Two years on since they got engaged, our Falkirk-based couple are nearly at the end of their planning journey, and they’re still enjoying every minute of it…

Three months to go! Natalie Godfrey, office manager at Frox of Falkirk, is set to marry national account manager Chris Rock at Glenbervie House Hotel on 9th September

Natalie and Chris had an engagement photoshoot with Jason Kenneway Photography

December 2021 - Engagement story and choosing a venue

Chris and I have been together for three years after meeting online and having our first date in Glasgow on a very random Tuesday night in October 2018.

We were still in lockdown on my birthday in April this year, so when May arrived and restrictions had begun to ease, Chris surprised me with a present of a night away at the gorgeous Carberry Tower. Little did I know that this was the day he would pop the question!

When we checked in, we were told we’d been upgraded to a suite. I was super-excited, completely unaware that Chris had already organised this! We dropped off our bags in our room then headed out to the gardens. A member of staff followed us out with champagne, saying it was their first weekend open and they were offering a glass to all their guests. I was delighted, as you can imagine.

We strolled over to the other side of the gardens and Chris asked me to get a photo on the steps. I was posing away, as you do, and when I went to sit down, he said, “While I have you here” – I turned round to look at him and saw he was on one knee – “Will you marry me?” I was in complete shock! It was the most amazing day and one I will never forget. Chris had picked my beautiful engagement ring from ROX in Glasgow – very apt, as I am going to become Mrs Rock!

Left: Natalie’s balloon says it all; Right: Photographer Jason Kenneway got a cracker of a shot of the sparkler!

We had a fantastic engagement photoshoot with Jason Kenneway Photography and we were having a brilliant week – and then we found out that we are expecting! Planning a wedding and having a baby? You’d think this might come easy to someone who works in the industry but, really, where do you begin?!

First things first. We needed a venue. In order to book a venue, we needed to know rough guest numbers. Well, that’s a fun task, isn’t it?! Ten pieces of paper and a bar of Galaxy later, we had come up with an estimate of 120 day-time guests and further 60 for the evening.

We viewed quite a lot of venues. Some were absolutely stunning – Cornhill CastleBoclair HouseGlenskirlie Castle and Carberry Tower, to name a few. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, none was quite right for us.

We then found a place that we fell in love with. It was only when it came to signing on the dotted line that we noticed some discrepancies in the contract. We questioned this and a few unexplained costs came to light which, unfortunately, resulted in us walking away from a venue we loved. My advice is to make sure you read absolutely every single word of the contract. There can be information in there that hasn’t been discussed in person. If you are in any doubt at all, ask.

Glenbervie House Hotel near Larbert has been booked and the date is officially set

At the beginning of October, we went to view Glenbervie House. This time, it was perfect! The wedding co-ordinator, Jennifer, couldn’t have been more helpful. We chose our packages and confirmed our date for 2023. The ceremony will be conducted at our local church and we have already met the priest to begin marriage preparations. Finally, we can tell people: we’re getting married!

What’s next? 

Find a photographer and a videographer. Decide on a band or a DJ – or go for both? Oh, and have a baby!

April 2022 - A baby, bridesmaid proposal, photographer and decor

What a busy couple of months! Chris and I are very happy to announce that our beautiful baby boy, Jude, arrived safely on 11th January – he’s going to make the most gorgeous page boy. We can’t wait to see him in his little kilt next year!

I managed to get through quite a few wedding bits and pieces before I had Jude. My best friend, Danielle, was home from Singapore for three weeks over Christmas, so I took the opportunity to have the girls over and ask them to be my bridesmaids. I ordered lovely handmade wooden Christmas tree decorations from eBay that said things like “Danielle, will you be my maid of honour?”

My daughter, Leah, is 12 years old and I wanted to give her a special job, so she will be chief bridesmaid to keep the others in check (lol)! I have seven bridesmaids and a flower girl. It’s a pretty big wedding party but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t wait to take them shopping!

Hey Jude, you’re going to be Natalie’s page boy! (Photo: Jason Kenneway Photography)

We have also booked our photographer and videographer. This was pretty easy for me – having done many wedding shows with Frox, I’ve met lots of fab suppliers. We have booked Casey Stewart Photography and Simon at Cinematique for videography. Casey and Simon are great guys, with good banter. We wanted someone fun so our photos will be quite relaxed and not too posed, which Casey offers. I would stand posing in my wedding dress all day long (haha!) but Chris isn’t so keen!

Casey and Simon offer a joint photography-videography package and have worked together on a number of occasions, which also really appealed to us.

We managed to get along to a wedding show at our venue, Glenbervie House Hotel, on 30th January. It was great as it allowed us to see the place all dressed up for a wedding. The whole venue looked stunning and has made me even more excited.

Props and decor will be hired from Lights Candy Action

While we were there, we briefly spoke to Gillian at event equipment hire company Lights Candy Action, and she has reserved our date. We’ll go to her studio to choose our decor pieces once we’ve settled on our theme and colours. I’ve done wedding shows with Lights Candy Action in the past, so I know they have stunning signs, lights, centrepieces, blossom trees… It’s going to be really difficult deciding what to pick!What’s next?

Top of my list is to book a florist, talk to cake-makers, and start thinking about hair and makeup.

June 2022 - Kilts, flower ideas, cakes, makeup and hen party planning

One whole year has now passed since Chris and I got engaged – where on earth has the time gone?! We’ve actually made some good progress with our to-do list lately. Chris has chosen his groomsmen and we’ve settled on a colour scheme. It was really important to me that Chris and I agreed on the colours as I didn’t want to tell him what to wear! He is going to see Jim at JH Kilt Hire in Grangemouth soon to have a look at kilt options.

I reached out to a couple of florists to get the ball rolling with floral arrangements, and I’ve started trying to work out what kind of flowers I’d like to have. As well as the bouquets, we want arrangements for the church. I’ve been adding photos from Pinterest into my wedding folder but I’m still undecided on whether to go subtle or add a pop of bright colour.

We have also booked our cake – it’s going to be made by the fabulous Carolyn at CA’s Buttercream Dream. I’ve known Carolyn for a number of years and her cakes are scrumptious! We aren’t looking for anything fancy – just quite a plain buttercream tier cake with some flowers. I can’t wait to receive a tasting box so we can try all the amazing flavours before we decide which to choose. Getting to stuff your face with cake is surely one of the best parts of planning a wedding – ha ha! I’ve also been scouring Etsy for cake toppers and I’ve already seen some really gorgeous ones.

Makeup? I can tick that off the list too! I’ve booked Nicki Forrest (Forrest Beauty) for myself and a few of the bridesmaids. Nicki is a family friend and has painted my face on lots of occasions, so she knows what I like. I’ve had to find a second MUA as well, as there will be me, seven bridesmaids and my mum all looking to have our faces done. Karen McCallum was recommended, and after seeing her Instagram, I got in touch – I was delighted when she said she was available on our date.

So, as you can see, it has been a busy few months. Danielle (maid of honour) and my bridesmaids are starting to plan the hen party too! I’ve always said I’d love to go to Ibiza for my hen. Danielle now has a list of everyone who should be invited, but apart from knowing it will be the White Isle at the end of June 2023, I am completely in the dark about what’s in store. I do know I’m in very capable hands, though. Bring it on!

What’s next?

Book a hairstylist, attend florist appointments, and begin looking for the dress

October 2022 - Dress ideas, colour schemes, florists and beauty

I can’t believe it’s less than a year until we get married! I am soooo excited and can’t wait to become Mrs Rock! Hopefully, the next time I write my wedding diary I will be able to tell you I’ve found my dress.

I have appointments booked at a few bridal shops and am looking forward to beginning my search. I have to confess, though, that I’m slightly apprehensive about shopping for a wedding dress. I have actually tried on loads before, for wedding shows or modelling, but that has left me really unsure of what I want. At least I know the consultants in the shops will be fabulous and I just need to relax and enjoy the whole process.

Natalie has booked the Coach House at Glenbervie for the weekend of the wedding

We have finally decided on our colour scheme. It happened at JH Kilt Hire in Grange­mouth, where we went to look at options for Chris. He liked quite a few of the kilts there and it was a struggle to decide. We chatted to the owner, Jim, and eventually opted for one of his own designs. It has gorgeous autumnal colour tones and will fit in so well with our September wedding. We will go back to JH Kilt Hire around six months before the wedding to book the kilts and then a couple of months after that to get the groomsmen measured up.

I have also now lined up our florist. I went to see Trudi Todd Flowers in Blairlogie. Trudi had been recommended by a couple of friends and, after checking out her Instagram, I decided to make an appointment. I love her rustic hand-tied bouquets, which is what I’m going to go for. The bridesmaids will carry similar flowers. I have kept the colours quite neutral, with ivory roses and dried bunnytails. We’ll have flowers with greenery and ribbons on the pews in the chapel, plus a larger floral arrangement for the altar which will be transferred to the top table at Glenbervie House Hotel.

The spacious interiors of the Coach House at Glenbervie, perfect for hosting a larger bridal party

Talking of Glenbervie, we are renting a stunning house in the grounds for the full weekend of our wedding. The Coach House sleeps up to 14, so is ideal for me, my bridesmaids and the mums to get glammed up. I booked our makeup artists a few months ago and now have our hairdressers sorted out too – Kerrie and Nicola from Sorella Hair will be coming over on the morning of the wedding. I’ve been going to Kerrie for years and I know that she will have my hair looking absolutely amazing.

What’s next?

Book cars, find a stationery supplier, and spend some time in the Lights Candy Action showroom to begin choosing the decor.

November 2022 - Picking the perfect dress

Left: Natalie loved dress-shopping at Bijoux Bridal in Hamilton; Right: We wonder if Natalie tried on the showstopping Steph gown by Ronald Joyce, available at Bijoux Bridal?

I said YES to the dress! I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to say those words! This, for me, has been one of the hardest parts of the wedding journey so far. I had appointments at a few different boutiques and tried on some amazing dresses, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

If this happens to you, the best piece of advice I can give is don’t get disheartened. There are thousands of dresses and designers out there, and you will find one you love. It took longer than I expected, but finally having the moment of looking in the mirror and knowing that this is the dress you’ll marry your soulmate in – that’s a moment that will stay with you forever!

At the beginning of October, I took my mum and sister and Chris’s mum and sister to Glasgow. The five of us visited two boutiques, Aimee Couture Bridal and Brides in the City, and, while I didn’t find The One in either store, the experience I had in both was fantastic. I honestly cannot speak highly enough of the consultants there. Later in October, I took my little bride team to Bijoux Bridal in Hamilton.

Natalie and husband-to-be Chris (photo: Jason Kenneway Photography)

From the moment I booked the appointment online, the service was incredible. The same day I booked, I had a telephone consultation with Lynn to discuss what I was looking for, and I got my own online portal to choose dresses prior to the consultation. When we arrived at Bijoux, all the staff were lovely. The shop is stunning and has a huge range of gowns and designers to choose from. My consultant, Sophie, was fab.

The first dress I tried on was the one I ended up buying. I did try on a few more, before I realised I couldn’t get that first dress out of my head! So back to gown number one we went. I added a pair of heels, popped my hair up and put a veil on… I was a bride! Tears appeared from nowhere and I knew that this was the dress I want to marry my best friend in! It’s everything I dreamed of and more.

What’s next?

It’s the bridesmaids’ turn. Danielle, my maid of honour, will be home from Singapore in December and I will take all seven of the girls along to Bridal Boutique in Falkirk to choose their dresses. Elaine, the owner, is fantastic and I can’t wait for them to have their moment too.

Unfortunately, my lovely baker, Carolyn, won’t be able to make our wedding cake after all. She recommended Jenni at Thistle Do Icely, and, after tasting her sample box (omg, yum!), we decided to go ahead. We’re still unsure if we want a sugar paste or a butter­cream cake, but that can be decided nearer the time. I might need to sample more cake, though, just to be sure which flavours I want – haha!

February 2023 - Appointments, transport, bridesmaid dresses and stationer

Left: Natalie and Chris; Right: Natalie and Chris used digital save-the-dates from Linedoodles on Etsy

I love that I can now say “We’re getting married this year!” In all honesty, I can’t quite believe how the time has flown. I feel we’ve been pretty organised but we’ve now got to the point where we need to start looking at the finer details, such as rings, decor, invites and guest lists.

Since my last diary entry, Chris and I have been back to Glenbervie House for a meeting with our new coordinator, Kayleigh. She was so lovely and answered all our burning questions, and it was great to have another look around.

We’ve managed to get another few things ticked off the to-do list, including booking cars. We went with Carrs Loch Lomond and have hired a classic Beauford to take me and my dad to the chapel, and then to take me and my new husband (I like to say that as often as I can, ha ha!) to Glenbervie House for the reception.

Natalie will arrive at the chapel in this classic Beauford from Carrs Loch Lomond

In December, I took my bridesmaids to Bridal Boutique of Falkirk. Elaine has such a great selection of bridesmaid dresses so there were plenty to choose from. I was sure that finding a dress that suited all of them (and, more importantly, that they all loved and felt comfortable in) was going to be really tricky. But I’m pleased to report that it wasn’t difficult in the slightest. The girls tried on a range of different styles, but we settled on a gorgeous dress from the Christina Wu Celebration collection and they all look amazing in it. I just can’t wait to see them all in the colour I’ve chosen.

Natalie took both mums and her bridesmaids to Bridal Boutique of Falkirk

Chris and I decided to send out digital save-the-dates rather than paper ones. Our daytime guestlist is mainly family and very close friends, and most of them already have the date in their diary, so doing it virtually made sense and saved a bit of cash. We used a fab business on Etsy called Linedoodles. It was a Saturday night when I placed the order, but Lena was back to me within the hour with my completed artwork. I also got her to do a ‘save-the-evening’ invite and she did a welcome sign too. I would highly recommend her – she is fast and efficient, and her designs are beautiful. We will be sending out formal invites nearer the time, although I’m still on the hunt for the perfect design.

I’m not the only one from our friend group who’s getting married this year – two others, Vicki and another Natalie, are also tying the knot. Natalie is marrying a Chris too, which can get very confusing! We didn’t want to make our friends go to three hen dos, so we’ve decided to have a joint party in Newcastle in February. I can’t wait to report back!

Watch out, Newcastle – a triple hen do is heading your way in February!

What’s next?

Chris and I are still to shop for wedding rings and research honeymoon destinations. I still have to take the mums shopping – which really should be the easiest part since I work at Frox of Falkirk, one of the biggest MoB/MoG boutiques in Scotland! And excitingly, my wedding dress has now arrived at Bijoux Bridal, so I’ll be heading there at the beginning of March for my pre-fit appointment.

April 2023 - Hen do, ceremony preparations, bridal accessories and mothers of the bride and groom

Natalie and fellow brides Natalie and Vicki had a ball on their joint hens in Newcastle in February

Less than six months to go! I’m not quite sure how that happened but here we are, and things are starting to feel very real now.

I had an amazing joint hen do with my friends Vicki and Natalie at the end of February. We went to Newcastle and it was brilliant – such a laugh with the girls and far too much prosecco consumed! We got the train from Edinburgh, stayed in the Leonardo Quayside Hotel and then had a whole evening planned at Howlers – I would highly recommend it for a great night out.

We went to Howlers’ Bonkers Ball, which included two hours of drinks, drag queens and games. We then had a go at playing prosecco pong and afterwards headed to the nightclub which had an adult ball pit. Very fun at the time but my poor legs were covered in bruises the next day – a sure sign of a good night out!

Back home, Chris and I had a meeting with our priest and now we need to decide on our hymns and songs for the ceremony. That’s easier said than done, though – there’s so much choice. We are thinking traditional hymns for during the mass and then a song for us walking back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs Rock.

At the start of March I had my pre-fit appointment at Bijoux Bridal to try my dress on. The girls at the boutique were fab as always and super-welcoming. I was a little nervous seeing my dress again after five months, but they put me at ease instantly. I have to say, I think I love my dress even more now than I did when I first tried it on back in October! I will be heading back to Bijoux in July for my first alterations and then I have my final fitting booked for August.

The next thing on the to-do list is finding a headpiece and veil. I already have my jewellery sorted – I’ll be wearing the necklace that Danielle, my maid of honour, wore to her wedding in July last year. It’s my ‘something borrowed’. I also have gorgeous pearl drop earrings that Chris bought me for our anniversary.

I’ve already bought my shoes. They’re from Rainbow Club. I went for something quite plain with a block heel, but they’re very comfortable, which is exactly what you need when you’ll be wearing them all day and then partying the night away.

In March, we took my mum and Chris’s mum to Frox of Falkirk (where I work) for their outfits. We have over 2,000 outfits for the mothers of the bride and groom in store, so they had loads to choose from. In fact, we had a very successful shopping trip, with both mums finding an outfit they love as well as matching accessories. They’re going to look gorgeous on the big day!

I’ve started ordering bits and pieces of decor, such as floral garlands to spiral around our candelabra centrepieces. I got these from Shein – they were a great price and look fab.

What’s next?

We’ve got lots of planning to do over the next few months as the day draws ever closer. By the time I write my next diary, we’ll have sent out our invites and set up our website for guests to RSVP and tell us their meal choices.

I’m now on the hunt for outfits (why is it so difficult to find nice things in white?!) for my hen weekend in Ibiza at the start of June. I’m a little apprehensive as I really don’t know much about it (other than we’re flying out with Jet2). But I’m also very excited. I know my bridesmaids have been doing lots of hard work behind the scenes and I can’t wait!

May 2023 - Invites, rings, fittings and honeymoon plans

On 1st May, Chris and I celebrated two years since our engagement. I can still recall that day as if it were yesterday. The butterflies, the amazing engagement bubble and saying, “Are you kidding?!” about five times before practically falling up the steps to hug him! And now here we are, with just three months to go until we’re married!

Our invites are finished and have been sent out. We have invited around 120 daytime guests, including close family kids, and another 60 people in the evening. We opted to do our invites ourselves using a template on Canva and buying some bits and pieces from Ali Express – which is brilliant and a must- look-at for anyone planning a wedding. Delivery can take a little longer, so be sure to factor that in, but the prices are great and there are fab things to buy.

We had the invites printed locally and I’m really pleased with them. Definitely a money-saver! We also opted to use With Joy to create a wedding website for our daytime guests to RSVP and submit their meal choices, which works really well. It did take a bit of time to figure out, but it’s great.

We wonder what Christina Wu dresses from Bridal Boutique of Falkirk Natalie has chosen?

Another item ticked off the list recently was the purchase of our wedding rings. We bought them from Karen at McMaster Jewellers in Falkirk. The shop is only a couple of doors down from where I work at Frox of Falkirk. Karen was so helpful and talked us through the different options. Chris went for a plain platinum band and I got the perfect band to complement my engagement ring.

We were really excited when Elaine at Bridal Boutique of Falkirk called to say the Christina Wu brides­maid dresses had arrived, so the girls and I went along for a look. I absolutely love them! The colour is just amazing, and all the girls look so beautiful in them. I’ll take them to get any alterations done around six to eight weeks before the wedding. Their shoes have also been purchased. I’m now on the hunt for a flower-girl dress for my niece, Emilia.

Chris and I have finally chosen where we’re going on honeymoon! It took a good few months to find the right destination but, with the help of the lovely Lynne (of Not Just Travel – Lynne and Scott Friery), we have booked a seven-night all-inclusive stay at an adults-only resort in the Dominican Republic.

We fly at the end of November, so it’s something to look forward to when we’re suffering the post-wedding blues! Lynne was very patient and informative, and all her expertise really helped us to pick the most amazing honeymoon. We really can’t wait.

Natalie is heading to Ibiza for her ‘away’ hen, with a day at the famous O Beach Club to look forward to

Chris had his stag do in Portugal in the middle of May, and now it’s my turn. I’ll be jetting off to the White Isle with my bride squad in June for three nights. I really don’t know much about what’s been planned other than that we’ll be heading to the iconic O Beach Club in San Antonio on one of the days – I cannot wait to party in style!

What’s next?

The groomsmen are due to be measured for kilts. We’ll soon confirm our decor. Then it’s my first bridal fitting at Bijoux Bridal in July!

August 2023 - Ibiza hen do, alterations and final touches

Natalie’s #bridetribe getting ready to head to Ibiza for her fun-filled hen weekend!

My final planning diary! Next time you hear from me, I’ll be a married woman, sharing all the details of our wonderful wedding day with you! You might remember from my last update that I was heading off to Ibiza for my hen weekend – which was UNREAL! I had the most amazing time. The sun, the laughs, the cocktails and all the thoughtful details – I can’t thank my fabulous bridesmaids enough.

The highlight of the weekend has to be O Beach. The vibe was incredible and we danced, laughed and sipped our drinks until the sun set and the doors were closing! I did have a couple of dubious outfits to model, however, including a full-size pint of Guinness costume, which was sprung upon me in Glasgow airport, and a swimsuit with a giant photo of Chris’s face! That said, I think I might have gotten off lightly – I heard that Chris was dressed in Geri Halliwell’s unforgettable Union Jack dress and matching ginger wig on his stag do!

Left: Definitely more glam than a pint of Guinness costume… This is the perfect Ibiza bridal look; right: The highlight of Natalie’s hen was O Beach Club – and doesn’t she look the part?

We had our three-month review meeting with Craig at Glenbervie House in June. We went over the order of the day, the decor, the guest numbers and our meal choices. We also had a list of special requests written down so we didn’t forget, such as gluten-free and dairy-free food options, as well as some questions, like when can we check into the rooms. We felt it was important to be as prepared as possible going into the meeting, and when Craig told us we were super-organised, I couldn’t help but smile – it hasn’t always felt that way! We left the venue on a high, really excited to tackle the final bits of planning.

Chris and his groomsmen have all been measured for their kilts at JH Kilt Hire and he will pick them up on the Friday morning before the wedding. Our son, Jude, will be going this week to be measured for his outfit. It’s recommended that you wait until as close to the day as possible to get young kids measured as they grow so quickly – definitely something to keep in mind if you have little page boys.

My gown is currently being altered at Bijoux Bridal, and the bridesmaid dresses and our mums’ outfits are also getting their alterations done. I have finally decided on my bridal accessories, including my headpiece and jewellery. I have my hair and makeup trials on 12th August, which is the day of my home hen party. Booking your trials on the same day as your hen (or a day you’re heading out) is a great idea to make good use of getting glammed up!

I’ve been for a meeting with our florist, Trudi Todd Flowers, to confirm flower choices for my bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets. Trudi will also be doing buttonholes, flowers for the church pews and a larger floral arrangement for the altar, which will be transferred to the top table after the service. Time really does go so fast when you get to this point in the planning journey, and there are so many fine details to think about. My only advice is to write it all down. I have a list as long as my arm. They are mostly just small things, but I know that if they’re down on my list then I don’t have to try to remember them!

What’s next?

All of our day guests have submitted their RSVPs and meal choices via our wedding website. We’ve handed in our M10 forms and we have a date for our rehearsal at the church. It’s finally happening. I’m about to marry my best friend, and I can’t wait!

Share this article:

Previous article

Planning Diaries: The latest updates from our bride-to-be Jules

Next article

Planning Diaries: Updates from wedding planner bride May