Hazel Pool, a Scottish bridal blogger and project manager Neil Moore were engaged in October 2020 and plan to tie the knot in April 2023

After getting engaged in October 2020, Hazel Pool, performance manager, is set to marry project manager Neil Moore on 28th April 2023

Hazel and Neil's engagement photoshoot (photo: Francesca Morrison Photography)

March 2021 - Introduction, proposal story, venue plans and inspiration

Neil and I met in May 2018 at a music festival in Glasgow. He struck up conversation while we were dancing near one another by commenting on how nice my eyes were. I thought he was really attractive, so I couldn’t bring myself to tell him I was wearing coloured contact lenses! We still laugh about that.

We quickly hit it off when we discovered we had so much in common. Being in our 30s, we were both pretty clear on what we wanted from a relationship right from the beginning, and now thank our lucky stars that the universe helped us find each other that night.

Neil proposed on 1st October 2020 in a private dining pod at a hotel in Pitlochry. It was so intimate and romantic. I said yes, of course – I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. We were supposed to be in Dubai for my birthday, but when Covid arrived he had to improvise. It was every bit as special as it would have been if we’d been abroad.

When we first got engaged, my mind just went into instant overdrive with all the different elements of the day that had to be considered.

Where will it be? What’s the budget? What colour scheme should we have? Kilts or suits? Fitted or ballgown? The list goes on. It can be overwhelming at first. I decided to just let myself enjoy the blissful moments of being newly engaged and sharing the wonderful news with our friends and family.

Hazel loved the natural light in the ballroom at Boclair House Hotel in Bearsden

After a week or two, I went into full-throttle organisation mode. We decided we wanted to wait until spring 2023 to get married in the hope that the world will have begun to recover from the devastation of the coronavirus. We knew there would be a lot of weddings that had been postponed from 2020 and 2021, and so it made sense for us to book a venue quite a bit in advance. Doing so gives us the opportunity to save as much as possible, too.

We only went to see two venues before making our decision. We visited Boclair House Hotel first and really liked it. The building is very dramatic, and I loved the natural light in the ballroom.

We also took a look at Lochside Hotel in Ayrshire. I fell in love almost instantly. The grounds, rolling hills and loch were completely captivating. One of the wedding co-ordinators showed us round. It was just beautiful. The venue is currently being refurbished and the new wedding reception room isn’t even finished. We only got to see the shell of the room, but I was instantly sold on the panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the loch. I know it will be just stunning when it’s finished. A few days later, we cancelled all our other viewings and secured our date at Lochside.

Hazel and Neil were both completely smitten when they laid eyes on Ayrshire’s Lochside Hotel, Lodges and Spa

This is all we’ve done so far in terms of planning. It’s still very early in our journey and we have plenty of time. One thing I’ve loved doing over the last few months is browsing Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy for inspiration. I’ve had to buy a storage box to keep all the samples I’ve ordered! I like the idea of shopping with small businesses, so I’ll try to do that as much as possible.

Over the next few months (restrictions permitting), we hope to start visiting event design showrooms to start getting an idea of colour schemes and decor. I also hope to be able to formally propose to my bridal party. Fingers crossed! 

August 2021 - Lockdown, supplier search, cakes and venue

Left: Hazel and Neil are full steam ahead with their wedding plans; Right: This fabulous confection is by Oh So Sweet Cupcakes, who’ll be baking the couple’s wedding cake

A lot has happened since my first diary entry back in February. While the industry more or less ground to a halt during yet another lockdown, I had a chance to reassess some of my planning preparations.

I think most brides, me included, plan to go to wedding fairs and open days as soon as they get engaged and have a venue booked. Unfortunately for us, no sooner had we picked our venue than the country was sent back into shutdown, dashing any hopes we might have had of immersing ourselves in all things wedding-related at a fair. So, what to do with my pent-up planning energy? Well, I took to Instagram and Pinterest, of course.

Although our wedding isn’t until 2023, I wanted to get started on my supplier search – I’m very conscious of the number of couples who have had to postpone their special day and I don’t want to risk missing out on a supplier we really want. For me, picking the right photographer and videographer was the top priority. Having no experience of wedding planning, I didn’t have a clue where to start. So, I pulled out all the bridal magazines I’d bought to date and noted down the names of the photographers whose images I liked the look of. Then I took to Instagram to ask the bridal community for their recommendations, whilst also Googling local suppliers. Before I knew it, I had a list as long as my arm!

Mark Quinn Photography took this lovely photo – he has been booked to shoot Hazel and Neil’s day too

To help us whittle it down, we first agreed whose photography/film style we loved, then requested pricing and availability from that list. Once we had this information, we were able to cross off those who were beyond our budget or unavailable on our date, leaving us with a handful of possibilities. From these, we chose the two whose style we preferred: Mark Quinn Photography and Candlelight Pictures for our videography. We really can’t wait for them to capture our day!

One unexpected wedmin task we managed to tick off in the last few months is our cake supplier. I hadn’t given the cake much thought so early on in our planning, but I came across the Instagram page of a girl from my home town, Cumbernauld, who has recently turned her hand to baking. Eilish, who owns Oh So Sweet Cupcakes, is a self-taught baker. We were so impressed with how beautiful her cupcakes and occasion cakes were that I decided to see if she would consider baking our wedding cake. Turns out she already had her first few weddings in the diary, and was happy to book us in.

Their venue, Lochside House Hotel, Lodges and Spa, is one of Ayrshire’s finest

When lockdown was finally lifted, we were able to book an overnight stay at our venue, Lochside House Hotel – which just happened to coincide with the opening weekend of the new wedding suite! We only saw digital plans of the suite when we booked it as our venue, which felt a bit of a risk. I can honestly say we had absolutely nothing to worry about – it lived up to all our expectations, and more. It was great to finally see it finished so we could begin to visualise our special day. Now it’s full steam ahead with the rest of the planning!

What's next?

I still haven’t formally asked my bridal party yet. However, my sister, who’ll be my maid of honour, is flying home from Spain in July to visit – we’ve not seen her in almost two years. I’ve decided to throw a ‘Proposal Party’ and get my six bridesmaids together for an extra-special afternoon. Can’t wait!

October 2021 - Bridesmaid proposal, makeup and entertainment

Hazel and with her ’maids on the day of the Proposal Party

Things have been pretty exciting here – we’ve had a party! Let me explain… Right from when Neil and I first got engaged, I’d been wanting to formally ask my bridesmaids to be part of our wedding, but all the restrictions meant this had to wait a lot longer than I’d hoped.

I was determined to make it a special occasion, especially as Neil and I had decided not to have an engagement party – it was working out to be much more expensive than we’d anticipated, and we concluded that the money would be better put towards the big day itself. So you can see why I wanted to do something special for my bride tribe that would feel like we were still having a celebration. But what and when?

My sister and maid of honour, Danielle, lives in Spain and I hadn’t seen her in almost two years because of the travel restrictions. When she was finally allowed to book a flight home to see us, I knew this would be the perfect moment. There followed the Proposal Party!

With the help of my mum, I threw a garden party for my girls. I wanted to do something slightly different, so, as usual, I looked to Instagram for ideas. I discovered a small Glasgow business, Balloons By Bex, and asked them to make me hot-air balloon-style balloons filled with white feathers and adorned with the message ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ They were so beautiful. I also got personalised sweet treat boxes made by All That Glitters, a local Paisley baker.

Left: How sweet (sorry, not sorry) are these treat boxes by All That Glitters Cakes?; Right: Hazel’s bespoke balloons from Balloons by Bex

The day was so much fun. The best part by far was when my friends surprised me by doing a rap to the theme tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air all about how Neil and I had met. It was hilarious (there’s a video of it on my Instagram).

I managed to book my makeup artist too. This was a particularly important supplier to me. I’d had my eye on Ashleigh McArthur (@ashmacmua on Instagram) for a while, but I wanted to be sure she was the right choice for me so I booked her to do my makeup for the Proposal Party first. She did an amazing job and I booked her for the wedding on the spot.

Another big decision we ticked off was finding our band. This was quite a hard one as there are so many great bands out there that the options felt overwhelming. We want to give our guests a night to remember, though, so we took our time and listened to some of our favourites online (there was no live entertainment allowed at the time due to restrictions). We eventually settled on a band called Fyra who have both male and female vocalists. They’re so good we’ve booked them for the drinks reception as well as the evening entertainment, and we’re really looking forward to them helping us make our day one to remember.

December 2021 - Decor, flowers, hair and honeymoon plans

Things are starting to slow down a little regarding our wedding planning. With 17 months still to go, it feels as if most of the big things are now ticked off. To be honest, I’m a little sad about it as I’ve enjoyed every minute of the journey so far – exploring all that the Scottish wedding industry has to offer has been so much fun. But I know I will be thankful when things shift and all of a sudden it feels like time is running away from me.

We went to view a decor company, JAM Events, in the summer following a recommendation from our venue. I’d seen some of JAM’s amazing work on its social media platforms. We ran through our options with the very friendly co-ordinator at the time but held off committing until we were absolutely sure this was the right choice for us.

Lochgreen House Hotel beautifully dressed for a wedding by JAM Events

In the end, we’ve indeed chosen JAM for the event styling and have booked its sister company, I Am Flowers, for the bridal party flowers. It made sense to me to do this as it will save any stress trying to colour-match the decor to the flowers – they’ll look after it all. And now that we’ve booked the decor and flowers, we’re really starting to be able to visualise our day.

I have also finally booked my hair stylist, Lana from Cameo Bridal Styling. I was quite lucky as her diary is already closed for 2022 and she has only limited 2023 availability left! Had I waited any longer, I might have missed out on an amazing stylist. I’ve not fully decided how I want my hair on the day since I’ve not yet said yes to the dress, but Lana is a perfectionist and I know that whatever she creates will be beautiful.

Left: Hazel has booked Cameo Bridal Styling as her hair stylist; Right: A lush pink bouquet by
I Am Flowers, Hazel’s florist of choice

While not strictly wedding-related, we managed to go on holiday last month. Our trip to Dubai, where Neil had originally planned to propose, had been delayed by a year, so we got to celebrate our one-year engagement anniversary over there, which was pretty special. It was so lovely to be able to travel again, but my goodness, it was hot! We’d been considering Dubai as a stop on our honeymoon, but it is safe to say we’ll need to be mindful of the temperature before we book anything. Finally getting away on holiday gave me the perfect opportunity to try out some gorgeous bridal swimwear too. I was originally saving my bridal piece by Ocean Glaze for either my hen do or honeymoon, but I just couldn’t help wearing it before either of these – it seemed too long to wait and I’m so impatient! We had such a great time, but we were also very glad to be home when it was all over.

What’s next? 

We’ll be taking it easy for a little while – there’s not a lot else to do! Dress shopping isn’t until April but I’m sure I’ll find something wedding-related to keep me busy until then.

February 2022 - Wedding expenses and picking a photographer

An awesome confetti shot by Tina Vedrine

How can it be 2022 already?! I honestly can’t believe that (1) I’ve been planning our wedding for over a year, and (2) I can now say we’re getting married next year! Time has passed so quickly.

That said, I’m glad we chose to have a longer engagement: it has given us time to save the necessary funds, enjoying the process without feeling rushed or having to get into debt. It’s not for everyone, but it has worked out great for us. Plus, I get to call myself a bride for a bit longer! Ha!

There’s one drawback to a longer engagement that I hadn’t considered, however. As time passes, trends change, and wedding trends are no different. What might be all over magazines and social feeds one month or year will be replaced with something new the next. You might start to have doubts about some of the choices you were once so sure of. That’s some­thing I’ve experienced myself recently.

Relaxed, joyful wedding imagery is what The Vedrines’ photography is all about

I’m certain I’m not alone and lots of brides have gone through this in one way or another. Possibly we’ve all wondered ‘Have I made the right choice?’, ‘Is it going to look how I imagined?’, ‘Do I even like those flowers?’, all those nagging doubts keeping you awake at night.

In my case, it was the style of photography we’d chosen and, ultimately, the photographer. It was a strange one as we were so convinced we’d made the right choice at the time – we spent ages deciding, and we definitely knew we loved his work. But over recent months I found myself constantly drawn to certain images on social media with a more moody, editorial feel – completely different from the bright, vibrant vibe of the photographer we’d booked. What’s more, whenever one of those images caught my eye, I’d check the photo credit and it was the same name every time: Tina Vedrine (@thevedrinesphoto on Instagram). I found myself obsessing over her photos, and constantly asking myself what I should do.

Eventually I had to face the fact that I was seriously considering changing photographer. Neil and I discussed it and decided that if I felt so strongly about it, we should see if Tina was available for our date. When she confirmed she was, that was it: I knew I had to go with my heart and book her.

But how to tell our original photographer? I didn’t want to offend him – his work is great! The idea of having to let him down was making me really anxious. I spoke to a friend who works in the industry as a videographer, and he gave me some great advice. He said that most suppliers are very understanding in these situations and appreciate that each couple need to go with what is right for them on such an important occasion. It is business, after all, and if you treat people fairly and with respect, there should be no hard feelings.

That was so good to hear and it set my mind at ease. I spoke to our photographer and explained that after a lot of thought we were going to go with a different style of photography. He was okay with the cancellation and wished us all the best. We lost our deposit but we knew we would – it was part of the terms and conditions.I hope other brides find this advice useful should they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

What’s next?

New year, new goals! I’m on a mission to get back to my pre-pandemic fitness levels. It’s all about self-care for the next few months before I start dress shopping.

August 2022 - Dresses, kilt shopping and stationery

The couple’s chic gold save-the-dates from Cartalia on Etsy have been sent out

Let me start with some big news… I said YES to the dress! I can’t believe it’s my turn to say those words. In my last update I mentioned I had visited two bridal boutiques but hadn’t quite committed to anything yet. I booked to go back to the first store, Sophia Grace Couture in Haddington, to try on a dress I’d loved there as I was almost certain it was The One.

As I waited for the appointment to come round, I kept browsing the store’s website. I spotted a dress very similar to the one I loved, but with a few different elements. It gave me an idea: could I mix and match elements from multiple dresses to make the gown of my dreams? I asked the consultant at Sophia Grace Couture and she confirmed that it was absolutely possible!

I returned to the store full of excitement. I decided to try on a few other dresses first so I could be sure I was making the right decision. I took along my other sister (she hadn’t seen the original dress I’d tried on, so was completely in the dark about which was which).

Left: Neil (not pictured) had an easy time selecting his outfit at MacGregor and MacDuff; Right: Hazel sealed the dress deal at Sophia Grace Couture. Could it be Enzoani’s Pearl gown that won her over?

After trying a few gorgeous gowns, I finally put on my dress. To my delight, as soon as the curtain was pulled back, my sister said, ‘Oh my god, Sis, that’s the one!’ It was an amazing feeling. Not only did I love it, but my sister knew instantly too. In the end, I combined elements from three different gowns to get a completely unique dress.

Neil has also chosen what he’ll be wearing. We visited MacGregor and MacDuff in Glasgow and the staff were knowledgeable and super-helpful. We were immediately drawn to a tartan we’d spotted as we walked through the door, so the selection process for Neil was far more straightforward than it was for me! When he put on all the different parts of his outfit, it suddenly all started to feel so real.

One final piece of news for this update: we sent out our save-the-dates. I’ve had them for almost a year, so it was exciting to finally give them to our guests. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about when you should send these – anything from four months before to immediately after setting the date.

My advice is to do what feels right for you – we sent ours 12 months in advance. They are gold mirrored plexi magnets by Cartalia Wedding Stationery which I found on Etsy soon after we got engaged. I added wax seals and dried florals to the envelopes to give them an elegant finish.

What’s next?

My hen do is coming up next. It’s eight months before the wedding but I’ll talk more about that in the next update.

October 2022 - Hen weekend

Hazel and her squad posing up a storm on her Marbella hen do

It’s more than two weeks since I got home from my hen weekend and I’m still not over it! What a time we had! There’s not a lot else happening on the planning front so I’ll just use this update to share all the details of the most brilliant weekend.

Right from the beginning, my bridal party and I knew we wanted to go abroad for my hen. The only problem was that Neil and I are having a spring wedding so the timing was a bit awkward if we were going to catch some good weather in Europe. After chatting it through, we just thought, “Why do we need to follow the norm?” There’s nothing wrong with having your celebrations at a time that’s good for you.

So, we decided to book Marbella for August this year, despite the wedding being April next year. Marbella was the obvious choice as my sister lives about 35 minutes from there – she’d be able to do all the organising from Spain, which would be a lot more straightforward than trying to sort things out from this end. It worked out perfectly.

We found somewhere a little bit outside of Marbella, which meant we got a stunning villa at a much better rate than we’d have paid if we’d stayed right in the centre of town. The place was beautiful. We didn’t arrive until late at night but my sister had been in the villa all day with her friend, decorating the place for our arrival.

When I walked in I was so happy and overwhelmed with all the thought and effort that had gone into it, I just burst into tears. There was a big balloon arch, goodie bags for everyone, cupcakes and so much more. I couldn’t believe it. My sister then showed me my bedroom and it was filled with balloons with pictures of me and Neil and all my bridal party on them. At this point, I’m crying like baby!

After a good night’s sleep, everyone was in the mood for a party. We spent the day at the pool, laughing, dancing and enjoying the sunshine. I’m fairly sure there was even karaoke going on too, but it’s a bit of a blur!

That night, we went for a meal and dinner show at a great place in town and danced the night away. The following evening, as a surprise, the girls had arranged for a chef to come to the villa and cook us a barbecue. It was a nice laid-back night, playing games and glow-stick dancing.

We also played ‘Mr & Mrs’ using video footage the girls had recorded of Neil earlier in the week. It was a great laugh, but I’m sure my mum wanted to put her fingers in her ears for some of it! The last day of the trip was spent at a beach club. My sister organised a girl to come to the villa and put jewels and glitter on us, ready for a day of partying. It was a lovely touch and everyone looked so glam. The day was just amazing with lots of laughs, singing and dancing.

All in all, it was one of the best weekends of my life. The effort everyone made to make it special and memorable was so humbling. I’ll be forever grateful to them all. If I had any advice for other brides-to-be, it would be to take a few minutes to yourself if you start to feel overwhelmed at any point during your hen. It can be a lot to take in if you’re not used to being the centre of attention – everyone is there to celebrate you.

What’s next?

Neil and I are having a few pictures taken by a local photographer to get us used to being in front of the camera and to get some snaps to use on our wedding website. Then, formal invites will go out!

February 2023 - Dress fitting, RSVP photoshoot and invites

Hazel and Neil took to the streets of Glasgow with photographer Francesca Morrison for some images for their RSVP website

How can it be 2023 already? In a sense, it feels like I’ve been waiting for this year to come around forever but now that it’s here, it feels very surreal. I can’t believe I can finally say I’m getting married this year! And not only this year, but in less than three months!I took a break from updating my diary during the autumn as I had a bit of lull after my amazing hen weekend in Marbella in August and didn’t have a lot to share. There’s plenty to report now, though!

My dress arrived in the boutique, and I got to go and try it on again. Unfortunately, I had to do it alone as my family were all sick with Covid, but the girls at Sophia Grace Couture made sure it still felt special. I was a little worried about the fit as I had ordered a size down – always risky move! – but thankfully it fitted just fine. Phew! It felt amazing to put it on again – in fact, I didn’t want to take it off! I did eventually and now it’s all packed up and safely stored at my mum’s house until the alterations appointment in February.

Neil and I had a few snaps taken in Glasgow city centre at the end of last year to use on our RSVP website. It was a good opportunity for us to get a feel for what it’ll be like to be in front of the camera. It was a great experience, and I would highly recommend you do something similar to get used to being looked at through the lens. We underestimated how nervous we’d be and found ourselves giggling the whole time.

We didn’t use our wedding photographer as she is based down south but the photographer we hired, Francesca Morrison, was wonderful and helped put us at ease. I think we’ll be so much more relaxed in front of the camera on the day now. Plus, we have some lovely engagement photos to hold on to. I would definitely recommend doing an engagement shoot if you get the opportunity!

The invites are finally out. They were the first samples I ever ordered when we got engaged back in 2020. I wanted to be open-minded and did a lot of research, but nothing compared. We went for minimalist clear acrylic with gold foil print presented in a monogram box. To keep it simple, we included a small card with a QR code to our wedding website which has all the other details you’d expect to see on an invitation. The invites were from Etsy and we used a free wedding website, With Joy. There are a few of these websites to choose from, but I found With Joy very easy to navigate so would definitely recommend it.

What’s next?

We still need to get transport booked and hire a piper. It’s also time for final supplier meetings. Very exciting!

April 2023 - Final update, transport, meetings and wedding content creator

JAM Events will be styling and dressing Lochside House Hotel Spa & Lodges

My last diary update! I can hardly believe it. Two and a half years of meticulous planning will soon become reality on our wonderful wedding day. Eeek! Over the last couple of months we have been busy doing our final preparations.

One of the big items still outstanding on our last update was guest transport. With our venue being almost a two-hour drive away for some guests, and only a limited number of bedrooms at the hotel, we felt it only fair to provide transport for anyone who needs it. If this is something you’re thinking about too, it’s worth doing a bit of research. We got quotes from about eight companies and the prices varied quite substantially.

Transport is expensive so it’s important to factor this into your budget from the beginning. Another tip is to account for the impact of inflation between your first enquiry and actually making the booking (there could be quite a gap if you wait until you have your RSVPs back).

We had our three-month meeting with the Lochside House Hotel to go over all the finer details. We spoke about the running order, timings and so on. It also gave us the opportunity to ask any questions or seek clarity on what to expect. It can be so easy to forget things, so I would recommend jotting down a note in your phone every time a question (or request) pops into your head, and then you’ll have them all there to ask your coordinator at this meeting.

I started doing this a few mouths back, so by the time I got there the list was as long as my arm! It had everything from ‘How long does it take to walk down the aisle?’, to ‘Can we have the table linen ironed flat without fold creases?’ Going prepared helped us to feel organised, and we felt excited when we left.

We’ve had final meetings with our most of our suppliers now but the one that gave me all the feels was the stylist meeting. I had shared centrepiece inspo pictures with them ahead of time and our stylist at JAM Events prepared a sample for us arriving. It was so beautiful! She absolutely nailed the brief and we left absolutely delighted that our vision was fully understood by the decor company. I can’t wait to see it on the day.

I didn’t think we’d be adding any suppliers so late in the day, but we made some unexpected changes with just a couple of months to go. I mentioned in one of my previous diaries that trends change all the time, and that it can be hard to keep up, especially if your planning stretches over a couple of years. Well, the latest trend that started in the States has finally hit the UK: wedding content creators. I asked around about this service last year but there were no British suppliers offering it yet. Come 2023, and loads are now hitting the UK scene!

Hazel has booked the services of Social Brides Club to curate social-media content on the big day

Luckily, I knew a fellow bride on Instagram who now offers this service. Her business is called Social Brides Club. A wedding content creator goes behind the scenes with a phone camera to capture lots of pics and footage for the couple to use as they wish immediately after the wedding. It means you and your party can be phone-free and present all day long but pictures and videos are still being captured for your social media.

The content creator isn’t a replacement for a highly skilled photographer or videographer, but they’re in the background, doing a different job. It also means you have lots of content to enjoy and reminisce over while you’re waiting to receive your professional photos and wedding film.

What’s next?

Neil and I have our home hen and stag parties to look forward to, then it’s time to say ‘I do’! I can’t wait to finally marry the love of my life. It has been so much fun keeping this diary! I hope my fellow brides enjoyed it.


Hazel and Neil tied the knot on April 28th at Lochside House, read more about their stunning wedding here

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