Introduction

A beautiful wedding at The West Mill bursting with romantic personal touches…

Catherine & Chris instantly fell head over heels in love with The West Mill, and they knew it was the perfect wedding venue to host their special day. The couple wanted to add lots of personal details to their wedding and they enhanced their industrial venue with lots of pretty flowers and candlesticks. Take a look through the gorgeous gallery captured by talented wedding photographer, Matt Horan…

Details

The Need to Know
Venue
The West Mill, Darley Abbey
Location
Derby
Ceremony
85
Breakfast
85
Reception
130
Dress
Coco & Kate, Warwickshire
Flowers
The Greenery, Nadia Di Tullio and Poppy's Petals
Cake
Sucheri Cakes
Photographer
Matt Horan

WE INSTANTLY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE WEST MILL

“We didn’t really have a clear vision of our wedding until we found our venue – The West Mill. We live just round the corner and we only went to view it to see how they were renovating the beautiful old mill and be a bit nosey! It was like a building site at the time but we were sold almost instantly. I felt happy having a starting point and somewhere to imagine our day. The uniqueness of the venue sealed the deal for us, we had never seen anything like it and we wanted something a bit different. We loved the industrial style and history of the old mill. From there I tried to break it down and tackle one thing at a time. We wanted the day to be as personal to us and also use local suppliers where possible. We had been together for 8 years when we got married and we wanted the day to be a celebration of that and for everyone to be relaxed and enjoy themselves.

There were many points when organising the wedding which fuelled so much excitement for us, such as finding and meeting our photographer Matt Horan, choosing the readings for the ceremony, talking about bouquets with the florists and of course finding the dress! Pinterest and Instagram were a brilliant help in putting ideas into pictures when speaking to suppliers. Everyone says your day will just ‘come together’ and it really does. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed on the day but we tried to soak up every part of it. We both felt so much love from everyone there and that is a feeling we’ll never forget. It was without a doubt the best day of our lives so far!

Our wedding didn’t have a set theme as such – the main criteria was making it as personal to us as possible, using local suppliers and any input from talented friends & family. We succeeded in doing this, and we have so many happy memories of the day and all the little personal touches we were lucky enough to have. One of our bridesmaids designs and hand makes wedding stationery (BowlerBear Designs) so it was lovely to sit down with her and come up with gorgeous designs for our invites. She also designed and made little extras for the day such as the order of service, the table games and the labels for our personalised beer bottles which were the favours for the gents.  As guests took their seats one of the ushers played the entrance music on the grand piano and also played a beautiful piece of music for me to walk down the aisle to, it sounded incredible. Our favours for the ladies were the most delicious chocolate fudge brownies which went down a treat and they were made by a close friend. My dad made us a personalised wooden sign which was put up for guests to see as they made their way into the venue, and also some frames for us to peg memorable photos to for display. As the interior of the West Mill speaks for itself we didn’t want to do much to it, we just had lots of pretty flowers and candles everywhere which were a great contrast against the industrial background.”

I FOUND IT HARD TO CHOOSE A FAVOURITE WEDDING DRESS

“I got my dress from the lovely Sophie at Coco & Kate in Warwickshire. Being petite I was unsure of what type of dress would suit me but Sophie stocked so many gorgeous styles I found it hard to choose a favourite! The floaty tulle skirt and delicate beading on the top of my dress was a winner in the end and I loved it. I wasn’t sure I wanted a veil but when I tried on a soft tulle full length veil with beaded edges it looked like the perfect match for my dress so I went for it – it’s the only chance you’ll get after all! I also found my bridesmaid dresses from Coco & Kate, again lots of styles were in the running but I liked the simplicity of the dresses we chose but the pleating detail with one shoulder gave them a unique feel. Initially I wanted an aubergine colour for the bridesmaids but when I saw the dusky purple in a sample I was drawn to it and it also really suited the rest of the theme.

Chris went to one of his favourite stores, Reiss, to look for a suit. He had decided he didn’t want the traditional tails and wanted something modern and well-fitted. We looked at the navy materials in their made-to-measure section, but then Chris spotted the grey checked suit on the peg and when he tried it on it fitted like a glove. It wasn’t the traditional groom’s suit, but it really suited his style and looked perfect on the day with the navy tie. To tie in with Chris’ colours all the groomsmen wore plain navy slim fit suits with navy and white polka dot ties from John Lewis and they all looked great.”

WE WANTED A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE IN THE EVENING

“After the ceremony we had a drinks reception with canapés on the ground floor. Processo and soft drinks were served, along with a keg of ale which we got from a local brewing company who work within a different part of the mills in Darley Abbey, Derventio Brewing. For the wedding breakfast we chose, after much deliberating, a goats cheese & red onion tart for starter, duo of pork for main and an assortment of desserts for pudding which included mini Bakewell tart, mini limoncello cheesecake and mini chocolate orange pudding. We served white, red & rose wine along with jugs of the ale left over from the drinks reception. In the evening we went for bowl food and chose thai green curry, pad thai, rice and spring rolls – we wanted it to be a more relaxed atmosphere in the evening and Thai food is one our favourites and was more personal to us as we got engaged in Thailand.

In the daytime we had a few games out on the patio such as giant Jenga and giant Connect 4 which kept our niece and nephew, and some of the big kids, entertained for a while! On everyones place settings at the wedding breakfast we put ‘advice cards’ out for people to fill out and have some fun with drawing a sketch of the person sat opposite them at the table. They were designed and printed to match the other stationery and theme of the day and we were really pleased with the result. We took the cards on honeymoon with us and laughed our way through them one night which was a great way to reminisce some more about the day. In the evening we found our band through a friend’s family member, they were a local band called The Underscores. They were fairly new to the scene and said they would learn 8 new songs of our choice, as well as our first dance song which we were really grateful for. We also had a photo-booth on the ground floor as evening guests arrived from Oh! Photobooth, which went down really well. It was great looking back at the photos and seeing a snippet from the day which the guests took control of.”

“Everyone says it but the day flies by, try and take a few moments throughout the day together to just look around and soak it up. When organising the wedding try not to get too stressed about the small details – and also don’t get offended if others don’t share your worries – it’s the biggest day of your life, not theirs, so it’s understandable if they aren’t too bothered if the tablecloths are silver or gold! Don’t worry about your guests. Everyone will be there because they love you and want to share this special time with you and I think it’s really important to remember that.”

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