Laura & Dan’s West Mill Wedding Day – The What’s & The Where’s

Derbyshire’s The West Mill is a favourite wedding venue of mine. I’ve said it before on a previous blog but there is an air of coolness about the place. I’ve shot there a few times now and It’s a shame that coolness doesn’t rub off on me when I’m driving there with 80’s pop blaring out. When Laura & Dan asked me to be their West Mill Wedding Photographer I was over the moon to go back there again and determined to hold on to my coolness.

The morning preparations were at West Mill’s cottage which was my first time shooting in it. I must say it was a beautiful little house (located on-site) and Laura and her squad had made themselves at home. A small dilator in the form of a hairdresser cancelling left one of the squad rushing round to find a local hair salon and yours truly offered to be her personal chauffeur to make sure the morning stayed chilled. Apart from that small hiccup, the laughter coming from the girls was a joy to watch.

As the day moved forward Laura & Dan treated their guests to a beautiful ceremony and they even had a four-legged visitor during the drink reception. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bride look at a groom the way Laura did towards her fur baby, Teddy.

As the evening dawned it was obvious the party was gonna get messy. So much dancing, alcohol & good times were shed on that dance floor that Laura decided to take a small rest on the floor in the middle of it all….Legends

Big cheers and thanks go to Laura & Dan for picking me to take their West Mill Wedding Photographs and for being an awesome couple to shoot.  Another shout out to my second shooter Mr Chris Bunce for all his awesome images and help on the day too.

To see what Laura had to say about her day, The West Mill and any advice for planning a wedding keep reading after the pictures.


About West Mill Wedding Venue

This industrial beast of a wedding venue is unlike most wedding venues I’ve come across in the Midlands. For those wanting fields and gardens, the West Mill isn’t your venue. This 1800’s Grade 1 listed former industrial mill has been converted into an amazing split level wedding venue. It’s situated on the Derwent riverbank in Derbyshire and features bear brick, iron columns and ultimately looks really cool.

Although I said it doesn’t have fields surrounding it, the grounds it sits on are well kept and does have some grass banks and trees. The view across the river is stunning and almost perfect for a postcard.

Each part of your wedding day takes place on different levels of the building which means you really do get the most out of the venue. It also means there’s no waiting around for rooms to be redressed and reordered. The metal structures, exposed brickwork and old-school fixtures and fittings really do make every part of the venue look like something out of film set.


Wedding Photography at The West Mill Derby

I’ve had the pleasure of being a West Mill Wedding Photographer a number of times now and I must admit, the venue has no shortage of cool and unusual places to capture some quirky and cool couples portraits. The inside of the venue has loads of massive windows that let in pools of natural light and the permanent fixture allow for some props and backdrops. Outside of the venue, the grassy hills and trees add some greenery to the pictures and the river Derwent is an epic of a backdrop as you can imagine. The exterior of the building itself makes for a great setting for both couples portraits and family group shots.

With that said, for most of the day I’m capturing natural moments and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a bad spot within the building or the grounds to have a backdrop to what your guests get up too. 

My West Mill Wedding by Laura

Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?

“We often know exactly what we want, spending time thinking about what’s important to us and then going for it. We were looking for a mill or barn-type venue as it suited our rustic style and were so excited that after only 2 weeks of being engaged we were viewing and securing The West Mill. The venue was perfect for us. The spacious, quirky mill in its relaxed, quiet and quaint surroundings combined with being a no corkage venue, no hidden extras, and the freedom to do what we wanted, including having Teddy (the dog) there with us on the day, really appealed to us, and on a cold and frosty January morning, we just fell in love with it. The additional bonus was the Mill House; an eight bedroomed, exquisitely decorated house within the grounds of the West Mill venue. The night before the wedding I stayed there with mt two best friends, Bridesmaids Jennifer and Amy, and my mum, it helped to make the morning so much calmer and easier and the beautiful breakfast made by the housekeepers really set us up for the day!”

What was the Highlight Of Your Wedding Day?

“We can’t pick just one highlight! Our top would be; how easy it all was to plan in just 6 months and how smoothly it all went on the day, being able to have Teddy there, oh and tying the knot!”


Did anything Go Wrong and did it impact the day at all?

“At 7am, I was chilling with a cup of tea on her own watching ducks on the beautiful River Derwent, I received a text from the bridesmaid’s hairdresser/ makeup artist who unfortunately had come down with a sickness bug. However, this didn’t phase us. In true best friend form, I decided to do bridesmaid Amy’s hair and Amy did everyone’s makeup. Bridesmaid Jenny enlisted the help of photographer Jonathan who amazingly stepped in to nip her down to a local hairdresser for a quick ‘up-do’. It was like a girl’s night out; thoroughly enjoying getting ready together. 

It didn’t really impact on the day as we are such great friends, very little phased us, we just re-planned and got on with it.”


Any Advice You Would give to a couple planning their wedding day?

– Stay true to what you want as a couple, it’s about the two of you.
– Have a budget but don’t be afraid to push it slightly for things you feel passionate about.
– Don’t over plan things – play to people’s strengths and creativities.
– Take inspiration from other people’s weddings.
– We highly recommend taking time to go round talking to your guests, having a receiving line really helps you have a few moments with everyone.
– Take time out as a couple to reflect and enjoy each moment.
– Don’t have regrets, you only do it once!


If you’re getting married at the West mill and you like the look of my images, please take a further look around my website and if my fun and relaxed style is what you are looking for in a wedding photographer. I would love you to get in touch and let’s chat about your big day


  1. What can I can! It’s always a pleasure to view your work. The editing and clean and crisp your images are. The whole set is amazing, love every frame, including the bride on the floor.

  2. Beautiful work Jonathan! I echo the previous comments, really nice edits and consistency through your set too! I really enjoyed looking through your work. I bet your couple were thrilled with these!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous Jonathan-that last image is exceptional, I want to know how are you created it!

  4. I love this venue, you’ve captured it perfectly. Loved the shots with the dog!

  5. Great set of images, very cute dog and like the pole dancing!!!

    I’m shooting a wedding at West Mill next year and it looks awesome

  6. Love these images, the colours are all gorgeous!

  7. Nice set, like the use of the mirror for the photo of the brides dress.

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