In a way I was glad we had booked to see Notley Abbey on a miserable rainy day at the end of November,as if it looked as amazing as it did in the pictures in the dreary winter imagine what it would look like on a sunny day in August ( ever the optimist…)
Right from when we turned into the long tree lined drive I think I started holding my breath, even without a single leaf in sight I could just visualise how beautiful it would be come the spring and summer.
As we pulled up to the building I was wide eyed, overwhelmed and ended up having to put my hand over my mouth to muffle the squeaking delight, James laughed and just said “Well then, this was certainly worth the trip…”
From a girl who never really gave a second thought to her wedding day here was the fairytale right smack bang in front of her – with bells on.
Inside was just as glorious, we were met by Jo who turned out to be one of the owners ( they had been doing appoitments all day pretty much) and she took us on the guided tour.
I couldn’t fault a thing, the bedrooms were like something out of a movie with bathrooms that were contemporary and luxurious. The grounds ( although wet and muddy) were just perfect with gates taking you into hidden lawns – like something out of the secret garden.
There was a huge reception hall ( where guests gather before the ceremony) or have canapes if the weather is poor. A lounge area with huge leather sofa’s for resting those dancing feet…… a ceremony room that looked like a chapel… and then she took us to “The Monk’s Refrectory” where the wedding breakfast would take place….
Oh My Actual God.
It was simply breathtaking.
And it would be ours – all ours for a whole 24 hours.
If we won the lottery that is.
Jo explained the 30th August wasn’t available but Monday (bank holiday) the 31st was and it was more reasonable than a typical Saturday, still scarily expensive though.
Quite frankly I was willing to sell my left arm at this stage and certainly cut back on other areas if we needed to. The place was such perfection I couldn’t see how you would need much decoration, if anything too much adornment would have ruined the simplicity of it all.
We left with a breakdown of all the costs and an administrator would be contacting us with a very fancy pants spreadsheet which detailed all of the bits and pieces/deposit payments/time scales etc.
It was actually James who spoke first as we got in the car to return home.
James: ” Well, that was like nothing I’ve ever seen”
me: ” I know I know, I am IN LOVE with it, and it is so much money….. and now nothing else is going to compare…..I’m willing to wait until 2010 if we have too??”
James: ” Really? well let’s look at the numbers again over the weekend and if we can find the money some where else I think we should just go ahead and book it….”
me: ( beyond delighted) “Oh my goodness really?? I am so excited I might spontaniously combust!!! I love you, you are the most amazing boyfriend on the planet…..”
Firstly we had to look at what we had already booked and were 100% happy with ( as these costs were a given)
Jordan our photographer – A.Mazing. Had found him at the NEC wedding show in the March, a travel photographer by trade ( had won spiffy awards) and had quite recently taken up weddings professionally ( he had shot friends/families for some time) I liked him instantly and loved his portfolio – he totally captures the moment and there was so much joy and love in his work.
I had two bridesmaids with me at the show – Melissa ( the one I took to Quello) and my sister… also Melissa ( I know – confusing)
They both loved Jordan too and out of everyone we saw ( there were loads) his photo’s were ( in our opionion) the best.
So 100% happy with the photography.
My dress – yay!!!!!! …100% happy with that!
Our evening band – Felix Leiter, had seen them at a friend’s wedding and they rocked ( literally)… lead singer had a great voice and really got everyone on the dance floor.
Totally happy with them then.
And that was pretty much it, so we had the rest of the budget for flowers, grooms/best mans attire, stationary, string quartet, bridesmaids dresses, shoes…..jewellery ……registrar fees…..Notley Abbey…..?
The list seemed to be endless.
This was going to be tough.
And Jordan and Felix Leiter had to be bloomin’ free on the 31st.
Oh and there was no getting our deposit back from our previous disaster venue either. ￼
Lottery it is then.
No pictures can do Notley Abbey justice so if you are still looking for your dream location please please pay a visit……I promise you won’t be disappointed.