Real Weddings

Pronovias for a rustic wedding at The Parlour at Blagdon – Ashleigh & Liam

Sarah Symonds

So. Many. Cute. Alpacas! Obviously, the bride looks beautiful, the groom looks dashing and The Parlour has been styled to perfection but we can’t not talk about the adorable, fuzzy little faces!

Focusing on the other, more traditional, wedding styling for a moment, we’ve got a beautiful day filled with fresh blooms, a hint of a blue color scheme and a very rustic ‘Wood’ theme that fits the feel of the Northumberland venue set on the Blagdon Estate.

It can be tricky enough to settle on one special wedding date but when the wedding has to be moved, choosing a new one can be an impossible task, especially if you were attached to the first one! We love how Ashleigh and Liam chose their new wedding date by selecting one that was ‘twice as good’ as the first! Proving once again that you can still have your wedding your way and find meaning in the new details. And of course, have alpacas if you fancy, just because you can! When you’re the bride, you need no better reason!

Following the drama of the big date move, our couple have really embraced the whole ‘2020 wedding’ thing with matching Mr and Mrs facemasks. Practical and a great souvenir! We love it! Let’s hear all about it…

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Chocolate Chip Photography


Ashleigh says: We got engaged in the Lake District, by Ullswater, back in May 2018. Liam had an idea of where he wanted to propose but due to it being a bank holiday weekend, things didn’t quite go to plan! He drove around Ullswater and eventually we decided to get out in a quiet spot for some fresh air. That’s when he seized the opportunity and got down on one knee!


We originally had picked 2nd May 2020 as it just felt right. With five weeks to go we were told we couldn’t get married on this date due to Covid. I honestly didn’t think any other date would feel right but we decided on 4th October 2020 as 04.10 is double 02.05 so it had to be twice as good!

The Parlour at Blagdon was our venue for both the ceremony and reception. We had been to look at some amazing venues which were double the size and double the price but as soon as we stepped foot into The Parlour, we knew straight away it was going to be our wedding venue. They have fairy lights and festoon lights around the venue (which you can spot on a night from the A1!) but when you’re in the venue you feel a million miles away from everything!


Rustic was our theme as it’s what we both like and it suits us with our surname being Wood. It was a relaxed theme and went so well with the venue too. We also picked a Greek-themed menu as it’s our favourite food, even though this didn’t really suit our rustic style!

We didn’t really have a colour scheme. We kept it more rustic and mostly neutral, and the only colour we did include was blue.


My dress was by Pronovias and I purchased it from UNVEILED Network Member Mia Sposa. It had an open lace back and some small detailing on the front but with a high neck and it had a long train. I knew I wanted some lace detailing but the dresses I had been trying on originally we’re more open at the front and I wasn’t keen. As soon as I put on my dress, I knew straight away it was the one. I felt so comfortable and felt like a bride. It was probably helped by the fact that Joy at Mia Sposa was amazing and so calming!


Liam wore a navy Ted Baker three piece suit with a blue ruched tie and matching pocket square, purchased from Slaters. The groomsmen wore navy three piece suits from Moss Bros.


I had two bridesmaids and bought their dresses from Dorothy Perkins. They were long maxi dresses with some minimalistic detailing.


DivaDust did our make up and Cheryl at Bridal Hair North East did our hair. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. They brought my ideas to life.


We had transport from Canny Campers. We had Millie the Beetle for the groom and groomsmen and Little Joe the Campervan for the bridal party.



Our photographers were Chris and Shazia from Chocolate Chip Photography. We wouldn’t have been able to have both of them if it wasn’t for Covid so for that I am so grateful. I loved having them both there and I felt like they were guests. The photos and video that we have from our wedding day are incredible. I can’t recommend them enough.


I had a large mixed foliage bouquet in an unstructured wild styling with some pale blue flowers. This was wrapped in long pale blue ribbons. Made Simply Perfect did all my flowers, with matching smaller bouquets for my bridesmaids and buttonholes for the grooms party.

We had a heart shaped table custom made by Birdcages & Dragonflies. As we couldn’t have a ‘top’ table due to social distancing we decided to make our table a little different. We got in touch with Birdcages & Dragonflies after a recommendation from Made Simply Perfect. We contacted Jane two weeks before our wedding date and she came up with a design for our table and managed to get it made in time.


We were stuck with favours as didn’t want to just give out something boring so decided to get personalised tree slices which can be used as a coaster. These were supplied by Made Simply Perfect and we also added in peppermint meringues with our initials and the wedding date on them supplied by Lily’s Cakes.


Our cake was decorated in a bark effect with chocolate cake for the top tier and summer berry sponge for the bottom. We had this topped with an acorn ‘bride and groom’ made with sugar paste. We also had a selection of cupcakes as we couldn’t decide on flavours! They were all beautiful! All cakes were by Lily’s Cakes.


We decided we wanted a Greek menu for our wedding breakfast as this is our favourite food and we always holiday in Greece. We had a choice of Feta in Filo, Olives and Pitta or Greek salad for starters and then Souvlaki, Moussaka or Beef Stifado for the mains.

We loved the sound of the desserts from The Parlour menu so we stuck with their choices for that. We also had lemon sorbet and, to top it off, we had an Andalusian buffet in the evening. Safe to say we had too much food for a smaller wedding but it was all unbelievably tasty!


We had UNVEILED Network Member Ray’s Piano, Ferny Rigg Alpacas, and Chris Cross Magician. We chose Ray for all our wedding music as he is incredibly talented but also such a friendly, genuine person. Ferny Rigg Alpacas were an addition after the postponement of our wedding in May simply because I adore them. Chris Cross was one of our first bookings after seeing him at a wedding fair; we both found him hilarious and his tricks were mind blowing.

Thanks to

We would totally recommend The Parlour. All the staff were amazing in the run up to the wedding day and special thanks to Molly who must have been sick of me changing all the seating plans to keep up with the constant government changes. Toyah was around for our full wedding day and was friendly. She always had a smile. Our guests were even commenting on how she had never stopped! The food was also amazing, despite this being our own menu that they wouldn’t make on a daily basis. All our guests commented on how beautiful the food was and how big the portions were!

I would also like to mention Barnacre Alpacas. I stayed at The Brambles cottage at Barnacre on 2nd and 3rd October and got ready there for my wedding day on 4th. Debbie and Paul were delighted that I wanted to get ready at their cottage surrounded by 300 alpacas! Paul took me to bottle feed a baby Alpaca the day before my wedding! I couldn’t have asked for better hosts.

All of the suppliers have been a huge part of my wedding and I will never forget each one of them. Ray’s Piano, Made Simply Perfect and Chocolate Chip Photography especially. I felt all three became more than just a supplier for my wedding and if I’m ever in the position of needing music, decor or photography again, these will always be my go to people. Thank you for everything.

Best bit

I couldn’t even decide one part! The whole day was amazing! I was a bag of nerves in the morning and, on arriving at the venue, I burst into tears but as soon as I saw Liam everything felt perfect.


We went to Rhodes for our honeymoon as we have had many holidays there and love Greece. We stayed not too far from Lindos so we could get a taxi in and wander around the small streets in the lovely Greek village. Our original hotel we booked was Aquagrand however, another hit from Covid meant they were closing early and so Jet2 changed our hotel to Mayia Exclusive Luxury Resort & Spa.


My top tip would definitely be to enjoy every second in the run up, despite any changes. Go with the flow and don’t stress as your day will be your day. I would also say after your day has passed, let it sink in before rushing to go off on honeymoon. We went three days after the wedding and I spent the first week in tears not believing the wedding was over and feeling overwhelmed with emotions.

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