Rachel's Wedding Diary

rachel’s diary: building the #weddingsquad

10th May 2018 | Rachel Parry

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Last week we hit a poignant point in the wedding day countdown – one-year-to-go, whoop! Naturally we paid extra close attention to the weather on May 2nd as if it’s a guaranteed reflection of what the weather will be in a year’s time. But then I reminded myself that the weather can change drastically from day to day in the UK, never mind year to year, and so I suppose we have no clue what type of conditions we are in for until the big day rolls round (just please, no snow!)

I’m a born worrier, though I have to say the weather is one area I’m not too hung up on about the wedding as we took this into consideration when picking our venue – The West Mill in Derby – as it has so much stunning indoor space that it won’t matter if we can’t make use of its outdoor areas due to rain, gales or worse!

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So, what have Andy and I managed to arrange since my last diary post? Well I’m afraid we’ve slacked off a little actually, due to being extra busy with work, also my older brother’s wedding is now just a matter of weeks away (eeeekk!) and we we’re also basking in the comfort of having more than a year to plan – a luxury that has now come to an abrupt end meaning we need to pick our socks up.

While some elements we want to keep a surprise for the big day (which we will of course be sharing with you following the ‘I dos’) there are a few elements I can discuss.

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Up first is our photographer – a supplier we ticked off the list as soon as we had our date and venue, and I would highly recommend you doing the same as these talented folk get booked up years in advance. Working in the industry I am surrounded by skilful photographers but there is one that I met early on in the industry, who is from my home city of Sheffield and whose images and approach I instantly connected to – and that certain someone is the wonderful Jon Dennis of S6 Photography. Thankfully Andy was equally taken with his spectacular work and Jon was free on our chosen date – phew!

As the photos are your lasting memories of a wedding once the day has been and gone, I think it’s of paramount importance to find a photographer whose style you love and that you can trust to deliver. My advice when searching is to look through full weddings on photographers’ websites/blogs if possible rather than just ‘hero’ shots shared on social media as this will give you a better idea of how they capture the full day; the emotions, details and everything in between. Once you’ve narrowed down your list I then think it’s a case of getting the right vibes when communicating/meeting with them. As your photographer will be with you all day, it’s important to like and get along with them, knowing they will treat you and your guests well.

We are so excited for Jon to capture our day, and highly advise you looking up his work if you are currently on the photographer hunt.

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Further to report, last month we returned to our venue for a ‘Tasting Experience’ evening where we could view The West Mill once again, along with its new Mill House accommodation, meet some of their recommended suppliers and, most importantly, sample food from the caterers that will providing our wedding breakfast to give us an idea of what we can expect. We were also invited to take along four guests, which meant we could reveal our choice of venue to our parents – thankfully, they loved it as much as we do!

The function spaces at The West Mill had been dressed to impress so it was great to see what could be done with the rooms and certainly gave us food for thought styling wise – now just to whittle down my ever-growing Pinterest boards!

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Having seen gorgeous images of the Mill House on-site accommodation we were also excited to see these rooms first hand, and they didn’t disappoint! Each of the eight en-suite double rooms feature beautiful boutique styling, copious amounts of exposed brick and luxury bathrooms making us want to move in permanently, rather than just stay one night.

And just when we thought we couldn’t be anymore smug about our choice of venue, we sampled the food by their caterers, Jenkinson’s. Wow oh wow – a couple of friends of mine who have attended weddings at The West Mill previously mentioned the food was delicious, but it far exceeded our expectations. Three different starters and mains were delivered to the table followed by two different desserts meaning we consumed a full meal each but got to sample varying options from the menu. Presentation and flavour were both fabulous and the portion sizes were very good too, given the nod of approval by hollow-legs-Andy, who often reminds me that his Barnsley roots means he is requires ‘proper’ meals!

We will now await a meeting with the caterers about six months before the wedding to make our food choices but we certainly left feeling highly satisfied and inspired!

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Another element that I’ve managed to take care of his picking my #bridesquad – the girlies that I couldn’t be without and that I require right by my side on this wedding journey, of which there are four. I adore each and everyone of these girls, all who have been there (and thankfully still are!) through various points of my life, giving me support, advice, laughs and some rather epic hangovers along the way!

To ‘pop the question’ I ordered these gorgeous ‘will you be my bridesmaids’ cards from Etsy, each personalised with their names and handed each one over in person, apart from the one that had to go all the way to Australia. I loved seeing my friends’ reactions – lots of smiles, hugs and even a few shrieks and tears! So, I’m currently in all their good books and, of course, they are in mine – let’s just hope it stays that way when it comes to them organising the hen do and me being in charge of the big day attire!

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Next on my list is to get the invites out there. Unfortunately, there isn’t quite the same anticipation of who made our guest list as those getting in on the action of Harry and Meghan’s big day, but (unlike the royals) we have agreed to keep it to our very nearest and dearest, so I like to think those who receive an envelope in the coming months will be excited at sharing in our celebrations.

the big picture

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