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Oh my, do we have a wedding to share with you today?! Picture snazzy hats, doughnuts, impromptu chefs, a super-stylish bride-tribe, one handsome groom and his gang, and you’ve pretty much got the gist of this wonderfully whacky West Mill wedding! Enjoy!

The Proposal

Lauren and Sam’s love story dates back to their college party days. Sam smoothly made his way over to Lauren and commented on their ‘cool tunes’! With mutual friends and a music festival a few weeks later, the pair soon got together. 9 years later whilst in Ireland touring the Wild Atlantic Way, Sam popped the question.

Sam had planned to propose amongst the spectacular scenery, but thought that Lauren had spotted the ring whilst rooting in his bag looking for shower gel. Lauren was actually unaware of the sparkler inside, however Sam quickly hid it in the bed of their tipi. Of all places to sit, Lauren sat on the ring, so Sam did it there and then!

west mill wedding

Their Wedding Vision

The couple wanted a BIG wedding filled with family and friends. They wanted a relaxed day and a party at night. They envisaged a non-traditional, bohemian wedding full of greenery, textures, smoke bombs, dreamcatchers, tambourines, and autumnal flowers!

West Mill Wedding Venue

They couple said ‘I do’ at The West Mill Venue. This magnificent Grade 1 Listed building offers a relaxed and individual setting in a stunning riverside location along the River Derwent. Choosing the right venue was the most important factor for this couple, and they instantly fell in love with it. They particularly appreciated its history, the abundance of indoor spaces (4 floors in fact!) and the industrial vibe. west mill wedding venue

The Dress

Lauren tells us that she tried on about 80 dresses! She loved the processs and confesses to never wanting the dress experience to end. During her search, the Rembo Bjork dress caught her eye on Instagram. She began her hunt and found it in stock at the Alexandra Anne bridal boutique. As soon as Lauren tried it on, it felt like the dress was made for her! We just love the crepe and lace gown and the boho back.

rembo bjork dressrembo bjork dress

Lauren accessoried with a Rembo shawl, a pair of Bella Belle shoes, her Mum’s gold earrings and a gold crystal bracelet with white fringe by Luna.

Hair & Makeup

Lauren’s oldest friend of 28 years, Kim from Hairworkz took care of the ladies’ luscious locks. Makeup was done by one of How to I Do‘s favourites, Frankie Noone. Lauren tells us, “[Frankie’s] sooo amazing! Bubbly, always smiling and absolutely loves what she does. I chose Frankie because when I went for my trial with a couple of my maids, we just knew. She was like us! Frankie listens to what you want and can tailor to suit whatever style you like. She asks how you would normally do your own makeup and gives you makeup tips and tricks. It was an absolute pleasure to have Frankie and Steffi be a part of the wedding morning. They were both so chilled and relaxed. It was the perfect morning.” Do compliments get better than this?

The Suit

Part of the vision for their wedding was to include different textures. Sam fell in love with a light blue wool suit from Next and a stylish tie from Tweed and Groom. Groomsmen also wore similar suits and accessorised with grey ties.

Special People

Lauren’s cousin (practically her brother she quotes) was her Man of Honour. Lauren also had bridesmaids who wore handmade velvet multi-way dresses by Valdenize on Etsy in keeping with the textured theme. The couple also had two gorgeous flower girls.velvet bridesmaid dressesvelvet bridesmaid dresses

Flowers & Styling

Avant Garden Weddings took charge of all things floral at this West Mill Wedding. Lauren envisaged plenty of Pampas Grass to create impressive centrepieces, a wild, draping boutique with pheasant feathers and ribbon and a flower crown with dark moody flowers and pops of colour. Laura from Avant Garden Weddings made Lauren’s floral vision a reality.

Lauren’s unreal bouquet was bursting with Pampas Grass, Juliette Roses, Pink Ranunculus, Astrantia, Red Amaranthus, Green Protea, Burgundy Dahlia, Pink Hellebore, Foliage, Thistles, Scabiosa Pods, Blue Anemones, and finally Pheasant Feathers. We’re in LOVE.

As for decor, the couple wanted to create a modern Bohemian theme. Well, didn’t they deliver?! For favours the couple had mini tambourines plus pheasant feathers for everyone to put in their hair. Guest’s nick-names were used as place cards. The table decor comprised of a mixture of wooden cotton reels and logs with coloured gin and wine bottles.

As the couple were heading off on their 20 month worldwide travel expedition the week after their wedding (we’re not jealous all!), they also incorporated a travel theme into their West Mill wedding. Table names were hexagon glass mirrors with stickers of countries they’ve visited and they had a giant map and travel tag seating chart. You can follow the newlyweds travels on Instagram and Facebook!

Lauren and her mum also made giant dream catchers for the venue which they enjoyed doing together, and now they have them hanging at home.

The Food

For the catering the couple went for a relaxed array of food. They opted for cheese on toast and fish & chips canapés. For the main affair, each table was presented with a joint of roast pork and all the trimmings. One guest per table was assigned an apron and chef’s hat and most importantly, the role of chief carver! We hear that the food was delicious, and what fun to play chef for the day too!alternative wedding breakfasts For afters they had a variety of mini desserts: summer berry crème brulee, mini warm chocolate fudge brownie and ice cream and mini white chocolate and honeycomb cheesecake. YUM and then some! The fabulous Jenkinsons Caterers can be credited and thanked for this delicious feast.

The couple also had their favourite, signature drinks which they collected from France themselves – Kronenbourg, Pornstar Martinis and Prosecco.

Instead of a traditional cake cutting, Lauren and Sam opted for a doughnut wall instead.

The Entertainment

The foundation for Lauren and Sam’s early relationship was their love of music, and it has continued to play a huge part in their lives. They therefore had to have a band. The couple hired Soul and Funk band Minnie and the Moochers to get the party started. Apparently there were dance offs galore!west mill wedding

Lauren and Sam also hired a DIY Photobooth to keep guests entertained. They purchased a flower garland and some props. Guests used a Polaroid camera to create their gorgeous guestbook.polaroid guest book

It’s only right that credit goes to Lauren’s long-standing friend who played Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as the Bride Tribe walked down the aisle. They couple describe it as “truly magical”.

And to top (hat!) it all off, the couple asked their guests to bring a party hat for the evening party! Lauren’s bridesmaid Rachael, aka Soul Sequins, created the bride’s stunning crystal party hat. This looks like so much fun – wish we’d thought of this ourselves! 

The evening also saw Lauren kick off her heels and put on her Dr Martens platforms and a jazzed up leather jacket, courtesy of Joanna Holmes-Branaghan. The jacket detailed their wedding date, a dreamcatcher, and flowers matching the colour palette of their wedding with rose gold sparkles.

painted leather wedding jacket

Making Memories

Yorkshire based Bloom Weddings are responsible for these fantastic photographs. The also created
a memorable and emotive film for the couple to watch again and again (and again!).

The Best Bits?!

For Sam, his favourite part was the couple’s ceremony and seeing Lauren walking down the aisle with her Dad. We hear she only kept him waiting 13 minutes! Lauren tells us:”I felt like I floated down the aisle, it was super surreal and special.” They also cherish one of the readings at their wedding by Dr Seuss: We’re all a little bit weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.west mill wedding

Words of Advice?

“We know everyone says don’t sweat about the little things or things that might not go to plan, but it’s so true. You don’t want to remember the bits you were stressed about on your day so let them go. Make your wedding about everything you both love. You don’t have to follow typical traditions; change it up and make it your own. Go with what your gut says and don’t feel like you have to involve everyone (it gets messy) or justify why you want things the way you want them. Just go with it.” Wise words from the happy couple.

With thanks!

A huge thanks goes to Lauren and Sam for allowing us to share their wonderful West Mill Wedding. We wish you happy travels and a lifetime of happiness – and fancy hats!

More from How to I Do!

To see even more of our fabulous wedding related blogs click here. 

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