Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Bride & Groom: Anna & Jamie
Date: Monday 13th February 2017
Wedding Style: A Vintage Industrial Wedding with a very special 4 legged friend and a tattooed bride.
Photography: Sally T Photography
Your Love Story? How did you meet, the proposal!
We met about 10 years ago in our then local haunt The Green Room, and were together rockily for two years. We then broke up quite messily, and both pretended the other didn’t exist for 5 years, before rekindling our relationship in 2013. We’ve been together ever since – as we say this is our 3rd time lucky.
Jamie’s plan for the proposal went completely wrong and he ended up presenting the ring to me round the back of Morrison’s while all I wanted to do was buy a cauliflower! But it was so wrong it was kind of right, and the whole thing was very effective in ensuring I was surprised.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
We fell in love with the West Mill the moment we arrived, you couldn’t find a more ‘us’ venue. Although none of that would have mattered if our guest of honour, our French Bulldog Optimus hadn’t been allowed to attend!
Simplicity and industrial vintage style were the main influences I suppose. And I definitely felt happier and more comfortable in achieving our wedding vision once I found my beautiful dress; I could suddenly see how it would all tie in, and everything could match (and mismatch!) together perfectly.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
When we started looking for wedding venues we had the following criteria:
- Optimus could attend
- We wanted only one venue for both ceremony and reception
- We didn’t want a room turn around at any point in the day
- We wanted accommodation attached to the venue
- We wanted a relaxed hot served buffet rather than a 3 course meal
Optimus attending was the only criteria we were not at all willing to compromise on, which oddly meant there were very few venues that we could consider in all honesty. But when both my mum and one of my bridesmaids shared the Mill’s website with us, we saw it and knew that we were in trouble!! How could we not fall in love with the Mill?! It’s basically what we wish our house was like!
We rang up, and got the confirmation that our boy Optimus would be welcome, so got ourselves booked in for a visit. By the time we visited the Mill we were already pretty smitten, but my exact words when we arrived and walked in were “Oh shit” (or “Oh no” for more PG!), because it was more beautiful, more special, more perfect than we could have imagined.
Yes there was no accommodation, but our criteria was quite demanding, and that was the only aspect I could see myself compromising on, and it’s not like the Mill isn’t close to hotels!!
We love everything about the Mill, and have done from the moment we saw it. From the different floors, each with their own special features, to the metal ceilings, the exposed brick, the time stamp slots, the drawing boards, the LOVE letters, the pallet bar, the chesterfield sofas, the windows and the toilets, oh the toilets!! The only downside with the Mill is that whilst we hoped it would be our beautiful and special secret, other people seem to have cottoned on, and rightly so really, as it’s bloody gorgeous!
Did you do any DIY projects?
I incorporated quite a few DIY elements into our day. I designed and printed and sliced all our invites, including a personalized wax seal for the envelopes. I then designed, printed, sliced and diced all the signs and stationary for the day to tie in with the invites, lots of brown recycled card, and lots of mismatched arrows, all in typewriter font. I created and printed our order of the ceremonies for the guests.
My mum, her partner and my brother created lots of wooden signs, not only for the venue like order of the day etc, but also for on the car ride to the venue so guests wouldn’t get lost on the way!
All our cakes, including our amazing wedding cake were DIY. One of my good friends made our wedding cake as a wedding present, my sister-in-love-not-yet-law made us a beautiful cake and lots of cupcakes. My mum made coffee cupcakes, and I myself made: apple cake, heart shaped blueberry cupcakes, a red velvet cake, and a lemon drizzle cake.
Whilst we had planned to do the flowers ourselves, in the end I decided we had enough going on and ordered our bouquets and table flowers from very local florist Jj’s. But as I had 6 bridesmaids I only ordered a bouquet for my maid of honour, and we DIYed the groomsmen’s button-holes, and each bridesmaid got to create her own corsage from fresh flowers the day before the wedding.
I also made Optimus his very own bow tie, by buying a matching bow tie to the rest of the groomsmen but sewing the bow to his posh new collar!
Tell us about the details… Flowers, Cake, your dress etc!
For me the flowers made my day, I told Jess from Jj’s that under no circumstances did I want traditional wedding flowers, or a traditional bouquet – and my gosh she delivered! I couldn’t have been happier with the flowers, and I think they really highlighted the relaxed beauty of the Mill.
I asked my generous friend for a drip cake, with black and grey, and colourful fresh fruit. Although she made exactly what I’d asked for I was even more impressed with what she achieved when I saw it in the flesh. And the colours of the fruit went so perfectly with the flowers! When we walked out to cut the cake I was overwhelmed with how amazing the cake table looked – snaps to Penny;) and it made my Saturday spent baking well worth it. Plus everyone loved all the cake, and there was enough choice that everyone found something they liked!
I found my dress at Emily Bridal in Sheffield, after hunting fruitlessly from London, to Chesterfield to Sheffield. I guess I was looking for what every bride wants from her dress – to feel comfortable, be able to dance, and to feel beautiful. After my mammoth hunt I wasn’t overly optimistic, but my sister had got her lovely wedding dress from Emily, so I let my mum persuade me into giving it a go, and I’m so glad I did. I tried on 6 dresses, and I would happily have worn 5 out of the 6 had I been on don’t tell the bride! But my dress stole my heart, it was more than I could ever have hoped for; it fit me like a glove, I could move, I felt beautiful, and it had that vintage sparkle to it that I had so wanted. I fell in love there and then, and I knew it was ‘the one’ when I didn’t care what anyone else thought, I’d found my dress and that was that!
What was on the Menu? Drinks Reception (Canapes & Drinks) & Wedding Breakfast
For the drinks reception we provided apple and elderflower juice, lemon water, and sparkling white wine along with the pimp your fizz station, which went down a treat.
We wanted the day to feel as informal as possible so decided against canapes.
For our wedding breakfast we were set on having a relaxed hot served buffet, and it was delicious. It was a feast of all our favourite foods, with a few extras that we discovered at our menu tasting! Both Jamie and I were really impressed by the range the Mill offered us, and we especially liked being able to have purple mashed potato!! Everybody loved it, and whilst I was trying to encourage guests to go back for seconds I was informed that for some of the guests this would be thirds! Everyone has raved about the food since the wedding, so I think everyone was happy, including the vegans.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
Picking a favourite part seems nearly impossible, as it all went so smoothly and we loved every minute of it. But I think we both loved the wedding breakfast after the speeches the most, as the pressure was off and we could just enjoy the yummy food and speak to all our guests more. The party floor was amazing, but it was quite stressful trying to speak to everyone, and I just wished it could have lasted longer, so we could really have partied the night away – although I’m not sure some of our guests would have lasted much longer!
Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?
Do you have any advice for future brides and grooms?
Be more organized than you think is necessary – even if people mock you for it (and they will!!). That extra effort beforehand means you really can relax on the day, knowing that you’ve done everything you can for the day to run smoothly.
Also, in line with that, try not to stress (or let other people stress you out) about things going wrong, your guestlist is made up of all the people who know and love you, they won’t care about any issues, they just want to be there with you through whatever chaos may unfold.
Don’t stress about the weather, it is the one thing you can’t control. But do buy at least 15 umbrellas – as then you can be confident that if it rains your photos won’t be ruined.
Invest in the best (and nicest) photographer you can bring yourself to afford – they capture your day forever, and if you choose wisely they can translate the beauty of your day into photographs you can keep forever.
Make sure you take moments out in the day to take it all in (advice given to me by one of my beautiful bridesmaids!), it will fly by faster than you can imagine, and will be a beautiful memory before you know it.
And finally, as one of my bridesmaids kept having to remind me – don’t forget to breathe!!
Your Dream Team
Your Outfit: Dress – Emily Bridalwear, Sheffield Shoes – Vintage Furry Coat – Topshop
Your Partner’s Outfit: Gray’s Menswear, Chesterfield
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Assorted high street
Cake: Oh No Delicious and friends and family
Flowers: Jj’s Flowers, Chesterfield
Stationery: Handmade by bride
Band/DJ: Bride & bridesmaid created all playlists
Other Entertainment: Toy guns bought from Poundland – the highlight of the wedding for the children, aside from the lift of course!
Decor/Props: Vintage/homemade by bride
The West Mill is a No Corkage Wedding Venue in Derbyshire. If you want to find out more about us, we’d love to hear from you. Simply download our brochure here or contact our events team to book a viewing.