West Mill Winter Wedding

West Mill winter wedding confetti tunnelA December Wedding at The West Mill in Derby

Last December, I was in Darley Abbey in Derby for Caroline and Patrick’s West Mill winter wedding. For those of you who haven’t heard of The West Mill, it’s rapidly becoming one of the most popular wedding venues in the Midlands. If not the UK. (But being a Derby chap, I’m maybe a little biased.)

Besides how amazing this building looks, both inside and out, one of it’s biggest appeals has to be that each floor hosts a different part of your wedding day. No more waiting for the room to be turned around. No more having your guests ushered outside while tables and chairs are re-arranged. With The West Mill, you start at the top, and you work your way down. And, in case you’re wondering, yes…there’s a lift.

So, I started the day on the top floor, which has this fantastic little dressing room, as well as the main ceremony room. I met Caroline and her bridesmaids, who were a mix of calm, nervous and excited. Sometimes all at the same time. It was also my first time working with Rochelle O’Brien (make-up artist) and Helen Sutcliffe (hair stylist). It’s always good to meet new wedding industry folk, especially so close to home, too.

Emotional Father of the Bride

After nipping downstairs (yes, I used the stairs!) to see how Pat was getting on greeting their guests, I returned to the dressing room to see Caroline looking amazing in her dress, and waiting for her dad to show up. Now, this is one of those moments that I love to capture for the family. It’s such a special thing to witness a father seeing his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. So much must be going through his mind. So many memories. It’s a privilege to be a part of it. And it’s hard not to get swept up in it all. Thankfully, I have a camera to hide behind.

Following the ceremony, which is a beautifully light and airy room at the top of the building, the guests made their way outside for confetti. The stairs here are pretty narrow, so it’s a gradual process even with the lift to lend a hand. Soon though, we were all outside, and the guests were arranged into two rows for the now infamous West Mill Confetti Tunnel. If you have a look on their Facebook page you’ll see a gallery dedicated to them. More smiling faces than you can shake a stick at!

Back indoors we all went, the guests queuing up to get a glimpse at the table plan to find out where they were sitting. Speaking of tables, you’ll notice a photo of a chap admiring one of the candle holders placed on each table. You might think that it looks like the kind of modern, industrial-chic item you’d find in a high end homewares shop. You’d be wrong. These were lovingly made by none other than our groom, Patrick. Talented chap that he is.

Doughnut Wall for the Evening Reception

As the waiters were filling the champagne glasses, the speeches began. They were a bit of a roller-coaster of emotions. They had the guests laughing, crying and most things in between. And not for the first time that day, I was glad to have my camera to hide behind. After the plates had been cleared away, it was time to kick back and enjoy the evening. With a doughnut wall, table football, a gin bar and the surroundings of an awesome old mill, Caroline and Pat couldn’t have wished for a better end to their wedding.

If you’re thinking of having a West Mill winter wedding and you’d like natural, unobtrusive photographs that tell the real story of your wedding day, get in touch and tell me more about yourselves and your wedding plans.

Exterior of West Mill wedding venueChristmas wreath at west millwedding day lightboxhandmade initials sign for weddingbride in dressing gown holding glass of pink champagnebride showing bridesmaids photo albumlaughing bridesmaid during morning prepbride at west mill dressing room having make up donebride showing bridesmaids photo on phonehair stylist applies hairspraybride's hair all styled and finishedclose up of happy bride putting in earringsmiling bridesmaids admire bride in dressguests gather inside at the west millGroom helps his young son with bow tielaughing guests await the wedding ceremonygroom's sister greeting guests with a hugbride's father is emotional seeing her in her dressseated guests taking photos during the ceremonygroom smiles as he sees bride walking down the aislebride walking down the aisle with her dadhappy bride during ceremonygroom smiling during wedding ceremonyclose up of the exchange of ringsceremony readings at the west millgrandfather pulling faces with his young grandsonsigning the register against a brick walljust married at the west millgroom's mother hugs her new daughter-in-lawguests ready to throw confettijoyous confetti tunnelunposed and natural wedding portraitsguests chatting and laughingguest taking photo of the table planhand made wooden initial signchoosing what to eat from the menumale guest admiring the handmade candle holderslittle girl picking her nose during wedding breakfastbride and groom arrive in an elevatorbride laughing at groom's speechclose up of bride looking at her husband during his speechguests laughing during speechesbride's father lays a comforting hand on his wife's shoulderproud father looking at his daughter during his speechbridesmaid laughing during speechesbride's father laughing during her speechguests all raising their glasses in a toastbride's brother puts his head in his handsembarassed groom during speechbest man delivering his speech to laughing guestsgroom's family laughing during speecheslittle girl and a doughnut wallguest eating a donut off the donut wallguests playing table footballbride and groom cutting a massive chocolate cakefirst dance at the west millbride singing to her husband during dancemother of the bride on the dance floorgroom lifting up a guest on the dance floorbride laughing with friends