A literary and lively medieval moated manor wedding at Birtsmorton Court, Worcestershire

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"They're amazing and we're consistently blown away by how good you make us all look!" - Steph and Chris

It’s been exactly a week since Phil and I were in Worcestershire for this wonderful, colourful, friendly, elegant wedding day. I mean, just look at the pictures of this venue. Just look at them! The manor of Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern, is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and parts of the current house are well over 500 years old. It even has its own moat! 😱

The night before Phil and I stayed with my sister who lives in nearby Tewkesbury, to minimise the travelling on the day. Thanks for the free hotel, Helen! 😘 Tewkesbury is also where Steph and friends had booked a little place for a relaxed evening the night before, involving prosecco and an outdoor hot tub. This accommodation, right next to the ancient Tewkesbury Abbey is where Steph and her bridesmaids got ready. It came with its own resident cat; a slight problem because Steph is allergic! It meant that everyone, including Phil, had to be on cat-watch, as the friendly feline kept trying to get inside for a bit of the fuss it was obviously used to. Eventually, he did manage to evade the guards on duty, but fortunately there seemed to be no sniffling from Steph.

I was at Birtsmorton Court to get my establishing shots, and to greet Chris as he arrived with his squad of groomsmen. I took to them all immediately - they were a really friendly and cool bunch of guys. We were met by venue co-ordinator Kelly, who made us feel very welcome, and was enormously helpful to me and Phil during the day. Thanks to Kelly if you’re reading this!

I ushered Chris and his mates outside into the sunshine for them to pin their buttonholes in place under some really colourful bunting that had been expertly put up by a bridesmaid the day before. There was just time for Chris to help one of his groomsmen tie his neckwear before guests started to arrive.

Chris is well over six feet tall, but it was clear what a big softie he is when a few tears were shed as me met up with his mum. This wasn’t the last time he had to dab at his eyes with a tissue during the day, and it was a genuinely lovely thing to see how much Chris cared about having friends and family with him as he shared his special day with Steph.

An orange VW camper van was the chosen mode of transport from Tewkesbury to Great Malvern for Steph. I was there to greet her as she alighted, and catch my first glimpses of her stunning, elegant, refined and detailed dress, topped off with an amazing tiara with a rainbow of coloured crystals. This colourful theme had been cleverly repeated in lots of different ways, from the ties worn by Chris and company, to the ceremony backdrop, the table runners, the bunting, the amazing cake… have a look at the pictures and see if I’ve missed anything!

Steph walked up the aisle preceded by her lovely bridesmaids, and accompanied by her dad. It was a great ceremony led by two of the Worcestershire registrars, with plenty of humour and warmth. Everyone said their words correctly, placed rings on the correct fingers, and signed their names in the right places!

So it was as husband and wife that Chris and Steph led us on to the celebrations! Drinks were served on the terrace of Birtsmorton Court that overlooks its moat. An actual moat! (I know I keep going on about the moat) We took the opportunity to get a big group shot, do a bubble walkthrough, and I scampered back over the bridge and across to the other side to get a wide shot over the waterlilies.

The great late-summer weather meant that it was a pleasure to be outside. We all moved across to the extensive grounds of the Court, where there were lawn games to be played, a maze-like hedged garden to explore, and lots of fun to be had. It was a great backdrop for us to complete our list of formal group shots, and for everyone to relax, sip Pimm’s, and chat.

We were then called back to the bright airy marquee for the wedding breakfast and speeches (which were particularly good). Steph’s brother Tom, who stole the hairstyle show that day, treated us to some hilarious stories, but then he is a stand-up comedian. We discovered how Steph and Chris had first met: on a Chiltern Railways train. They looked after each others’ bags, chatted, and finally swapped numbers. One of Steph’s academic bridesmaids had done two fab things. She’d discovered an interesting railway coincidence: Birtsmorton Court was the birthplace (11th March 1770) of William Huskisson: the first person to be killed in a widely reported train accident: Stephenson’s Rocket no less! If you don’t find this sort of thing fascinating then I don’t know what is wrong with you. She’d also contacted Chiltern Railways to let them know about the romance that had began aboard one of their carriages. Chiltern had replied with a card, a poem, and vouchers for a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon for Chris and Steph. That’s pretty good customer service!

Steph has a PhD in English Literature, which meant that there was also a literary theme to her wedding to Chris, including coloured model books acting as table markers, her Shakespearian Chiltern gift, and the conclusion to her own speech: “Reader, I married him.” - Jayne Eyre - Charlotte Brontë - I had to Google it. This also meant that there was a nice difference to the usual “Mr and Mrs” letters on the top table: they said “Mr and Dr”.

After dinner, we all stepped out into the early evening air, and Phil and I took Steph, Chris, and their friends to a very conveniently placed cornfield nearby, for some fun sunset shots, and smoke-bomb shenanigans! After sunset it was time to hit the dance floor, where Phil and I made sure as always that we joined in, all the while getting some great shots! There was mobile wood-fired pizza oven outside for refuelling, not to mention slices of that delicious colourful cake. We also bumped into Benedict, proprietor of the awesome “Made You Look” photo booth, who was capturing some silly shenanigans from Steph and Chris’s guests.

A special mention must also go to Steph and Chris’s mums, one of whom flirted outrageously with Phil, and were both gorgeous and fabulous for the whole day. We loved the hugs from Chris’s mum, and the jokes and helium-induced squeaks from Steph’s! Massive props to these two awesome ladies!

Steph, I’m confident that this is the first time my writing has been read by someone with a literary doctorate. I hope there are not too many cliches, spelling errors, grammatical blunders, and that you approve of my use of the Oxford Comma. 😏

But much more importantly, Phil and I want to congratulate you and Chris on your wonderful wedding day at Birtsmorton Court, and to thank you for making The Dignums part of it! Here’s an early selection from your pictures!
❤️

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CREDITS
Venue: Birtsmorton Court - https://birtsmortoncourt.com
MUHA: Rose Forrest Hair & Makeup Artist - https://www.roseforrestmakeupartist.co.uk
MUHA: Bombshell Makeup UK - https://www.bombshellmakeupuk.com
Dress: Otaduy from Rock the Frock Essex - https://rockthefrockbridal.co.uk
Tiara: Judy and Madeleine - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JUDYandMADELEINE
Wedding Planner: Kelly Paige - https://birtsmortoncourt.com
Photo Booth: Made You Look - https://www.madeyoulookphotobooth.co.uk
Catering: McBaile Exclusive Catering - www.mcbaile.co.uk
Entertainment: Wedding and Party DJs - www.weddingandpartydjs.com

If you were another wedding supplier at Steph and Chris' wedding get in touch and we'll add you to the credits list.

Birtsmorton Court wedding photography

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