Local Photographer Hannah, of Hannah Brooke Photography has written a guest blog.
I visited Thicket Priory for the first time in the summer of 2020 for a styled shoot workshop with My Prettiest Workshops. I’d seen it online, and knew I wanted to shoot there…but….
No amount of online pictures could have prepared me for the FEELING when I walked through those doors and saw the huge chandelier in the hallway. I think my jaw might have hit the floor and I wanted to instantly drop my bags and RUN through the place, checking out every little nook and cranny – of which there are lots! The whole place is steeped in history and the most gorgeous, characterful décor adorns every single bit of it.
Like I say, it is jaw droppingly beautiful, you will feel like you’re living out your very own fairy tale and you’ll be fully in love with it before you’ve even seen the gardens! There’s a lake, a boatshed, a bandstand, two beautiful bridges, oh and a swing! It’s simply not possible to see it and not love it. It’s an exclusive hire venue with plenty of room, so you get the place all to yourselves too. No strangers in the bar, or other functions happening in other rooms – it’s ALL YOURS. Well, for a weekend, anyway!
I got married in 2012 before Thicket was a wedding venue sadly, and it’s so stunning it makes me want to get married all over again and have every single person I love right there with me to soak it all up.
However, I’m very happily married to a Yorkshireman and a second wedding is not on the cards for me. So I realised I’d have to settle for a very close second….and that is to photograph every inch of this gorgeous York venue, capturing other people’s absolute joy as THEY run through it living out their fairy tale instead.
Oh and the team at Thicket are lovely too, the warm welcome is like a big velvety hug. And I know you’ll be in the safest of hands because like me, they’re living out their inner fairy tale with every single wedding they host, and they are so passionate about having it all just right for you.
Being a photographer I’m much better at telling the story through images rather than words – so here we go!
1. The Hallway / Staircase – from the moment you step into Thicket Priory, prepare to be absolutely bowled over by the sheer beauty and elegance of the place. There’s not one bit of it that isn’t beautiful, and I guarantee you’ll want to peak behind every single door!
2. The Ballroom – a stunning room with dazzling chandeliers, beautiful fireplaces and large windows, it’s a photographer’s dream with all that light. Seating up to 240 guests, I’d love to see it full of people one day!
3. The Morning Room – this can be a smaller event space, but we set it up for our ceremony. Boasting a stunning fireplace, this room can fit up to 140 guests to witness you saying I do.
4. There is also the Chapel – which has beautiful wooden pews and an exquisite stained glass window. Also seats up to 140 guests.
5. The Grounds. If you’re planning a wedding at Thicket Priory, I’d strongly advise you build in lots of time for your Bride & Groom portraits as there is so much to explore here. The grounds also provide an option for an outdoor ceremony, if weather permits, making use of the bandstand.
6. The Gryffin Bar – the wonderful period wood panelled and well stocked Gryffin Bar has an an open fire, a selection of comfortable seats, eclectic décor and a gorgeous terrace outside.
8. The Buckingham Suite – Used as the Bridal suite, this room is just gorgeous. Light, bright and airy, with the most divine dressing table….and wait until you see the bathroom!
9. The guest rooms – the Groom got ready in Uncle Monty’s room. Every single one is beautifully decorated and unique. All with characterful names and there’s something to suit everyone from the Rapunzel room in the tower to the dog-friendly garden rooms.
I love every single one of the images I took on this shoot and had them featured over on the English Wedding Blog , but I also left feeling that I HAD to return. There’s SO much scope with this venue, and lots of it that I felt I had still to discover.
Myself and one of my wedding industry friends – Chris from Ido Hire wanted to arrange a styled shoot together to make use of his amazing colour changing neon signs. Thicket Priory was naturally my first choice venue. I contacted Anna and she loved our concept, so we set about planning a date and originally agreed on January 2021 but it’s now on hold until this lockdown is over. We’ve got a great time lined up though and we’re so excited for when this shoot finally comes together.
Stylist – Hannah Rachael Weddings. I first met Hannah on a shoot she had arranged and asked me to photograph in September 2020, and I’d admired her attention to detail and beautiful styling.
Florist – Wonderland Blooms. Vix is a florist prepared to push the creative boundaries and she has some big ideas.
Hair and Make Up – Chrys Chapman. I’ve worked with Chrys before and I know she is amazing, creating sensational hair and make up styles.
Models – Lorna and Tash. I always like to use REAL couples for my styled shoots and I’d already connected with Lorna on Instagram and she is LOVELY. Her and Tash have an amazing chemistry and I wanted to be able to capture their connection on camera.
Outfits – Dotty Bridal for Lorna’s dress – Chris suggested approaching Dotty as we loved the variety of styles and designers they stock, they have a really fun online presence too, which was fitting for this day.
Tash’s outfit is from Hobbs and Asos.
Accessories – Sarah Voung Bridal Jewellery – we love Sarah’s work, it’s so versatile and we could see those beautiful hair accessories working on both our models.
Veil – Rebecca Anne Designs – we love the hand embroidered veils by Rebecca and I have visions of a sweeping veil shot in front of that house.
Cake – Blossom Tree Cake Company – I first met Kean at a wedding fayre I exhibited at. We were neighbouring stands and they gave me loads of helpful support and advice as it was my first fayre. I could see the quality of their work and knew I wanted to work with them one day.
Stationery – Ivy Alice Stationery – we love their bespoke, artisan approach to designing stationery.
Celebrant – True to you Celebrancy – We wanted to have a celebrant to bring the ceremony to life, and have someone with bags of personality and handwritten vows, so we knew Deborah would be perfect.
Videographer – Hello There Films – last but not least, we wanted a videographer on board to bring the shoot to life. Charlotte & Craig came highly recommended and we absolutely adore their style.
Hannah specialises in capturing joyful and expressive moments and can put even the most camera shy of brides and grooms at ease, ensuring that you’re left with a collection of stunning, atmospheric and personal images from your big day.
Ever the pro, even if there are minor disasters unfolding on your day, Hannah will remain your rock, calm and serene, to ensure that you can relax and have fun. She’ll also get to know you ahead of the big day, will probably befriend your gran and never tires of seeing couples tie the knot.
You can view Hannah’s work at: