At Hodsock Priory last Thursday we had our first wedding under the government’s new rules. Find out what it’s like to have a wedding during the pandemic of 2020.

Getting ready at Hodsock Priory

On Thursday (18th September 2020) we had our first wedding since March. Well I say we, only I (Harry) could go as suppliers were classed as guests. Since Hannah & Ashley’s wedding last Thursday the number of guests has been limited further. Now only 15 people are allowed to be at a wedding (however, suppliers now do not count in that list). So in that sense they were lucky!

Hodsock Priory have been hard at work since last year. They have renovated a huge room downstairs perfect for a bridal party to get ready in. Equipped with a large window, separate make-up and hair stations with their own mirrors, and one enormous wardrobe for dresses. It is always refreshing to be greeted by a well thought out bridal preparation area in the morning of a wedding.

masks must be worn inside
Finishing touches

Adele Coxon (Hannah’s Makeup Artist), Alice Olivia (Hannah’s Hair Stylist) and I had to wear masks whilst working.
Ashley was able to get ready with his ushers upstairs in their rooms at Hodsock Priory. Again, since last time we had been at Hodsock Priory the rooms had been renovated. The rooms upstairs were modern and bright, and provided ample space for everyone to get prepared for the wedding day.

Last time we were at Hodsock Priory the groom and his ushers had gotten ready in Hodsock’s Courtyard. Set only a 2 minute walk away from the main property this set of barn styled rooms are perfect for large parties to get ready.

Hannah Heads Down to Hodsock's Ceremony Room
Hannah Heads Down to Hodsock’s Ceremony Room

Masking up for the ceremony

Hannah & Ashley’s ceremony was intimate and personal. Hodsock Priory has two ceremony rooms for couples to choose from, connected by a door. Nerves looked to be getting the better of Ashley. I could tell he wanted nothing more than to look back down the aisle behind him. After all, the couple had expected to get married back in April. They had pushed their wedding back to September hoping for fewer restrictions. This moment had been a long time coming!
Every guest had to wear a mask each during the wedding ceremony. Despite this you could still see the emotion in their eyes as Hannah’s bridal party began to walk down the aisle. The registrar let me move to the centre of the aisle to capture Hannah’s arrival. If he hadn’t have done that I would not have captured Ashley shed a tear. After that I had to resume my position in the corner of the room, which I wasn’t allowed to move from until the end of the ceremony.

Ashley couldn't quite hold it together

Enjoying the Sunshine at Hodsock Priory

The weather was perfect on Thursday and being outside meant no masks! With weather like this Hodsock Priory’s grounds harness the sunshine with its south-facing garden. For most of the afternoon everyone sat out and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. Drinks and canapes were brought out to everyone and served on their own individual slate plates.

Ashley, Hannah and their two girls enjoy the sunshine at Hodsock Priory
Ashley, Hannah and their two girls enjoy the sunshine at Hodsock Priory

Time for the Speeches

When it was time to get out of the sun and head in for the wedding breakfast everyone found themselves nicely spaced apart. Enough so that the room didn’t feel empty at all whilst also providing ample space between the tables.

The speeches themselves were conducted from a small table beside the top table. This meant the speaker was well away from anyone whilst he spoke but close enough that Ashely could get the back of the room in stitches.
Ashley’s dad was also his best man, and like his son he had the room laughing out loud with his stories of Ashley as a child.

After everyone had eaten and taken some time to relax I took Ashley and Hannah out for their photo session. Without a cloud in sight we witnessed one of the finest sunsets I have ever ever laid my eyes upon. Hodsock priory is so well positioned that a setting sun will warm the grounds with its rays right up until it has set.

Wedding speeches can still get us despite the circumstances
Hannah’s Dad couldn’t help but laugh at Ashley’s speech

After the sunset

The evening soon came upon us at Hodsock priory. After Ashely and Hannah’s sunset photo sessions we all headed back inside to cut their wedding cake and begin their first dance. The kids probably ended up dancing more than anyone else looking back but everyone still had a great old time.

Finally, Ashley and Hannah had a little surprise for everyone. We went outside into the dark to light some sparklers and create a sparkler tunnel!
What a way to end a magical day.

Hannah and Ashley could not have wished for a better day at Hodsock Priory to have their wedding. Everyone was so pleased that Hannah and Ashley stuck with their guns and had their wedding, despite the obstacles.

Hannah and Ashley watch the sunset over Hodsock Priory
Hannah and Ashley watch the sunset over Hodsock Priory

Are you getting married at Hodsock Priory?

If you are getting married at Hodsock Priory and would like to enquire or have a chat with us, please contact us.

The rules have changed!

Since this wedding took place the rules surrounding weddings in the UK has changed. To find out more about the new rules please read our blog about the new UK Covid-19 rules.