It’s always a pleasure to go and visit the West Mill wedding venue – and Paul & Claire’s wedding promised to be an awesome one this autumn. When I arrived at the West Mill the sun was shining down and the venue was looking stunning, as always. Preparations were already well underway in their dedicated bridal suite, with Claire getting ready with her bridesmaids, flower girl and page boy (they were both SO cute, and such a part of the wedding, just lovely!) There was lots of excited chatter but with a really relaxed feel as makeup and hair was finished off while I took Claire’s dress – and uber cool boots – for a photo shoot before the bride needed them! Team West Mill were ready and raring to go for this wedding which promised to be a stylish and cool affair, with the Cotton Quarter decorated beautifully with flowers. Returning Claire’s dress, it was time for her to put it on and for me to get ready to capture the dress reveal, which is always one of my favourite moments and where words really never do justice to people’s reactions. Meanwhile whilst I was busy capturing the West Mill wedding setup, my second shooter was busy capturing Paul and his groomsmen in a nearby uber cool hotel, the Penta Hotel. Their look was one of suave and sophistication, with braces and bow ties to complete the outfit (I felt right at home when they arrived – I love a bow tie!) With cigars at the ready for an evening celebration and a few amusing shots on the bellboy’s trolley the men had a bit of time for a few games of pool before heading over to the West Mill.
With guests arriving and the groom in place, it was time for the bridal party to arrive into the ceremony room. Lots of emotion and romance, with Paul & Claire’s flower girl providing a real ‘awww’ moment as she clearly felt her role was to deliver the petals to the top of the aisle – cue a whole bucketful of petals dumped ceremoniously at the front of the room…not quite the delicate sprinkling that had been intended but a really cute and funny moment. And then it was time for Claire to walk down the aisle, looking stunning and oh-so-cool at the same time. Paul’s face was so lovely, a mixture of pride and excitement to become husband and wife 🙂 The couple had included two readings which always really personalises the service. The ceremony was very romantic with the natural light pouring in through the Georgian windows to create a breathtaking backdrop. When Paul & Claire had become Mr & Mrs they walked down the aisle hand-in-hand, with music provided by Phil, a very talented guitarist (and also just happens to be part of the family!) It was then time for the newlyweds to greet their guests and with the sunshine still holding on, they were all able to make use of the private courtyard that the West Mill wedding venue allows exclusive use of – and the Prosecco-pimping van!! I took the opportunity to take some couple shots in the nice weather which gave Paul & Claire time to reflect on the ceremony – and that they were now husband and wife! Our luck didn’t last long tho – with the group shots and confetti shots done, the guests all headed into The Breakfast Room for the feast while the groomsmen and the happy couple braved the changing weather – with a variety of umbrellas – for some cool rainy shots!
Feet stamping, raucous applause and guests on their feet is how Mr & Mrs Stewart were introduced into the room which seemed to have flowers dripping from every possible surface and wall – it looked absolutely amazing! With the bride and groom in their seats it was the time of the groomsmen to earn their money as the couple had a really unique idea for their wedding favours. Rather than having them laid out on the table, the groomsman carried around wooden feely boxes in which were a range of goodies for the guests to have a lucky dip at (including a Willy Wonka style golden ticket.) Other prizes varied from massive sunglasses to bags of sweets to rather interesting looking potion bottles, it was a great way to start the wedding breakfast with a relaxed and party-style atmosphere. The West Mill wedding caterers always know how to deliver top quality food and Paul & Claire’s wedding didn’t disappoint – the food looked and smelled divine and definitely went down well with the guests. Paul & Claire had been eager to get some cool silhouette shots and also using the awesome chairs in the ceremony room which we managed to squeeze in, between courses of the wedding breakfast. After that it was time for the speeches – such a range of emotions was shared at this point, lots of crying for lots of reasons (and quite possibly the show being stolen by the pageboy and flower girl – just too cute!!)
Paul & Claire had booked my photobooth package also so once the speeches were done it was time to head downstairs to catch guests moving to The Spinning Room and the evening guests arriving. It’s safe to say that the newlyweds’ families and friends embraced the photobooth spectacularly – there really are some absolute classics in the album! With evening guests greeted and the party really beginning to get started, it was time for Paul & Claire to cut their cake – check out the photos below to see their unique twist on the classic wedding cake – it really looked amazing!!! The couple went to town for their first dance too and managed to still look so cool whilst doing it and then the party really got started!! The band were great and I don’t think the dancefloor emptied once at all! I did however manage to prise Paul and his groomsmen away from the dancefloor for some cigar shots. But it was soon time to head back to the dance floor and dance the night away!
Paul & Claire your wedding was so cool and so stylish – really reflecting the kind of people you are. The flowers adorning the West Mill were absolutely stunning and added to an already beautiful backdrop. You also had some really unique touches which were things I hadn’t seen before and it was an absolute pleasure to be part of your wedding day. I really hope you love your West Mill wedding photos as much as I do and that you have a lifetime of happiness together. Congratulations! 🙂