Planning Diaries: Updates from Love Stories Media founder Louise

Our new couple, who are making it official in Glasgow next year, are counting down the months to their big day in August 2024

Louise and Mark are getting ready to tie the knot in less than a year

10 months to go! Founder of Love Stories Media Louise and Customer Success Manager at LandTech Mark have been together for five and a half years after swiping right to each other on Tinder shortly before Louise moved to Australia. But, it wasn’t long (three months to be exact) before Mark decided to leave his job and jet-off to the other side of the world to live and work in Sydney with her for a year.

December – January 2023/4

Apart from getting to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing, funny and caring guy I’ve even known, the wedding really is going to be all about the dress for me!

My gran was a wedding dress designer and my mum owns Wedding Wise, an award-winning bridal shop in Glasgow, so the pressure is well and truly on for me to look the part on our special day. With this comes so many perks, of course. Growing up in the bridal industry and having the opportunity to play dress-up at weekends, working in the shop since I was 16, and even getting the chance to model some of the gorgeous dresses on the catwalk, I really did think I had a pretty solid idea of exactly what I’d be wearing the day I married. I was so wrong.

Before I started trying on dresses for my own wedding day, my mum and I already knew who the designer would be: Justin Alexander. His gowns are out of this world and I just knew he would have created something with all the style, glamour and opulence I was looking for.

Left: Fan-girling o’clock! Louise met Justin Alexander at a wedding trade show Right: Louise and friend Irene enjoying a tipple on the special dress finding day!

My mum arranged for me to go and meet Tony Mentel, creative director at Justin Alexander, at a bridal show in Milton Keynes. I took my friend Irene with me, knowing she would give me her honest opinion and have a good eye for what suited me (and obviously be up for a few glasses of champagne!). After the most amazing afternoon of catwalks, we stayed behind with Tony and Helen at Justin Alexander and – no word of a lie – I tried on every single dress in that room, old collection and new. They’d had such a long day at the show, I’m surprised they didn’t send me packing. I made sure to send them a lovely box of Hotel Chocolat afterwards.

Louise as a Barbie on hen party and also with friends at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Left: Didn’t Louise’s sister knock it out of the park with the hen party theme? Right: No trip to Barcelona is complete without a stop at the Sagrada Familia!

In the end, I picked the very last gown I tried on – the one dress I told my mum was definitely not my cup of tea when she sent me photos of it. As soon as I was in the dress and looking at my reflection in the mirror, I just knew it was the one – and thank goodness because I was beginning to think I was one of those impossible brides where no dress was good enough. Either that or it was down to the fact that I didn’t have my mum there to pick one for me! Once my dress was officially made (eek!), I spent some time in the shop with my mum, my sister Kelly and my gran trying it on with different accessories and chatting all things wedding day.

I think because my mum owns a bridal shop, everyone expects I’ll have about five different outfit changes. But I’m adamant I’ll be wearing this one for the full day and evening because it’s so special.

Fast forward a few months and I was at London Bridal Week when – gasp! – I had the honour of meeting JA himself. I was trying to keep it professional but I was 100% fan-girling at the same time. I couldn’t leave without getting a snap of us together, of course!

Louise holding bottle of champagne on boat in Barcelona
Come on Barbie, let’s hen party!

I had my hen do a year early for a few reasons. I wanted all my girls to be able to make it and my friend Beth was travelling all the way from Australia. I honestly could write a full novel about what went down over the long weekend in Barcelona – try to imagine The Hangover meets Bridesmaids… it was on that kind of scale!

My sister did an amazing job of planning everything and coordinating all 13 of us (more than she needed to at certain points). And she gave the full weekend a Barbie theme – matching silky PJs, everything pink (including luxury goodie bags), fluffy slippers and even a pink limo picking us up at the airport! She went as far as scenting the room with the exact same Essence of Harris candles I plan to scent my venue with. We had the captain of the catamaran blasting Barbie tunes when we walked down the pier to the boat too. A weekend to remember forever!

What is next?

I’m already making excuses to have a home hen. Stay tuned…

October – November 2023

We got engaged in Greece just over a year and four months ago and are now in crazy planning mode for our wedding at Citation in Glasgow on 2nd August 2024. The main thing I couldn’t wait to do was my bridesmaid proposals, so just freshly engaged (literally lying poolside staring at the most gorgeous ring from John McKay Jewellers) I started to plan a ‘celebration dinner’ with my girls.

The proposal dinner at The Dalmeny Park House Hotel was a special moment!

I organised the dinner at The Dalmeny Park House Hotel, where I presented all 14 of my bridesmaids with a cocktail that said ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid?’ I know 14 might seem like a lot of bridesmaids but I wouldn’t have it any other way – choosing all my closest friends who have been there for me through all the highs and lows of my life was so lovely to be able to do. I matched the table setting with bouquets of dried flowers, polaroid photos and cupcakes made with the same colour of icing their bridesmaid dress is going to be. One of my very special bridesmaids is all the way in Australia, so I sent her a giant box of crisps with a card asking her to be my bridesmaid – I knew she wouldn’t say no when there were sweet chili Sensations involved!

Originally, we had decided we wanted to get married on a gorgeous island in Greece called Symi at The Old Markets with just our parents there, but oh how that has changed! After talking about all the logistics, we decided getting married back home in Glasgow and celebrating with all our friends and family was the best thing to do. We knew we didn’t want a traditional hotel setting wedding, so straight away Citation came to mind – the gorgeous exterior with the fairy lights and the trendy bar-like interior really attracted us to the venue. I wouldn’t recommend this, but we booked the venue without even seeing it in person. We just knew it was right for us and it has such a great reputation.

Left: The girls after the surprise brunch Right: What a stunning ring!

We wanted to get all the ‘big things’ organised first so after the venue, we started looking at entertainment, the photographer and the all-important dress. Mark and I are really into our music and these guys know how to play their instruments, so it was an instant no brainer to book The Man from Delmonte.

Next up for me was the dress, luckily my mum owns a bridal shop in Glasgow – Wedding Wise, so she had organised for me to go and meet the designers and try on some dresses to get a little inspiration for when it came to picking the one. Little did I know I’d be picking my dream dress that same day. I must have tried on every single dress in their old and new collections and would you believe it, I ended up picking the dress I told my mum ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT!’ They do say you know when you’ve found the one and the moment I put on that dress, I knew. It was the most special, magical experience ever and I now understand why people actually renew their vows…

What’s next?

Up next, it’s all about my very early hen-do in Barcelona and probably one of the biggest decisions we’ll have to make together as a couple for the wedding – our celebrant, along with making decisions on flower arrangements and table designs for the venue which I can’t wait to get stuck in and DIY!