{Real Wedding} Louise & Adam – A White Wedding with a Hi-Tech Twist

{Real Wedding} Louise & Adam - A romantic white wedding with a hi-tech twist & routemaster bus at The West Mill Venue | An Industrial, No Corkage Wedding Venue, Derbyshire | www.thewestmillvenue.com | Image: SMD Photography

We love nothing more than reliving our couples wedding days, and so when Adam & Lou’s wedding photos and video landed in our inbox we had big smiles here in The West Mill Office. Louise & Adam married back in July at a Church in Castle Donington and then made their grand entrance here at the venue on old red routmaster bus! Bride Louise is here to tell us all about their big day as well as sharing her wedding planning advice… Enjoy!

Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire

Bride & Groom: Louise & Adam

Date: Sunday 31st July 2016

Wedding Style: A romantic white wedding with a hi-tech twist and a fabulous routemaster bus!

Photography & Header Image: SMD Photography

Videographer: Jumping Spider Films

Your Love Story? 

We met in March 2008 when I started the best student job ever working on the rollercoasters at Alton Towers. We both worked on Rita – Adam was a ride operator with a litter stick (the sign of ultimate importance when you worked at Alton Towers) and I was a messy haired, constantly hungover ride host. After seven years of waiting (mostly impatiently) for a proposal, Adam finally put a ring on it at home on the sofa on 20th July 2015. It was a bog-standard Monday evening until that point: he randomly broadcast a photo slideshow of our memories together on the TV which ended with a slide that said ‘Will you..?’ with a picture of my ring. He then sent me on a treasure hunt around the house, only for it to be hidden behind the sofa the entire time!

What was your inspiration and vision for your day?

I was totally one of those girls who always dreamed of her wedding day and I was keen to keep it traditional: I wanted romance, I wanted pretty, I wanted WHITE. Doing the maths, I was basically going for a traditional white wedding!

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

We viewed The West Mill with Andrew a week after we got engaged; he told us we were the first couple to view it as an official venue as they had just held their first wedding over the weekend – FACT! It was a wildcard venue for us as we were initially after a traditional country house, but we saw so many benefits in hosting our day there that we couldn’t possible consider anywhere else. We loved how everything was hosted on different floors and that each section of the day would seamlessly flow into the next. The history behind the mill is fascinating – I was captivated by the worker graffiti on the window in The Cotton Quarter – and the venue itself is so distinctive and trendy yet still maintained the traditional elements of a wedding venue that we were looking for; the riverside location made for some beautiful photos. We knew our guests would never forget the wedding they went to in a converted cotton mill!


Did you do any DIY projects?

Adam works in the tech side of events which makes him significantly handier than me! He made the DJ booth and plinths that the lighting for our evening celebrations was put on. He’s also quite the tech whizz and we had various TVs set up around The West Mill including a 95-inch television screen in The Gallery! This was linked to a live Twitter feed which we asked our guests to contribute to throughout the day using our wedding hashtag. It meant that everyone could see how the day was unfolding as it happened and it was great for us to look back on the next day too!

I tried my hand at a bit of DIY, but nothing quite as impressive! I created a chalkboard menu for our wedding breakfast and some wedding dares for our evening reception.


Tell us about the details…
Where do I begin?!

The Fashion
I was keen to keep my look as timeless and classic as possible, but I was one of the many brides who ended up wearing exactly what she didn’t want on paper! I envisioned myself choosing something lacey with sleeves (because strapless things don’t suit me…really they don’t!) and ended up with a strapless taffeta silk number! It was about the fourth dress I ever tried on and something just clicked. I teamed my dress with a sparkly belt, a single-tier cathedral length veil (for the drama!) and Adam treated me to a pair of Jimmy Choos for my wedding present. Sweet! For a girl who is notoriously grumbly in heels, I did pretty well to last in them until our first dance and then changed into a pair of Disney Princess Vans so I could bop along to our DJ for the rest of the night!

The Flowers
I enlisted the fabulous Kerry at The Blossom Tree to help me out with our flowers as this was a side of wedding planning that I was totally clueless about! She did an amazing job of bringing my vision to life considering that I just printed off some inspiration pics from Pinterest for her and shrugged my shoulders! I didn’t want the flowers to be too clean cut as I wanted to compliment The West Mill’s rustic feel. For our bouquets, we had a collection of white roses and hydrangeas with jasmine to add a hint of green. We mixed up our table decorations by either having smaller arrangements of these flowers in low vases or collections of roses in jam jars with green foliage laid on the tables, again, to make the whole look a little less regimental.

Venue Décor and Styling
We kept our wedding décor to a minimum as we loved how so much of The West Mill speaks for itself. However, bows on chairs was something I always wanted as part of our wedding décor and Jemma at Vintage Fare spent hours on the morning of our wedding making the Breakfast Room look beautiful. I remember actually gasping when I took a sneak peek before we sat down for food! We also had dove grey table runners to add a pop of colour to the white and to tie in with the bridesmaids dresses with mercury tealights for a hint of classic romance!


The super talented Hannah at Yellowstone Paper Works (and a fellow West Mill bride!) made the majority of our wedding stationery. She created a bespoke line drawing of our church and The West Mill that was printed on our invites, order of service and place cards. My bridesmaids asked her to create a framed print of her amazing drawing which we now have hung up in our bedroom as a permanent reminder of our beautiful venues!

Adam is well connected with many DJs (and used to do it himself) so a DJ was an obvious choice for our evening celebrations. We had our friend Reece DJ for us and he kept the dance floor full all night. Adam set up a sneaky Go Pro on the dancefloor which was absolutely hilarious to watch back the next day. We couldn’t resist putting together a highlights video of the best bits during our honeymoon travels: https://youtu.be/A8Me1ZuQJJs

We also hired a Magic Selfie Mirror photobooth from Premier Event Services. Some of our guests became particularly attached to the props and didn’t take them off all night!

Photography and Videography
Our photographer was Gary Summers at SMD Photography. Adam has worked with him on events for a number of years and we decided way before getting engaged that we wanted him to take our wedding photos when the time came. We loved his documentary style and his ability to capture moments at their purest: we didn’t want to be directed too much and be left with a collection of staged photos as we would’ve just looked awkward! In fact, we wouldn’t confirm a date with The West Mill until we knew he was free!

We also had the amazing Matt and Mark from Jumping Spider Films capture our day on film. Booking them was the best decision we made for all of our wedding and I would urge any future couples to have parts of their wedding filmed in some form, even if it’s just your uncle’s holiday camera shoved on some boxes in the corner of the room. Watching the footage back from the day again and again is so precious. Can we also just have a moment of appreciation for the drone shots too? They give me excitement quivers every time!


Personal Touches
My mum’s side of the family have always been heavily involved in the church and we were lucky to be able to incorporate this history into our wedding ceremony: our family vicar travelled specially to Castle Donington from Stoke-on-Trent to marry us and my mum wrote and read the prayers. Our best man is also a top-notch pianist and he played songs from my favourite musical Wicked before the ceremony and my ultimate favourite Disney song ‘I See The Light’ from Tangled as we signed the register. The musicals theme was topped off by the cutest local choir who performed ‘All I Ask Of You’ from Phantom of the Opera during the service.

We were keen to make the day as relaxing as possible for our guests and hired a classic London Bus to transport everyone to The West Mill from Castle Donington. I am from South East London so this was a great nod to my Cockney roots! We also created a special playlist for the bus journey full of classic rock songs that used to play in the Rita queue line during the years we worked on it together – tunes likes ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’. Even if our guests missed the Rita reference, we hoped they enjoyed the singalong!

We also have a couple nickname – Mr & Mrs Pal – and knew we had to refer to it in our wedding day in some way! We hired ‘Mr & Mrs’ letters from The Word Is Love and placed them in front of the DJ booth. They were a real focal point of The Spinning Room – there was no mistaking whose wedding you were at that night! A last little touch was our childhood teddies who watched over our celebrations at The West Mill, an idea I totally stole from Pinterest!


What was on the menu?
We took full advantage of the no corkage for our afternoon celebrations and served our favourite Prosecco alongside bottles of Peroni for the lads.

We have more Nando’s points than sense and we wanted to reflect our love of good, casual food in our wedding breakfast. We went for an American BBQ inspired menu and Jenkinsons were so accommodating of any changes we wanted to make in order to tailor the food to our exact tastes. We went for sharing platters of mozzarella dippers, chicken wings, baby BBQ ribs, onion rings and rustic breads for starters and continued the theme into mains: we served Peri-Peri chicken breast and Texan style beef brisket with sides of mac ‘n’ cheese, wedges, potato salad and slaw. One of our guests was from Texas and said the mac ‘n’ cheese was, quote, ‘the best I’ve had ever had!’ High praise indeed – well done Jenks! For dessert, we had a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream. I think quite a few guests ended up being rolled down to The Spinning Room as they ate so much!

In the evening, we served hot pork baps that were freshly carved from the joint in front of guests with chips.
{Real Wedding} Louise & Adam - A romantic white wedding with a hi-tech twist & routemaster bus at The West Mill Venue | An Industrial, No Corkage Wedding Venue, Derbyshire | www.thewestmillvenue.com | Image: SMD Photography

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

The ceremony was definitely the most special part of the day for both of us. I cannot explain the sheer joy and happiness that I felt as I walked down the aisle. It was the actual highlight of my life!

Another goosebump moment for us was walking into our wedding breakfast. We didn’t anticipate just how much love and support we were on the receiving end of. It was amazing to see so many people in the same room and all because of us!

We wanted the last dance to be ‘All About You’ by McFly (one of my favourite bands!) and as soon as it finished, DJ Reece unexpectedly dropped into Chase and Status ‘No Problem’ which sent everyone wild. We would never ever have thought our wedding would’ve ended with a drum and bass rave, but it was absolutely ridiculous (sorry wedding co-ordinator Emily!).

Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?

Umm, perfect, perfect and…perfect?!

Do you have any advice for future brides and grooms?

To enjoy every moment, not just of the day, but the whole planning process. It is such a special and exciting time in your life and it will seem like you’ve got engaged, blinked and suddenly you’re married and it’s all over. Be sure to embrace everything that comes with planning a wedding so you can look back with nothing but happy memories!

The Dream Team

Photographer: Gary @ SMD Photography

Videographer: Jumping Spider Films

Your Outfit: Pronovias Alma from the lovely ladies at Rococo Weddings in Melbourne and gold sparkly peep toe Jimmy Choos

Hair: Hollie Fox at Luxe Hair and Beauty

Make Up: Lauren Eaton

Your Partner’s Outfit: Ted Baker at Moss

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS

Cake: Hello Cake

Flowers: The Blossom Tree

Stationery: Hannah Shuttlewood at Yellowstone Paper Works

DJ: DJ Reece Duncan

Photo Booth: Magic Selfie Mirror at Premier Event Services

Other Entertainment: Our DIY wedding dares!

Decor/Props: Table décor & Chair Bows by Jemma at Vintage Fare

Transport: London Bus from Blackmore Commercials

Other Hire Items: ‘Mr & Mrs’ letters from The Word is Love

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