Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Bride & Groom: Abbie & Andrew
Date: Wednesday 25th October 2017
Wedding Style: A DIY Autumnal Wedding with Burgundy and Copper details and a cathedral length veil.
Photography: Tom Durn Photography
Your Love Story?
To quote Andy’s grooms speech on how we met:
I have to start with how we met. It was truly unique. The setting was beautiful, rich reds and soft purples filled the air, music playing in the background. Our eyes met and time stopped…..then the DJ threw freaky baby on the speakers of Mechu night club and as Abbie told me (a lot later in our relationship I might add ) I trundled across like a fat geography teacher in my tweed jacket. In my head it was a lot smoother. That’s right, I met Abbie in a nightclub. And yes, we disapproved the general theory that you can’t find love in a nightclub.
The proposal was much more romantic! Andy had booked Venice as a present for Christmas, so on March 31st 2016 we woke up in Venice, had breakfast on our balcony, and caught a speed boat to Burano. We had a lovely morning strolling around a glass factory and taking pictures of the beautifully coloured houses, and listening to the local stories of the fishermen that lived there. In the afternoon, we crossed a bridge and Andy stopped a passer-by and asked him to take a picture of us. At that moment, posing for the picture, Andy got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I ugly cried. The ring was perfect, the whole thing was beautiful. We celebrated with pizza & prosecco to the sounds of talented accordionist. Later when we arrived back at the hotel, Andy handed me our iPad and told me he had one more surprise for me. He loaded an email account and scrolled through what seemed like hundreds of emails to get to the bottom one. It was dated 23rd November 2011, a few weeks after he had asked me to be his girlfriend. I was confused. The first line read ‘If you are reading this it means that I was right and have officially decided that you are the person I want to be with for the rest of my life.’
What followed was a total of 56 emails or ‘love notes’ over the course of our five years together. Every special moment, song, picture or feeling was captured in secret. Even up to the day before he asked me to marry him. I was in utter shock, it was the most romantic thing I had ever even heard of and yet all these years he had convinced me he wasn’t the romantic type!! This was the kind of thing that happened in Chick flicks, not real life. What Andy has given me is priceless, a five year long love letter to our relationship. It was the most perfect day.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
I wanted an autumnal wedding, with rich dark tones of burgundy, reds, greens and navy coupled with copper. I wanted it to be glamourous, but not in the traditional ‘glitz and glamour’ kind of way. My biggest fear was that it wouldn’t be fun for guests! Some weddings there is a bit of waiting around, which can be quite boring, especially for the guests that don’t know too many people. That was my worst nightmare and the thing I worried about the most!! We had an acoustic singer, cheese and wine tasting, pimp your prosecco and beer pong during the drinks reception, and I carefully picked a playlist of Motown and old school classics for during the wedding breakfast to try and keep the mood fun and light hearted throughout the day.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
I looked at a lot of venues. All very beautiful but very traditional. It just wasn’t us. When I came across The West Mill, I fell in love. Well, we both did. It was important to me that Andy loved it as much as I did. We loved the industrial feel, and the fact that the inside décor was so perfect, I wouldn’t have to worry about the weather!! It was completely unique, and it just felt right from the second we stepped out of the car to the sound of the waterfall. It was glamourous but not traditional, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Did you do any DIY projects?
A Wedding Website
Yes lots! First up I made save the dates and our own wedding website on wix.com. We wanted to go paperless, we always forget to post invites back and these days, it’s so easy to just RSVP online. We were doing our bit for the trees!
I made signs for everything out of cotton paper, printed using Navy typeface from fontmeme.com and hand decorated with copper leaf.
The Hanging Backdrop
I made the hanging panels for the ceremony back drop using two rusted trellis panels that I sourced from a garden shop, ‘S’ shaped hooks and black chains to hang from the ceiling. The florist then decorated this with a garland.
I created a photo booth area by buying up loads of props, making a sign, and reusing a Polaroid camera that my Dad had bought for his wedding last year. It was fun!
We ordered red cups and ping pong balls online for beer pong, and stacked everything in copper baskets by the copper frame sign.
The Table Decor
The wedding breakfast tables were decorated with glass jars that I collected from friends and family, filled with tea lights and mini pillar candles. These were dotted around the central foliage garlands that ran down the middle of each table. Each place setting had a leaf that we had spray painted copper, miniature blackberry jam and a copper leaf effect name card. I also made menu cards using the same paper and copper leaf. The tables were named Charlie, James, Chris, Wesley and Gordon, which were printed on cotton paper with copper leaf decoration and placed in a copper picture frame at the head of each table. We wanted people to try and guess what the table names were about so we kept them a secret before the day (Famous people with the surname Brown), which was a great conversation starter!
The ‘on the day’ Stationery
The table plan was made from trellis that I spray painted copper, little wooden pegs that were spray painted copper, and each name and table was printed on cotton paper and decorated with copper leaf.
I made individual cheese and wine pairing cards for the cheese and wine tasting, which explained why each wine was paired with the particular cheese. Plastic shot glasses were available for guests to try each wine. Different chutneys, grapes and olives were dotted about on the table for guests to help themselves.
Tell us about the details…
I really wanted a dimpled copper effect with navy and plum layers. I showed Emma pictures I had found on pinterest and she was great! She hadn’t ever tried it before but was willing to do something new, and the final design was exactly as I had imagined! We chose layers of Victoria sponge, lemon and poppy seed, and coffee and walnut – all firm favourites of ours.
The flowers were the hardest part to get right. I knew what I wanted them to look like, and sent lots of pictures to my florist. We met and spoke a lot in the weeks leading up to the wedding. I wanted to go for a slightly wild look, lots of foliage and different sized flowers in dark red, plum, and blush colours.
We had a big wedding party (7 bridesmaids, 2 flower girls, 7 groomsmen!), and I wanted a lot of decoration around the venue, including my hanging trellis. That was the hardest thing to get right, because I couldn’t really find anything very similar on Pinterest.
Two days before the wedding, Liv received the flowers from the wholesalers and unfortunately the plum were bright purple and the dark reds were bright red! It was a stressful couple of hours, but I can honestly say Liv did everything she could to make sure I still loved the flowers on the day. And they were perfect, I had so many lovely comments about how beautiful they were, in fact, I think they were even better than I could have ever imagined.
What was on the Menu?
Pimp Your Prosecco featured Chambord, a range of cordials and fruits. Pink lemonade with frozen raspberries was served from a decanter, as well as lemon and cucumber water.
We served six different cheeses along with 3 white and 3 red wines for cheese and wine tasting instead of canapes. These were served with a variety of crackers, chutneys, olives and grapes.
For the wedding breakfast, we chose:
Wild Boar Tortellini with Rapeseed Oil
Roast Loin of Pork with Pine Nut and Sage Stuffing wrapped in Smoked Streaky Bacon dressed with
Plum & Apple Jus
Served with Round Fondant Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables & Tender Stem Broccoli.
Assiette of Fine Desserts
Mini Chocolate Brownie
Mini Key Lime Pie
Mini Crème Brulee
For the evening reception we served a selection of pizzas.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
This is such a hard question!! There are too many to choose from! My bridesmaids did a dress reveal – that was really nice and very emotional. My favorite people stood there looking more beautiful (and handsome in the case of my Bridesman Jared!) than I had ever seen before. And they were all so happy for me and so supportive. It was a special moment for me. My Mum, Sister and best friend Penny helped me into my dress, that was lovely to just have some time alone with them which really helped to calm my nerves. When my dad first saw me in my dress, it was very emotional. He surprised me with diamond earrings as a gift, again such a special moment for the two of us.
Although all of those moments were so special, nothing really compares to walking up the aisle. There was a moment that I really look it all in, stood next to my Dad and seeing 75 faces of the people we love the most all beaming back at me to the sounds of the string quartet. Seeing Andy stood at the end of the aisle wiping away tears made all of my nerves disappear. I loved every moment of the ceremony. That probably was my favorite part of the whole day.
Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?
Best Day Ever!!
Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?
Don’t give the photographer a huge list of family group photos. I made the mistake of asking for way too many as we have such large families, and we barely got to experience the reception because we were too busy having pictures taken! Stick to just a few big group pictures, and some with just the two of you, and then get back to enjoy the party with everyone else!
Take a few moments to really take everything in when it is happening. I vividly remember walking down the aisle because someone told me to really take it all in and I am so pleased I was given that advice as the day just flies by!
Finally, try not to stress about all the little details in the days leading up to the wedding. You can get very caught up in trying to make everything perfect but in reality, you can’t control everything – so stop trying. No matter what happens, the day you have planned will turn out to be perfect. No one will even notice if one or two things aren’t exactly what you had visualised. In my case, everything turned out even better than I could have imagined!
Your Dream Team
Photographer: Tom Durn Photography
Videographer: Simon Peecock
Bridalwear: Dress: Eddy K Bridal & Cathedral Veil – MiAmor Bridal, Sutton Coldfield
Earrings: Rose gold with 7 diamonds in each (my lucky number!) – a gift from my dad on the wedding day from Switzerland
Hair: Halcyon Derby
Make Up: Laura Mitchel – Beauty By LJM
Groom’s Attire: Suit & Shirt from Reiss & tie from T.M Lewin
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: House of Fraser
Cake: Hello Cake
Flowers: Liv Bourne – Workshop on the corner
Band/DJ: Dj – Bliss DJ
Photo Booth: DIY! Polaroid camera and blow up props & wigs
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.