Tom & Ash: A Colourful July Wedding

Your Wedding Day Dream Team

Matt Troke Photography // @mattrokephotography //

April Days Design // @aprildaysdesign

James Roscoe // @jamesroscoepiano

Kelly Morris // @kelly_mrs_m

Gemma Price // @beautystudioibstock

Dress, handmade by:
Peacocks & Penguins

Neon Sign:
Elizabeth James Events // @elizabethjamesevents

The Booth Guys // @the.boothguys

The Best Men // @thebestmendjs

Tell Us About Your Incredible Outfits

What and who did you wear?
Wedding dress, handmade by Peacocks & Penguins – a Leicestershire-based independent dressmaker. 

Accessories:  Shoes, Jewellery etc
Veil: my something old, something borrowed from Tom’s mum.
Necklace: Estella Bartlett (Love You To The Moon and Back Pendant Necklace, Silver)

What and who did your partner wear?
Jacket: Moss Bros (Slim Fit Fuchsia Donegal Jacket)
Trousers: Moss Bros (Slim Fit Fuchsia Donegal Trousers)
Bow Tie and Pocket Square: Van Buck England (Encore)
Shoes: Dune (Server Leather Loafers, Tan)

What and who did your wedding party wear?
Bridesmaids picked their own dresses within the same colour palette
Best Men picked their own suits within the same colour palette

Your Love Story How did you meet, was it love at first sight? Tell us about the proposal!

Tom and I met as teens back in 2012 and despite six years of long-distance and three university degrees, our relationship just grew stronger and stronger. After we moved in together in London, we always joked we’d get engaged when we’d been together 10 years but wanting to catch me off guard, Tom proposed a whole year early in the Princess Diana greenhouse at Kew Gardens. It was a random Tuesday in November and I was completely shocked and didn’t even glance at the ring until about 30 minutes later when he asked me if I liked it! He followed it up with a romantic meal and a trip that evening to see our favourite comedian – Tim Minchin. 

Your Wedding Day Vision & Inspiration What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

It all started with a cake. We saw one we loved and decided that those colours would be perfect. Deep raspberry, gold and blush pink – our colour scheme was born. Originally, we were thinking of a September wedding but we eventually set a date for July. Quite autumnal colours, we incorporated a lot of blush pinks with the flowers, the bridesmaid’s dresses and the boys’ bow ties and pocket squares. And thanks to my bright floral wedding dress and Tom’s fuchsia suit our day was colourful and screamed summer.

For our décor, we had deep raspberry table runners, gold table numbers, polaroid holders, and cake topper, as well as pink and gold trays for our confetti and for sweet cones to make our scheme cohesive. Wanting a modern edge to our day we hired a neon sign which was decorated with flowers which provided a brilliant backdrop to our ceremony.

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

We both grew up in the East Midlands and knew we wanted a venue close to our families, so we spent hours online researching different venues in the area. The West Mill Venue was actually the first (and only!) one that we viewed. As soon as we walked in we fell head-over-heels for the exposed brick walls, industrial beams and the amount of event space across four floors and we signed on the dotted line that same day.

Did you do any DIY projects?

We didn’t want to give ourselves too much stress in the lead-up to the big day so we avoided big DIY projects. We sourced our own personalised confetti and stationery, premixed pic n mix cones and added small personal touches with polaroids as our table centrepieces. 

Tell us about the details – Flowers, Cake, Decor, Stationary….

We really wanted our personalities to shine through on the big day but were wary of buying too much ‘stuff’ or going overboard on décor. The West Mill Venue is so beautiful by itself that we didn’t want to risk overdressing or creating too much wastage. We gave ourselves a strict props budget that helped curb any impulse buying and hired what we could. 

Our flowers were created by the amazing April Days Design who’s worked many times at The West Mill Venue. She created a fabulous mood board for us and – with us not knowing much about flowers – gave great insight and created the most beautiful bouquets and centrepieces.

A favourite personal touch was our neon sign, hired from Elizabeth James Events. ‘To the Moon and Back’ is a phrase that means a lot to us personally and it gave a great pop of colour to the ceremony floor. 

Our only small bit of DIY, we printed polaroids of different gigs Tom and I had been to over the years and used them to add a personal touch to our tables – it was a huge part of our joint speech too so it was an important detail.

Very lucky to know some super talented people, our friend Phoebe made our cake from one picture we sent her. Three tiers, very chocolatey, and beautifully decorated in our deep raspberries, golds, and pinks, it was a decoration in its own right! 

Alcohol. Because No Great Story Started With A Salad (…or did it?) What was on your food & drinks menu?

A big perk for us was The West Mill Venue’s no corkage policy. Our biggest hope for the wedding was that our guests had fun and the day felt like a big party. We provided a selection of complimentary drinks but also paid to have the bar open for the entire day, so everybody was catered for. Post-ceremony, we offered gin and tonics, San Miguels and non-alcoholic options and at the wedding breakfast we had red, white and rose wines on the tables, as well as toasting drinks. 

We always said that food wasn’t our main priority – wedding food is wedding food, I thought. However, I was proven completely wrong by The West Mill Kitchen. The amount of people that came up to us *during* the meal to tell us our incredible it was – and the amount of people that have spoken about it after – showed me that you can get exceptional wedding food. Our menu was a ham hock terrine to start, followed by pan fried chicken breast and potato, finished with the most incredible sticky toffee pudding. Special mention to the vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too. A lot of the meat-eaters were eyeing up the spinach and tomato arancini! The evening pizza was the cherry on top. Thanks especially to the catering manager who boxed us some pizza up to take back to the accommodation to enjoy later on!

The Hangover Only Lasts A Day But The Memories Last A Lifetime Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?

 Colourful, magical, perfect

What are your favourite memories or highlights of your day?

The whole day was perfect but it’s the small moments that you’re not expecting that stick in your mind. From one of the photobooth props – a pug mask with a moving mouth – that had everyone giggling the whole night; following a trail of wedding cake left by our nephew; to the best men assisting our photographer by rolling on the floor with smoke grenades so the smoke swirled around us perfectly in the photos. It was just so incredible to have all our friends and family in one building, partying the night away together to some of our favourite music. There’s nothing like it.

Do you have any advice for future Brides & Grooms?

Budget, budget, budget! It’s so easy to get carried away and want to book every incredible vendor you see – so everything comes down to keeping to your budget and a great spreadsheet showing what you’ve paid and what’s still to pay. It’s also never too early to start saving for your wedding, even if you haven’t got a ring on it yet.

Don’t stress yourselves out with too many DIY projects. Some couples enjoy putting together those little touches, but in those final weeks – you want to build up excitement for the wedding, and not feel pressured to complete a million and one chores. 

It sounds lovely to have all your friends and family in your wedding party, but the more there are, the more people you need to organise on the day – especially if you have bridesmaids who need hair and make-up. We only had three bridesmaids and two best men – that was our complete wedding party. Getting ready in the morning was relaxed and easy, and the day still ran without a hitch.

Everyone says it, but the day really does fly by super quickly – make sure to spend time together as newlyweds. The West Mill Venue’s dressing room is a great place to sneak off, decompress and have a drink just the two of you.