Bathed in summer sunshine, the magnificent grade I-listed The West Mill in Derbyshire on the banks of the sparkling River Derwent provided the perfect setting as NHS hero Dominick Palmer and his beautiful bride Charlene Abid said "I do" in a love-filled celebration.
The couple are still in a blissful bubble of newlywed happiness as they tell HELLO! about their dream day, which became reality after they won our competition offering a key worker a wedding worth more than £50,000 – as a thank-you for their kindness and bravery during the pandemic.
WATCH: Dominick and Charlene's wedding, the winners of our NHS competition
"We couldn't have asked for a better day," says Dominick, 35, an assistant service manager and rota co-ordinator at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital. "It was phenomenal from start to finish. My NHS colleagues were there. They've known me for years; it was so nice for them to see me finally marry the woman of my dreams."
Charlene, 33, adds: "It really was the best day of our lives – our fairytale day. We're so grateful to HELLO! and The West Mill. Every single supplier was phenomenal. They made us feel like royalty – not just on the day but throughout the planning, too."
The couple married at The West Mill in Derbyshire
A fabulous array of wedding specialists including Brown Box Flowers and event stylist Tara Knott made sure Dominick and Charlene – whose 14-year-old daughter Jaya proudly took on bridesmaid duties – had the special day they deserved.
Proceedings began shortly before 1pm on 11 July when Charlene made her entrance in The West Mill's stylish ceremony room, beautifully decorated with creamy florals, foliage and flickering candles.
"We couldn't have asked for a better day," said Dominick
"I'd told everyone: 'I promise I'm not going to be like most brides, I'm going to be on time.' But as it turned out, I was 20 minutes late," she says, laughing.
But her arrival was certainly worth the wait as, wearing a showstopping off-the-shoulder two-piece bridal outfit by Halfpenny London, she walked up the aisle to meet Dominick. "As soon as I saw my queen, I was fighting back the tears," he tells us. "My heart skipped a beat. She looked absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't wait for them to say I could kiss the bride."
Charlene looked stunning in a two-piece bridal outfit by Halfpenny London
After that, the 153 guests headed down to the sun-drenched courtyard for a drinks reception, while the bride and groom were photographed by the river under cascading eucalyptus trees, before The West Mill's award-winning catering team served a delectable wedding breakfast inside.
Venue – The West Mill Derbyshire Photographer – Rosie May Kelly Videographer – Jason Lynch Weddings Catering – The West Mill's award-winning caterers Event styling – Tara Knott Flowers – Brown Box Flowers Rings – Kate Dawson Jewellery Bride dress – Halfpenny London Bridesmaids dresses – Maids to Measure Bridal shoes – Freya Rose Hair – Edward James Make-up – Hair and Make Up By Saskia Hairpieces – Lillie Rose Groom and groomsmen's suits – Marc Darcy Cake and biscuit favours – Ruby Lou's Cake Co. Music – The Distractions Wedding Stationery – Rose Press On the Day Stationery – Polly & Me 'Wedding celebration brunch' – The River Mill
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