Eve & Rich

Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire

Your Love Story?

We first met at the climbing depot in Nottingham after I was dragged along with a friend. Rich climbed with my friend’s brother and we didn’t exactly hit it off straight away. Rich’s desire to offer helpful criticism and my inability to take it didn’t see us off to a good start.
Fast forward a few years and said friend invited me to hers for drinks and what do you know… Rich was there too. It’s almost like she’d planned it !?! A few dates followed, only a few because after date 4 we were inseparable, he came to stay one weekend and never left.
I moved into the house Rich was doing up, got my hands dirty. I desperately wanted Rich to propose but knew deep down that it perhaps wasn’t the most practical thing to be spending money on when we had no plaster on the walls!
One evening once the house was finished, we had taken a break from playing Mario Kart to bake some brownies, like all adults do. I said something along the lines of ‘well isn’t this lovely’ at which point Rich dropped down onto one knee and said ‘you know what would make it perfect? If you’d be my wife.’
There were no tears, I’m not much of a crier but I was totally shocked. I was all fingers and thumbs trying to unlock my phone to call my Dad and tell him. We also totally forgot about the brownies in the oven and ruined those! I’ll let him off though….

What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

I wasn’t sure for quite a long time how I wanted our wedding to look, it took me an age to decide on colours and flowers etc but I knew how I wanted it to feel. I wanted it to feel relaxed, stylish, romantic, twinkly and cosy but with just enough old Hollywood glamour thrown in. Although, I was concerned about the venue ending up looking like a Great Gatsby fancy dress party so kept all the touches and nods to old Hollywood very subtle.

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

We chose the West Mill because before you have even added any of your touches, the building is already stunning. The ‘what you see is what you get with no added cost’ was a refreshingly honest approach that worked for us too. All too often you fall in love with a venue and then discover that it’s another £200 for the nice chairs or £6 a candle holder!

We were also really impressed on our first viewing with the organisation of the staff. There had been a wedding the night before and at our 10am viewing the place was spotless and ready to go again, which suggested a highly professional well oiled machine.

Did you do any DIY projects?

Honestly…. Not a single one. Well, unless the evening party playlist counts!? We are both pretty good bakers and I had a lot of people ask if we would be doing our own cake. We did our best friend’s wedding cake and it was up there with some of the most stressful things we have ever done. So it was never an option for me.

It was way more important to me that the day was as stress free as possible so we bought or hired everything. I don’t have a creative bone in my body so letting the experts take care of everything was the best way! Our ‘theme’ didn’t really lend itself to too much DIY.

Tell us about the details…

Our flowers were from Avant Garden Weddings, Laura totally nailed my brief (which changed several times, thank you for your patience Laura!) I wanted big flamboyant table centrepieces with lots of greenery and pampas to add height and drama.

We opted for wrist corsages for the bridesmaids instead of bouquets, I didn’t want the girls to walk down the aisle with a bouquet and then leave it on the side for the rest of the day. The flowers were deep wintery colours, with blue berries and pampas that coordinated perfectly with their dresses. Laura even added some freesias just to my Mum’s corsage as they were my Granny’s favourite flowers.

Being avid bakers, taste was my number 1 priority for our wedding cake (or cakes …. We ended up with 8!!) and I knew just the woman for the job. Jasmin runs homemade cakes in Nottingham and their window displays are always to die for as is the chocolate, banana and peanut butter cake!

She did us a raspberry, amaretto and dark chocolate naked cake as our main cake and then we opted for a selection of others. Brownies, raspberry cream topped brownies, Eton mess cake, apple & cinnamon cake, lemon & raspberry cake and chocolate fudge cake. We wanted people to look at the display and be excited to dive in and that is exactly what happened.

One of the very first things we booked were our string quartet, Highly Strung. We saw them on a live video stream on Facebook performing at a bar in Nottingham and we knew we just had to have them.

What was on the Menu?

Drinks Reception
Cheddar Scone with Whipped Goats Cheese and Fresh Fig
Curried Balti Served on a Crostini with Mango Chutney
Mexican Red Onion and Pepper chilli Wrap with Spring Onion and Guacamole

Wedding Breakfast
Red & White wine on each table
Mango and Brie Parcels with Mango Salsa and Rapeseed Oil
Roast Sirloin of Beef served with a Yorkshire Pudding, Dauphinoise Potatoes, Shredded Savoy
Cabbage with Smoked Bacon & Roast Gravy
Warm Apple & Blackberry Crumble served with traditional Vanilla Custard & Roasted Plums

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

Eve – Seeing Richard’s very emotional face when I reached him at the end of the aisle and holding onto his hand throughout the ceremony. Looking round the venue at various points in the day and seeing lots and lots of smiling faces! Bottomless prosecco might have had something to do with that!

Rich – Watching Eve walk down the aisle. As soon as the string quartet started, I struggled to keep it together. I don’t remember what I was thinking, I was just totally overcome with emotion.

Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?

It is a cliché and everybody says it, but … it is your day. Do as you like. Book what you like. Spend what you like. There are often two camps of people offering up advice the ‘I did my whole wedding for £300’ camp and the ‘I had it on my parent’s vineyard’ camp. Don’t at any point feel like your wedding is too much or not enough. If you want those sparkly table cloths, you hire them and equally if you can’t get your head round spending so much on something just because you feel like you are meant to, then don’t. Try to work out quite early on in the process what is important to you and apportion your spend accordingly. We knew the look of the wedding was really important to us and so cut spend on things like having no DJ, no wedding favours and getting our wedding cake from a local bakery. So we could spend big on the flowers and styling.