Rachel & Andy

Rachel & Andy • Wedding Details

Bride & Groom: Rachel & Andy

Date: 2nd May 2019     Photography: S6 Photography

Wedding Style: An Urban Luxe Style Spring Wedding with an Amazing Golden Hour!

Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire

Your Love Story?

Andy and I met through mutual friends at a bar in Sheffield. He positioned himself opposite me at the table and although I was a little unsure of this broad-accented Barnsley boy at first, his gorgeous smile soon won me over and we shared our first kiss that night. 

From working in the wedding industry as Features Editor at Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine, I always thought I would see a proposal coming a mile off – but Andy caught me completely unaware on a pre-Christmas day trip to Manchester, dropping to one knee in St Peter’s Square on 21st December 2017. The rest of the day was spent drinking prosecco at The Midland Hotel then consuming pizza and cocktails in The Northern Quarter before returning to Sheffield to celebrate in the pub where Andy and I had our first date.

What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

The main priority from the outset was that the day was personal, a true representation of me and Andy, and we were keen that the ceremony be as important as the party. As such, we had an individually written celebrant ceremony about mine and Andy’s relationship, with readings from close family members, a poignant sound clip by philosopher Alan Watts and personal song choices for the walk both up and down the aisle. 

The venue then helped to shape the aesthetics of the day. We were keen for a contrast from the raw, industrial elements of the mill building and so we had what I’d describe as a fine art or ‘urban luxe’ feel. The main colours used were greys, ivory and buttery yellow, as well as some unusual muted/peach tones in the flowers.

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

We instantly fell in love with the unique character of the building, its stunning interiors offering plenty of space to wed, dine and party across four fabulous levels, plus outdoor areas and gorgeous on-site accommodation too. 

Not only did we fall for its appearance and amazing features, including its barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls and cast-iron beams, but also its cool props, décor and flexibility as a no corkage venue. 

The West Mill really was the perfect venue for us from an aesthetic point of view, but it also absolutely delivered on second-to-none service and delicious food. We really made the most of its stunning rooms and backdrops for the celebrations and the photos, we loved that no matter what the weather did, it offered so much amazing indoor space.

Did you do any DIY projects?

I’m a self-confessed craft-phobe – no Blue Peter badges here – and so attempting to make anything for the wedding would only end in disaster. However, we are fortunate to have talented friends and family who helped us out with some DIY elements to make things more personal. Bridesmaid Nic took care of all our stationery, including a ‘who’s who’ handout instead of an order of service, introducing our close relatives to our guests. My brother-in-law Ben made our gorgeous cake and Andy’s mum Anne, also got in on the baking making some delicious cookies for our ‘cookie bar’ at the evening reception. 

Tell us about the details…

My gorgeous bouquet was made up from a dream combination of Lilac, Anemones, Ranunculus, Jasmine, Scented Stocks, Claire de Lune Peonies and Margaret Merrill, Toffee, Cappuccino, Butterscotch and Golden Mustard Roses.  

For the ceremony, we had natural arrangements of the same flowers in varying vases and vessels, trailing greenery on chair ends, lanterns along the aisle, and the crème de la crème was an incredible asymmetrical foliage and floral arch, which perfectly framed the spot where Andy and I said our vows.

Our arch was then moved to sit behind Andy and me for the wedding breakfast, and our trestle tables were centrally lined with grey fabric runners and topped with varying heights of floral arrangements and tapered candles in the most stunning shades of grey and yellow.

I first spotted my dress whilst away with work at Barcelona Bridal Week 2018 and didn’t faulter once. I wore the beautiful ‘Kanisha’ from the Rosa Clara Soft collection – a stunning slinky style, heavily beaded gown with racer neckline and the most gorgeous split shoulder strap detail, for a semi-backless finish. 

I purchased it from Perfect Daze bridal boutique in West Yorkshire, who fitted my gown to perfection and talented seamstress also made my cathedral-length veil. I completed my look with Charlotte Mills pearl glitter ‘Meghan’ shoes, Debbie Carlisle Swarovski detailed halo headpiece and some dainty Swarovski crystal stud earrings bought as a gift from mum. I also had a bespoke denim ‘Mrs Hirst’ jacket gifted to me by my editor and friend Julia, which I wore during parts of the day. 

What was on the Menu?

Following the ceremony, we had canapes of mini blade of beef and Yorkshire puddings with horseradish cream; mini fish and chips with tartare sauce; and tomato salsa crostini with mozzarella, served during the drinks reception. Drink-wise, there were two options of gin and tonic, prosecco and bottled lagers.

For the wedding breakfast, we had lemon glazed chicken with Asian salsa and mint raita to start; slow cooked blade of beef with a red wine jus, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal vegetables for main; and warm white chocolate and Cointreau brioche pudding served with Vanilla Crème Anglaise for dessert. The vegetarian menu was roast pumpkin ravioli to start, followed by vegetable wellington with a piquant tomato sauce.

In terms of wines, we had a white Sauvignon Blanc and red Malbec for the meal and prosecco for the toasts.

For dancefloor fuel later in the evening, Jenkinsons served up pulled pork and spicy tomato relish baps and veggie grilled halloumi and mushroom baps.

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

Though we adored all elements, and in particular our personal ceremony, Andy and I have both agreed that our favourite part of the day was the wedding breakfast, when we looked around and saw all the people we love in one room having the best of times. The speeches from my dad, Rob, and the two best men, Russel and Andy, were also incredible – the perfect combination of humour and sentiment that meant the world to us. 

Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?

Above all, keep it personal to you and your partner as this is what will make your day extra special, enjoyable and memorable. Also, carefully research suppliers to find those that suit you as individuals and your wedding day vision; invest in a great photographer and, if possible, hire a videographer too (you won’t regret it); try to leave some little surprises for the day so your guests don’t know every detail beforehand; and try not to obsess over the weather in the run-up – I did but it made no difference at all to the enjoyment of our wedding. We got both rain and shine – and even a rainbow!

If you’ve been inspired by Rachel & Andy’s wedding and would like to know more about The West Mill, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to download a Wedding Brochure or get in touch.

Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?

Fun, personal, relaxed

The Dream Team

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