Eslington Villa in Gateshead

{Lisa} – All weddings are special. Sometimes it’s being at a great venue makes a wedding. Sometimes it the people and often it’s the moments that happen throughout the day that makes them stand out. And then there are those when everything comes together. Kirsty & Alan’s wedding at Eslington Villa was one of those.

I first have to mention that Lisa & I used to work with Kirsty before Halo. We knew she was as mad as a hatter, but never realised she would plan a day so full of wonderful memories. She had hinted at what she had in mind during our meetings running up to the big day but she didn’t tell us half of the things she had planned and by the look on the groom’s face on the day, he was just as surprised as we were.

Wedding Prep at Eslington Villa

The day started as we start most weddings, Lisa meeting the girls at their venue for wedding prep at Eslington Villa in Gatehead, and I meet the lads at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.

Montage of Bride in the morning & brides maid getting ready

{Lisa} – This lot would have eaten Mark alive if he had been in the room. The vodka was flowing, the dressing-gowns very short and this part of the day was a hoot. The girls had obviously been practising their scream faces.

Montage of Bride & Brides Maids getting ready.
Montage of Bride getting dress on with bridesmaids help at Eslington Villa
Montage of Bride & Flower girls at Eslington Villa

St. Andrews Church in Lamesley, Lowfell.

{Mark } – Although we have known Kirsty for over a decade, we hadn’t met Alan even during our pre-wedding meetings. I arrived at the church early only to be mobbed by the amazing church choir. It’s not often I get serenaded while I take my detail shots of the church. St. Andrews Church in Lamesley, Lowfell was orignally built in 1286 but was completely rebuilt in 1759. It’s beautiful. The lads arrived via camper van and we soon got to know each other.

Montage of St. Andrews Church in Lamesley, Lowfell.
Montage of Groom arriving at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.
Montage of wedding cars arriving at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.

{Mark} – As often happens with churches we were limited in what we could do and where we could shoot from. It only takes one disrespectful photographer to knock a priest or vicars confidence in the profession. So quite often you’re told, “no flash” and “don’t move from the back of the church”. It’s always disappointing as we never run around a church distracting the service. If we can’t get at the front of the church we tend to get as much as we can before the service or at least insist we can be there for the bride walking down the aisle. Kirsty looked amazing in her wedding dress and couldn’t stop beaming.

Montage of wedding service at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.
Montage of wedding service at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.
Montage of Bride posing at St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.
Montage of Bride & Groom Leaving St. Andrews Church in Lamesley , Lowfell.

{Mark} – So far…. a fairly traditional wedding. Even after getting back to the reception we didn’t know what was going to happen. We had our concentration on getting everyone on a group shot.

Back to Eslington Villa

Bride & Groom at Eslington Villa
Family group shot outside Eslington Villa

{Mark} – We’ve been to weddings at EslingtonVilla in the past and we know it’s a beautiful venue, even without much effort. As we walked through to their reception room though, we were blown away. Kirsty’s Dad had made an amazing table centre of the Blue Caterpillar and the rest were made by Maria Ward & Rosie Ribbons from Beginning 2 End Occasions. Each table centre was different, creating a huge tea party ready for the guests. The cake was made by Dave Glass at Symphony in Sugar, cake maker to the stars. He has made cakes for Vicky Pattinson, Ant & Dec, Newcastle United players Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, and rapper Example.

Alice in wonderland themed wedding cake
Montage of Alice in Wonderland Themed Table Centres

Wonderland in Gateshead??

{Mark} – While I was photographing the reception room I heard a commotion out in the hall. The wedding had some gate crashers… the mad hatter, the white rabbit, alice& the queen of hearts. They didn’t come out of character once and were a total surprise to everyone except Kirsty. Her idea was to have a character at each table as if they were guests. Each got a meal relevant to their character. As nice as jam tarts, carrots and jam sandwiches are, I think they would have rather had a guests meal.

Wedding Guests seeing Alice in Wonderland Characters for the first time.
Montage of Alice in Wonderland Themed Wedding Breakfast at Eslington Villa

{Mark} – As the meal finished and the characters took a break, we thought speeches were about to start. Instead, two of the waiters started a scuffle with each other while serving. Guests were dumbstruck until the two of them burst into song. The Singing Waiters had the whole room on their feet with swing songs. At one point a conga line stretched out of the villa into the carpark and out on the main road!

Montage of Guests singing & dancing to the Singing Waiters at Eslington Villa

{Mark} – As you can imagine speeches were short… I don’t think anyone had any breath left. We grabbed the characters and the bride & groom for some images together. We had to make them all up on the spot. Remember we had no idea they were going to be there but we weren’t going to miss such a great opportunity.

Bride & Groom with Alice in Wonderland Characters at Eslington Villa
Montage of Bridal Party at Eslington Villa
Bride & Groom with Alice in Wonderland Characters at Eslington Villa
Bridal Party with the Alice in Wonderland Characters at Eslington Villa
Montage of Bride & Groom watching the Sunset at Eslington Villa
Bride & Groom before sunset at Eslington Villa
Bride & Vale at Eslington Villa
Bridesmaids posing at Eslington Villa

First Dance

{Mark} – As the sunset, the dance floor came alive and we headed inside the Villa for the first dance and Kirsty’s Mad Hatter, hat.

Montage of Images from the first dance

{Lisa} – Demi, Kirsty’s daughter then settled into the characters shoes when they left. She changed into the Caterpillar and had everyone entertained with her hookah. We were in fits!

Bridesmaid dressed as the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland

{Lisa} – We have never laughed so much at a wedding. It was an honour to photograph Kirsty & Alan’s Wedding and we wish them every happiness.

Sunset at Eslington Villa

We hope you like this small selection of photographs taken at the wedding.

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