Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

concrete love. martina liana for a summer wedding at eslington villa – kate & liam

August 21st, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

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After getting engaged at a Courteeners gig, today’s featured couple, Katie and Liam were married in Gibside Chapel and moved onto Eslington Villa to get the celebrations underway. Katie loved visiting Gibside as a little girl and instinctively knew it would be the ideal place to say “I do”. We’ve got to say that we wholeheartedly agree: the stately polished wood and colonnaded interior is breath-taking, and perfect for their formal religious ceremony.

But this Real Wedding has so much more going for it than just the pretty setting, believe us. Kate’s Martina Liana gown is just exquisite – an absolute showstopper of lace and embellishment topped off with the ultimate cathedral-length, heavy lace-edged statement veil. If you’re looking for classic Grace Kelly vibes with a V-neck, look no further.

Add in some sequinned table-runners, all-white bouquets and the proudest, smiliest little pageboy we ever did see and what do you get? A whole lotta heart-eyes.

With photography by Danny Birrell Photography.

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kate says: Lima and I got engaged on 5th June 2015 at a Courteeners gig – they’re my favourite band! It was at Heaton Park in Manchester.

We got to into the venue, headed straight to the bar and, as we were waiting for everything to start, Liam said, “Can you hold my pint in your right hand?” The next thing I knew he was down on one knee! It was a huge shock: our friends were standing not too far away from us and all I could hear was my sister Charlotte screaming, crying and shouting, “Oh my God!” It was amazing – I couldn’t think of anywhere better for it to have happened. We were also mentioned in the NME magazine after the gig!

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Our wedding date was 7th July 2017 – we liked the fact that there were lots of 7s in the date! We were married in Gibside Chapel and our reception was at Eslington Villa, Gateshead.

We wanted something a little different; I’m personally not keen on big stately home weddings and wanted to create something that was relevant to me and Liam. I used to go to Gibside as a child and we liked how Eslington Villa was just a quirky little restaurant and that we had exclusive use of it.

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Our décor theme was ‘a little bit of everything’ – candles in geo votives, succulents and sequinned table runners. I loved how everything wasn’t too streamlined.

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I saw my dress at a wedding fair; it was a Martina Liana gown from Mia Sposa bridal at Newcastle. I just fell completely in love as soon as I saw it. I loved the long train, the sleeves, the lace – just everything!

For my shoes I went for a pair of Christian Louboutins – I’d wanted a pair for years! They were nude patent Pigalles.

Ashley at Elixir in Seaham did my hair and managed to create exactly what I wanted. Katie Robson did my makeup and was a dream to work with. She has the patience of a saint!

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My adult bridesmaids wore midi tulle blush dresses from Very. The flowergirls wore dresses from Monsoon.

We hired a white Beaufort wedding car for our transport. I travelled with my sister, who was maid of honour and our son, Oliver, who gave me away. It was from Brooklands Wedding Cars.

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Our photographer was Danny Birrell, who was a friend of a work colleague. His work was just unreal. He’s so easy going and was just amazing on the day!

We also had Shoot Me Now as our videographers. Daniel, our cameraman, was just brilliant.

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Our flowers were from Fleur Couture at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. I went for all-white with foliage, and the blooms included roses, peonies and hydrangea.

Hollie from Fleur Couture also supplied the centrepieces and the flowers at Gibside. The wonderful Melanie at Eslington Villa set up all of my other decorations, which were from Ginger Ray.

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Rosewood Co did our stationery and Megan was fabulous. We had so many compliments about her work!

Our favours were miniature Havana Club rum. We chose them as we went to Cuba on our honeymoon (which was fabulous!)

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The cake was from The Great British Cupcakery. It was a semi-naked cake with rose gold macarons and mini meringues – delicious.

Our food was supplied by Eslington Villa. We had prawn cocktail to start, chicken for the main and pannacotta for dessert. The food was spectacular! For our champagne we had my favourite: Laurent Perrier rosé.

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To get the party started we booked Electric Note – they were recommended by a couple of my friends who’d just got married.

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In terms of special touches, we had two readers at the ceremony: my friend, Chloe and Liam’s friend, Andy. The way they read was brilliant and it made the ceremony so much more personal. Sadly, Liam’s sister passed away when she was 16, and so he had a little photo frame attached to his inside pocket to make sure she was part of the day.

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Following our wedding, we’d definitely recommend both venues – they were so relaxed, everything went super-smoothly and we had an amazing day!

My favourite part was the actual getting married bit. I felt so nervous walking down the aisle; the only person I could look at was Liam. I actually felt as though there was just me, Liam and the vicar in the chapel!

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For our honeymoon we travelled to the islands off the coast of Cuba. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. I’d love to return!

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My top tip to other Brides Up North is – try to be organised. I was constantly making lists and I kept on top of emails. I didn’t tell a lot of people much regarding the wedding in advance – I just got on with the planning myself.

the big picture

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about the author

Laura McDonagh
Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.

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