Real Weddings

Real Wedding Recap: Joanna Leigh Couture for a DIY Rustic Wedding at Hirst Priory – Charlotte & Andrew

16th August 2021 | Sarah Symonds

It’s holiday season on the blog, and as our editorial team take a break to rest, recover and enjoy an Aperol spritz or two ahead of our super busy autumn season, we’ll be recapping our favourite weddings and styled shoots from the year that shall not be named on our pretty pages.

Check back daily for all the inspo, and to see if your big day or creative vision made it into our top ten picks!

Romance in a rush today on the blog as Charlotte and Andrew hurry to tie the knot before their first baby is born and, thanks to a brief relaxation of lockdown rules in the summer, managed to be wed with a mere two weeks to go!

Becoming husband and wife before they become Mummy and Daddy was super important to our couple, Charlotte and Andrew, but with all the Covid drama they were close to running out of time! Cue the wedding industry suppliers and venue team to the rescue! Thankfully everything came together in time, and looked perfect in every way.

With an intimate ceremony at Hirst Priory and then a reception to follow in their garden at home, our couple didn’t miss out on a moment of their amazing day. The bride looked incredible, blossoming in her custom-made Joanna Leigh Couture gown and you’d never guess that so many adjustments were required in the run up!

Charlotte and Andrew have pulled out all the stops to still ensure their wedding went down a storm, despite the drama and tight schedule – we especially love the groom’s DIY pub in the garden and all the magical fairy lights giving the place an extra special sparkle!

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Aden Priest Photography


Charlotte says: Andrew and I flew out to Croatia. On the first night when the sun was setting, he took me down to a bay by the sea where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After that we walked along the beach to a Michelin star restaurant where our table was lit by candles, they had sprinkled rose petals everywhere and there was champagne on ice! I couldn’t stop crying, I was so overwhelmed. It was absolutely beautiful.


Our wedding date was the 8th of August 2020. We picked this date as we were just out of lockdown and two weeks away from having our first child! We were desperate to get married before the baby was born.

We got married at UNVEILED Network Member venue Hirst Priory. We were so lucky, Hazel did everything in her power to help us get married before the baby came. It’s the most stunning venue and we were so lucky we were able to get married there. It was a beautiful hot day so we had the ceremony outside.

Unfortunately at the point of our wedding, due to Covid restrictions, we couldn’t have a reception there, but the day was filled with love and everyone was just happy to see us finally tie the knot!


It was a very Covid-19 DIY wedding! It was a garden wedding reception, very rustic with lots of fairy lights and a comfy outdoor seating area with a traditional garden pub!

We knew the groom had to wear blue to match his big blue eyes so everything else followed to tie it into a colour scheme of blue and a mink grey.


I had a beautiful gown handmade by Joanna Leigh Couture. Joanna was so kind as when I originally had my dress made I wasn’t pregnant! Then by my wedding day, I was two weeks off giving birth! She was utterly professional and changed it many times to suit my ever-growing bump!


Andrew wore a Marc Darcy Dion Blue Herringbone check suit from Revolver Menswear in Bawtry. Groomsmen wore the same suits as the groom.


Our bridesmaids wore mink grey dresses.


A wonderful friend, Amy Waldron from The Corner House in Brigg, came to do our hair. Luckily this was the week of hair salons being open for business again after lockdown so she was able to come!

As a MUA myself, I did mine and all my bridesmaids makeup on the morning of the wedding!


I drove myself to the wedding with my mum and dad in the back!



Our photographer was our great friend Aden Priest Photography. We think Aden is the most incredible photographer! He captures pictures in a way I haven’t seen before, they’re light, colourful and so natural. He has a wonderful way with everyone so they feel completely at ease around him. He really made our day, being with us every step of the way!


Another great friend, Beth from Sims Flowers in Scunthorpe, made me the most beautiful rustic bouquet made with lots of incredible green foliage and white roses.

We used the bridesmaids bouquets for decoration and wild flowers picked from the garden and put into jam jars. We also used hundreds of fairy lights and candles in jars.


A quick cake was bought from M&S with my husband’s favourite flowers, tulips, on.


Our original caterer, Ward Burkhill of Make it Perfect Weddings, helped us out with a beautiful rustic picnic for everyone, with lots of cold meats, pastas, salads, cheese pickles, home made sausage rolls etc. He did us proud to say he only had a week’s notice!


We created a playlist for our garden party with all the songs we loved for everyone to hear.

Special touches

I surprised my husband with Rich Reynolds Magician, who we had previously arranged for our original wedding, to come to the house! He was incredible! He literally added so much magic to the day!

Also the groom’s outdoor pub that he built in the garden was amazing! Everyone loved it and the free bar! The last special touch was that our garden backs onto a beautiful riverbank so we all walked out to have our first dance there at sunset.

Thanks to

Everyone mentioned went above and beyond for us. We would recommend the venue to anyone. Hazel, her husband and staff literally can’t do enough for you. They’re so kind and the venue provides an intimate beautiful ceremony area in the woods.

This entire wedding was planned in two weeks! At any point it could have all been cancelled due to changes of Covid restrictions, and our reception was cancelled a week before so we had to put our heads together to plan a garden party for the reception! I loved looking at Brides Up North for the real weddings and wedding inspo!

Best bit

My favourite part of the day had to be the speeches from out of our summerhouse, it was so intimate, and the guests were all sat snug together on big bean bags and Chesterfield sofas and wing back chairs, laughing, drinking and cheering on the groom, best man and father of the bride!


We had no honeymoon as I was just about to have our baby and, due to Covid travel restrictions, we couldn’t have gone anywhere anyway! We will definitely have to make up for it in a few years!


We originally had a wedding of 250 guests planned! Due to Covid we could only have our parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen. The day was simply about love and two people desperately wanting to marry each other after two attempts were cancelled by Covid! On reflection, that’s what a wedding should be about and sometimes we can get lost in the chaos of a big party. We agreed that we had a better day than the wedding originally planned. No frills, no fuss, just love and laughter!

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  • March 8, 2021 | Permalink | Reply

    What an enchanting day – you can see how much warmth and love was present in the photos and the dress, flowers and make up were perfect. As it tends not to get as noticed, I’d like to say how much I like the groom’s outfit too. This is just the kind of wedding I love to be part of – warm, magical and fun. Congratulations to the lovely couple and all the amazing suppliers involved.

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