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rachel’s diary: the wedding venue hunt

March 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Andy & Rach

After riding that cloud-nine-feel of getting engaged over Christmas and New Year the realisation of planning a wedding hit me head on in mid-January. Even though I work in the industry my vision was clouded by the ring-finally-on-finger euphoria and I thought (possibly like many other couples) that we had loads of time to find a venue and start making plans.

However, when Andy and I started to seriously discuss timings we narrowed when would like to say our “I dos” down to a three-month-window next spring; being April, May, June 2019. Now, if you’re quite happy to have a long engagement, or perhaps, aren’t too fussed about what time of the year you get wed, you don’t need to panic just yet. For us it was a case of timing the wedding to fit in with a season that we like, months that would work well with our jobs, and also avoiding the peak summer season price hike – we, like the vast majority of brides and grooms, don’t have a bottomless budget and therefore are taking care to spend wisely.

With this in mind, we have also done the unthinkable and booked a, wait for it…Thursday wedding! We figured those that love/like/just about tolerate us will be willing to sacrifice a day’s annual leave to celebrate our special day with us – and, as a thank you, we will be investing the saving we made by opting for a week day into elements our guests will most definitely benefit from – being the food, booze and entertainment!

Middleton Lodge Fig House - Image by Gary Walsh Photography

Middleton Lodge Fig House – Gary Walsh Photography

So, where oh where will the big day take place? Well prompted into panic mode we went to view three venues which I know of and love; and so really it was a case of gauging Andy’s feelings on these. New addition to the stunning Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire, The Fig House was a front-runner from the off. Fresh and fabulous, this stunning Georgian inspired building is set to start holding weddings in the coming months, and we both loved the fact that none of our family or friends would have got hitched there before. Better still, The Fig House is concealed within a breath-takingly beautiful walled Kitchen Garden, and visions of beers and Bellinis on the lawns had us hooked. However, back home when we mulled things over, logistically it was going to be a struggle for us with pretty much all guests being from our home-city of Sheffield and even further south. Those of you on the venue search around the North Yorkshire area though must absolutely check out The Fig House and wider Middleton Lodge Estate.

Saltmarshe Hall - Image by Aden Priest

Saltmarshe Hall – Aden Priest Photography

Next up was gorgeous Grade II country house, Saltmarshe Hall, located in rural East Yorkshire. What I adore about this venue is its grand façade and gorgeous interiors, which offer an air of luxury and opulence, and yet it feels a real home from home, instantly welcoming and exclusive. Having recently added more stunning bedrooms to its offering it was another strong contender, with its light and airy reception rooms and speak-easy style bar adding extra ticks. Though in the end, for us, we felt we needed just a bit more space for the size of our wedding party (and also to accommodate Andy’s dance moves without people getting injured!) However, again, if your wedding venue search area covers East Yorkshire, please do look up this truly beautiful Hall.

The West Mill

The West Mill – Richard Murgatroyd Photography

And so that brings me onto our third and, as it turns out, winning venue – The West Mill in Derby. I’d never visited this place in person prior to our viewing but I’d often spent far too long staring at images of it, either via real weddings featured here on the blog or those I found on Instagram. What drew me to it was its cool, industrial luxe style and I thought (and hoped!) this would be right up Andy’s street too. Cue a wonderfully personal show around by owner Andrew, and we were sold.

The West Mill

Richard Murgatroyd Photography

The space within the Grade I listed former cotton spinning mill, situated next to the river Derwent, is nothing short of exceptional with space to wed, dine and party across four fabulous levels, plus outdoor space too – oh and eight brand new gorgeous on-site bedrooms.

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industrial chic. maggie sottero for a relaxed wedding at the west mill – kate & matt

March 31st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

While we Brides Up North girls are big fans of timeless stately home settings, we can’t help falling head over heels for the stripped-back industrial style venues that are coming through strong on the current wedding scene.

Today’s celebration takes place at one such venue, a former cotton spinning mill that has been transformed into a stylish wedding venue, complete with exposed brick, wooden floors and pendant lighting. We love!

Bride and groom Kate and Matt, enhanced the venue further by paying homage to the area’s textile industry roots within their décor and colour scheme choices.

There’s lots of pretty to pore over, from Kate’s stunning beaded dress and Hollywood-worthy makeup, to the beautiful bouquets and suspended floral arrangement!

With images by Toast of Leeds and video by Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films.

Matthew and Kate from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

kate says: We got engaged in Alghero, Sardinia, in August 2015 and set the date for a year later, on Monday 15th August 2016.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

We chose to marry on this date as we really wanted our wedding at The West Mill in Derby and, due to its popularity, there were limited dates left and we didn’t want to miss out. Luckily, we both work in a school so a Monday wedding in the summer holidays was not a problem for us.

The venue was right up our street with its industrial chic design and its exclusive use for our big day. The setting is beautiful right on the river Derwrnt and only ten minutes from Derby.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

We went with a simple, cotton mill theme for the wedding in honour of the building and because we are both from Rochdale and Oldham, renowned for their part in the textile industry during the industrial revolution.

The colour scheme was made up of rustic tones, with white, cream and peach flowers and navy for the groomsmen’s suits.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

I chose to wear a vintage beaded dress by Maggie Sottero from Brides and Gowns, located in Derby city centre. I chose it for its simplicity and style, I wanted to maintain a classic look in keeping with the venue.

Matt wore a navy Venttuno suit with a cream waistcoat and champagne cravat from Moss Bros. The groomsmen wore the same as Matt but with champagne ties instead of cravats.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

On the day of the wedding myself, my mum and my bridesmaids travelled to the venue by limousine.

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prohibited love: vintage & rock ‘n’ roll vibes for a styled shoot at the west mill

April 28th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Vintage Bridal Shoot at The West Mill (c) HBA Photography (14)

The stunning styled shoot that we’re sharing with you today offers inspiration for all with urban, vintage, rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary influences playing a part,.

Shot at a cool, new venue to the wedding scene, The West Mill in Derby, the talented suppliers behind this striking shoot picked styling and decorative elements that would contrast beautifully with the converted cotton mill’s raw and stripped back interiors.

The result is a highly stylish and fresh set of images which provide fabulous ideas for everything from table settings and décor to beauty and attire. To explain more about the creative thought behind the shoot, we’ll hand over the blog to florist Nadia, who planned all the magic along with her business partner Penny and photographer Ben from HBA Photography.

With images by HBA Photography. Models Hannah Bartter-Clamp, Sophie Brentnall and Martyna Morkuniene.

A Vintage Bridal Shoot at The West Mill (c) HBA Photography (19)

A Vintage Bridal Shoot at The West Mill (c) HBA Photography (18)

nadia says: Several members of the team on this shoot had worked together previously, and created some really beautiful images in the past that were soft, romantic and very feminine. This time however, they were really keen to style a shoot loosely based on the prohibition era of the 1920’s, adding in a modern, slightly darker twist. Sultry brides and rock and roll grooms was what we were looking for!

A Vintage Bridal Shoot at The West Mill (c) HBA Photography (26)

The West Mill venue has so many quirky, intrinsically unique features that they were keen to highlight the style of the venue as well as playing with a more edgy, masculine vibe. Most shoots are very much geared towards the bride so they wanted to create something that grooms could connect with too.

When it came to the styling, the team wanted to work with the raw, urban nature of The West Mill, with its exposed brick work, rusted ceilings and slate floors, so used accessories such as copper lanterns and handmade cement table numbers to really tie in with this.

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