Alex and Monica Rendall • Wedding Details
Date: 4th April 2019 Photography: Louise Anna Photography
Wedding Style: An Industrial Spring Wedding with DIY Decor and Statement Flowers
Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Your Love Story?
We met at university, whilst studying Architecture together, after being very close friends for a year we decided to take the leap and start dating. Eight years later and we haven’t looked back.
We had spent a weekend in Bruges one August and loved it, so we decided to return in December 2017 as we both love beer and Christmas, so it was perfect as we could go to the Christmas markets! I was honestly none the wiser and just thought it would be a lovely city break together. Alex however, had plans and seemed to be a little stressed, which was very unusual and out of character! We had planned to meet some friends who by chance happened to be in Bruges at the same time, but we were running really late, after we checked into our hotel, I was quite eager to meet our friends. This is probably a good time to let Alex finish the story off.
As Monica has mentioned above, we had prearranged to meet-up with some close friends. Unfortunately the meet-up window was fairly short. Unbeknown to Monica, I had already told the friends my proposal plan and therefore the meet-up would be one big celebration. Unfortunately it did not quite pan out like that. The hotel we were staying in had beautiful gardens and I thought this would be the perfect place to make the proposal. Whilst walking through the garden, there were multiple groundsmen, cutting hedges and lawns etc. and somehow the moment didn’t feel right. As soon as we left the hotel gardens, it immediately dawned on me that we were about to meet up with our friends and that they were expecting Monica to be wearing an engagement ring. With this in mind (and in a somewhat blind panic) I started looking for romantic street names desperately hoping that just around the corner would be ‘Lovestraat’, however as we had already visited Bruges before (and with Monica’s impeccable memory) she became increasingly frustrated that I was trying to take her down streets that were clearly in the opposite direction to where our friends were. Unfortunately the moment just never presented itself and therefore we met-up with our friends – without a ring! Luckily I was able to make some subtle hand gestures which made them aware, before they burst out with their Congratulations.
I had felt quite stressed throughout the day but had come to the realisation that a perfect moment was unlikely to present itself and with this in mind, in our hotel room, I said to Monica, I have something to ask you. She immediately responded with, do you know what that question means? to which I responded by dropping to one knee and asking her to marry me. Monica’s reaction was priceless as she first burst out laughing which was then very quickly followed by streams of tears (all the time without actually providing an answer). After a subtle prompt, she said YES and made me the happiest I have ever felt.
I am extremely proud to be able to call Monica my wife and sincerely look forward to spending our lives together as the new Mr. and Mrs. Rendall.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
We knew the venue really spoke for itself and didn’t need ‘dressing’ up, but we decided to mainly take inspiration from the building and look at the architectural details, so we used a Georgian style window mirror for our table plan to emulate the many windows of the building, we also continued the theme of how the venue had already been decorated and used ornate frames for signage etc. Then we wanted statement flower pieces to really speak for themselves as the venue could take it.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
We came across the venue by chance really, through word of mouth. We aren’t local to Derby as we live in Lincoln, but we both had clear ideas especially with our architectural backgrounds that we wanted the building to be really special. As soon as we drove up to it, we just knew, it was everything we wanted and more.
Did you do any DIY projects?
Yes we did a few bits, it helped that we both have design backgrounds but we did have to reign a few ideas in! I made all the signs and embellished the frames with flowers similar to the real ones on the day. I did the writing for the order of the day, table plan and table numbers. Alex and I also decided to make our tea bags for one of our favours, they incorporated tea leaves from Bangladesh and whole spices. It was a little touch of my heritage to bring to the day. We also had some letter props of our initials which I added flowers too, these were placed in the gallery for something a little different to a welcome to our wedding sign.
Tell us about the details…
The flowers were a real surprise to us both on the day, we had just provided our colour scheme to the florist and just asked her to be as creative as she liked. We are so grateful to her, she did an amazing job and captured the dusky pinks, pale greens, hints of gold and deep wine reds perfectly. They smelt beautiful and the roses, tulips and eucalyptus were gorgeous.
The cake was made by our friends Auntie and again we were so pleased with what she did. We had three flavours, lemon and poppyseed, raspberry and then the top tier was coffee. All three tasted incredible!
As probably with a lot of brides, I ended up with the complete opposite style to what I had in mind. I stumbled across this little bridal shop in a village and just tried on as many as possible. This was the dress I tried on twice and I knew it was the one. It was a strapless satin wedding dress, with a crystal beaded lace bodice and corset lacing and a train at the back. It was beautiful and I felt beautiful in it.
We had a ‘Jazz up your gin’ and ‘Pimp your prosecco’ station, this was just bowls of cardamom pods, pink peppercorns, juniper berries and hibiscus flowers for the gin. Then we had peach juice (for bellini’s) elderflower liqueur and fresh berries for the prosecco. It was great for the kids as they pimped up their soft drinks too!
We had two favours, one was the tea bag mentioned above and the other was a Yorkshire rose pin badge with one pink petal, we had these badges made in memory of Alex’s mum who we sadly lost 3 years ago, she was from Rotherham and she advocated a charity that specialised in research to fight against breast cancer. We gave these badges to all of our guests and made a donation on their behalf to the charity.
What was on the Menu?
For the reception drinks we had a selection of gins (london dry, spiced and pink), prosecco, lager and local ales. We also had canapés, these were chicken balti on mini naans, spicy vegetable bon bons and tomato and mozzarella bruschettas.
For the wedding breakfast we had the Mango and Brie parcels (which the guests loved!), Roast leg of lamb with sweet potato dauphinoise, roast beetroot and broccoli and dessert was Sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. Alex and I are real foodies and the food did not disappoint!
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
I mean we honestly loved everything and we have to give our Events Manager, Abi Lineker a special mention here because she is just amazing at what she does, we wouldn’t have been as relaxed as we were to enjoy our day without her.
To answer the question of the favourite part of our wedding has to be our pianist Emily White, we both love music too and had asked her to play during the ceremony, reception and wedding breakfast. She sung and played all our requests and more beautifully. She also adds her unique style to each song and it was funny to see many of the guests faces when they knew a song but couldn’t quite put their finger on it, but when realisation hit, it was lovely to see the joy and their big smiles whilst listening to her.
Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?
Try not to be stressed on the day, you’ve done all the hard work, planning and organising and there is literally no more that can be done. So we would say trust the venue, your event manager and all your suppliers. It means you can just focus on what’s important, being happy and enjoying yourselves with your closest family and friends.
Relaxed, laughter and (plenty of) dancing!
The Dream Team
- Photographer Louise Anna Photography
- Videographer Will Selby Films
- Dress Sophia Tolli Satin Bridal Gown from KMG Bridal
- Shoes Nine West gold heels
- Headpiece Real flowers in my hair (white roses to commemorate Alex's late mum and gypsophilia)
- Jewellery I wore abespoke necklace that was made with my mums engagement ring diamond, my sister had a gold necklace made with the gold band which she wore on the day too. This was such a sweet wedding gift from my mum and sister and was my something old and something new. I also wore a Swarovski blue crystal bracelet as my something blue.
- Hair Mon Amie Wedding Hair
- Make-Up Charlotte Eden Make Up Artist
- Grooms Attire Moss Bros Navy Olive Windowpane Suit
- Grooms Shoes Brown Leather Dandy Shoes
- Bridesmaid Dresses M&S - Grey Multiway Maxi Dresses
- Cake Made by our lovely friend's Auntie - Sue Wright
- Florist Flourish Floristry
- Stationary All the stationary was designed by myself and then our very talented friend Sam who makes cards, brought them to life.
- Band The Soul Solution
- Musician Emily White
- Magic Mirror Midlands Photo Booths