With its mellow medieval architecture, glorious gardens and beautifully designed party spaces, Notley Abbey in Buckinghamshire is steeped in romance, making it the perfect spot for a unique wedding celebration
Notley Abbey has a long and romantic history and its location on the Buckinghamshire-Oxfordshire border makes it a superb spot for a glamorous country-house wedding party. The mellow medieval exterior and glorious grounds are a dream backdrop for fabulous celebrations in all seasons of the year, while inside it has been meticulously restored to create luxurious light-filled spaces for ceremony, feast and party. Icing on the cake is that this is an exclusive-use venue, so it’s entirely yours for a whole 24 hours.
The approach to Notley Abbey down its splendid tree-lined drive tells you that this is somewhere truly special. The setting in the idyllic Buckinghamshire countryside close to Thame makes it easy to get to, but with all the space and elegance you could want for a modern country wedding. Originally an Augustinian friary and later a grand mansion visited by royalty, its history includes a spell under the ownership of legendary actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh – many Hollywood and West End stars have partied here. As part of the portfolio of Bijou Weddings since 2006, it has been sensitively restored to create a most versatile setting for wedding and civil celebrations. There are three unique spaces for your service, all of which are also ideal for partying, and since the property is yours for 24 hours you can design every detail to match your wedding vision. Notley Abbey has a capacity of 172 during the daytime, and up to 250 in the evening. There’s also a stunning dual-aspect suite for you, plus eight luxurious bedrooms (each one named after a glamorous visitor during its Hollywood years) for your special guests.
Whether you want a classic or contemporary country wedding, Notley Abbey is as atmospheric as it gets, in any season of the year. In summer the walled garden – which includes medieval stone from the original friary – is a dreamy backdrop for an alfresco ceremony, party breakout space or relaxed drinks. For large gatherings, the Monks’ Refectory is a light-filled stone barn complete with minstrels’ gallery, sparkling chandeliers and dual aspect over the cloister gardens and a lawn leading down to the River Thame. Beautifully designed, it has an air of history and grandeur that make it equally suited to ceremony, evening banquet or elegant wedding breakfast. For more intimate gatherings, the Abbot’s Hall – the main reception room of the house – has a stunning feature fireplace dating back over 600 years, high beamed ceilings, mellow oak floors and superb views over the grounds.
As Notley Abbey is yours exclusively, you can design your celebration to incorporate all three venue spaces. This is also the most comfortable of country houses, with further reception and dining rooms and glorious grounds to explore, so your guests have plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the historic architecture and lush setting.
Bijou Weddings have an in-house team who help you design and plan your perfect celebration and take care of all the details. Its talented in-house chefs will match the menus to your taste and the style of your day. With a proprietary online wedding planner, face-to-face meetings and a personal wedding planner on call, you can be sure that your event will be meticulously arranged. Each unique property in the Bijou Weddings portfolio has been specially designed as an exclusive use wedding venue and the team’s inside knowledge, plus their extensive contact book, take the stress out of finding the right suppliers and extra elements that create an unforgettable party.
The sense of space as you enter Notley Abbey’s grand tree-lined avenue make this feel like your own private country retreat, while huge fireplaces and beautiful vistas from every window mean it’s as picturesque in midwinter as on a summer’s day. Knowing that the great and the good – from Henry VIII to legendary Hollywood stars – have partied here only adds to the sense of history and character and makes staying over in its luxurious rooms feel extra special. The secluded location means you and your guests can party into the night. Fireworks are also permitted enabling you to create the perfect finale to your celebration.
Find out more
Location: Notley Abbey, Thame, Buckinghamshire
Contact: 0345 130 9966
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