Catherine & David have been the one and only wedding which has taken place at Thicket Priory in the last 8 months, and what an AMAZING wedding it was! We asked Catherine & David about their experience of having a wedding during a pandemic and this is what they had to say!
Carla Whittingham Photography & Hello There Films had the pleasure of capturing all the special moments for Mr & Mrs Wheatley and it’s safe to say that between them and us there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when they finally say ‘I do’!!
Let’s kick off with a little ‘pre-wedding’ interview which took place during a details meeting at Thicket Priory…let the story begin!
‘The day that we first came to view Thicket Priory we knew we had found somewhere special, and we fell in love with all the magical little details and fascinating history that seemed to ooze from every room and passageway. We couldn’t imagine a better place to become Mr and Mrs and we knew our guests would love it too. I won’t spoil the surprise if you haven’t visited yet but make sure you take a trip up the observation tower, walk around the beautiful grounds and look out for a secret hidden staircase!
Meeting Anna and her wonderful team left us feeling completely sure about our decision, they welcomed us so warmly and took the time to get to know us and the kind of wedding we wanted to create. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed but also to be able to enjoy a little luxury, a place we could be ourselves and be transported at the same time. We got that and a whole lot more with our choice of venue. Each of the rooms are so unique and the whole place has been lovingly restored to an incredible standard.
Once we had confirmed our booking, we had lots of chats about the plans. The team have so much amazing industry experience and gave us some great ideas (like how to make the most of the different rooms during the day and swapping the traditional reception glass of fizz for a gin and tonic – much more us!) but we always felt like we were at the heart of the plans and that it was going to reflect who we are as a couple.
Our original wedding date was 30 May 2020. Like many other couples, we soon found ourselves on the ‘coronacoaster’ as we realised that the pandemic was going to dramatically affect our plans. The fairy-tale that had finally come in to reaching distance suddenly seemed very uncertain. We were very lucky though as everyone at Thicket Priory (and luckily all our other amazing suppliers) did everything they could to help us navigate and weather the storm. We rescheduled to October… not knowing what was going to happen but with the reassurance that we were in it together.
Throughout everything we were determined to marry as soon as we could and really wanted to try and keep as much of original plan as possible. Although we had to reduce our guest list from around 100, to 30 and then to 15… We were still able to keep so many special parts of our big day, as the team worked with us to ensure we were following the rules and keeping everyone as safe as we could. The whole wedding went ahead in a covid secure way… but it felt so incredibly magical that we completely forgot about the outside world and just enjoyed every moment!
(…before you press play, I warn you, you’ll need a tissue! This is every bride or groom’s dream for the ‘first look’ and just how much it clearly took David’s breath away! – Anna)
We tried to find ways to keep as many of our guests involved as we could by sharing our ceremony on Zoom, which Anna and our filmmakers (Hello There Films) kindly helped us with! We also got lots of lovely, unexpected surprises during the day too, like being able to walk out to the ‘ringing of the bells’ after our ceremony. The sun came out for us and we even got to have our first dance on the bandstand outside!
The bridal suite is out of this world, and as a someone who loves a little pamper time, I was so glad I got to have a long relaxing soak the night before our big day. I would definitely recommend taking a dip in one of the many amazing bathtubs that Thicket Priory has to offer.
In many ways we both felt like it turned out even better than we had imagined, we got to spend more time with the guests who were able to be with us and, importantly, we got to spend more time with each other and find lots of moments to take it all in.
Thanks to the pandemic, our wedding journey will always be a bit unique, and our memories perhaps even more special. We both had worries about how the changes might affect our day and what it would be like, especially knowing so many people we loved would be missing from the celebrations. However, when the day came it all felt like a dream and we had the best time! We got to get married and that is the main thing, and everyone made so much effort to ensure it was all perfect.
There really is no place like Thicket Priory! It will always hold an incredibly special place in our hearts.
To anyone who is due to marry there, you will not be disappointed. Thinking of all other couples who have had their plans affected by this crazy year and sending lots of love and positivity to the Thicket Priory family.
Catherine and David
Mr and Mrs at last!’
‘Behind the Scenes’
…here’s a few of the snap we got from behind the scenes of a wedding that we will treasure forever!