Angela and Mark met through a dating site. "Does anyone meet in real life anymore?" Mark laughs.
After spending their first Christmas and New Year together, the couple realised their relationship was forever.Angela says, "I remember not wanting to be apart, even though we only lived 30 minutes from each other." While Mark shares, "I realised I wanted to marry Angela that New Year's Eve. Spending time together just felt wonderfully natural."
By February, Mark had proposed, getting down on one knee while they were out for dinner one night, and the pair began to look for a venue. A friend who lives in Port Sunlight suggested the Lady Lever Art Gallery to them. "As soon as we walked in with our vision in mind, there was nowhere else that came close" Mark explains.
"We wanted something memorable and architecturally the building is stunning. The space in the gallery was perfect for the amount of guests we had, and having looked at the church in Port Sunlight for the ceremony, we wanted a reception venue close by. This was walking distance – perfect."
Read on as the bride and groom share more happy memories of their big day...
The church was so beautiful and had been decorated for Christmas a few days before. Plus, we had members of the Liverpool Welsh Choral to sing as we signed the register and an amazing piece of organ music played as we left the church. It left a real impression on us and was only possible through talented friends.
Angela adores Christmas, so there was no other time to get married for us. We didn't want a summer wedding, plus, once the flat feeling of your wedding being over appears, you can get excited for Christmas.
The favours, placed on easels, were Lego mini-figure brooches for the men, and mini paper rose brooches for the women made from pages of old books.
To complement the gallery space, we incorporated easels of different sizes into our venue styling, using them to hold our signs and place settings.
It sounds like any bride's worst nightmare, but for me the awful weather really helped to cement the day in my mind. I'll never forget walking out of the hotel door to the waiting car, seeing the torrential rain and realising I'd have to juggle a rather large dress with its deliberately grand train into it.
I had the hotel staff , the driver and my dad as a team to navigate my way into the Rolls Royce. Never mind getting out and into the church.
The florist's arrangements matched the Art Deco feel, with low displays in glass goblets on each table – they smelled amazing.
"Being the first couple to hold a wedding reception at Lady Lever felt really special and we were honoured to have been allowed."
Our wedding breakfast was a three-course wintery menu provided by the gallery's in-house catering team.
All the guests raved for ages afterwards about the amazing soup! The day was non-stop torrential rain so something warming was much needed.
My dress was designed by Phoenix Gowns, but it wasn't the one I'd originally gone in to try on as I had my heart set on a Ronald Joyce dress.
I was looking for something to fit the venue. With the church's beautiful stained-glass window and grand aisle, I needed something to make a statement. Ballgown it was!
What sold me on the Phoenix gown was the fact that it could be customised in house, so I chose to add lots more lace to the sleeves and create a lace back (it was or iginally key hole).
I didn't want a veil, so I accessorised with simple silver and pearl jewellery with a large sparkly hair clip.
The groom wore the same as his groomsmen – a navy suit with white waistcoat, red cravat tie and red pocket square, all matching the flower colours.
We had one bridesmaid, so we were able to show her a lot of styles and let her choose. We really struggled to find anything suitable in the shops, but as soon as we found UK Flower Girl Boutique online, we had hope. She wore a bohemian-style, long-sleeved dress in sage green. It was floaty at the bottom, and she loved it.
Our cake was a simple, white-iced, three-tier bake covered in fresh flowers.
We had a playlist running throughout the evening and our guests enjoyed sitting, chatting and socialising, as well as wandering around the galler y, glass in hand, taking a peek at the treasures on the walls.
Our first dance was unusual. Everything else had been tasteful and classic, but instead of a romantic slow dance, we moved to How Much Love by 80s rock brand Vixen. The addition of an inflatable guitar for the solo section was a surprise even to me!
Venue, catering and cake