{REAL WEDDING} Esther & Rowan – A Rustic Summer Wedding with fabulous DIY details

{Real Wedding} Esther & Rowan - A Rustic Summer Wedding with fabulous DIY details | The West Mill, No Corkage Wedding Venue, Derbyshire | Image: Matt Brown Photography

Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire

Bride & Groom: Esther & Rowan

Date: Wednesday 7th June 2017

Wedding Style: A Stunning Summer Wedding with a lace bridal gown, paper cone backdrop and a polaroid table plan.

Photography: Matt Brown Photography

Your Love Story? How did you meet, the proposal!

Our love story began 10 years ago when we both started working for Nottingham Trent University, and were based in the same building.  We would occasionally cross paths in the corridor, but never really spoke.  I arrived for some fire training one sunny morning to find that Rowan was also on the course, and for some strange reason I was drawn to sit next to him.  We hit it off during the morning, which included Rowan volunteering to put out a fire with an extinguisher, just to show off!  As we rode the lift back to the office, Row said to look him up on the internal email system – but forgot to give me his surname…  The lift doors closed and we didn’t see one another again, until around 6 months later when we randomly applied to work in the same team together!  From there a strong friendship grew until we finally got together about 2 years later.  We’ve now been together for 7 years, and have a wonderful little boy Rory who was born on Christmas Day 2014.  Before having Rory we travelled to some wonderful countries, including Thailand where we spent three weeks on some of the most beautiful islands in the world, all the time I was hoping Rowan would propose… But he didn’t!  A year or so later we spent a few days between Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh and went to The Dome one evening for drinks.  I get absolutely giddy about Christmas trees and they have the most incredibly stunning and completely huge Christmas tree in their beautiful main hall.  We sat down with Prosecco and Rowan slid a card over the table to me.  The card said “So, erm, will you marry me?” and was quickly followed by a ring box containing a red and white Haribo ring. Needless to say, I said yes (I love Haribo, how could I refuse?!).

What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

To complement the beauty of The West Mill venue, we wanted to keep everything light and simple.  The venue itself is so stunning that we didn’t want to mask anything with forced décor – and the props that The West Mill supply were perfect already!  Our colour scheme was white, green and grey, simple beauty with a rustic feel.  We wanted to be completely authentic to who we are, to inject our personalities into every detail but not over complicate anything.  Simple, genuine and beautiful would sum up our brief!  We kept our day guest list quite small as we wanted to really relax with those who mean a lot to us, and spoil them for the day, and then get to enjoy partying the night away with lots more of our friends as evening guests.

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

Ahhhhh, we just fell in love with The West Mill from the moment we pulled up in the car park.  We wanted somewhere different, with personality and beautiful industrial architecture and a relaxed atmosphere – The West Mill blew our minds!  The wonderful light from all those windows, exposed bricks, stunning ceilings and the sheer space meant that you were able to move around the building and enjoy a new space every couple of hours – something that seems really rare for wedding venues.  We also knew that if it rained all day we’d be completely happy being inside.  The professionalism of all those in #teamwestmill also reassured us that the day would be wonderful.

Did you do any DIY projects?

Well, the biggest DIY project was definitely the 1,000+ hand stitched paper cones for the backdrop that we used at the top of the aisle and then behind our top table.  We sat for over 18 hours hand stitching these cones, a week before the wedding (we had nowhere to store them so it had to be last minute!) and had to hang them from two curtain poles spanning the width of our bedroom.  But it was worth it!  We also put a lot of time into making the table plan, with individual Polaroid’s of each guest in black and white – which we echoed in our cake toppers.  Working with our friend Stoxi we created all the invitations, order or service, menu cards etc, and he designed us a beautiful personalised monogram which flowed through all of our stationary.  We also ate a hell of a lot of beans and tinned tomatoes so our florist could use the cans to plant herbs in for use as décor and guest favours.

Tell us about the details…

Our wonderful florist created relaxed and wild floral decorations, with lots of leaves, white flowers and even weeds (Queen Anne’s lace) in the centerpieces!  I fell in love with a bouquet I found on Pinterest which was full of eucalyptus leaves, so Zoe created a stunning bouquet with these leaves and all white alibaster roses, lysimachia, sweet peas, wax flowers and lisianthus, along with some green succulents, sage and olive foliage – which was a central point of our flowers.  One very important part of our wedding was honouring the memory of my Dad, who sadly passed away recently.  We bought an olive tree for our garden, a symbol of peace and a reminder of his beautiful nature.  We wanted to echo that in our wedding, so we used olive sprigs in the flowers, for our place settings, to decorate the cake and olive plant gifts for our loved ones.

Planning the wedding without my Dad was a very emotional experience and I would like to thank Anna at The West Mill for being so incredibly sensitive with all the planning and on the day itself.  We decided to have a ‘memory table’ for our loved ones who have passed away, with framed photos and bunches of forget me not flowers.   Anna moved this collection of memories with us to each floor all day and it felt like my Dad was always there.  This meant the absolute world to me (thank you Anna!).

Wow – our cake!  This stunning creation was a very kind gift from our friend Kev who is a master baker!  The lemon sponge with raspberry and passionfruit cream was incredible, simply decorated with olive sprigs and black and white photos of the new Mr and Mrs Triffitt!

When I started the exciting search for the perfect wedding dress I instantly fell in love with Stella York, an Australian designer stocked in only a few boutiques in the Midlands.  I travelled from Bakewell to Lincoln trying on her gowns and fell in love with the lace, sparkle and simple silhouette of my beautiful dress.  Ali and Grace from Brides of Bakewell were so very lovely and made the whole process of choosing and fitting the dress as magical as I had hoped for!

What was on the Menu? 

Jenkinsons were fantastic, from all the pre-wedding communications to the catering manager’s friendly and efficient service on the day, plus the amazing food – we were incredibly happy.  We chose canapes of scallops wrapped in pancetta, tomato, mozzarella and basil bruschetta and glazed pork belly skewers, served with Pimms and Camden Pale ale.  The wedding breakfast was an absolute feast of mango and brie parcels, ‘host a roast’ beef with ALL the trimmings (which was a great experience as selected guests were presented with carving duties with chef hats and aprons – a real talking point of the meal!) and a deconstructed Eton Mess, which was designed from scratch for us as Rowan loves it so much.  The evening food was pork cobs with apple sauce, stuffing and chips – the perfect food to fuel more shape throwing on the dancefloor!

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

My favourite part of the wedding was walking out of the beautiful bridal suite to meet Rowan at the end of the aisle and seeing each other for the first time as our special day began to unfold.  After a year of planning, everything was beginning and we knew we were going to have such a beautiful day together.

Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?

Authentic, happy, love.

Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?

Enjoy every minute!  You hear this said so often, but it’s the best advice ever.  From staying up all night stitching paper cones, to dress fittings and even designing the table plan – the lead up to the big day itself is such a special time.  Take every opportunity to be authentic to yourselves as a couple and don’t get caught up in the hype of ‘you must have this’ or ‘you must spend this’ – just make the day about you, celebrating your love with all those you love too.  On the day itself, relax and enjoy it – it goes by so fast.  Be present and keep taking moments to stand back and soak it all up.

Oh, and book The West Mill, it’s incredible.


Your Dream Team

Photographer: Matt Brown

Bridal Wear: Dress: Stella York from Brides of Bakewell Shoes: Miss KG | Headpiece: MyArmor 3m double tiered veil

Jewellery: Custom made bracelet by Trinkets By Moonlight (Etsy) | Earrings by Wild Fawn Jewellery (Etsy) | Necklace by Dogeared

Hair:  Saskia Borra  from Beau Hair

Make Up: Saskia Borra  from Beau Hair

Groom’s Outfit: Suit: Hugo Boss | Shoes: Bertie | Watch: Daniel Wellington

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: TFNC from ASOS

Cake: Homemade by friend Kev Fletcher

Flowers: Zinc Floral Design 

Stationery: Homemade by friend Andrew Stocks

Band/DJ: Tenacious Events

Decor/Props: Cancer Research wrist bands and tin cans of herbs as guest favours.  Handmade paper cone backdrop for ceremony and wedding breakfast (hand sewn from over 1,000 sheets of deli wrap paper!).  All other beautiful props were from you! (The West Mill)


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.

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