And the Derbyshire small businesses who helped make our day special
On our fourth wedding anniversary I thought it might be fun to share some throwback pictures of our Derbyshire wedding and the lovely, local, independent businesses we used to make our day special. Who doesn’t enjoy looking back through their wedding snaps?! Any excuse… As well as being a fun (if somewhat self-indulgent) trip down memory lane for me, I also thought this might be a nice way to shine the light on some fabulous Derbyshire independents. I get asked quite a lot to recommend wedding venues and so on, so thought it might be good to have everything in one place.
If anyone is interested I’ll happily put together something on Derbyshire weddings generally (let me know?!) but for now, here’s all the details of our Derbyshire wedding.
How we went about planning our Derbyshire wedding
When the exhilaration of being engaged subsides and you start to seriously plan the details, it can actually be quite daunting knowing where to start. We eventually worked out that you needed to have a rough idea of the number of guests you are expecting because this may rule out various venues.
Our Derbyshire wedding venue – The West Mill
We looked at a couple of places but both immediately loved the West Mill in Derby. It’s an exclusive use venue situated in Darley Abbey. We liked that whilst having lots of charm it was essentially a blank canvas. I also liked that the different elements of the day all happened on a different floor. I felt that added a nice ‘flow’ to the day. Here’s a really useful post of questions to ask a wedding venue before you book.
Both in the lead up to it and on the day itself the West Mill were incredible. At the time, all couples were invited to a taster evening and that was such a lovely event.
On the day itself, we absolutely couldn’t fault the West Mill. Mirlah, our wedding planner was amazing and was a really calming influence.
The food and drink
As you know, I am a massive foodie! So the food was always going to be important. We also loved that the West Mill had no corkage charge, so we saved a bit of money by buying our own wine.
Where I eventually bought my dress from has shut down, but I also tried on dresses at Nova Eve in Chesterfield. They have since moved premises but I would definitely recommend them.
My wedding shoes were from good old M&S. They reminded me of Carrie’s Manolo Blahnik’s but were obviously significantly cheaper. They were surprisingly comfortable, although I still ended up in white flip flops by the evening do (affiliate link).
The hair slide was a last minute purchase. I’d wanted something along these lines from the very beginning but just couldn’t find anything I liked, and then I was just walking through Debenhams and was just like ‘that’ll do’ but I love it. You can buy similar here and I love this gold toned one (affiliate links).
I had an appointment at Jo Malone to discuss wedding fragrance. If you have the time/funds this is another lovely treat that I would recommend doing. I’m not quite sure what the set up is now, but back then you got a glass of fizz and a lovely hand and arm massage. I went for Peony and Blush Suede and definitely enjoyed having the shower gel and body cream which made getting ready feel really quite luxurious. I also like that the smaller size colognes are easily portable for a quite refresh. If you want to buy online I’ve found the best prices and offers are generally here (affiliate link).
I think the flowers were more important to me than any other detail of that day. Colin wasn’t bothered at all about this element of the day so I had completely free rein (to my delight). I knew I wanted peonies and big blousy roses (my maiden name was Rose)… and then pretty much gave Kerry from Tineke free rein so long as it was colourful.
I loved visiting Kerry’s studio at Haarlem Mill in Wirksworth and I, Lily and my parents had a lovely trip out. I really enjoyed this sort of wedding planning.
Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses
I bought my bridesmaid’s dress from the same (now shut) shop that my dress was from. Lily was only a baby so whilst I wanted her to look nice, I was also concerned that she would be comfortable and that it was still something relatively practical. In the end, I found exactly what I was wanting at Mamas and Papas.
When we first started doing calculations, I thought I wasn’t bothered about cake… and then I remembered who I am. I love cake. And then I started looking around, and just fell in love with Ruby Lou’s Cake Co. Nottingham based Nat not only makes the most divine cakes, but I also fell in love with the colourful, inclusive, eclectic vibe.
After a really fun afternoon spent tasting cake (literally, living the dream!), we opted for quite a simple looking ‘nearly frosted’ cake with a salted caramel drip. The three layers were different flavours (from the top): raspberry and white chocolate; lemon; and then sticky toffee and salted caramel.
When I started planning my wedding I knew instantly that I wanted my good friend Kate Parkin to do the photography. She had done such a good job of my friend’s that I knew I was in safe hands.
I definitely prefer the more reportage style shots and Kate took lots of unposed, relaxed pictures. As well as the hundreds we have of ourselves and the venue etc, I think we have a beautiful portrait of practically every single guest and personally these mean so much more to me than the group shots (although we had some of those done too, but neither of us wanted to spend the day posing or waiting around). Check out the galleries page of Kate’s website for more photos of our day.
Kate’s second shooter was another friend, Nicky Foster who also does beautiful wedding photography.
Hair and make-up
Another good friend, Georgina did my hair and make-up. It was so lovely getting reading with someone I felt totally comfortable with. George is such a wonderful calming presence, she would put any bride at ease.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little round up of our Derbyshire wedding. I have certainly enjoyed looking back!
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And if you’re a wedding related Derbyshire small business who would be interested in working together in the future, there’s more information here.