A Joyful Day at The West Mill, Derby // Sam + Fran

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Huge congratulations to Sam and Fran who got married at the gorgeous West Mill, Derby Wedding Venue, on Monday 13th January 2020. What an amazing winter wedding day filled with laughter and joy, and it was an absolute honour to spend the day capturing all their happy memories!

Congratulations again Mr and Mrs Bourn; Welcome to your Wedding Photography Preview!

Our Lovely Couple, Fran and Sam:

Sam and Fran met at University in Bristol, as they were on the same course. Sam explains “We knew each other and had friends in common, but we didn’t actually get together as a couple until our third year after a pub golf night!” After University Fran got a job in Derby and Sam in Cheltenham, so they had to live apart for 9 months until Sam got a job in Nottingham. “We had no intention of staying in Derby, as we both loved Bristol, but we have now been here for seven years and have a mortgage and two cats so it doesn’t look like we’re moving any time soon!”

The Proposal:

Sam says “I proposed to Fran, the day before her 29th Birthday. I took her out for a walk in Castleton, climbed up Mam Torr, and asked her to marry me at the top. I took up a bottle of beer to celebrate (as she isn’t too keen on Prosecco), and arranged a 7 course tasting menu at Darleys that evening to celebrate.”

Fran says “I was surprised as we’d agreed the week before we wouldn’t get married for at least ten years or so, but it turns out Sam had just been lying! ha ha!”

How Did You Choose Your Wedding Venue – The West Mill in Darley Abbey, Derby

The West Mill is a Grade I listed building sitting on the banks of the River Derwent in Darley Abbey, Derby. It is an Exclusive Hire Wedding Venue and boasts gorgeous features throughout.
Sam explains “We visited several different places, from newly built barns, to an alpaca sanctuary. When visiting one of the places, a lady that met us told us we should look at the West Mill, as the photos didn’t do it justice. We took her advice, and went to visit it, and decided it would be a really nice winter venue. One with plenty of space, that would mean that even if it was absolutely miserable weather outside, you wouldn’t miss the outside as the inside was so lovely.”
– It also happened to be right next door to the restaurant Sam and Fran went to on the day they got engaged! 

The Wedding Day:

I was following Bride Fran on Instagram after we met for their Pre-Wedding shoot at Black Rocks in Cromford, and so I had the joy of watching Fran’s preparations for her wedding day. Would you believe it but she hand made her own wedding dress and her three bridesmaids dresses! She also made her wedding cake and lots of other details too! She is super talented (as you can see!) and it was so wonderful to get that ‘behind the scenes’ insight!

Arriving at the West Mill on a blustery winter morning to find the venue alive with hustle and bustle was wonderful. Everything was underway and in high spirits. Fran was looking beautiful and excited for her day. It was really lovely to see Lisa as one of Fran’s bridesmaids too – Lisa was one of my past brides. 

The venue was gorgeously dressed ready for the day – have you seen those hot air balloon table centrepieces! It wasn’t long before Sam arrived with his siblings too.

The morning went without a hitch and soon all the guests were seated in the West Mill’s Cotton Quarter. Sam waited for Fran at the bottom of the aisle so that they could walk together up the aisle – which was a really really lovely touch. After the ceremony we all went down to the ground floor for a confetti exit!

The afternoon was full of fun and happiness. Whilst the guests stayed inside out of Storm Brendan’s winds, Sam and Fran and I ventured outside for their couple photos by the River Derwent. (It all went perfectly, except a huge branch fell out of the big tree I was standing under and nearly landed on me! Eeeek! ha ha!)

The wedding breakfast and speeches were lovely – Bridesmaids Lisa and Beth kicked things off, followed by Best Woman Lizzie, and finally Groom Sam. The speeches were all really touching but Sam really upped the ante by writing a full speech that rhymed! 

It was soon time to head down to the Spinning Room for the evening’s celebrations. Sam and Fran opted to have their guests join them for their first dance, which got everyone on the dance floor together. Everyone had an amazing time! – Can we do it all again?


What One Piece of Advice Would You Give Other Couples?

Sam and Fran enjoyed their wedding planning. “It’s been nice meeting up with friends and family to help with the wedding plans. Going suit shopping, ring shopping, meeting up with the best woman have all been lovely.”

Fran’s advice to other couples is “It’s just a bloody dress!” Hee hee! But then Fran’s dress was particularly incredible – having been lovingly handmade by our Bride herself, and then hand embroidered by her Mum Julie – all which must have taken HOURS! It’s stunning and so meaningful too!

Congratulations again Mr and Mrs Bourn! You were just awesome and it was a true joy to photograph your very special wedding day for you!

If you’re getting married and looking for a West Mill Wedding Photographer, do get in touch! 

Welcome sign at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyHandmade wedding dress at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyBouquet ideas at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyGroom and his brothers at the West Mill wedding venue Derby Bridesmaids at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyBridal portrait at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyCouple walking down the aisle together at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyGetting married at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyThe Cotton Quarter at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyGrand piano at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyCelebrating at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyWest Mill Wedding photographer and couple by the windowConfetti at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyCouple on steps - West Mill Wedding Photographer DerbyPhotos by the River Derwent at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyWinter wedding at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyCouple in lift at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyNight time at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyWedding evening at the West Mill wedding venue DerbyEvening guests at the West Mill wedding venue Derby


Would you like to see some more of my West Mill Wedding Photography? Summer Wedding at the West Mill? Autumn Wedding at the West Mill? Here are some for example, but check out the Blog or get in touch for more! – Jenny xx