Susannah & Stephen Leong-son • Wedding Details
Date: 13th April 2019 Photography: Dominika Miechowska
Wedding Style: A Relaxed Day filled with Candlelight and Colourful Blooms
Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Your Love Story?
We met at work, on my first day at a new job. We ended up sitting next to each other during lunch, and having a chat. We then didn’t see each other again for another three months, until eventually we really hit it off at a Christmas party and Stephen asked if I wanted to go on a date with him. Little did I know that Stephen (who is a gardener) had fancied me straight away and was casually stalking me through the office window whilst tending the roses for the previous three months!
We had our first date on a freezing night in January; drinks led to dinner, followed by more drinks, and I knew that he was special when after 7 hours we finally said our goodbyes at 1am.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
One additional bonus of choosing the West Mill, was that we were allowed naked flame – my eyes lit up at this, as I had never imagined I would find a venue in the UK to allow this. My vision for the wedding was a day bathed in candlelight, and I took inspiration from the period building to plan a day filled with soft florals, pressed petals, and calligraphy.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
There is just something so special about the atmosphere at the West Mill that other venues didn’t. It is probably the only decision in the wedding planning process that we didn’t over-think!
Did you do any DIY projects?
Yes, just a few! We had a 20 month engagement and I love doing artsy things, so I had the time to take on a lot of projects. I used watercolour and calligraphy to design our invitations, menus and placecards. I pressed flowers to create the index-style table plan. I dried petals from bouquets given to us by friends and family during our engagement, in order to make our confetti. I made our signage and confetti cones, folded paper cranes to create a backdrop for our selfie station, and made a pallet into a caption competition for our guests to have fun with! I also got my family involved with my mum, brother and sister in-law helping to make an order-of-day pallet, guestbook tree, and wedding cake.
Tell us about the details…
Our beautiful flowers were done by Nadia Di Tullio, and were just stunning! The floral hanging was the main focus for our flowers, and we made sure to get a couple of portrait pictures under this before it was whisked down to the wedding breakfast room. Nadia understood the soft, textured look I was going for, and was brilliant at guiding us to know where our money was best spent to make an impact.
Our cake was made by my mum, who is an incredible cook. We had a three tier design of carrot cake, chocolate fudge cake, and lemon & poppy seed with earl grey. The decorations were kept simple with berries, figs and flowers adding a pop of colour. Jenkinson’s plated this up onto slates with gorgeous edible flowers to decorate, and served with berries, raspberry coulis, and double cream.
My dress is by Claire Pettibone, and I loved it – it felt like what I would design for myself if I had that talent! I actually discounted it at first as I thought it was too ‘eveningy’; however I couldn’t get it out of my mind! When I went back to try it on again I knew it was my dress, as I didn’t want to change a thing about it! I found a gorgeous antique veil by Jane Bourvis to bring in the soft vintage look I wanted, and a pair of LK Bennett burgundy mules to add a pop of colour.
We also hired Shoot-It-Yourself cameras instead of a typical videographer, as we loved the more informal style ‘home video’ look of the videos. This worked brilliantly, we absolutely love our video and we got so many natural and funny moments caught on camera to re-live our day!
What was on the Menu?
We had an antipasti buffet during our drinks reception, as we wanted to make sure there was ample food for everyone rather than a few canapes! We then skipped a starter and had a gorgeous slow cooked beef blade with red wine & shallot jus, fondant potatoes and vegetables. Our wedding cake was served as dessert, as we couldn’t bear to see it go to waste!
In the evening we served pork rolls, and bacon sandwiches with chips. We also DIY-ed a snack bar, with sweet popcorn, salted popcorn, and crisps available for our guests to help themselves to – which went down a treat.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
Apart from the ceremony, which was just the most special moment, we loved seeing our friends and families’ reaction to the West Mill. Stephen and I fell in love with the venue, but had obviously become more used to it after various meetings and taster days etc. Hearing our guests rave about how amazing it was, really brought back our initial excitement, and it was so special to know that they loved it as much as we do!
Do you have any advice for future brides & grooms?
If you haven’t finished a project two weeks before the wedding, just drop it! If you haven’t done it by then, it’s obviously not that important to you, and that way you can really enjoy the build up to the day without stressing!
I honestly can't!
The Dream Team
- Photographer Dominika Miechowska
- Videographer Shoot-It-Yourself
- Dress Claire Pettibone, from Ellie Sanderson
- Shoes LK Bennett
- Veil Jane Bourvis
- Hair Nicola Hodgkison
- Make-Up Josephine Way
- Grooms Attire Paul Smith
- Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
- Cake Bride’s Mum
- Florist Nadia Di Tullio
- Stationary Bride’s own
- Band The Fat Cats at Entertainment Nation