A Relaxed Wedding on the Banks of the River Severn

When we saw these images of Georgina and Steen's Worcestershire wedding we knew we just had to feature it! Expertly captured by the ever talented Neale James Wedding Photographer, their relaxed take on traditional English styling makes the end result look effortless. Our favourite part? Well it just has to be the bride and groom's expressions throughout the day - perfectly in love, just how it should be. Bride Georgina told us...

"Steen proposed on a hilltop overlooking Derwent Water during a romantic break to the Lake District in February 2012. We were on a walk and had stopped for lunch. We were sat on a bench at the highest point, admiring the view when he asked me to close my eyes. When I opened them he was down on one knee. We had been together for 7 years by then. To say I was shocked doesn’t cover it - I cried for the rest of the day! That was easily the happiest day of my life!

My gown was the ever popular ‘Tabitha’ by Charlotte Balbier in antique gold. I had researched dress designers who had a vintage style or worked with lace and I headed over to The Bridal Room in Broadway, Worcestershire and found ‘Tabitha’ on my first visit. I loved the dress when I saw it but wasn’t going to try it on as I didn’t think it would suit me. Emma at The Bridal Room helped me into it and I didn’t want to take it off.

I absolutely had to have a veil and am only sorry that there aren’t any other occasions in life where I can wear it again. I also purchased a faux fur stole in case I needed to cover up outside.

I agonised over the decision about what jewellery to wear until the day itself, by which time I had bought at least a dozen sets! In the end I wore a pearl and crystal bracelet with some crystal earrings that my mum had bought for me ‘just in case’. I was in a bit of a rush on the wedding day to finish getting ready and my mum and bridesmaids helped make the selection.

Steen wanted to wear a blue suit and as we had had difficulty narrowing down any kind of colour theme blue and gold became a bit of a lead on the styling.

As soon as Steen and I were engaged we discussed where we would like to be married.  We knew we wanted to be married in church and chose St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Witley, Worcestershire. I grew up in Great Witley and was christened at the church there. It is hailed as Britain’s finest baroque church and a peek at the interior would confirm to any visitor why this is.

We had amazing support from Rev. Stephen Winter who absolutely loves a wedding and wonderful organ music from Mr John Jenkin who was accompanied by a soloist Katherine Andrew to lead the singing. The ceremony was full of music, hymns and had a real celebratory feel.  

I had 3 bridesmaids, my 2 friends Laura and Rebecca as well as Steen’s daughter Maddie. The best man was Steen’s good friend Andy and Steen’s son was our usher.

We chose The Old Palace, Deansway, Worcester for the reception. The building is owned by the Diocese of Worcester and parts of the building date from the 11th Century. The building is a little hidden away from the main road and not many of our guests realised it was there but they were all in love with this grand and serene setting when they saw it.

The gardens overlook the river Severn which had an extra significance for us as we met when we both joined Worcester Rowing Club and have spent a great deal of time on that river. We were fortunate enough to enjoy a warm and sunny day in October for our wedding and were able to have our Pimm’s reception drinks outside in the gardens.

We were then seated upstairs in the Great Hall for an afternoon tea with homemade scones, jam, cream, sandwiches and strawberries. We had a string duo playing during the arrival of the guests and throughout the reception. 

When the evening guests arrived we provided ice cream, chocolate brownies and a pig roast to keep the relaxed feel. We had a brilliant swing band who kept people entertained all night.

The wedding had a very English, slightly vintage feel to it.  We didn’t want anything too formal as we wanted everyone to be able to feel at ease throughout the day. 

We hired mismatched vintage china for the afternoon tea and the beautiful table flowers were blue and cream with some small hints of pink. 

We had a three tier ivory cake decorated with lace and stunning dusky pink sugar flowers. I still can’t believe I had to cut it!  We purchased an antique cake knife to use on the day.

We did a lot of the finishing touches ourselves and had a lot of help from family and friends. The list was endless: Our wedding favours were bottles of homemade gin courtesy of our friend Jacqui; Rebecca and I made the seating plan using ribbons and ink stamps; Rebecca, Maddie and Jacqui also made the bunting that we used to decorate the Palace. I bought small vases and jugs from second hand shops to fill with dried lavender, ribbons to decorate and tealight holders for the tables. I used pine cones to make heart shaped wreaths for hanging in The Old Palace and ordered lavender and wheat which Laura made into pew end bundles for the church; we scattered rose petals and crystals on the tables with bubbles and quiz cards to help keep the guests amused. I made the box for wedding cards and a dozen family members and friends turned up at the venue the day before to help us decorate and set up the gazebo and lighting for the pig roast.

My advice to emotional brides is to have some happy music ready to play when you’re getting ready. At first everything I heard was making me too emotional. I was determined not to get overwhelmed and start crying - as once I start I cannot stop! Fortunately Laura, one of my bridesmaids had brought a wide selection of music with her for the getting ready phase of the day. She put an album of Disney music on (she’s a primary school teacher!) and so we were giggling and dancing away with no concerns about smudging that mascara. 

The most memorable part of the day for me was the exchange of the vows.  I had thought I was going to notice that everyone was watching us but in those very special moments I didn’t notice anyone else there except for me and Steen."

The Dream Team

Wedding Photographer – Neale James Wedding Photographer

Wedding Dress – 'Tabitha' by Charlotte Balbier

Wedding Dress Shop – The Bridal Room, Broadway

Wedding Venue – St Michael and All Angels Church, Great Witley

Reception Venue -  The Old Palace, Deansway, Worcester

Cake – Cupcakes Plus

Flowers – Floral Roundabout

Vintage Style Ice Cream Tricycle – Barnaby's Ice Cream

Pig Roast – Checketts of Ombersley

Vintage China Hire – Emily’s Bes

Confetti, decorative petals, lavender and wheat for the church flowers – Shropshire Petals

Make-up – Make up by Hayley

Swing Band – Robert Redman

String Duo – ‘Duo Primo’ booked via Alive Network

Wedding Cars – Barrie James

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