Real Weddings

A Rustic Summer Wedding at Elsham Hall – Kerensa and Tom

Sarah Symonds

Today’s couple opted not to go for a set colour scheme or theme, and instead just chose the things they loved individually, letting the mixture harmonise into a rustic, summery style naturally, as unique as they are together. Perfection!

When the thought of dress shopping fills you with dread and memories of hating prom dress shopping as a teen, you’d be forgiven for thinking you wouldn’t enjoy the experience of finding The Gown, but our lovely bride Kerensa and her mum were pleasantly surprised! And doesn’t she look beautiful in it?

With enough personal touches to bring a tear to the driest of eyes – from cauliflower and cute-but-borderline-offensive inscriptions(!) to the one and only dream venue and a surprisingly good cake made by the Mother of the Bride – there’s something here for everyone, as our Kerensa and Tom officially start their lives together as a (soon to be growing!) little family…

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Aden Priest Photography


Kerensa says: We went on a couples’ holiday with some friends to Gran Canaria in July 2016. Tom arranged for us to all go for a nice tea on the last night of the holiday so I had a new dress to wear for it. When we arrived, we had cocktails and were posing for couples photos when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – and my friend recorded the whole thing!


We got married on the 26th of August 2020 at Elsham Hall. We only ever viewed the one venue and I knew before the viewing that it was where I’d want to get married, as I had visited so many times growing up, with my mum.


I didn’t follow any colour schemes or create the typical mood boards. Instead I just chose individual things I loved and it all came together beautifully. We didn’t have a color scheme either, I just went with a summer, rustic theme.


I was very nervous about going dress shopping. Even prom dress shopping when I was at school was my idea of hell!

I went with my mum in August 2019 and she spotted a dress that she thought would suit me. It didn’t even fit for me to try on at the time but I knew it was the one!


Tom wore a suit from Moss Bros. My wedding gift to him was a pocket watch with a personal inscription on the back. It was a message from his grandad that was inside the last birthday card he received from him, on his 18th, “All the best, you little bugger”.

The boys wore matching suits to Tom, also from Moss Bros.


The girls wore a mauve, purple dress from ASOS. Having six bridesmaids (one being my mum) the girls kindly offered to pay for their own dresses so I didn’t want to choose anything too pricey.


My hair stylist was my lovely friend Becky, who has been my hairdresser since I was 16! Mine and my mum’s makeup was done by the gorgeous makeup artist Natalie Kate. UNVEILED Network Member Natalie worked on my skin for almost a year before our wedding and was an ear to listen through all the stressful build up too. I felt I could just let Natalie work her magic without questioning a thing. On the morning of the wedding Nat was an absolute dream, reminding me to put on my special perfume and put in my earrings – all things you easily forget in the manic morning!


My mum’s boyfriend kindly organised our transport from Select Limos. My wedding car was called Beau, which we chose because my Maid of Honour had a baby boy this year called Beau so it was perfect.


Aden Priest was our photographer. Would we recommend him? God yes! Aden was our saving grace, kept the day flowing smoothly and kept me calm throughout the day.

I think the photographer is THE most important part of the day because years down the line, the photos they take are sometimes all you have to look back on and remember the day by.


Thomas and I organised surprise gifts for one another to receive on the day of the wedding. I had tried to book Lincolnshire Videography and they were booked up on our date… This was actually because Tom had actually organised it all on his own as he knew how important it was to me to be able to relive our special day!


We used Sarah Richards from Scunthorpe. Sarah was amazing and took control. All I had to do was select a colour palette and she made my dreams come true.

I’ve never been a huge flower fan however everything Sarah makes is beautiful! She made a lovely sentimental button hole for Tom, which was a little surprise for him on the day – we added a small piece of cauliflower as it was a running joke with his sadly passed grandad that when he was to die, he’d prefer to have a cauliflower than real flowers as it was much more useful.

Bride Beautiful at Elsham Hall provided silk flowers for the table. I chose peonies as they tied in beautifully with our theme.


I donated the money we would have spent on favours to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, as I sadly lost my childhood friend Hannah to this awful illness a few years ago now. She would have been at the wedding and helping me through all the planning, so it was a special way for me to involve her and Hannah loved fundraising for the charity.


My mum (who can’t cook) made our cake, as with all the restrictions and cut numbers etc it seemed ridiculous to have a really extravagant cake. I loved it as it was so sentimental and it actually looked and tasted amazing! I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect cake for our weird and wonderful wedding.


We had starters, then traditional cooked roast dinners with light desserts of Eton Mess and cheesecake. Tom had a bottle of his favourite Malbec on our table.


We haven’t had our evening do yet due to restrictions! But we’re hoping it will go ahead on our one year anniversary!

Thanks to

ADEN! He was so much more than a photographer that day and I would recommend him to every bride I can! I’m not a lover of being in front of the camera but Aden puts you at ease and makes every photo feel effortless.

We got married outside at Elsham Hall and we really did adapt our ‘dream’ wedding to make it possible around every restriction that was put in our way. The Bride Beautiful team made this possible and we can’t thank them enough. 2020 really was our perfect storm.

Best bit

Thomas and I wrote our own vows and it really was a port in the storm of 2020. For 15 minutes I couldn’t see anyone else and it was just me and him in the moment. That will always be my favourite part because it was so personal and unique.

Although our wedding was a lot different to all our original plans, based on the pandemics restrictions, I am so glad we didn’t postpone it because if I had the chance to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We are also due a beautiful honeymoon baby in June 2021, and I feel like I’ve got my real life happily ever after. (Hi baby, when you read this back when you’re big… this was all for you!)


By some miracle, we managed ten days in Greece at the TUI Blue Insula Alba Hotel!

We had a swim-up suite and it was something I’d only really seen in films. We had the most magical time away and it was the perfect ending to a hectic year of planning.


Brides, get your hair and makeup done first before the bridesmaids! Then you can relax and chat once you’re done! I went last thinking it would be more sensible and I was SO late!

Grooms, get involved with the planning! There is SO much to do and your bride will love your input.

I follow Brides Up North on Instagram too, which I used a lot for inspo and would recommend!

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