Our Planning Diaries couple are gearing up to tie the knot in June in a beautiful Edinburgh venue

Four months to go! Lauren Bell, who works in local government, is set to marry training manager Scott Kenmure at Carlowrie Castle on 29th June

Left: The happy couple shortly after Scott popped the question Right: Their chosen venue, how incredible will this be for photographs?

"Hi! My name is Lauren, and Scott and I have been together for over five years. We met thanks to the fabulous group of friends I had when I was working in the local supermarket when I was a student. One of them introduced me to Scott and we’ve been inseparable ever since."

Keep reading to follow Lauren and Scott's full wedding planning journey...

February – March 2024 - Bridesmaid dresses, cake and menu tasting

Well, I can finally say it… I get married this year! This statement is both exciting and terrifying all at once.

We had such a lovely time celebrating over Christmas and New Year, knowing just how special the next few months were to be. I loved wearing my ‘Last Christmas as a Miss’ jumper from Six Stories, and was kindly gifted some special Christmas tree decorations to mark the year. I can’t believe this Christmas we’ll be celebrating as Mr and Mrs.

I used my time over the festive period wisely to gather myself and my notepads to make a few lists of what I still need to organise and prioritise. I am telling myself repeatedly that I do not need to book anything else!

We have now collected the bridesmaid dresses from Sophia Grace Couture. It was so exciting to take a few of my girls to try on their dresses in the shop. I can’t wait to see them all once the alterations have been done and the girls have their glam on.

While I was in Sophia Grace, I spotted a few sparkly bits for myself, so I’ve booked in for an accessories appointment. My mum is also getting her accessories sorted with another trip over to Shauna Fay in Northern Ireland to have her fascinator made.

Scott and I had a fun-filled few weeks of organising just prior to Christmas. We attended a meeting with our cake queen, Sprinkles on Top. I am pleased to reveal that cake tasting truly is as fun as it sounds!

I don’t think I quite realised the amount of time, effort and detail that goes into designing a cake. I was truly blown away when owner Samantha pulled out her ruler, stencils and pencils. We went through a few designs and inspiration pictures and finally landed on an absolutely amazing design. I may even have shed a tear!

I have asked Samantha to hold onto the sketches until after the wedding as I would love to have these framed – they look fabulous and it would be so special to have them. I want to try to savour every moment!

We also had our menu tasting at Carlowrie Castle. It was so nice to be back at our venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh and have a wander around. Every time we’ve visited, we have been treated like absolute royalty, and this time was no exception. We went through all our menu choices and the order of the day, which made everything feel very real. And now that we have our venue details confirmed, we can move onto invitations.

As the two of us have still been attending appointments and having wedding bits and bobs going on, it has kept us motivated in the gym. We have still been going to gym and PT sessions with our personal trainer Mark, and I have been loving Align Pilates in Uddingston – wow, that’s a workout! Now we are in the new year we have a new gym programme to follow to ensure we’re in the best shape possible for our big day.

What’s next?

We have plans to book a ‘minimoon’ for after the wedding and I am meeting with my girlies to plan my hen do abroad in Portugal. As well as this, I also have a review coming up with Jordana Events. The countdown really is on!

October – November 2023 - Introducing the couple, finding the venue and wedding dress shopping

We bought a house last year and we’re really enjoying living together and making the space our own. We love travelling, so you’ll often find us scrolling through airline apps looking for our next adventure.

Scott proposed on 3rd July 2022 at Gleneagles Hotel, which is one of our favourite places. We’ve stayed there a few times when celebrating other big moments in our lives such as birthdays, so it felt just right that Scott proposed there. 

The day I became a fiancée was the day I knew my love of lists and spreadsheets was going to come in very handy! It was also at this point that I decided it would be French polish on my nails for the next few years to show off my new bling…

Scott and I immediately threw ourselves into venue hunting, looking at everything in the Borders to the Turnberry seaside – private castles, public libraries and more. We wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned. The search came to an abrupt end the day we drove down the long driveway to Carlowrie Castle: we knew straight away this was the one for us.

Carlowrie is everything we had dreamt of and more. We just love the exclusivity of the grounds and its dark mysterious vibes! I knew this was the place I could carry out my Gossip Girl wedding dreams!

The two of us are both so glad we took our time hunting high and low for the right venue. The process helped us work out exactly what we wanted, and it was also so exciting to see all the different styles and options out there.

It has been successful dress shopping all round for me and my ladies too: I am delighted to report that my wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses have been chosen.

My first wedding dress appointment did not go at all as I’d imagined it would. In my head, I thought I would just walk in, try on a dress, fall in love with it, and that would be that – hopeful but not very realistic! When the experience didn’t go as smoothly as planned, I dramatically lost all hope and felt true despair. Thankfully, I had another appointment booked, this time at Ivory Pinks Bridal in Bothwell.

Well… Ivory Pinks changed the game for me! I had the best time there. Wilma made me feel so special and at ease. I had the full gown section to myself to browse and was able to try on as many styles as I wanted.

Left: Lauren and Scott with PT Mark McNicol Right: Lauren said yes to the dress at Ivory Pinks in Bothwell

And then there was this one dress… I put it on and instantly knew it was the one for me. I suddenly had that feeling I’d been hoping for – the one I had just about given up on ever experiencing. I walked (or skipped) out to show my mum and aunt, and we all agreed this was the one.

That first failed attempt at finding a dress taught me it’s okay for things not to go well, but that I shouldn’t give up and just throw in the tiara, which is what I felt like doing. In fact, I’m so glad now I had the negative experience I did, as it made my time at Ivory Pinks even more special. I would wholeheartedly recommend the boutique to everyone.

My bridesmaids didn’t make things easy for me either! It took quite a few appointments and visits to different shops, but my six girls have now got gorgeous dresses from Sophia Grace Couture. We’re all so happy we waited and got what we wanted.

With the dresses all now ordered, there’s space to think about other things. Scott and I met up with our personal trainer Mark McNicol, hoping to put a wedding workout plan in place. Having worked with Mark for a few months now, and feeling so much better – physically and mentally – about life, we have come to realise that it isn’t just about putting the effort in for the wedding day; it’s also so important just to take care of ourselves. I don’t know how Mark puts up with our constant moaning, but that’s not the point!

What’s next?

We are preparing for my hen do in Portugal. Scott and I have a menu tasting on the cards, and we’re working on the final draft of our official wedding invites.

December - January 2023/4 - mother of the bride outfit, flowers, photographers and bridesmaid proposals

Well, time is moving fast for Scott and I. When we clink those champagne glasses to the sound of the Hogmanay bells, we’ll officially be able to say ‘We get married this year!’ With Christmas just around the corner, New Year doesn’t seem that far away – I’ve already started looking for an outfit!

We’ve had quite a lot of excitement lately – we travelled to Northern Ireland so my mum could choose her dress for the wedding. She and I have loved Shauna Fay’s designs for years, so it felt like the obvious place to go. We did do a little bit of shopping closer to home in Scotland, but I knew my mum really loved Shauna’s dresses. We had such a lovely experience in Newry at the studio and my mum picked out her dream dress – she is going to look amazing!

Left: Team Bride at Sophia Grace Couture where they found their bridesmaid dresses Right: Lauren travelled to Shauna Fay with her mum to find her dream dress!

As soon as we had the date and the venue, I booked my flowers and decor with Jordana Events. I had stalked Jordana on Instagram well before Scott and I got engaged, so I knew exactly what I wanted here, and I was well aware I’d have to act fast to secure my date. I also made a wedding cake appointment at Sprinkles on Top

Makeup, photography and videography swiftly followed. Getting the important bits and bobs sorted and booked in early has really helped keep my nerves in check and my stress levels under control. 

I spent some time organising my bridal party too. I’m going to have two maids of honour and four bridesmaids and I feel so lucky to have such a fab bride tribe. I put together proposal boxes for them containing cake pops (from Sprinkles on Top, of course!), Whispering Angel wine and some nice Molton Brown smells. Only the best for my girls! 

Scott and I still have so many exciting bits of planning to do, such as cake tasting and choosing the menu for the wedding breakfast. We’ve also got an engagement photoshoot coming up. 

What's next?

The highs and lows of shopping for my gown and bridesmaid dresses are next. Scott and I also have a new wedding fitness regime with Mark McNicol, the PT who has changed our lives! 

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