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A wonderfully elegant rustic wedding at Notley Abbey, with Reid Photography

I fell in love with Danielle and Phung’s Notley Abbey wedding as soon as I saw the images: their vibrant colours and beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony stole my heart. This was an international celebration with family travelling from all over the world. Danielle bought her stunning dress in New York, the table plan was a world map (it’s fab!) and there was a tea ceremony as well as the outdoor wedding and reception.

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I adore Notley Abbey for its grounds and grandeur: truly a favourite English wedding venue. Danielle told me, “The setting was amazing, but the small touches such as the flowers, family pictures, and wooden signs added our personal touch.”

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Images are by lovely Sally and Don of Reid Photography, based in Milton Keynes. Do find out more about them:

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Watch out for the cutest little bridesmaids and enjoy the fabulous florals in this enchanting summer wedding. The bride and groom are – it goes without saying – totally gorgeous – and I know you’re going to love today’s wedding on the blog.
claire gould calligrapher signature

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Our wedding report: Danielle and Phung

Wedding photographer’s website:

http://reidphotography.co.uk/

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Very happy with how the shots turned out. Also appreciate their dedication to capture every moment on the day. Also, the “pre-wedding” shoot (which was included) was a great way to get ourselves prepared for the big day.

Wedding venue:

Notley Abbey, Thame

Wedding date:

Friday 4th July 2014

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

A wonderful day, full of memories and surrounded by the people we love and who love us.

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?

It bought back amazing memories and emotions of the day itself.

Your wedding style and theme:

“Elegant rustic” was our theme, and we hopefully pulled it off.

Any happy tears on the day?

Actually no tears, since it was a very relaxed affair, and a happy affair, so we were smiles all day.

How did the two of you meet?

Speed-dating while I was on a work assignment in New York.

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

4 months

Best bit of budget advice?

Lock in the big items that everyone remembers about a wedding (venue, catering, photography/videography, flowers, wedding dress), the rest are just nice-to-haves, so you can make an easier decision on which things to cut. Be honest as to what is important for you as a couple, not for anyone else.

Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:

We used an online wedding website to aggregate information (www.weddingwindow.com) and also send out electronic invites; in this day and age, people prefer to receive things electronically, plus, it allowed us to track things like RSVPs and menu choices more easily through the one website.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

I did – after going to a few venues where nothing felt right, there was one small boutique in NYC that focused on small designers.   They picked out 5 dresses and every one of them was lovely – I just got to pick the one I loved most.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Lovely Bride in NYC; designer Elizabeth Dye.

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

Topaz and diamond necklace and earrings borrowed from my aunt, a rhinestone comb for my hair, and my grandfather’s bracelet as an anklet

The groom wore:

TM Lewin for the suit, and Youngs Hire @ Debenhams for the vest.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Red convertible dresses from bhldn

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

Hired a professional – Gemma Sutton make-up

Wedding flowers:

Bright bold colours that felt a bit more fanciful. I wanted warm sunset colours – with sunflowers, peonies, echevarias, dahlias.   Our florist was Shrinking Violet Flowers.   They also helped with some props as well – they had old antique suitcases and books that were place throughout the room.

What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?

Phung: “Watching my bride-to-be walking down the aisle, surrounded by friends and family.”

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

The setting was amazing, but the small touches such as the flowers, family pictures, and wooden signs added our personal touch.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

Cheesecake tower – tastes so much better than regular wedding cakes

Entertainment:

The most remembered part of the entertainment was a few live birds from the local falconry school. Being the 4th July and the bride American, everyone loved the bald eagle, but the falcon and barn owl were also a big hit. Fireworks ended the evening celebrations.

On the day tips and advice:

Enjoy the day – and don’t be afraid to deputise your wedding party to help out with last minute details.

What’s the best thing about being married?

The thought of spending the rest of our lives together.

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

http://notleyabbey.co.uk (the venue + caterer)

www.etsy.com (great for picking up small arts and craft pieces to personalise the wedding)

http://www.firstsightvideos.co.uk/#!phung-and-danielle/c1wwx (our videographer)

http://www.birdsofpreycentre.co.uk/ (for our falconry display. It really stole the show and was the most talked about by our guests)

http://www.firework.uk.com/contact.html (amazing fireworks display without busting the budget)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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