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

Four 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.

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

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!


December – January 2023/4 - Dress shopping and a themed hen weekend

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.

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!

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's next?

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


February – March 2024

Our wedding planning didn’t come to a halt over the festive period – it was still all go. I can’t believe it’s less than seven months away! As Mark and I both travel a lot for work, finding time to attend appointments together can be quite hard, so over the holidays was the perfect time to tick off some more wedding tasks.

We went back to the wonderful John McKay Jewellers in Paisley to have a look at rings. I already knew I wanted a plain and simple gold band to match my engagement ring – but once I was there, of course, I fell for the sparkliest wedding band in the whole store!

Lesley at the shop gently explained it would take away from the diamond on my engagement ring – and she was totally right. I don’t know how she managed it, but she talked me out of buying more diamonds.

The woman is a magician! Mark opted to go for a brushed platinum ring with a gold base. He didn’t want anything too shiny as he’s not used to wearing jewellery, so this was the ideal choice for him.

Left: These roles will be reversed come August when Louise and best pal Dionne swap places! Right: These roles will be reversed come August when Louise and best pal Dionne swap places!

Something I keep putting off finalising is our wedding website and invitations. I don’t know why, but I have a massive fear of publishing it and printing the invitations, then wanting to change something. It feels like that moment when your thumb is hovering over the send button on a risky text! I’d originally planned to design, make and post all our invitations myself (with the help of my friends Milea, Susie and Ling, plus some wine).

But once I’d designed them, the thought of sticking on about 20 pearls to each and assembling them all just seemed a bit much. I don’t know where I’d find the time.

So, I contacted Fiona at wedding stationer Caledonian Cowgirl, sent her my initial design and she is taking care of everything. She has sent me the proofs through and I cannot wait to see them all printed and ready to post.

We’ve actually decided that it’s only going to be the bridal party at our ceremony – so parents, siblings, grandparents, bridesmaids and groomsmen (and a few extra-special people who are travelling from afar).

I’m convinced this has been the best decision we’ve made regarding our guests. The amount of stress it has removed around family politics and people asking for plus-ones has been great. I would highly recommend it.

We do, however, have a pretty big reception guest list, so everyone will still be able to attend.

As I mentioned, I’m away a lot of the time for work, so my mum has been helping me with the planning. It has been great fun working things out together.

One of my most favourite parts of the planning so far has been the excitement of booking flights for our honeymoon.

Mark and I used to live in Sydney and haven’t been back since we left six years ago, so we’ve decided to take a little chunk of holiday for Christmas and New Year and go there for our honeymoon.

What better way to bring in the New Year than looking out onto Sydney Harbour Bridge with all the fireworks!

Louise and Mark will be living it up in Oz for their honeymoon!

I was maid of honour at my best friend Dionne’s wedding in November, and it got me so excited for my own special day – I’ve never actually been in a bridal party before, and it was so lovely to see how the day panned out and what it might be like for us later this year.

What's next?

Finalising floral arrangements, wedding scents, music choices and the dreaded table plan…


 

April - May 2024 - invitations are out and trials have been had!

 

wedding invite with pen and perfume
Louise and Mark’s invites don’t just look good – they smell amazing too

 

Planning a wedding definitely has its highs and lows. Of course, nobody cares about your wedding as much as you do – but it’s the most special day of your lives as a couple and an opportunity to have everyone who’s been a part of your life there celebrating with you. We cannot wait!

I’ve had so many highs: all the memories made with my bridesmaids; my mum and sister helping to plan and organise; and getting to choose all the most beautiful finishing touches for our big day with Mark. However, I had a bit of a wedding low at the start of this year. One of my bridesmaids decided to drop out with just months to go.

The reality is these things happen. Anyone who tells you that planning a wedding is all sunshine and rainbows is definitely lying. All that matters is that everyone who loves us and wants to be there on the most important day of our lives is ready to PARTY!

I’ve spent time lately writing our invitations. They turned out so beautifully and I’m really pleased with them. I decided to scent them too, using the Thanks & Good Luck perfume gifted to me by Justin Alexander, who designed my wedding dress. It just adds a nice little extra touch. We began finalising our table plan this month too, which was surprisingly pretty straightforward. We’ve themed each table with places that mean a lot to us: Sydney, Paris, New York and Rhodes, where we got engaged. I can’t wait to get creative with the themed table favours for each location.

 

green shoes with high heels and bows in diamante detailing
Aren’t they fabulous? We can’t wait to see Louise’s full look in August

 

My sister and I went for our makeup trial with Helen Matthews Makeup and she nailed our looks first time. I’m so excited to feel all glam on the big day. Helen was so lovely too. I think we’ll have a good laugh together on the morning of the wedding.

I also went to our menu tasting with my MIL-to-be, Norma. (Mark and I can never make anything at the same time. Pauline, our coordinator at Citation, has never seen us together, so it has become a running joke!) We decided to change one of the desserts to a lighter option, but kept my favourite – the amazing-sounding sticky toffee pudding cheesecake. It’s like two desserts in one, and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t up there on the list of things I’m most looking forward to on our wedding day.

I went back to Wedding Wise, where Carol fitted my outfit. I must admit I was a little nervous. Last time I tried it on I had been on a meal plan and was hammering the gym four days a week. More recently, though (as in the last six months), I’ve not set foot in the gym, and I was worried there was a chance it wouldn’t fit. As soon as I got it on, though, the panic was over – it fitted like a glove. Phew!
I also managed to try on my heels properly for the first time. They were the very first thing I purchased for the wedding. I couldn’t resist the Mach & Mach heels that coordinated with the colour of my bridesmaid dresses. I can’t lie, though – they were so uncomfortable! I’ve got some breaking in to do before August comes round.

Mark and I have booked the second leg of our honeymoon. So, after travelling around Australia for a bit we’ll be jetting off to Fiji and then stopping over in Los Angeles. It’s going to be a brilliant mix of adventure, beaches and city. We’ve never been to Fiji before but I imagine it’s going to be heaven on earth. Same with LA – I’m a huge fan of Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so visiting the restaurants and bars in the series is on the bucket list, as well as seeing the Hollywood sign, of course.

What’s Next?

The countdown is well and truly on and, PSA, I’m saying NOPE to all fancy dinners, concerts and drinks for the next little while because I’ve got a wedding and honeymoon pay for. (This is what I’m telling myself, anyway. Not sure it’s working!)

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