Ben Eaton & Lucy Stibbs (Both, now, Stibbs-Eaton) • Wedding Details
Date: 21st May 2019 Photography: Drew Haywood
Wedding Style: A Rustic Theme with Pastel Colours & a Homemade Dream Catcher Backdrop
Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Your Love Story?
We met during my second year of University. He was a friend-of-a-friend, and came to our house for a few drinks before a night out. Our first date was a very romantic rendezvous at Starbucks in the morning, but he made up for it a few months later, by telling me he loved me at midnight of our first New Year’s Eve together.
We’d been together for five years when we decided to do some travelling across Japan and South East Asia. At the end of the trip, he took me out for a romantic dinner before heading back to the villa, where he was weirdly insistent about reading something from a notebook he’d been carrying around through the trip. He read me the story of our trip so far, with a few weird little embellishments – because he is a little weird – but it had a beautiful ending. I turned the page after “Happily Ever After”, and there was a hole in the pages and a ribbon tying the engagement ring in it. “Will You Marry Me?” was written around the ring! I wanted to make him sweat a bit, but it was too sweet and I said yes of course.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
We wanted everyone to have fun and feel comfortable. It was important to us that everyone was relaxed and felt as happy as we did. That’s why we had the bridesmaids and groomsmen mix and match their clothes so they could dress to their own body-shapes and styles.
Other than that, we didn’t really need to do much to make it fit our ideal version of the day. Both of us are very bookish, so we added a few literary touches, but the West Mill really doesn’t need much dressing up.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
It was the first and only wedding venue we went to see! We’d seen it featured in a few places, but thought it was out of our price range. But it kept on coming up on our newsfeeds and at wedding fairs, so we decided to book a visit. We fell in love with the atmosphere and feel of the place right away, and the hands-on, flexible approach of all the staff made it all the sweeter. When we realised how reasonable the prices were, it was a no-brainer. We were never getting married anywhere else.
Did you do any DIY projects?
We did! I worked my fingers raw crocheting dreamcatchers as the backdrop for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. I’ve never done anything like it before, and had never even tried crocheting up until that point. But, I’d seen a few of them on pinterest and knew I wanted the same thing for my wedding day. Although it was tiring and time-consuming, I loved the challenge, and it was really rewarding seeing it work out – and getting compliments from the guests! We also had one of my bridesmaids make us a pallet for the order of service and hand make our seating plan. Both of which were perfect.
Tell us about the details…
So, we had a rustic-y theme with pastel colours. The bridesmaids all wore different coloured pastels, and we gave the groomsmen socks and pocket squares to match one of the bridesmaids. We had two mini bridesmaids and two mini groomsmen in our nieces and nephews, who we kept busy before hand with a bridal lego set and some mini ‘just married’ toy cars. There were also wedding day activity books for the table, which we found by chance in the Works! All the parents of younger kids were made up. My partner put together our playlists for the day, which were made up of requests from guests on the RSVPs, wedding classics, and some of our personal favourites. It was great to get all our guests up and screaming along to some My Chemical Romance later in the night!
What was on the Menu?
We offered sloe gin, bottles of Coors, and prosecco when our guests arrived and a choice of red and white wine at the breakfast. At the breakfast, we had beef cheeks with potato fondant for starters. Veggies had a butternut squash tart and we had a soup for our vegan guests. The main was gorgeous: stuffed chicken wrapped in parma ham with seasonal veggies; risotto for the veggies and vegans. Dessert was my personal highlight: gorgeous brownies with ice cream and coffee. In the evening we served up bacon and sausage butties – which I’m told were lovely, but I was too busy dancing to notice they’d even come out.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
It’s so hard to pick, but it was probably the speeches! They were all funny and all really moving. My maid of honour got things going and have everyone laughing. The two best men ripped my partner to bits, but all in good fun. My dad had wound my mum up terribly about saying something controversial, but his was lovely too. I knew my partner would do a good job, because he writes for a living, but he did even better than expected! Everyone complimented all the speeches, and the whole building was laughing and crying in equal measure.
Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?
Share the responsibilities and enjoy yourselves. Whenever planning got stressful, we tried to take a step back and do something fun. The whole planning a wedding thing doesn’t have to be hard work – all the time.
Better than imagined!
The Dream Team
- Photographer Drew Haywood
- Dress Wed2Be
- Shoes Dune
- Headpiece Wed2Be
- Hair I did it myself!
- Make Up One of my very talented bridesmaids and new sister-in-law, Becky Banks!
- Grooms Suit, Tie & Pocket Square Slaters
- Grooms Waistcoat & Shoes Next
- Pocket Watch Rotary
- Bridesmaid Dresses Mixed-and-matched
- Cake Farmhouse Inns
- Florist Maria's Flowers, Derby
- Stationary Mostly homemade
- DJ Spotify playlist