On the 28th of February, I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Cat and Steven at the West Mill in Darley Abbey Mills, Derby. As a Suffolk-based wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of photographing weddings at some of the most beautiful venues across the UK, but the West Mill truly stands out. It is a stunning Grade 1 Listed venue that was once an old cotton mill and offers breathtaking views of the river Derwent. This unique and picturesque venue provided the perfect backdrop for Cat and Steven’s special day.
The West Mill can accommodate hundreds of guests, but this wedding was an intimate affair, with only 28 of the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest in attendance. This made the wedding all the more special, as everyone present was there to witness the exchange of vows and celebrate the happy couple’s love.
The bridal party arrived at the West Mill at 11 in the morning, and I was there to capture every moment. The venue has a private suite where the bridal party can get ready in comfort and privacy, and it was a pleasure to document the excitement and joy of the bride, bridesmaids, and flower girl as they prepared for the big day. Despite the chaos of getting ready, there was a constant sense of fun and laughter in the air, helped along by some bubbles to calm the nerves. The flower girl, Evie, was especially keen to have her photograph taken, and it was a pleasure to capture her infectious enthusiasm.
The handsome groom and his two best men arrived in plenty of time, and I had the opportunity to take some small group shots of them before the ceremony began. The guests were greeted on the third floor of the mill, a stunning room with old flagstone flooring and a vaulted ceiling that provided the ideal space for a wedding ceremony.
The wedding party made their way down the aisle, with the five lovely bridesmaids dressed in a striking emerald green, the charismatic pageboy, Noah, and the flower girl, Evie, leading the way. The emerald green, plum, and sunflower yellow colour theme made for a magnificent choice, especially for the stunning flower arrangements and bouquets. Cat was accompanied down the aisle by her father, Robert, who was the true epitome of a proper Derbyshire farmer – proud, rosy-cheeked, and full of frivolity! The bride looked absolutely stunning in her beautiful dress, which she had done all the alterations to herself. She beamed with an incredible smile throughout the day, clearly in her element and enjoying this incredibly special moment.
After the ceremony, there was time for some small group shots and plenty of opportunity for everyone to relax, catch up, and have a few celebratory drinks. The in-house caterers provided the guests with a fantastic and seasonal meal of asparagus soup, sliced roast leg of pork, and stacks of pancakes with all the traditional accompaniments for dessert, in a fitting nod to Shrove Tuesday.
The best men gave their speech after the wedding breakfast, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable (and hilarious) few minutes! Both best men were involved, which was somewhat unconventional, but this made for an even better speech. They explained how Cat and Steve met online via Plenty of Fish and how he rather romantically travelled all the way to China and surprised Cat by proposing on the Great Wall.
Later in the evening, the wedding celebration became a joyous party, with more friends and family joining the newlyweds on the second floor of the mill. The cake cutting was a highlight of the evening, with a magnificent cake hanging upside down from the ceiling. The first dance was also a memorable moment, as Cat and Steven had gone to the effort to practice and
rehearse their dance ahead of time. The chosen song, “You and I” originally by Ingrid Michaelson, was performed live by a fantastic singer, Morgan Richter. It was a joy to watch and photograph, and I am sure that this moment will be remembered by the guests for years to come. The rest of the guests joined them on the dance floor and partied the night away with the excellent disco provided by Daniel of Inferno Disco & Karaoke.
As a wedding photographer, it was an honour to capture every moment of Cat and Steven’s special day. From the excitement of the bridal party getting ready to the intimate ceremony, from the heartfelt speeches to the joyous celebration, every moment was captured beautifully. The West Mill was a truly unique and picturesque venue, providing a stunning backdrop for every photo. The beautiful architecture, the old flagstone flooring, the vaulted ceiling, and the river Derwent created an ambience that was truly magical.
As a Suffolk-based wedding photographer, if you are looking for a wedding photographer in Derby, my services are available, and I would be delighted to discuss your requirements. With my expertise, I will capture every moment of your special day, creating images that will be cherished for a lifetime.