The planning diaries: three Scottish brides-to-be share their stories, suppliers and tips

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

Performance manager Hazel Pool is set to marry project manager Neil Moore on 28th April 2023 at Ayrshire’s Lochside House Hotel

Hazel and Neil and bridal swimwear by Ocean Glaze
Left: Hazel and Neil; Right: Bridal swimwear by Ocean Glaze

Things are starting to slow down a little regarding our wedding planning. With 17 months still to go, it feels as if most of the big things are now ticked off. To be honest, I’m a little sad about it as I’ve enjoyed every minute of the journey so far – exploring all that the Scottish wedding industry has to offer has been so much fun. But I know I will be thankful when things shift and all of a sudden it feels like time is running away from me.

We went to view a decor company, JAM Events, in the summer following a recommendation from our venue. I’d seen some of JAM’s amazing work on its social media platforms. We ran through our options with the very friendly co-ordinator at the time but held off committing until we were absolutely sure this was the right choice for us.

Lochgreen House Hotel dressed for a wedding by JAM Events
Lochgreen House Hotel beautifully dressed for a wedding by JAM Events

In the end, we’ve indeed chosen JAM for the event styling and have booked its sister company, I Am Flowers, for the bridal party flowers. It made sense to me to do this as it will save any stress trying to colour-match the decor to the flowers – they’ll look after it all. And now that we’ve booked the decor and flowers, we’re really starting to be able to visualise our day.

I have also finally booked my hair stylist, Lana from Cameo Bridal Styling. I was quite lucky as her diary is already closed for 2022 and she has only limited 2023 availability left! Had I waited any longer, I might have missed out on an amazing stylist. I’ve not fully decided how I want my hair on the day since I’ve not yet said yes to the dress, but Lana is a perfectionist and I know that whatever she creates will be beautiful.

A bridal hair style by Cameo Bridal Styling and wedding bouquet by I Am Flowers
Left: Hazel has booked Cameo Bridal Styling as her hair stylist; Right: A lush pink bouquet by
I Am Flowers, Hazel’s florist of choice

While not strictly wedding-related, we managed to go on holiday last month. Our trip to Dubai, where Neil had originally planned to propose, had been delayed by a year, so we got to celebrate our one-year engagement anniversary over there, which was pretty special. It was so lovely to be able to travel again, but my goodness, it was hot! We’d been considering Dubai as a stop on our honeymoon, but it is safe to say we’ll need to be mindful of the temperature before we book anything. Finally getting away on holiday gave me the perfect opportunity to try out some gorgeous bridal swimwear too. I was originally saving my bridal piece by Ocean Glaze for either my hen do or honeymoon, but I just couldn’t help wearing it before either of these – it seemed too long to wait and I’m so impatient! We had such a great time, but we were also very glad to be home when it was all over.

What’s next? We’ll be taking it easy for a little while – there’s not a lot else to do! Dress shopping isn’t until April but I’m sure I’ll find something wedding-related to keep me busy until then.

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

smiling male and female couple holding hands walking across a field by Eilidh Sutherland Photography
May and Stuart’s engagement shoot at the start of the summer, captured by Eilidh Sutherland Photography

I cannot believe we’re now on the six-month countdown to our big day – where has the time gone?! I am super-excited and glad to be finally at the stage where we can work through our to do list and finalise everything.

I’ve ordered the bridesmaid dresses, and we’re just waiting for them to arrive now. It’s such a thrill – the girls can hardly contain their excitement. I’m over the moon with what we chose in the end and have planned a night for the girls to try them all on. If you’ve still to shop for bridesmaid dresses, here are my top tips: let the girls be involved, don’t be a control freak and have plenty of options as not everything works for everyone.

A model wearing tartan trews by McCalls and a model wearing a Pronovias wedding dress from Kavelle Couture
Left: Stuart has opted for tartan trews just like these ones from McCalls; Right: May’s dress choice will remain under wraps until the big day, but we’re pretty taken with this Alcyone lace dress by Pronovias at Kavelle Couture

Stuart has started to have a think about his wedding outfit and we’ve found someone who will make tartan trews for him and his groomsmen – they are going to look incredibly smart.

Our invites and stationery are a work in progress, and I have something super-special planned. I cannot wait for everyone to see them.

And the biggest news of all: my dress is here! I’m going to Kavelle Couture to try it on in the next couple of weeks with my mum, granny and a couple of the bridesmaids. I am so looking forward to putting on my own actual dress! I’m going to wait until after Christmas before starting the alterations process.

Wedding flowers by Coach House Flowers
May has a meeting booked with Coach House Flowers to chat bouquets and decor. Might these displays inspire her and Stuart’s choices?

I have a meeting booked with Emma at Coach House Flowers, our florist, to chat all things flower and decor-related. I (we) have a vision and know she’ll bring it to life. This is the bit of the whole wedding I am most excited about (apart from marrying Stuart, of course!).

What’s next? We’re going to sort out dates for the stag and hen dos. Next year is going to be a busy one!

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 man and woman walking hand-in-hand at Callendar Park in Falkirk
Natalie and Chris had an engagement photoshoot with Jason Kenneway Photography

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!

Natalie Godfrey with Rock to Be balloon and close up of hand wearing a ROX engagement ring
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 Castle, Boclair House, Glenskirlie 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.

Exterior of Glenbervie House Hotel in Larbert
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!