Styled Shoot at Thicket Priory

A couple of weeks ago I was kindly invited along to a styled shoot by Kim (aka Dreamboats and Carousels, Wedding Planning and Floristry) which was to be held at one of Yorkshire’s most exclusive and beautiful venues – Thicket Priory.

Designed by the same architect who imagined Buckingham Palace, Thicket exudes pure luxury and class at every turn. As you journey down its long meandering driveway, there is definitely a sense that you’re entering a bit of a different world – a feeling confirmed when you eventually arrive at Thicket’s pristine white pebbled forecourt. As you walk around the grounds and the venue itself, there is literally not a thing out of place, with every detail clearly thought through and immaculately presented.

Claudia and Bentsil share a moment on Thicket Priory’s Immaculate forecourt

As a musician, the part of the venue which stole my heart most was certainly Thicket’s in-house chapel – the high ceilings had me dreaming of the amazing sounds which could be created in there, something which I will look forward to most when I (hopefully!) play a Thicket ceremony in future.

  • Steve eyed some dreamy light for this beautiful shot in Thicket’s chapel

  • The chapel’s high ceilings are a musician’s dream!

I was pleased to be welcomed on arrival at Thicket by one of my wedding industry friends and photographer for the shoot, Steven McDonald. Steve and I have done quite a number of weddings together now – he always produces beautiful images for his clients (several of whom have been friends of mine) and is always kind enough to take some for me too whenever we work together. All of the images featured in this blog post were taken by Steven – you can access his website by clicking here.

That said, the day predominantly involved me meeting lots of new supplier faces who I’d not worked with or met before. Kim (Dreamboats and Carousels) expertly coordinated the shoot itself but also the floristry for the day – with my favourite floral arrangement of hers residing on Thicket’s bandstand, which acted as a focal point for many of Steve’s shots (see below)

It was also lovely to meet Anna, Thicket’s GM, who I chatted with as she popped in and out of her zoom meetings for that day. From briefly speaking to Anna, her genuine passion for Thicket Priory certainly shone through, with her warm and friendly nature instantly putting me (and I’m sure, her Thicket wedding clients!) at ease.

Thicket Priory is well equipped for outdoor live performances, and consequently I was able to set up for a mock drinks reception set on the back terrace, which provides a panoramic view of Thicket’s stunning gardens.

It didn’t take much imagination to dream up what a fantastic atmosphere could be created at a real wedding at Thicket with such a set up…. a laid back, ambient acoustic set on the terrace, on a balmy summer afternoon as newlyweds and their guests enjoy a glass of champagne or two…. that was exactly what came to mind.

Claudia and Bentsil acted as the model couple for the shoot, Claudia being the perfect frame for a stunning bespoke dress design from Felisiti Greis. As an unmarried (‘spinster’….!) female wedding supplier in her 20’s, I’m unashamed to admit that I find myself constantly planning my own wedding whenever I’m at work – in particular, seeing Claudia pirouette around Thicket in Felicity’s beautiful creation definitely acted catalyst for that… (and I’m sure James will be going pale reading this!).

Another new face who I was so pleased to meet came in the form of Ghulam Afzal, of Ghulam Afzal Films (videography). Ghulam has put together a beautiful film documenting the happenings of the day, the link for which I will add to this post in due course.

  • Stunning dress design by Felisiti Greis

Baba Ganoush Dining provided a fine spread for the day’s events, and with no real guests, it was up to the suppliers to enjoy the food after the shoot (we ALL happily obliged…). We also had the pleasure of enjoying some sweet treats from the very lovely LS Cakery – my favourite being mini bite sized cinnamon cake donuts which were absolutely to die for.

All in all, it was dreamy day from start to finish and certainly acted as a very welcome first step back into the industry, after a long hiatus away from performing at weddings due to the pandemic.

Enormous thanks again to Kim for organising, and to all of the suppliers involved for being so welcoming and lovely. Steve’s images are a testament to the talent of everyone involved, and I hope you enjoy having a scroll through some of my favourites from the day in this post. I’ve also posted a mini tour of my favourite parts of Thicket on my highlights reel on the Abi Weddings Instagram – head over if you’d like to see more.

If you’re interested in booking any of the suppliers involved, I’ve included their instagram handles below!

Lots of love,


Instagram Handles for Suppliers Involved!*

Planner and Florist: @dreamboatsandcarousels
Photography: @stevenmcdonald_photography
Videography: @ghulamafzalfilms
Venue: @thicketpriory
Models: @claudiabentsil
Hair: @luxury_bridalhairandmakeupyork@sonia.schofield.mua
Dress: @felisitigreis
Menswear: @haworthmenswear
Model’s Make up: @_ehbridalmakeup
Accessories: @botiasaccessories
Furniture/props: @eventprophire
Cake: @ls.cakery
Catering: @babaganoushyork
Stationery: @jellypressuk
Rings: @london_victorian_ring_co

*My makeup was done by the very lovely Hattie Freer.