Chic & understated elegance at The West Mill

Jemma & Kane said 'I Do' against the backdrop of The West Mill, a striking wedding venue in Derbyshire. The couple kept their styling simple and stylish, letting their incredible wedding venue do all the talking. The result was a charming wedding theme that looked oh-so-special!


The Need to Know
The West Mill
Prinica Pronovias at Rachel Ash Brides
Twisted Willow Florist
Rachael Connerton Photography


We spoke to wedding photographer, Rachael Connerton, about Jemma & Kane’s gorgeous wedding at The West Mill. Read on to find out more…

“A beautiful Pronovias dress, billowing in the breeze and backlit by the delicate sunshine against the picturesque River Derwent… I’ll never forget those perfect 15 minutes we spent with Jemma and Kane with the strikingly stunning West Mill behind us.”


“We met Jemma and Kane through the Save the Date Wedding Event with a Difference and, as soon as we started chatting, I knew there was something special about them. I instantly felt a connection and, after they came to see us again (I seem to recall over one or two chocolate biscuits!), I kept my fingers crossed that they felt it too.

When the day came, we were treated to so many emotion-filled, happy moments…..I’ll never forget following Jemma into the room where all her bridesmaids and her lovely parents were waiting for her and seeing the beautiful blend of tears and laughter. I’ll never forget the squeeze of excitement that her Dad gave her as she entered church or the quite brilliant speech from Kane (complete with props) which had guests banging on the tables, in complete stitches. But, most of all, I’ll never forget how Jemma and Kane made our work not feel like work at all….

When I asked them both what were their stand-out moments, this was their response:

Jemma –  My stand out moment was the journey from the church to the West Mill; the private moment with Kane is something I will never forget.  Also, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed having my photo taken multiple times throughout the day. It was so nice to see all the guests thoroughly enjoying themselves. It was very nice to hear such wonderful comments on our choice of venue, band and photographers!

Kane – The whole day stood out and it is difficult just to choose certain parts. The start of the Church ceremony was quite overwhelming, I was really nervous but loved seeing Jemma reach the end of the aisle, she looked beautiful and I loved seeing her in her dress. She seemed really relaxed and happy which helped me massively and, from that point on, I was fine and loved every minute of it. Other moments were that little bit of alone time travelling from the Church to the venue in the car with Jemma, enjoying the drinks and canapes as Rachael and Ian took all the photos, strangely, the speeches, the first dance and the band into the evening.


And over to Jemma for a few more details….

“I originally saw my dress at the Wedding Show at the NEC. It was on the mannequin but the ladies at Rachel Ash were most helpful and didn’t mind taking it off for me to try on. I knew I wanted a lace fitted mermaid dress with fine detail, the Pronovias Princia ticked all the boxes. After trying multiple other dresses on, I knew none of them compared to THE ONE from the NEC. I chatted to the ladies at Rachel Ash about customising the dress and adding a key hole lace back on it with the option of removing it too. The seamstress had no problem doing this and I was extremely happy with the end result.”


Jemma says, “The West Mill was only the second venue we had looked at.   It was recommended by my Dad who had done various bits of Joinery work there. As soon as we viewed it, we fell in love and knew there wasn’t going to be anywhere else that would match up to it. We loved the setting with the Mill having its own private section of riverbank and nearby weir and liked the concept of the venue being split over four different floors. It all seemed to flow and the styling and detail of the venue wasn’t over-thought, but in-keeping with the history and feel of the building which appealed even more. The venue had so much personality and style that it didn’t need a great deal of ‘personal styling’ which made us feel it suited what we were looking for even more.

We did, however, add in some subtle styling that was in keeping with the colour palette of the day. Taking inspiration from Pinterest, we saw a small wooden box with a beautiful flower arrangement which we thought would work really well for the centre pieces. My Dad made up a number of boxes for flower arrangements and painted them in a toning colour. We didn’t want to overcomplicate the table set up so just had these flower boxes in the centre with a menu for each table (stationery by No9 Designs – Rachel Cross), a number of tea lights in glass holders scattered around the table and table numbers and place names created by VM Bespoke, Ripley.”


“We loved every minute of working with our photographers Rachael and Ian.  From start to finish, they made the experience enjoyable, relaxing and personable. From when we both first met them we knew we wanted them to be part of our day and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The pre-wedding shoot was a really good opportunity to get an idea of how Rachael worked but also to know what to expect on the big day. This meant that there was no stress or anguish during the big day and, if anything, we embraced it! When it came to the day itself, they both were like personal wedding organisers! They really did help with the flow and atmosphere of the day.  It was clear that their experience and knowledge of all things wedding rubbed off and they set us at ease throughout! Comments were made by numerous guests on just how lovely Rachael and Ian both were and we both feel they were a really important and special part of our day so thank you. It didn’t end there, the preview session was lovely too – we would certainly recommend them to anyone and can’t wait to have Rachael take more photos of our growing family!”


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