Charlotte and Jake’s rustic mill wedding
Greenery, candles and ‘tasteful cheesiness’ were the backdrop to this lovely rustic mill wedding. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…
Charlotte and Jake met through a mutual friend at a barbecue. “It was a classic case of opposites attract,” says Charlotte. “Jake is relaxed and quiet, while I’m loud and bubbly. I remember thinking he was absolutely gorgeous but he’d never be interested in me. Thankfully I was wrong!”
“We spent a couple of months getting to know each other, whilst spending time with friends. For our first solo date Jake took me to Matlock Bath in Derbyshire, where we bonded over our love of 2p machines and fish and chips. It was, and still is, the perfect date for us!”
A beautiful proposal
The couple got engaged after five and a half years together. “Jake always said he wanted a camper van before he’d propose,” says Charlotte. “I thought he was joking… turns out he wasn’t! So, with the arrival of our new van in 2018, I was hoping a ring was next. And, on 2nd Feb 2020, Jake arranged for us to meet up with some friends in Matlock (so I thought).”
“However, on the journey up they messaged to say they had broken down and would be late. So, we went for a walk to one of the Matlock bridges. To the very spot where we had our first photo together on our first date back in 2014.”
"We took another photo before Jake kissed me on my forehead, his eyes full of tears, and dropped down on one knee, pulling out the most beautiful engagement ring and asking me to marry him! I dropped to the floor and instantly cried my heart out with happiness. It was obviously a big yes! "
“Once we’d managed to stop crying we called our friends. They came and met us for a celebratory drink, now that their breakdown was magically fixed!”
Shopping for the dress
Charlotte had an appointment booked at a wedding boutique but decided to go to WED2B Stoke-on-Trent instead, as so many friends had recommended it. “My mum and sister joined me and, from the moment we walked through the door, it was effortless,” she says.
"We just chatted about wedding plans and the dress styles I had in mind. I felt relaxed and really excited to get stuck in!”
Finding 'The One'
“I looked through the rails and tried to find all of the dresses I’d seen online before going to the dressing room to try some on,” says Charlotte. “They were all absolutely beautiful but I just wasn’t getting that, ‘The One’ feeling.”
“The lovely store assistant asked if she could pick one out for me to try, which I was more than happy with. She bought me Bruna and, oh my goodness, it was just an utter moment. I got so emotional just getting into it, never mind when my mum and sister saw me.
"It was ‘The One’! Bruna hugged me in all the right places, with delicate off-the-shoulder straps and a gorgeous train with such beautiful detail."
A rustic mill wedding
The couple booked Haarlem Mill in Matlock for their rustic mill wedding. “We loved the look of it from photos we’d seen online,” says Charlotte. “On our first viewing, the team showed us round and educated us on the history of the venue, which was fascinating. The whole package just ticked all our boxes, the team were so warm and lovely right from the initial enquiry and everything was so easy in comparison to other venues we’d viewed. I remember walking around with a knot in my stomach and just feeling like it was the only place for us.”
“When Jake and I had a solo look around we even cried in the ceremony room, just imagining our wedding day. We knew it was the venue for us and originally booked it for the 29th August 2021 but ended up postponing to the 1st May 2022, due to Covid.”
The big day
“I got ready at the venue with my three bridesmaids and mum, while Jake stayed in a hotel with his best man,” says Charlotte. “The forecast was for rain all day, which was obviously a little disappointing, but to our delight, it turned out to be a lovely day, just the perfect temperature with no rain! When it came to the ceremony, my dad came and did a first look, which was so emotional. He had a photo with me before grabbing my arm and walking me down the aisle to ‘Turning Page’ by Sleeping at Last.”
"Jake was crying before I reached him and I was crying the whole way down the aisle too, it was so overwhelming but in the best possible way. The whole day was so unbelievably special but we’ve both said exchanging our own vows was just another level. In that moment, it was like nobody else was in the room. We wrote our own vows and we're so glad we did."
Time to celebrate
“After the ceremony Jake and I went in to the reception bar and had a moment to ourselves, which was so surreal,” says Charlotte. “Once we’d had a drink together, we joined our guests for some group photos and confetti shots. After photos we walked back into the venue, where we were greeted by our dog Penny and some delicious canapés.”
“We were all about the candles and greenery for our rustic mill wedding,” says Charlotte. “Haarlem is so beautiful that we didn’t feel like it needed dressing too much. We also didn’t book a wedding stylist, as were both really keen to do it ourselves. Hollie our wonderful florist nailed our vision and scattered greenery in every corner of the venue.”
...and a touch of cheesiness!
“In terms of the evening the theme was ‘tastefully cheesy’, which Jake perfectly executed (in our opinion) using astera tubes, mirror balls and a handmade DJ booth. Jake made the booth with MDF wood and a ridiculous amount of IKEA greenery, but the end result was so in keeping with the rest of the decor and we were really pleased with it.”
Sage green and rustic florals
“I picked sage green for the bridesmaids with rustic bouquets filled with greenery, blush pink and white flowers,” says Charlotte.
“They were absolutely stunning. For table favours, we bought every guest a scratch card for a bit of fun. Sadly, there were no big winners but everyone seemed to enjoy them.”
“Our cake was three tiers with our favourite flavours, which were cherry Bakewell, chocolate Oreo and lemon drizzle. The top tier of the cake was actually us in our VW camper van with our dog Penny. We couldn’t believe how much it looked like us!”
"In the end, everything really came together. I remember just being blown away, coming out of the ceremony and being able to appreciate it all together in one place.”
The best bits…
“The entire day was beyond what we ever could have imagined,” says Charlotte. “Our personal highlights definitely included the speeches and seeing everyone come to together and share those funny moments with us. It was a real pinch me moment! And then the first dance, I think we cried the whole way though but it’s a moment we will never forget.”
My top tips…
“Enjoy every moment – even the stressful ones ,” says Charlotte. “Have as many hair and makeup trials as necessary to feel perfect, it’s your day. Make sure you take a couple of minutes every hour to take in the day and speak to your husband. Lastly, take a needle, thread and safety pins with you. Just in case!”
Charlotte and Jake’s Dream Team
Photographer: Ellie at EKR Pictures
Venue: Haarlem Mill
Wedding dresses Stoke-on-Trent: WED2B
Videographer: Lou at Rather Lovely Films
Florist: Hollie Fox Flowers
Makeup: Helena Shakespeare
Suits: Master Debonair
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