Our couple are counting down the months to their summer escape to Santorini where they will say ‘I do’ in July

From friends to fiancee – Laureen and David are getting ready to make it official!

Five months to go! Laureen Gallagher, dental practice manager, is set to marry railway controller David Farries at Cavo Ventus Luxury Villa in Santorini on 5th July 2024

February – March 2024 - Bride and flower girl dress shopping, bridal skincare and hen weekend 

OMG, I have officially got THE DRESS! And I can’t believe how easy it was! My best advice would be to go to your appointment with an open mind, as most of the time what you think you want will change the minute you start trying things on.

Left: There is nothing more exciting than saying yes to the dress… especially when you get to do it at the same time as your sister Right: Laureen’s daughter had a smashing day playing dress-up at Carriage & Castles

I honestly cannot recommend Eleganza Sposa enough. The girls at the boutique were amazing from start to finish and made me feel a million dollars. I went with my sister Siobhan, who is also getting married, to try on dresses and get a feel for what we were looking for. You won’t believe it, but we both ended up buying our dresses that day! It was so lovely to go through the experience with her. As you can imagine, my mum and my younger sister Caitlin were emotional wrecks at the news that the two of us had found our dream dresses. I honestly feel a massive weight has been lifted and that whatever else happens on the day won’t matter now – I have the dress and the man and that’s all I need.

Who am I kidding?! The list is endless, and I am now on to getting bride-ready! I have been looking into putting a skincare routine in place so I don’t have any breakouts or issues leading up to the big day. Zarah at Skinz Aesthetics was recommended to me and I have booked in for three treatment sessions before the wedding. She gave me some advice about which products to use and encouraged me to get into a good skincare routine now so that my complexion will be glowing and my makeup will sit nicely on the day.

My daughter and I popped along to Carriage & Castles in Glasgow to have a look at flower girl dresses – she had a great wee day. We tried on lots of dresses and the girls made her feel like a princess. We’re due back soon for another fitting with my niece and to make a final decision on their dresses. These days with the girls are so special. They really give you all the feels of getting married and being a bride.

Laureen is getting ready to party the weekend away with her hens at Burns Tree Alloway

Next on the list was my hen weekend. As we’re marrying in Greece, I felt it would be better to have the hen at home, as I wanted to try to keep the costs down for my guests. I opted for a weekend away at Burns Tree Alloway, a luxury house in south-west Scotland. It’s often used for weddings and events, or it can be rented by guests at weddings at Brig o’ Doon, which is just a ten-minute walk away. The house sleeps up to 20 and has a hot tub, an outside bar, a balcony and a massive outdoor area for all the hen activities. There is also the option of having a marquee and a barbecue. My sisters are planning a little hen night in Santorini once we’re all there for the wedding.

Things are starting to feel really organised and I cannot believe I can actually say ‘I’m getting married this year!’ 

What’s Next?

I am looking into possibly getting some hair extensions, which I can try out for my hen. Christina Reilly has been recommended, so I will look into getting an appointment with her and will keep you posted. David also needs to get a move on with sorting out his suit and we need to start looking at wedding rings.


December – January 2023/4 - Selecting venues, entertainment, invites and flowers

Since our last diary, we have gone full steam ahead with wedding planning. We’d already secured our venues both at home and in Greece, so it was time to get booking our entertainment. For our home reception (at 200 Conference & Events in Glasgow), I was ideally looking for a female vocalist; my friend Laura, who’s a singer, recommended Chelsea Larkins, who is part of a local band called Velvet Noir. We contacted the band and they had availability on our date, so we secured them straight away. For a bit of contrast, we also booked a male singer, Ross McGuire, for our reception arrival drinks. David and I both love music, so getting the right entertainment was really important to us. It was great to get recommendations too.

Singer RED will blow the roof off the Santorini venue – after all, she was more than a match for Andrea Bocelli when they performed a duet!

For the Santorini part of the wedding, our planner sent us a couple of recommendations as well. We’ve decided to go with a company called Multimedia Events who supply musicians, DJs, lighting and set-ups. We have booked a DJ set and some musicians and have managed to secure one of my all-time favourite singers, RED. We’re flying her out from London to perform in Santorini for us – I cannot wait to hear her sing on our big day.

Now that everything was coming together, it was time to start thinking about invites. I got loads of samples from different companies but in the end just decided to go paperless and have a wedding website. It turned out so much cheaper and came with an app as well that allows guests to RSVP online and get all the information they need in the one place. There are loads of website options out there but we went with Appy Couple as it was so straightforward and easy to design. Things are starting to feel so real now that our invites are out and loads of our guests have already booked their flights and accommodation.

 

The couple have opted for a wedding website in place of traditional invitations

One of the most stressful parts of the planning so far has been the flowers. They’re actually driving me crazy! I think it’s because I feel they’re a massive part of our day and I want them to be perfect. New things come out constantly and I keep changing my mind. The only thing I can settle on is that I want them to be all white. I have bought a couple of faux floral arrangements from Shein and Etsy and I’m going to try and do a couple of things myself for my home reception. I may even take some out to Santorini with me – but then I want my day to be as stress-free as possible, so booking someone else to do it might be a better idea. I just need to decide what I want…

What’s Next?

Make a final decision on florals, look into catering and plan my hen!


October – November 2023 - Introducing the couple

David and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We were part of a friendship group and always got on well. In our early twenties, we both found ourselves fresh out of serious relationships and needing to let our hair down. Embracing our new single lives, we began hanging out more in one another’s company, along with our friends. I never thought of him romantically until one night, partying in the Corinthian, we unexpectedly locked lips. 

Because we’d been friends for ages and already knew a lot about each other, our relationship quickly turned into a whirlwind romance. Just over a year after sharing that first kiss, we had bought a house. Shortly after that, we welcomed our amazing daughter, Prim, into the world.

The proposal, however, was seven years in the making, and it was worth every second of the wait – it could not have been more perfect. In early December 2021, David and I flew to Budapest for a city break. Once there, he told me he’d arranged an excursion for us to the Fisherman’s Bastion, one of the city’s most gorgeous attractions, for the following day. The only thing was that we had to arrive at 7am. 

Now, getting ready quickly has never been my strong point, and of course, I was taking my time that morning – I was on holiday, after all! After much stress and persuasion from Dave to ‘get a move on’, we managed to get there just in time…

I remember looking around and not seeing another soul, and thinking that Dave had got us there unbelievably early. He had to work hard to convince me not to leave for a quick coffee and instead head down the renowned staircase. Halfway down, Dave suggested we stop for a photo and pointed out to face the view (allowing him to take candid photographs for the ’gram!).

Unbeknownst to me, he was already down on one knee for quite a long time while I posed in different positions to get ‘the pic’ of the stunning sunrise over Budapest. When I eventually turned around, I didn’t realise he was proposing – I just assumed he was finding the best angles to photograph me! Finally, he nervously said my name, and I suddenly understood what was happening. I was in complete shock. David was so emotional he couldn’t speak, and I was the same. Neither of us said a word! It was perfect!

Soon after he ‘never’ popped the question, I could hear the clicking of a camera right next to us and, sure enough, David had booked a photographer to capture the moment for us. He honestly put so much thought into every part of the proposal and knew I would want to have it on camera for my family.

On top of all that, the boy produced a stunning ring! He designed it himself with a jeweller in Dubai and then had it shipped to Scotland. Even now when I look at it, I still can’t believe it’s mine!

Our engagement party in March kickstarted our wedding fund and got us excited about planning our dream day. David and I love to travel, so we always knew we would have our wedding in the sun. We chose the Greek island of Santorini, where we visited ten venues, eventually settling on the Cavo Ventus Luxury Villa with its incredible coastal views. 

We’re going to have a reception in Glasgow too, and after checking out several options we settled on 200 SVS on St Vincent Street. As soon as we walked into the place , we knew it was the one for us. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was, and the central Glasgow location is really handy for our guests.

What’s Next

I plan to investigate entertainment, invites and decor within the next few months – I’m hoping my wedding planner keeps me on track (I still have severe punctuality problems)!

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