a beautifully vibrant wedding in a disused water mill | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe



Morning! Today’s wedding has such a vibrant, fresh feel that I hope it encourages the sun to come out, at least for a couple of hours! Kelly and Toby got married in August of last year, Kelly is Cabin Crew and Toby is a fireman but assures us they didn’t meet through Uniform Dating! Many beautiful touches, captured perfectly by husband and wife team Kevin and Carol. I hope you enjoy (look out for some shoe porn!)

photography by Kevin Belson 


We went on holiday to Dubai, like most girls I had been pestering him about getting engaged for about six months before and thought perfect, as we are going to Dubai we can go and visit all the diamond souks!! Unbeknown to me he had arranged a meal on a beautiful boat and planned to propose there on the deck whilst releasing a chinese lantern but it didn’t go to plan, mainly down to me and me insisting he ask the Captian if it was all ok and then him saying no!! That didn’t go down too well so as we were staying on the beach we walked down after our meal and as I was looking up at the lantern,oooohhing and ahhhhing I looked round and he was on one knee. It meant so much more that he had asked my mum before we went on holiday and that he had listened to me all the time I was talking about rings and had had a beautifully perfect engagement ring designed for me.

Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-002 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-003 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-004 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-005 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-006 The FlowersOur colour theme was yellow so after lots of research we decided to have fresh lemons halved and threaded through a glass vase with a modern simple flower display on top of the vase for our table decorations. I loved that I had never seen anything like it before and it was very individual. With regards to our flowers, my mum was walking me down the aisle and her father, my grandad passed away when I was very little but I always remember planting sweet peas with him as they were his favourite flower so it was important for me that I included those in my bouquet and my mums buttonhole. I had a mix of sweet peas, yellow calla lillies, yellow freesia and yellow roses. For the bridesmaids they had white calla lillies and white freesia. Not only did they all look beautiful they smelt amazing!


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I bought a necklace to match my engagement ring and just a small pearly bag to put the essentials in!

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Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-041 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-042 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-043 The VenueWe live in Poole and got married in a disused Water Mill called Sopley Mill which is close to Christchruch. The Mill has been completely renovated from top to bottom and is surrounded by its own water marsh.

We loved that we could put everything we wanted into the Mill. You hire just the Mill and then you organise everything to go in there from the catering to the decorations to the bar to the DJ. I liked that I had control over my wedding day and what went into it and that it was going to be extremely personal to Toby and I even if it was slightly more stressful than having our wedding in a hotel or other venue where you have a wedding planner.

Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-044 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-045 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-046 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-047 The Decor

Our theme was yellow. It is a colour I love and something different to every wedding I have been to. I loved the kinds of flowers that we could incorporate into the day and just thought it would make for a vibrant happy day.

My vision for the day was to embrace the beautiful location and incorporate that into my day. When we first saw the venue I knew I wanted it straight away, it was like nowhere I had been before. We had both always wanted to have as many of our guests to the whole day as we could do. From being a guest at other weddings I had picked up that the more people you have to the evening reception the less time you get to spend together and actually enjoy the evening so that was a big consideration for us. We only ended up having ten evening guests which was just enough. We both wanted to make sure that everyone had a great time and spent as less money as possible when they were with us as they had already spent on outfits,hotels etc so we subsidised our bar which everyone really appreciated. To have your most important people in your life in one place is just the most amazing feeling.

With the other decorations in the Mill we tied fairy lights around the beams where we were having our wedding breakfast and placed lace lanterns outside but we kept the decorations fairly simple as the Mill was so beautiful we didn’t want to hide that.

I had an apple crate personalised for us with our names and date of the wedding in which we used for guests to put in wedding cards, we now use this at home which is a lovely memory of the day.

The room where the wedding breakfast was to take place had to be set up the morning of the wedding so I gave a detailed plan of what I envisaged the room looking like with the table decoration and table settings to Toby and the ushers for them to undertake. It was a bit like Don’t tell the bride when he showed me after the ceremony but they had done an amazing job!!

Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-048 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-049 The FavoursFor our wedding favours we decided to give all the men a mini bottle of Jagermeister and all the ladies a mini Baileys so I had a thin white ribbon printed with our names on and the date of the wedding and made them into little bows and added them to the bottles.

Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-050 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-051 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-052 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-053 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-054 The CakeWe chose a local restaurant who also do outdoor catering to cater for our wedding. We wanted a sit down meal as opposed to a buffet style so after much deliberation decided on having a posh hog roast and side dishes which they cooked in their outdoor catering van and transferred into the kitchens of the Mill. It really was delicious. We didn’t have a dessert but used our wedding cake as dessert as we had had it made to feed the number of people at the wedding so didn’t want any of it going to waste. We had 90 cupcakes made and filled with lemon curd and then a cake on the top,also filled with lemon curd which we could cut. The caterers then distributed the cake to our guests.

Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-055 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-056 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-057 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-058 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-059 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-060 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-061 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-062 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-063 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-064 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-065 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-066 Sopley-Mill-Wedding-Photographer-067 The GroomWe hired the suits from a local bridal shop and went for a classic black suit with tails and as our colour theme was yellow the ushers all had yellow cravats and Toby had a cream cravat. We chose slate waistcoats which worked really well.

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Our wedding day really was everything and more we could ever have wished for. All the hard work paid off and I look back with such pride that we planned everything together and had everything we wished for. To have so much control over our day was so important to us both and it really did surpass all our expectations. Oh and to all grooms, Toby was told something very true on our wedding day that ‘ A happy wife makes for a happy life!!’

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Research everything and if something doesn’t feel right or you think you have a silly question just ask it, it better to know the answer then to start fretting about it all.

I wrote everything down and put the costings at the side so I could keep track which really helped and made notes of when I had paid for things so I had my own record to look back on.


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