The date was set for New Year’s Eve at The Plough at Leigh. The couple were already familiar with the venue, as they’d attended a friend’s wedding there in the past. Lian explains, “It stuck in both of our minds as being quaint and intimate. Plus, Mark grew up in Tonbridge, so the area held many childhood memories for him.”
Join us as the bride shares her previous memories of their festive wedding day…
The planning process was a joy for Lian: "I loved planning every little detail, I had so many ideas." Each element beautifully reflected their colour palette and this exciting time of year, from the table plan to the Christmas tree, cake hoop and ceiling drapes.
Centrepieces were tall glass vases filled with flowers, adorned with crystal drop strands, and illuminated by flickering faux candlelight. The tables were also decorated with place names to match the table plan, made from a white mirror frame and highlighted with rose gold glitter.
The tables were all named after the couple's favourite destinations, with Gran Canaria a natural choice for the top table. Each glitter-clad table name was accompanied by small stands holding photos captured by the couple at each location.
Also on the tables were Macmillan Cancer Support charity pins. Rose gold in colour, they made perfect wedding favours, while also donating to their worthy cause.
Stunning white, cream and pink flowers enhanced with green foliage cascaded from Lian's waterfall bouquet, which also contained rose gold pearls. The bridemaids' posies were designed to complement, as were the buttonholes and flowergirls' wand. These beautiful blooms also adorned the table plan, cake stand and heart hanging in the window.
The big-day bake was a three-tiered extravaganza, complementing the theme. The base boasted a ruffle-effect, the centre layer was covered in rose gold glitter, and the top was iced in a pearlescent white, all finished by a rose gold topper. It stood proud as a centrepiece for the reception room in front of a copper hoop wrapped in fairylights and crystal drops to reflect the table centres.
Two wedding cars were booked to ensure the bridal party arrived in style. For the bride and father-of-the-bride, it was a 1993 vintage Rolls Royce. The mother-of-the-bride and the bridesmaids, travelled in a 1979 classic Rolls.
The beautiful bride wore an ivory Mark Lesley gown with a ruffled bottom and illusion back panel. "As the dress was quite simple at the front, I accessorised with a large sparkle and pearl-set necklace with bespoke earrings assembled by my father," she tells us.
The pièce de résistance was a wedding gift from Mark: an 18ct white gold and diamond bangle also from Martin Wilde Jewellers. The groom was dressed in a gorgeous blue suit, paired with an ivory shirt, waistcoat and tie. The best man, ushers, father-of-the-bride and pageboy all wore the same, but for the plain waistcoats.
The bridesmaids wore dresses with sequined top sections and accessories to complement the rose gold theme. The lovely mother-of-the-bride wore an outfit from Fashion Scene in Meopham.
A talented harpist welcomed guests into the barn for the ceremony with her music, and a fantastic DJ kept the dancefloor heaving throughout the evening. A highlight for Lian was the sparkler guard of honour, followed by an amazing firework display, which was also a big hit with guests. "They were incredible and seemed to go on for ages," she remembers.
Since the reception incorporated New Year celebrations, there were a few special touches, not least a confetti cannon, which released an explosion of foil as the clock struck midnight. A photo booth also comes highly recommended by the bride: "It was an absolute must, very entertaining and a huge hit with everyone," she explains.
The newlyweds flew to the Philippines the following afternoon – New Year's Day. "We travelled around Manila, Bohol and Boracay for almost three weeks. A new destination to add to our travel map," the bride says.
Lian says, "Make sure the bride has her hair and make-up done first. That way she can be ready, relaxing and sipping a glass of champagne, while everyone else has theirs done. Also, practice your walk down the aisle, and your first dance, as well as your dad and daughter dance. I didn't and I really wish I had."
Hair and make-up
Venue and catering
Wedding rings and bride's accessories