Updated: Feb 7
We met at University studying and living together for a number of years before realising we should probably spend the rest of our lives together. 6 years into our relationship Connor proposed under an umbrella in a damp and dreary Kew gardens, Sophia said yes and we embarked upon the important exercise of creating our own special day. Thankfully Torr Vale Mill gave us ample space and the flexibility to gather all our friends and family for a very bespoke and personal day. (In the intervening period we decided to make the task even trickier by having a baby girl - Aoife made for a beautiful addition to our partnership and a very handsome flower girl).
Our inspiration and vision for the day
Our vision for the day itself entailed a bright, vibrant and relaxed mix of colour, music, laughter, dancing and of course people- we wanted our day to include as many of those people who contributed to our lives as possible, it was important to invite all our family and friends and give them a day to celebrate. With all this in mind we decided to complete as much of the wedding preparation ourselves - keeping the budget low and guestlist high in the process. This also allowed us to infuse the day with our personalities through every detail; we grew the flowers from seed, designed the stationary, Sophia made her wedding dress, we made the cake with the help of Sophia’s Gran and Connors Aunt alongside this a hearty band of friends and family chipped in jobs and favours along the way. It was hard work but we think it paid off.
Torr Vale mill was the perfect venue for what we had in mind a large expanse of space which was filled with architectural character - a perfect backdrop for the day. The team were also very helpful and welcoming of our intention to provide as much ourselves as possible, we sourced the food and drink; using some wonderful street food vendors and some very helpful supermarket offers. We were allowed access to decorate the venue space with good time beforehand; for this we opted for a minimal touch to really let the character and context of the mill shine.
The details of our day were driven by context and our appreciation for craft. The flowers being homegrown were determined by the time of year and also the growing conditions of our garden! The groomsmen were identified through their liberty print pocket squares and colour matched socks. The Bridal party shared a deep blue colour scheme alongside a bouquet of highly coloured and scented flowers. We borrowed a pair of turntables which we hooked up to the impressive PA system to get the party started later in the day and filled the space with balloons.
Keeping people well fed was very important to us! (And very important to soak up some of the alcohol)
Using street food vendors we opted to spread the load between two companies: the Ottomen a middle eastern inspired kitchen and Vaso Kitchen an indian style menu - this offered variety whilst keeping queueing time down. This catering option was a real luxury which afforded a great variety at no extra cost as we still paid a price per head with each vendor. We also decided to offer an exclusively vegetarian menu to cater to the widest possible audience avoiding the need for speciality dishes or a rigid serving structure - everybody (saving allergies and intolerances) could eat from the same menu - following the day we recieved comments from lots of guests to say the food was the best they had eaten at any wedding! The menu’s were as below:
Special Fataya [Posh mini Lebanese pizzas]
Otto Wada [Chickpea battered fritters with zaresk chutney]
Mucver [Carrot and courgette fritters with esme salsa]
Baba ganoush on menousheh
Beetroot and chickpea hummus on za’atar crisp
Mini pastille [Roasted vegetables, cheese and spices wrapped in
Chaat Bombs [Crisp bread puffs filled with indian flavours]
Main - Served by Ottomen
Seven dishes served in a street food style:
Bulgur Mujadara salad [Bulgar pilaf with poached lentil and burnt onion]
Yogurtlu moussaka [Rich tahini yoghurt with roast garlic and moussaka aubergine]
Falafel with butternut, coriander and za’atar
Pilaki [5 bean salad in a slow ragout]
Bulgarian Sigaro Borek [Crispy yufka pastry with Turkish feta, fired peppers and soft herbs]
Coated and spiced deep fried halloumi
Courgette dolmas with sinconta filling and home roasted olive caviar
Main - Served by Vaso Kitchen
Three delicious curries accompanied by rice, breads, pickles and
And Tarka Dal
A choice of two pies with pickles and accompaniments:
Saag Aloo [Sweet potato, Spinach, Maris Pipers and South Asian
Lancashire Cheese and Onion [Dewleys cheese and caramalised
We had a wonderful, unforgettable day and everybody had a great time. The personal touches we were able to weave through the day made all our guests feel welcomed and an intricate part of what is the start of our married life together. The mill was the best blank canvas we could have wished for to create our wedding day and the individual input we were allowed to make has given us many many memories to carry with us.
Sophia, Connor & Aoife