveway to the reveal of the beautiful characterful building as you walk around the hedges, it was more than we could’ve hoped for.”

The inspiration

As a couple who loves monochrome décor (you should see their house), a black and white theme was a decision easily made. Steph and Nick love the simplicity of using two colours, but the ability to make a statement at the same time. The couple incorporated their colour scheme in their attire (black tie, of course), their modern three-tiered wedding cake, and floral arrangements which were raised on black metal plinths as their wedding breakfast centrepieces. Not to mention a long white runner that lined the outdoor ceremony aisle, for Steph’s all-important entrance.

The planning

Due to the pandemic, the couple faced a few challenges during their planning, including Steph buying her dress over zoom. The dress search started in a beautiful boutique in Windsor, which helped Steph to decide on a wedding dress style she liked, although not quite the dress. Later that day, with the help of her sister, Steph found her dream dress on the Pronovias website and knew no other dress would compare. She brought it later down the line during a zoom call, which (luckily) worked out perfectly. The scarce suit stock also proved a little challenging for Nick, but with a little patience, the groomsmen had everything they needed, including custom made shirts to ensure a flattering fit. Of course, the Bijou Planning Team were on hand to help with any worries or queries the couple had along the way, especially due to the ever-changing Covid restrictions.

“The team at Bijou and Notley were fantastic from the get-go, no question was too much, and they were accommodating of all our needs.”

The Secret Singers

As a couple known by family and friends to love to party, Steph and Nick decided to organise Secret Singers to perform during their wedding breakfast, to ensure they live up to their reputation. The performance was a blast and was the most memorable moment of the day, particularly when Nick’s 89-year-old nan took to the middle of the dancefloor to show how it was done.

“Looking around and seeing everyone in the room on their feet dancing and singing to Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ was an amazing feeling.”

Looking back

After planning throughout a pandemic, the hard work paid off and the happy couple had their dream outdoor wedding in the Notley Abbey ‘Walled Gardens’. Being the peak of summer, the grounds were filled with greenery, which really popped against the monochrome colour scheme. The stress of waiting for suit stock was a distant memory, and the gamble to buy a wedding dress online worked in Steph’s favour – everything came together.

“Enjoy the process and don’t sweat the small stuff, it won’t matter on the day. It’s about the two of you, so don’t worry about pleasing everyone else. Have fun!”


Photographer: Fringe Photography | Videographer: Truly Madly Films | Florist: Bloomfield Flowers | Band: Dancefloor Elite | Harpist: Bristol Harpist | Singers: Secret Singers UK | Hair & Makeup: Chelsey Leigh Beauty | Dancefloor and Photo Booth: OMG Entertainment | Cake: Poppy Rose Cakes | Stationery: Project Pretty

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