The planning diaries (part 3): two brides-to-be share their wedding progress so far

Say hello again to our brides-to-be, bridal blogger Hazel and hotel wedding planner May as they update us on their plans and share tips and suppliers they’ve discovered along the way…

Hazel Pool, bridal blogger

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

A group of friends posing and having fun during a proposal party
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.

Bespoke biscuits by All that Glitters Cakes and personalised balloons by Balloons by Bex
(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.

May Hunter, wedding planner at Dunkeld House Hotel

Wedding planner May Hunter and executive head chef Stuart Michael got engaged in October and have set the date for 27th May 2022

A man and woman walking holding hands and two bridesmaids wearing pale green dresses
(Left) May and Stuart take a wander with photographer Eilidh Sutherland on their engagement photoshoot; (Right) Pretty Lavish is one of the bridesmaids’ options May is considering. Odelle maxi dress, £85

With wedding season in full swing, I have been busy at work in my role as wedding planner at Dunkeld House Hotel (Stuart’s the same – he’s the chef at the venue), so not much has been done with organising our own day over the summer. But we are now less than eight months away from our May date and time is passing fast, so we’re beginning to get very excited.

My bridesmaids are absolutely desperate to get their dresses and start planning the hen party, so that’s most definitely next on the cards. I have eight bridesmaids and I really don’t fancy trailing round the shops looking for outfits for all of them. Thankfully, we know our colour and style so everyone’s now on the lookout. I am going to order a bunch of dresses for the girls to try on round at mine – we’ll have a night of wine, cocktails and antipasti and hopefully they’ll ‘say yes to the dress’! I just thought it would be an easier and more fun way to do it.

Two different wedding set-ups by Coach House Flowers
May and Stuart’s florist Coach House Flowers has been an endless source of ideas for the couple

As for the hen party, the girls are determined to plan everything as a surprise for me. As someone who organises weddings and events for a living (and who is a little bit of a control freak), I’m finding it rather difficult to let go of the reins. It’s not that I don’t trust them, it’s just that I’m so used to doing everything myself. So maybe on the dress-finding night they’ll manage to persuade me to let go and leave it to them. We’re hoping to make it abroad and then have something at home closer to the wedding. There have been a few amazing ideas thrown into the mix already, so watch this space!

Not much needs to be done at the moment, but in the next few months we’ll need to start on the finer details. We have a meeting in November with our florist, Emma of Coach House Flowers, to make decor plans – very exciting! Emma does many of Dunkeld House Hotel’s weddings, and seeing her work all year has been so inspiring. We also have our guestlist organised, meaning we’ll soon have to think about our invites so they’re ready to go out early next year.