5 Reasons We’ll Never Forget this Autumn Wedding!

Written by Emma Hla
Mr & Mrs Wheatley – est. 14-10-2020

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve shed a tear watching some of the poignant short films of Catherine & David’s wedding, created by Hello There Films. They perfectly sum up the emotions of the last 12 months, as the Groom says ‘Love conquers all’.

Alongside the gorgeous images by Carla Whittingham Photography, we’ve added these films throughout this beautifully written piece by Anna, General Manager at Thicket Priory – warning, you will 100% need tissues for the very last film.

Hand on heart, it might be my favourite real wedding feature ever. We hope you enjoy this love story too.

Notes from the Venue

Anna, Thicket Priory says…

This blog has had several titles and taken various paths in the process of editing; from ‘Intimate Weddings at Thicket Priory’, to ‘Getting married during a pandemic – No Regrets!’… and finally, given the prospect of life getting back on track, we are writing about the wedding we will never, ever forget!

Catherine & David began their Thicket Priory journey back in June 2019, when we ‘Saved the Date’ of 30th May 2020 for their wedding day, with an initial guest list of 100 of their nearest and dearest. The plans for a two-day wedding, with everything happening under one roof; legally marrying on-site and plans to make Thicket Priory their home-from-home were all on the agenda… little did we know what would unfold in the time between then and the wedding day! I think it is safe to say that we became not only a support network for Catherine & David; we also became very good friends!

Between November 2019 and the end of January 2020 we talked about details, suppliers and all the wonderful plans for the wedding day, by the start of 2020 Catherine & David were one of the most organised couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last decade of working in the wedding industry. I know that David is a fan of a flip chart, which was to become a source of amusement for us all! The flipchart in question fast became a useful tool when March 2020 arrived and the potential for changing plans was realised.

I thought I’d talk to you about the 5 reasons we will never forget Mr & Mrs Wheatley’s Autumn wedding at Thicket Priory, although I’m sure you’ll fast come to realise there are many more reasons behind our forever memories from 14th October 2020!

The People

Catherine & David are two of the most genuine people I have ever met, filled with so much love and zest for life, which is infectious to those around them. We had a pre-wedding meeting with Catherine & David, at which we were joined by Carla, Craig and Charlotte, the photographer and videographers, and it just felt like friends getting together. I don’t think any of us were interested in finishing the meeting and heading home!

We put our heads together along with Hannah and Becky from Baba Ganoush Catering, to create the best plans for the wedding day, given the restrictions we had in place, and I can say with confidence we really did find the best solutions for every part of the celebrations from check-in to check-out!

The Brant and Wheatley families were a dream to look after, and we loved working with them to collaborate on the details being delivered for Catherine and David’s wedding day!  Everything was thought of; from welcome gifts in each guests’ bedrooms, to ‘covid-secure’ signage – ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder!’, and even the famous flipchart for the evening quiz!

The ‘Friends of Thicket Priory’ were there in abundance on 14th October 2020; from Kathrine arranging flowers and Lisha making finishing touches to the cake; to Craig and Charlotte making a sunrise appearance to capture the morning light and Carla who stayed until the stars and Mars shone brightly for the final photograph of the day! I must say the emotions of finally getting to do what we love after exactly 6 months of nothing was quite overwhelming at times, and I know for a fact there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when it came to the speeches!!

David’s infective laugh brought smiles to guests, suppliers and caterers every time we heard it, and a special moment from the day was when the best man talked about Catherine, making reference to a Japanese phrase which translated was, ‘Kindness is falling from their face!’… this describes Catherine perfectly, this really is her super power!


(Yasashi-sa wa karera no kao kara ochiru)

Moments like this will and have always given me goosebumps on weddings days and truly confirm why working in the world of weddings is a very lucky place to be!

The Details

As far as the finer details are concerned, between them, Catherine & David, had it covered! The wedding may have been scaled back in physical size, but it was by no means scaled back in the attention to the detail, the special touches and the personal ‘signature’ that was easily recognizable throughout their day!

One major detail in the scaling back of guest numbers was that we had around 80 guests who were no longer able to attend the wedding in person, so we ensured they could all watch via a zoom link-up, saving all loving messages sent throughout the rather emotional nuptials, and we even got a huge virtual cheer for the newlyweds as they departed the Morning Room! Showing Catherine all the screen shots and messages the following day, including one of her bridesmaids all dressed up for the occasion brough us both to tears.

Gin, gin and more gin was the theme for many of the decorations, scattered in the bar, up the main stairs, the favours and of course their reception drinks served following the ceremony.

Roll with Restrictions, no Regrets!

Something which we heard several times in conversations with guests the day of check-out was ‘we wouldn’t have had it any other way!’.  These words were music to our ears especially given the circumstances. We know Mr & Mrs Wheatley (finally!), would have loved for more friends and family to have been with them to celebrate but they really did embrace the ‘cards we were dealt’, and boy did they do it justice!

Catherine and David explained to us that they had completely forgotten what was going on outside the walls of Thicket Priory, allowing them to escape to the fairy tale wedding they had dreamt of!

Ticking off a few ‘Thicket Priory Firsts’

Catherine and David managed to achieve a number of ‘firsts’ for Thicket Priory including:

  • The first couple to dine in our Dunnington Room, Secret Garden!
  • The first couple to marry at Thicket Priory during a global pandemic! (There’s a million other ‘firsts’ as part of this, but let’s not go there… masks… social distancing!)
  • The first couple to have their first dance in the Band Stand! This was romance at it’s finest! Another moment during the wedding where welling up was inevitable!
  • … speaking of welling up, brings us on to number 5!

Not a dry eye in the house!

I wrote this blog whilst watching the feature length version of Catherine & David’s day and I still get a lump in my throat, happy tears in my eyes and the goosebumps you only get from a job you adore!

From David’s emotional chat with Craig in the observation tower, we knew there would be some tearful moments during the day, but all for the best reasons, celebrating the best day of their lives!  Catherine was calm, composed and really did hold it together so well, however I know underneath emotions were just as fragile as her, now husbands!

Catherine & David have been on the biggest rollercoaster of their lives, accompanied by many other couples, a whole industry of suppliers and venues, and yet they did it with such grace and gratitude!

The Wheatley Wedding of 14th October 2020 truly will be a wedding we at Thicket Priory will remember forever, and I hope from reading, browse the images and watching the videos you’ll be able to understand why!

Thanks for tuning in!

Anna x


Venue Thicket Priory

Photography Carla Whittingham Photography

Videography Hello There Films

Catering Baba Ganoush Catering

Registrars Selby Registry Office, featuring the voice of Jackie!

Florist Fleur Adamo Floral Design

Cake + Favours L.S. Cakery

Musicians Electric Idols

Makeup Emily Franks

Hair Boutique Wedding Hair

Dress Scarlet Poppy Bridal Boutique

Custom Jacket The Mermaid Effect

Suits Marks & Spencer

Accessories Swagger & Swoon

Rolls Royce Resident Wedding Car at Thicket Priory, affectionately known as Mervynia

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