The planning diaries: the latest instalments from two brides organising their weddings in Scotland

Welcome back to two of our resident brides-to-be, hotel wedding planner May, who’s on the home stretch, and bridal insider Natalie, who is getting married next autumn

Wedding planner May Hunter and executive head chef Stuart Michael will tie the knot on 27th May 2022 at Dunkeld House Hotel

Two people standing next to a Christmas tree holding glasses of fizz and a model wearing a dress from Catherines of Partick
Left: not long now for May and Stuart; Right: May’s great-aunt and granny got fabulous outfits at Catherines of Partick. Bell-sleeved dress by Fely Campo, £649

This is my final planning diary! The wedding will be here before we know it and Stuart and I can hardly contain our excitement.

For me, being organised is always key. This is what has allowed me to enjoy every step. It means I have the time and head space to enjoy the run-up to the wedding and everything that comes with it – so please bear this in mind, future brides.

Everything is sorted, the ceremony is written and RSVPs are coming in thick and fast. Only the very last-minute things are left to do. I collect my dress in April and Stuart’s outfit will be ready around then too. We have a couple of things to sort out gift-wise and we then we’ll confirm the table plan – and there you have it: we have ourselves a wedding!

I had a lovely afternoon at Catherines of Partick in Glasgow where my granny and great-aunt got their outfits. I cannot recommend this boutique or its staff enough – they made us feel so at ease and the whole experience was a joy.

The plans for my hen do have finally been revealed: I’m off to Edinburgh for two days of girlie fun over the Easter weekend with my bridesmaids. Then, a couple of weeks before the wedding, we have booked another treat to enjoy: a boozy brunch at Crieff Hydro for all the girls, the mums and Granny. As for the stag, we’ll have to wait and see – Stuart’s plans are still firmly under wraps.

Victoria Street in Edinburgh at dusk
The bridesmaids have been plotting it for a while now and the news is out: the hen do is set for Edinburgh (Photo: Shutterstock)

Having planned hundreds of weddings for so many lovely people over the years, I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed planning my own big day. It’s such a massive step we’re taking – I think it only really sank in that it was our wedding I was planning a few weeks ago.

The best piece of advice I could give someone in the initial stages of planning is this: write a list of what you need in terms of suppliers, do your research and always use vendors who have been recommended to you. Work out a budget and stick to it as much as you possibly can. (Stuart will laugh at this as I failed at the first hurdle with my dress!) Make a plan and, again, stick to it. Don’t over-think things and don’t be swayed too much by outside influences.

A room at Dunkeld House Hotel set for a wedding dinner
Bride and groom know their venue well – Dunkeld House Hotel is where they both work!

I have an Excel spreadsheet called ‘Wedding Bible’ and it has everything on it: budget, to-do list, menus, table plan. It’s the easiest way as everything is in the same place.

Remember it’s one day of your life but it’s one of the most special. Relax, enjoy the run-up and then soak up every last minute. Don’t sweat the small stuff because what really matters at the end of it all is getting married to the one you love, and celebrating with your closest family and friends.

Now all that’s left to do is get married! Watch this space as it’ll be featured in Tie the Knot Scotland later this year…

Natalie Godfrey, office manager at Frox of Falkirk, is set to marry national account manager Chris Rock at Glenbervie House Hotel on 9th September 2023

A person holding a personalised bride to be balloon and a dining table set with Fanta bottles and Team Bride balloons
Left: Natalie pictured celebrating her engagement; Right: She gets ready to ask the girls to be her bride team

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!

a person holding a baby
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.

A foliage and rose ceremony arch with neon Aye Do sign from Lights Candy Action
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.