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Tracy and Anthony’s Wedding at Notley Abbey

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A Romantic October Wedding

Tracy and Anthony met on a blind date, set up by a mutual friend. Tracy is an accessory stylist and one of her hostesses arranged an accessory party so that both Tracy and Anthony could meet; the rest they say, is history!

After a two year relationship and realising that they were perfect for each other, Anthony proposed at sunset on a beach in Mallorca, on Tracy’s birthday; a double celebration was in order! The couple had all of their rings designed by a jeweller in London’s Hatton Garden; they were created using platinum – and diamonds of course. Their beautiful wedding took place at Notley Abbey near Thame in Buckinghamshire on October 3rd, 2015.

The Dress

When choosing her wedding dress, Tracy shopped around and tried on three different gowns, but after having tried on ‘Rachel’ designed by Sassi Holford, she fell instantly in love. Her aim was to look sophisticated yet elegant on her wedding day and ‘Rachel’ ticked all the boxes. The dreamy wedding gown was also named after one of Tracy’s new step-daughters, so it really was a must-have dress. Tracy teamed her wedding gown up with a pair of ivory satin shoes featuring a sparkly diamante trim.

When it came to her bridal look, Tracy opted to have her hair curled by her regular hair dresser and had a pearl and silver comb on the side to complete her glamorous style. She hired Make-up by Jodie to give her a beautiful bridal make-over.

Choosing Notley Abbey

Notley Abbey was the only wedding venue that Tracy and Anthony looked at when they started to plan their special day. It was SO perfect that they had no need to look any further. They loved the fact that they could hire Notley Abbey exclusively for 24 hours, and felt that it had the perfect, intimate atmosphere that they’d been hoping for. The couple filled all nine bedrooms with members of the wedding party, so for their family, Notley Abbey was a perfect fit. Tracy and Anthony also found the use of the online wedding planner provided by Bijou Wedding Venues ‘BRILLIANT’; they used it to organise and plan their wedding at Notley Abbey with ease.

The Big Day: 3rd October, 2015

Tracy and Anthony said their ‘I dos’ in the Abbot’s Hall at Notley Abbey and the bride walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, performed by Vaults String Quartet.

Tracy’s two sons walked her down the aisle and two readings were performed throughout the ceremony. They were ‘Us Two’ by AA Milne read by Tracy’s son and Anthony’s daughter. An excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was read by Anthony’s father, who also happened to be the Master of Ceremonies at the wedding.
After exchanging rings and a fabulous first kiss, the newlywed couple headed back down the aisle to ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’, a fun, uplifting song to celebrate their marriage.

Tracy hired Gail at Forever Green florist in Beaconsfield, Thame to design the wedding flowers for her special day. The bride chose to have dusky pink, Memory Lane roses, Baccara roses which were plum in colour and cream avalanche roses, along with lisianthus and silver season foliage. Her bouquet was perfectly suited for an autumnal wedding. The groom wore a black Baccara rose in his buttonhole and the bridesmaids carried dusky pink bouquets down the aisle.

three tiered wedding cake with white detailing

Tracy and Anthony ordered their wedding cake through Bijou and it was a three tier iced design in a colour that matched the bridesmaids dresses. The wedding cake featured pretty tumbling geranium petals and included three different flavours of cake within each tier; red velvet, lemon and chocolate!

After their romantic wedding ceremony, Tracy and Anthony invited their 105 wedding guests into The Monks’ Refectory where they had a delicious wedding breakfast.

The couple had chosen a wedding menu of butternut squash soup to start, followed by pan fried sea bass with Mediterranean style vegetables and potatoes. For dessert, guests more than enjoyed a trio of desserts which featured crème brulle, treacle tart and chocolate mousse; a Bijou chef speciality.

Together, Tracy and Anthony have 7 children and they were each given time during the wedding ceremony and reception to do a reading or give a speech. There wasn’t a dry eye in The Monks’ Refectory when the speeches were being given and the couple are just so grateful that they’ve managed to bring two incredible families together.

Tracy and Anthony danced their first dance to ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ by Aerosmith and their wedding guests filled the dance floor as the resident DJ at Notley Abbey played awesome tunes throughout the night. A cheese board was served in the evening for guests to nibble on and Tracy followed wedding tradition by tossing her bouquet at the end of the night.


The Bridal Party

Tracy and Anthony chose a plum and dusky pink colour scheme with cream; a perfect pallet for a wedding taking place in the autumn.

Tracy chose her 4 step-daughters and step-granddaughter to be her bridesmaids on the big day. One bridesmaid lives in Singapore and two live in Yorkshire so co-ordinating their bridesmaids dresses wasn’t the easiest task on Tracy’s wedding to-do list, but they got there in the end. The girls all wore long, luxurious dresses that featured a sequined bodice in an oyster shade. They looked absolutely gorgeous on the day and really enjoyed getting ready with their new step-mother.

The grooms party, which included Tracy’s two sons, wore black tie tuxedos that were hired from Moss Bros.

The Honeymoon

The newlywed couple celebrated their wedding by spending their honeymoon at the luxurious Kasbah Tamadot Hotel, situated in the Atlas Mountains in magnificent Marrakech, Morocco.

Advice from the Bride and Groom

If they could give advice to future wedding planning couples, Tracy and Anthony said “Make sure you LOVE your wedding venue and trust your wedding planners. The online tool provided by Bijou was superb. Keep your guest list manageable so that you have time to see and talk to everyone; the time flies so enjoy every second!”

Wedding Suppliers

Tracy and Anthony’s Wedding Suppliers
Wedding photographer: Wendy Aldiss
Wedding venue: Notley Abbey
Wedding dress designer: Sassi Holford
Wedding hair and make-up: Make-up by Jodie
String Quartet: Vaults String Quartet
Wedding flowers: Forever Green
Wedding cake: Le Papillon
Wedding gift list: Charity donation

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