Jess & Sam

Jessica Stokes & Sam Atkins • Wedding Details

Bride & Groom: Jessica Stokes & Sam Atkins

Date: Friday 3rd May 2019     Photography: Captur Photography

Wedding Style: A Vintage Style Wedding with Ombre Flowers & Gorgeous DIY Styling

Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire

Your Love Story?

Sam and I met nearly 10 years ago, after visiting my best friend (and maid of honour!) when she was studying at Lincoln University – she was living in a student house with him and others, and together with her then-boyfriend Tom, they played Cupid and match-made me and Sam.

8 years later, Sam had taken me away to Norfolk for my birthday and on the last day we went for a walk along a deserted beach in the glorious sunshine. He asked me to take a panoramic shot on my phone as it was so beautiful and by the time I had panned round to my right, he was on one knee on the sand! I still have the photo from that moment and you can see half of Sam from where I almost dropped my phone!

What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

We knew we wanted the day to really reflect our personalities and tastes – Sam deals in vintage clothing for a living and I’m a designer & illustrator, so we’re both creative people. The rest of the inspiration came from searching wedding blogs, Instagram and Pinterest.

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

Derbyshire is close to both our hearts and we’ve spent a lot of our relationship in the county – after discovering The West Mill and visiting it for the first time we knew straight away it was right. It was the only venue where we got ‘the feeling’ so there was no debate! If we had to imagine our ideal wedding location, this was it – we love the how the original building has been renovated with vintage paraphernalia, still sympathetic to its industrial roots but at the same time completely unique, cool and bang on trend.

Did you do any DIY projects?

It made sense to create props where we could considering our artistic backgrounds, so with my maid of honour, we made floral hoops for the back drop in the ceremony. These were created by coating hula hoops with gold spray paint and wrapping artificial peonies, roses & foliages around the hoops with florist wire. 

I also designed and illustrated the entire stationery suite – from Save The Dates and invites, to the Order of Service, menus, cocktail sign, table plan and table names. I even created the name cards with a calligraphy pen and gold ink, which was more challenging than I’d thought! I loved doing all of it though and it was so satisfying seeing it come together on the day. 

Tell us about the details…

We found Nadia Di Tullio after researching local florists and her aesthetic with floral design was second to none. I’d seen the creations she’d made for previous weddings, especially at The West Mill and knew we had to go with her. I had a vision of ombré, rich jewel-toned colours ranging from deep plum and crimsons, all the way to corals and blush pinks. We love the natural, organic approach with flowers and as these were going to be our main form of decoration, we wanted them to have real impact – which was exactly what we got. My cascade bouquet & bridesmaids bouquets were beyond beautiful – full-on statement pieces, complemented by the pared-back and super stylish eucalyptus foliage arrangements for our ceremony table and wedding breakfast table runners.
Lisa at The Melbourne Cake Company knew exactly what we’re looking for in a wedding cake. To match the colour theme, we decided to go for a semi-naked three tier cake, decorated with strawberries, cherries & figs, along with Nadia’s floral clusters based on our bouquets. The 3 layers were made up of lemon sponge with luxury lemon & swiss meringue buttercream centre, vanilla sponge with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream & raspberry conserve and finally spiced carrot cake with mascarpone buttercream filling. It looked sensational and it tasted even better – we were lucky to come away with any the next day!
My dress has been a bit of a long-term love affair. I knew I wanted something romantic, ethereal and unusual, so when I saw an advert for the Olivia dress on Israeli designer Riki Dalal’s Instagram 3 months after getting engaged, it was love at first sight. It wasn’t within our budget but after trying it on at their flagship London store, there was no turning back – the horse had bolted, as it were. The dress was one of the most important elements of the day (apart from actually getting married of course!) so we made it work. It was totally worth going for the dream dress, I felt a million dollars on the day and that feeling is priceless. I just wish I could wear it again!

What was on the Menu?

Jenkinsons did an amazing job catering our wedding, we got so many compliments from guests about the food. At the drinks reception we had canapés of baked sticky honey and mustard seed sausages, smoked salmon on brown bread and potato fritter with tomato relish. People were well lubricated with a selection of Prosecco, Thornbridge Brewery Crackendale Pale Ale and ‘His & Her’ cocktails – The Whiskey Buck and Elderflower Gin Fizz. 
For the wedding breakfast we started with mango and brie parcels with mango salsa and rapeseed oil, then onto roast leg of lamb with a rosemary & honey jus, herb roasted potatoes, red cabbage and asparagus served with seasonal vegetables (we also had vegetarian and vegan options). To finish we had French apple tart tatin with toffee glace and a quenelle of Calvados cream.

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

Apart from the ceremony (which actually was a bit of blur because I was so nervous) I think my favourite part was the drinks reception, as I was much more relaxed and could basically have a big party with all our friends and family! We’d curated our own playlist too on Spotify as we’re really into our music, so we knew it would be exactly what we wanted.

Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?

On the day remember to stop every once in a while and take everything in, look at people’s faces and appreciate the small moments. Oh and I’d highly recommend a videographer, it’s totally worth it and captures all the little things you might otherwise forget.

Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?

Joyous, lively, unforgettable

The Dream Team

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