Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Bride & Groom: Martin & Paul
Date: Saturday 15th October 2016
Wedding Style: A gorgeous autumnal same sex wedding with a vintage travel theme and dapper suits!
Photography: Mike Plunkett Photography
Your Love Story
Martin answered an ad for a roommate with Paul. Living in Manchester at the time (2005), We moved to London to progress careers in 2009 and then to Australia in 2015.
The proposal came from Paul, having travelled far and wide it was impossible to have one special place to make the proposal, but then Paul realized there’s no place like home.
One afternoon in March 2015, Paul made a cup of tea (the world’s finest drink) and popped the ring in the bottom of the cup. Waited patiently for Martin to finish drinking, which he did and of course didn’t notice the ring. A minor debate ensued where Paul insisted the drink wasn’t finished, so Martin succumbed, took a look and it was tears of joy that refilled the cup as he said yes.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
Vintage travel – too easy. The venue has such a feel that it felt the perfect accompaniment, we love travel so the deal was done.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
The first time we saw the West Mill, we approached with quite some fluster. A pound for the toll bridge? What is this? But we haven’t got any cash! Quick turnaround, park over there.
Panic over, we head to the entrance, which obviously we couldn’t find, so we did several laps of the place, followed by at least a couple of help-us phone calls before we were rescued from an eternity in the car park. So what a relief it was to finally be inside. Welcomed in by Andrew and his team, we knew in an instant that we had come face to face with our dream wedding. Despite it not yet being finished, and several weeks (maybe months) away from its first wedding, we knew. We just knew. Everything we have hoped for, but had feared didn’t exist, was right here in one place.
We tried to act nonchalant, you know like you do when you view a house for sale, pretending you’re not bothered. But I was already imagining myself walking down that aisle, sitting at that top table, busting some moves on that dancefloor. The place would be ours, and nothing was going to stop us.
The building alone was enough, but to find ourselves working with a team as wonderful as Team West Mill was beyond our wildest imagination. We cannot say enough good things about them – professional, caring, understanding and – above all – calm in the face of last minute chaos and a mini groom breakdown. Always on hand with a hug and a cuppa, they had an answer for everything, and their experience really helped us in our planning. They even found polite ways of telling us that circus animals really aren’t a thing at weddings anymore.
The wedding day was, of course, flawless. Every single aspect, from the food to the timing and even the weather was glorious and perfect and over far too quickly.
The West Mill oozes charm and class and good taste. The team have been clever enough to let the history of the site speak for itself, whilst providing every conceivable convenience required of a wedding in the 21st Century. I cannot now even imagine marrying anywhere else, and it makes me sad for couples who do, because, truly, the West Mill is where the magic happens.
We will never be able to provide sufficient gratitude to the team, especially the utterly brilliant Lucy, for all the memories they have given us. But we are content in the knowledge that every week they make more dreams come true, and the world is a better place for that.
Thanks a thousand thank yous, and we will continue to wish you all the success in the world.
Go Team. You’re really and truly the best there is.
Did you do any DIY projects?
Some of the props were DIY, seating map and favours.
Tell us about the details…
We knew all suppliers aside from the caterer, DJ and string quartet. That was important as to capture what we were about could only happen if they were known to us.
The big challenge was the distance, We decided on the venue two months before moving to Australia, and so had to decide what to have supplied from the UK. Suits (due to fitting) were sourced and fitted in Australia, the stationery designed in Australia but printed in UK, tonnes of stuff came from global suppliers on Etsy. A truly global feel.
The West Mill Team made the distance super easy to deal with, in fact all the suppliers embraced technologies such as FaceTime to counter the time difference and make us feel like we were still there.
It was stressful, as it all didn’t come together until all our props and drink were locked away in the West Mill Venue the day before. The planning was military precision – but that’s Paul’s thing. If it wasn’t for the pouring over the detail it would never have been so magical – it meant the day itself was relatively relaxed.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
Seeing our friends and family for the first time as we walked down the aisle, although now we’ve seen photos – the confetti tunnel is particularly striking.
Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?
Unforgettable, unbelievable and unrepeatable.
Do you have any advice for future brides and grooms?
Make it a day that YOU want to enjoy, not what you think other want. The best comments came from guests that said the vibe was so us!
Your Dream Team
Photographer: Mike Plunkett Photography
Videographer: Adam Bowler
Hair: Tim Fursseddonn
Flowers: Alison Ferrier
Stationery: Merge Studio, Melbourne, AU & Small Print Company, Derby, UK
Band/DJ: GC Events
Decor/Props: Darby & Joan + self provided
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.