An online introduction led to a first date for Lian and Mark, at Pippin, Maidstone, one bank holiday Monday. "Bottles of prosecco were consumed, chips were shared... We chatted and laughted with no awkward silences, and there was even a little kiss! It was a great first date," Lian remembers.
Their relationship grew strong, and after five years together Mark proposed in Gran Canaria, where the pair were on holiday. As Lian works for her father at their family-run bespoke jewellers, Mark understandably, felt the pressure of choice. So wisely, he opted to pop the question with a can ring pull, allowing her to select her engagement ring at a later date. “He asked twice in Spanish first, but I had no clue what he was saying! Then, he got down on one knee and asked again in English. It was a complete surprise,” Lian tells us.

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…

Vows 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.

Table decorations

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.

Rose gold table plan

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.

Charity pins 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.

Bride's bouquet

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.

Bride poses in front of Christmas tree.Photo centrepieces

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.

Wedding cake display 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.

Bride in front of Christmas tree

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.

Bride poses with bridesmaids

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.

Groomsmen 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.

Harpist

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.

Sparkler arch

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.

First dance 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.

Couple watching fireworks 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."

Lian and Mark's contact book

Bride's dress

Yours Truly Bridal House
www.yourstruly.uk.com

Bridesmaids' dresses

Cake

Entertainment

Entertainment

Gwenllian Llyr
www.gwenllianllyr.co.uk

Fireworks

Electrify Pyrotechnics
www.electrifyweddings.co.uk

Flowers

Hair and make-up

I Do Bridal Hair & Makeup
www.facebook.com/IDOBRIDALHAIRANDMAKEUP1

Photo booth

Magical Times Photo Booths
www.magical-times.co.uk

Photographer

Focused Images
www.focusedimages.org

Suits

The Kent Wedding Centre
www.thekentweddingcentre.com

Sweet cart

Transport

Venue and catering

The Plough at Leigh
www.theploughatleigh.com

Venue styling

Videography

N May Photo & Video
www.nmay.co.uk

Wedding rings and bride's accessories

Martin Wilde Jewellers
www.martinwildejewellers.com