Real Weddings

REAL WEDDING RECAP 2020: Willowby By Watters for a Woodland Wedding at Abbeywood Estate – Vicky & Pete

Sarah Symonds

As the editorial team take a short summer break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 31st August 2020 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings shared during the first half of 2020.

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

Get ready for a traditional, cosy and romantic October wedding but with an added twist of glamorous gold and woodland animals personally chosen by today’s couple, the wonderful Vicky and Pete.

When two wedding suppliers tie the knot, you just know they’re going to celebrate in style. Our bride and groom certainly knew what they wanted and have pulled it together perfectly. Once they’d managed to pick a date in between other people’s weddings, that is!

Vintage velvet, tweed contrasted with gold, an autumnal burgundy and hearty, comforting food, all with the Abbeywood Estate barn as a rather grand backdrop. And that rich colour scheme has been paired with a woodland theme by animal lover, Vicky! Spot the gold stag and deer on top of the three tier semi-naked wedding cake embellished with a whole lotta gold leaf. So extra!

With photography by Neil Redfern Photography


Vicky says: We met at Sweeney Hall in Oswestry, while both working on the same wedding. After meeting him again a few months later at another wedding, I asked Pete out. 18 months later he took me for a surprise birthday meal at Sweeney Hall, got down on one knee and cried while popping the question. He’s such an absolute sweetheart of a man!


We love autumn and ideally needed a date outside of peak summer weddings, with us both being wedding suppliers. Pete’s mum was also diagnosed with cancer a year before we got married so, with her being given only a couple of years, we wanted a wedding as soon as possible without disrupting our own brides. We got married on October 12th 2019 at Abbeywood Estate. The ceremony was held in the barn, and the reception in the glass house.

We chose the venue as we love the gardens, and because the family who run and own this venue are so lovely. They also have a cat called Max, who is a fab member of the team! This venue has so much to offer; being situated in the middle of a wood, the manor house, a barn and glass house, and big carved statues of owls and foxes, just to name a few.


Our theme was gold, velvet, burgundy and woodland animals. It worked well with the time of year and I love gold and rich colours. I’m crazy about animals, having been brought up as an only child (I inherited my step sisters at 18) by a mum who was a veterinary nurse, and we would look after baby bats, hedgehogs etc. I love that one of our guests saw a fox when driving up the little lane to Abbeywood.


My dress was a little boho number by Willowby By Watters and bought from Along Came Eve. Such a lovely shop! It was the second dress I tried on. I tried on a grand total of five dresses and then bought number two, no messing around! I hate shopping!

I really liked Kendal and her mum Moira, who own Along Came Eve. I felt comfortable with them, as I have scarring on my body from an accident and I don’t feel like I have the best figure. I looked at what designers they stocked, loved Willowby, checked what price range they were and I looked at what dresses I liked before I went. I had two in mind and went from there.

My veil is from Blossom & Bluebird and I attached flowers to the bottom. My hair accessories were from Rocks for Frocks and my shoes were Harriet Wilde.


Pete wore a Marc Darcy tweed suit from Groom in Chester. Our groomsmen were our three boys and they wore the same as Pete, but instead of suit trousers they wore chinos from M&S with Converse. They each chose their own colour of Converse.


My bridesmaids wore Watters bridesmaid’s dresses, also from Along Came Eve. The flower girls all wore Monsoon. All hair accessories, bridesmaids jewellery and flower girls’ flower crowns were by Rocks For Frocks.


We did the hair and make up! Bridal Hair and Makeup Of Cheshire. I had a couple of assistants who often help us on large group weddings come and assist Anna and me.

I also hired Georgie & Co Beauty to come the evening before the wedding and give all the girls a pamper ahead of the big day.


Our photographer was Neil Redfern. Such a super chilled and lovely guy.


We had Kelly Cotter Photography and Film. Joanne and Nikki are lovely.


Jacqui O provided flowers and wooden logs, and also decorated the lampshades that I bought and sprayed gold. I also purchased lots of wooden and gold woodland animal figures. Pete, Jacqui, my bridesmaids and I set everything up the day before.

We hired chairs from Wirral Table and Chair Hire as I liked their burgundy chairs. The Jolly Good Photo Company provided our photobooth. We chose them as we had an autumn theme and their style really suited our wedding. They set up inside the venue, which was also something we wanted with October weather being temperamental. Great service and our guests loved it. I attended Brides Up North wedding shows for inspo!


We did hair and makeup for a lovely bride who owns a chocolate shop, so I ordered salted caramel and chocolate truffles from her – Sam Joseph Chocolates in Altrincham.


The super lovely Bloomsbury Cakes made our cake. Lemon drizzle, chocolate Guinness and Victoria sponge. We also had macaroons.


For canapes we served halloumi fries, mini gourmet burgers and sausages. The main wedding breakfast was a starter of fishcakes, followed by fish pie and sticky toffee pudding to finish. All warm, comforting food, perfect for the time of year!


For the ceremony and immediately afterwards we had a talented singer, violin and pianist for a little jazz feel, Claire Victoria Violin. For the evening we had the band Soul Revolver. We liked both musicians’ styles and thought they would be perfect for our wedding.

Thanks to

Our venue, Abbeywood Estate! Just such a beautiful place and lovely staff. We can’t thank them enough.

Best bit

I think my best bit would have to be walking down the aisle. And seeing Pete crying!


We haven’t been away yet, as we had too many weddings booked in to have a week off. We will get around to it but I would really like to take our three boys with us, so it’s a mission trying to book around school holidays and weddings!


My advice for another couple would be, when choosing a venue, try and get all the information you need so that you can make an informed decision. We booked a venue who were kind and helpful to us. I will be forever grateful to them for being so lovely.

Make sure you enjoy it! Spend money on things that matter to you, have a small intimate wedding, if you want to, or have one big party! Make your wedding as individual as you as it’s just about you as a couple and the love you share.

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