Charlotte + Carl's spring cotton themed DIY wedding at The West Mill, Derbyshire

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mr + Mrs Turner
Sunday 1st March 2020 │ The West Mill, Derbyshire │ Instagram: @signedbycharlotte
Charlotte and Carl wed on their 8 year anniversary and had a cotton themed wedding, inspired by their venue - a gorgeous old cotton mill. The bride was a DIY queen, from handpainted signage, a cotton reel table plan to a gorgeous macrame backdrop for the top table and their cake of cheese. After creating so much for her own wedding, Charlotte launched her own business: Signed by Charlotte
How did you and Carl meet?
We met on our first day at Loughborough University back in 2010. We were living in the same halls and became part of the same friendship group. We were friends to begin with before eventually becoming a couple on 1st March 2012. 
Tell us about the proposal...
We have always loved Barbados, both travelling there separately with our parents when we were younger. The first time we went together was with my mum and step-dad for my 21st birthday. My step-dad proposed to my mum during this holiday and we went back a year later for their wedding so it has always been a special place to us. We have been back many times just the two of us since then, so I hoped that when Carl did eventually propose that it would be in Barbados. In November 2018, we were on the beach, just the 2 of us, and Carl kept asking me to get out of the sea. I was enjoying floating about on my lilo so I didn't cooperate... little did I know he wanted to propose! The moment had gone, so later that afternoon, he suggested a walk along a lovely little path directly next to the sea. This time I cooperated and, as I was taking photos of the fish in the sea, Carl got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect – just the 2 of us in that special moment together.
All ceremony songs were played live by pianist John Budding...
  • Walked down the aisle to: Canon in D Major - Pachelbel Orchestra 
  • Ceremony songs: Can't help falling in Love - Elvis, Lovely Day - Bill Withers and Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  • First dance: Stand By Me - Ben E King - this has always been our song and neither of us can recall why! 
We walked back up the aisle to as a married couple to Married Life - Michael Giacchino from the film 'Up'. We love this film and our pianist learned it especially for us. We agreed not to do presents for each other on the morning of the wedding but we both ended up buying each other a small gift and both happened to be related to the film 'Up'. 
Tell us about saying yes to the dress...
My dress was by Essence of Australia from Dress Me Pretty Bridal Room in Hinckley, Leicestershire. If you are local to Leicestershire, I highly recommend visiting them, the boutique and whole experience with finding my dress was amazing. I didn't think I would choose a fitted dress but they recommended a few for me to try on and I ended up loving it!
Was there a reason behind choosing your wedding date?
Our wedding date was our 8 year anniversary so it was a special date for us anyway, and we just loved the idea of an early Spring wedding. There were daffodils around the grounds of our venue and hoped for a crisp but sunny day (which we were lucky enough to get on our wedding day after weeks of storms!). 
Tell us about your wedding theme...
Our theme was cotton and our colour scheme was neutral, and there are a few reasons for this! Our venue was an old cotton mill so it was nice to reflect that, but I also studied Textiles at University and work in the clothing industry. We tied in the cotton theme by having vintage cotton spools as centrepieces and small wooden cotton reels to hold our name cards. I spent hours trawling antique stores, visiting textile mills and bidding for them all online! 
I made our seating plan using ivory cotton fabric on wooden cotton reels. One of the processes of cotton making is called Cotton 'Ginning'; where the cotton fibres are separated from the cotton seeds, so we also used gin bottles within the centrepieces and around the venue. For our favours, my Mum made homemade Cherry gin. We chose cherry for the flavour because Carl is a huge AFC Bournemouth fan and the club is nicknamed 'The Cherries'. We just loved all of these small details throughout our day!
Any more wedding DIYs?
Lots! We DIY'd pretty much all of the decor except for the flowers and foliage which were provided by our wonderful florist on the day. My favourite DIY was the macrame backdrop I made for the top of the aisle and behind the top table. I have always loved macrame and I am now making custom pieces for other people too. 
Were there any surprises on the day?
I surprised Carl with a personalised letter from the Manager and players of AFC Bournemouth. One of our Best Men read it out during his speech and Carl thought it was a joke to begin with! 
How did you celebrate your hen do?
My main hen party was a weekend in Bath - we hired a big house and it was amazing! On the Friday night we had games and karaoke in the house, followed by Bottomless brunch in town on the Saturday morning. We then headed back to the house for pottery painting before a night full of more games, lots of fancy dress and going out in town! The games all revolved around themes related to Carl and I - Barbados (where we got engaged), blind cheese and wine tasting (we love both!), football (see above!) and Loughborough Freshers (where we met). For each theme there was different cocktails and fancy dress related to them. When we went to the bars later that night I was dressed as a huge football! 
Tell us about your wedding cake...
We decided to have a cake of cheese instead of a traditional wedding cake! This was another DIY - we bought all of the cheese from various cheese shops and factories and it worked out really reasonable! And as a big fan of cheese, the cheese tasting was a wedding planning highlight! For people with a sweet tooth, we had donuts - I made the donut stands using more vintage cotton reels - I loved them as an alternative to a donut wall!
Where did you find all of your inspiration? 
Instagram and Pinterest were really helpful for me. The Instagram bridal community has so many lovely accounts and everybody is so friendly and helpful. I also had a lot of ideas which came naturally due to the industrial vibe of our venue and trying to keep in tune with that!
Advice for future brides...
Don't worry about every tiny aspect! I did all of the decor myself and in the run up I was so worried about it all coming together! My mum and I spent the week before meticulously sorting everything into boxes, creating diagrams and plans for the team at our venue to set it up perfectly and I wish I had stepped back and remembered that they are experts at setting up weddings and I really didn't have to worry so much. Some things were slightly different to how I imagined but in a good way! 

From Brides, With Love xo
Florist: Bluebell & Ivy
Photographer: Tom Durn Photography
Hair: Jade Voss
Dress: Essence of Australia at Dress Me Pretty Bridal Room
Hair Piece + Veil: Eden B Studio
Bridesmaids dresses: Dorothy Perkins 
Suits: Burton
Photobooth: Piccolobooth
Cake: DIY Cake of Cheese
Invitations: Friend (printed at 
Stationery: Signed by Charlotte (Bride)
Décor: Signed by Charlotte (Bride)
Get 10% off a £20 minimum spend at Signed by Charlotte on Etsy with code: FROMBRIDESWITHLOVE10

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