Anna & Marcus

Saturday 5th August 2023 

Photography by Gaetano Digiacomo

Our Engagement

Marcus and I got engaged in October 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. We had only been off the plane for an hour before Marcus suggested we go down to look at the waterfront (still with luggage on our backs!). Me being my usual self, had food on the brain instead so spent the whole walk down trying to divert our path into the nearest bakery much to Marcus’ frustration. When we got to the water I was still none the wiser looking around for the nearest ice-cream stand. Meanwhile Marcus said he was going to grab his sunglasses from his bag so got onto his knees behind me and started to root through his things (me still none the wiser and still looking frantically around for food). As I turned round to my complete surprise there he was on one knee with a ring box. I stood in complete shock for about 60 seconds until Marcus promoted me with a “is that a yes?” and the rest is history.

Wedding Venue

Since I started working in Great Missenden in 2022 I have always loved driving past Missenden Abbey and peering through the gates at the stunning grounds. Marcus being from Buckinghamshire had his own year 11 prom at the Abbey back in 2011 and has since been back to the abbey for several proms but this time as a teacher at the local grammar school! He has always commented on what a beautiful venue the Abbey is and what a brilliant atmosphere there was in the evening with everyone dancing and mingling on the patio. For us it was a no brainer that the Abbey would be the perfect place for our special day. When getting back from Lisbon I immediately arranged a viewing of the Abbey and as soon as we walked in on the beautiful November afternoon with the sun shining through the glass windows in the garden room I knew it was the one. We booked straight away for the summer of 2023. I was pretty chuffed that after only 2 weeks of being engaged we had a perfect venue already booked! In my mind there was no reason to look anywhere else!

The Dress

I bought my dress from Anna McDonald bridal gallery in Thame. It was a Justin Alexander design named ‘Cora’. I went to try on dresses for the first time in March 2022 with my sister Erin (my maid of honour). I was absolutely bursting with excitement to get there and try on every possible dress I could.

Having absolutely no idea which style would suit me I went in with a complete open mind and just wanted to have fun with it. Little did I know I would only need to go to one shop to find the one! We arrived and were instantly greeted with a huge smile from the lovely Adele and a glass of fizz despite it being 9am, but hey it was a special occasion! Adele let me have a wander around the gallery and pull out any dresses that caught my eye. I had a feeling that a more figure-hugging shape would be better for me and I had always loved the idea of the classic and elegant bridal silhouette. Despite this it didn’t stop me pulling out a couple of huge royal wedding esque numbers just for fun.

I tried on my first low back beaded vintage inspired dress and my sister and I both teared up immediately. It was just so strange to see myself in a wedding dress for the first time, it really made it for real. From there I tried on about 7 different dresses, whittling it down to 3. Two elegant sleek dresses and my wild card dress which was a much large dress with a long elegant train and full skirt. My sister and I then went for lunch and thumbed over the hundreds of photos she had taken to try and decide which one to choose, discussing every detail from fabric to the all-important can I dance the night away in it and will I trip over in that one. I then went back on my own about a week later to try on my favourite three, but it was then I knew that Cora was the one. The elegant button down back and subtle lace detailing on the sides stole my heart and it felt like it had been made just for me! I topped it off with a gorgeous single tier floor length veil. The whole team at Anna McDonald were absolutely amazing throughout, letting me take my time deciding and making me feel so special.

Our Theme

I really loved the idea of a wild flower summer wedding. Our florist Taniece from Hire Heaven was absolutely incredible and created a stunning colourful bouquet for me and my bridesmaids full of gorgeous sunflowers, daisies, gerberas and every colour flower you could think of. The staircase was wrapped in gorgeous greenery with bunches of matching flowers all the way along really highlighting the beautiful features that Missenden Abbey has to offer. The tables again were decorated with natural looking greenery with brightly coloured gerberas in the centre. We wanted the wedding to be a celebration of colour and nature. It was very important to us that the wedding felt natural and personal to us so we felt that having every colour under the sun would bring that feeling of summer love that we so wanted.

Being an Arsenal fanatic, Marcus needed to squeeze his love of the club into the wedding somehow and low and behold he managed it! Our tables were named after Arsenal players and each table had a Polaroid picture of each player nestled in amongst the foliage which went down a treat with our guests.

The Ceremony

I absolutely loved the morning of our wedding. I thought I would be full of nerves but I breezed through the morning with a huge smile on my face and not a care in the world thanks to me amazing bridesmaids and our star of a wedding coordinator; Laura. Having stayed at the abbey the night before I felt settled in and comfortable from the moment I got there meaning I could spend the whole morning listening to ABBA and eating pastries in my dressing gown with my girls while getting ready for the day. Laura kept checking in on me and reassuring me that everything was going to plan and Marcus had in fact arrived and looked reasonably calm! I even snuck down in my dressing gown for a sneak peak of the ceremony room set up with all the flowers.

Marcus spent the morning getting ready at our flat in Haddenham with his groomsmen. They were then firmly on meet and greet duty when they arrived at the Abbey and lots of photos trying to tackle buttonholes and cufflinks.

It was then time for the big moment. It was at this point the nerves set in as Laura took me to the top of stairs ready to walk down into the ceremony room. Being able to hear everyone chatting away downstairs suddenly made me realise it was actually happening! But a little wink from my sister in front of me was all I needed and as soon as I spotted Marcus all my nerves went away. Elvis Presley’s ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ played as I walked down the aisle with my dad and everything just felt absolutely perfect. We now have a resounding joke of being ‘Anna late’ as I was apparently 20 minutes late for the ceremony (I was having too much fun had no idea of the time) making Marcus sweat just that little bit more poor thing.

The ceremony was the absolute favourite part of the day for both of us. It was full of tears, laughter and love. We decided to write our own vows and I am so glad that we did as it gave the ceremony a real personal feeling. You could hear the bridesmaid’s sobs from a mile away! Our registrar made us feel so at ease and the whole thing felt so intimate and romantic.

The Cake

We had a beautiful cake made by my lovely friend Jo owner of Sweet Cloud Cakery. It was a cupcake tower with three different flavours with a top tier for cutting framed with a beautiful handmade daisy chain arch.

On the top of the cake sat a bear cake topper that I bought from Etsy holding a sunflower bouquet to match mine (reference to our nicknames for one another).

We froze the top tier of our cake and celebrated 3 months of marriage by taking a slice down to Milford on Sea and eating it on the beach.

The Speeches

The speeches were an absolute highlight of the day. We decided to do the speeches after the meal on the staircase once our evening guests had arrived so that all our friends could enjoy them (and to add some pressure on to the best man of course). My dad and sister both spoke and did an amazing job with my sister even presenting us with our new ‘Lord and Lady Travers’ certificate as she had bought us a 5ft square of land somewhere in the North! Billy the best man really stole the show with his speech having the whole crowd in fits of laughter recreating the ‘dinosaur dance’ Marcus used to do in year 7, straight to tears when thanking Marcus’ parents for being so kind and welcoming to him over the years and how much our lovely group of friends means to us all.

First Dance

We had our first dance to ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ by Chris Stapleton. Marcus and I both being extremely uncoordinated and with the only practicing having been done in the living room after a vino or two I wasn’t expecting specular things but I was on top of the world by this point so completely forgot about my left feet worries. We sang along, had a dip of two and ended with me dancing on Marcus’ feet (probably for the best) until everyone joined in for what was a beautiful moment.

‘We honestly couldn’t have had a better day. I couldn’t recommend Missenden Abbey as a wedding venue more.’

Our Wedding Coordinator

We couldn’t have done it without our amazing wedding coordinator Laura. She was an absolute star from start to finish. From initial wedding meetings and last minute panic emails over centre pieces and food choices to the actual day of the wedding Laura had complete and utter control over everything. She knew exactly what was happening and when, allowing us to breeze through the day without a care in the world. Everything ran completely seamlessly and it’s all down to Laura!

Top Tips for other couples:

I wish I’d known that nothing matters as much as you think it will. Don’t stress the small stuff because on the day you won’t care about the tiny things that aren’t perfect, you’ll just be in a wedding daydream so make sure to enjoy it!

Marcus and I were both blown away by the quality and professionalism of all the staff at The Abbey, everything from the food (the duck was delicious!), the bar staff, the seamless transitions throughout the day were completely perfect. Every guest was catered to and we had many comments after the wedding about how looked after everyone felt throughout the day. We honestly couldn’t have had a better day. I couldn’t recommend Missenden Abbey as a wedding venue more. The building itself is absolutely stunning inside and out, providing the most picturesque backdrop for our wedding photos. Most importantly the staff are completely next to none with Laura available via email whenever you need for any worry whether that be big or small. The whole venue feels unique and special without feeling too over the top or gaudy. It strikes that perfect balance between grand and sophisticated whilst also feeling intimate and romantic due to the lovely grounds and architecture. We just want to say a massive thank you to Missenden Abbey for making our day so special, we will never forget it.

A few suppliers we used –


Gaeto Di Giacomo


Wedding Dress

Anna McDonald

01844 214190


Hire Heaven



Sweet Cloud Cakery


Adrial Makeup

Bridesmaid Dresses



CS Dancefloors & Discos 


Welcome Sign 

Manta Makes Ltd