Three Scottish brides-to-be spill the beans on their wedding plans so far

Want to find out how others are managing their journey to the aisle? Say hi again to our resident brides-to-be, blogger Hazel and industry insider Natalie, and meet newcomer Ellen, a graphic designer who’s tying the knot in March 2023

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 hand with painted nails and glasses of prosecco on table; two people holding drinks
Left: Natalie showing off that sparkler with a manicure by Nicki at Forrest Beauty; Right: Natalie and Chris toasting their future

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.

a person with makeup by Karen McCallum and a wedding cake by CA's Buttercream Dream
Left: Makeup artist Karen McCallum will be helping to get the bridal party looking gorgeous; Right: It’s going to be a buttercream cake from CA’s Buttercream Dream – but which flavour?

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

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

two people posing against a blue brick wall and a diamond wedding ring from Bercotts
Left: Hazel and Neil; Right: A ring from Bercotts. Hazel worked with the Glasgow jewellers on her own design

After a lull in our planning, I’m pleased to be back with some updates. It was nice to have the big stuff booked early as it gave us (me, lol) time to step back and relax for a few months. We’re now less than a year to the wedding, so it’s time to ramp things up and get the planner back out.

One task we had recently was finding a new cake designer. The person we’d booked originally announced she was pregnant with her first child and had taken the difficult decision to close her business. She kindly offered to keep our booking, but we thought it best she focus her energy on her family as we had plenty of time to find another supplier. My mum and I were going to The Scottish Wedding Show that coming weekend, so it was a great opportunity to scope out a new supplier.

As soon as I saw the creations by Cakes-n-Crafts I knew this was who I wanted to book – especially when I found out all the floral decorations were actually sugar flowers! I couldn’t believe it, they looked so real. Mind. Blown. They had our date free, so I went ahead and booked them. I’m super-excited to see what stunning creation we can dream up together.

We have also ordered our rings. Neil went for a platinum band with quite a unique, eye-catching design, while the guys at Bercotts in Glasgow helped me bring my bespoke design to life. My ring is nothing like a traditional wedding band, and I reckon people will either love it or hate it. Either way, it’s true to my style so I absolutely love it.

An Eleganza Iconica wedding dress from Eleganza Sposa and a wedding cake by Cakes-n-Crafts
Left: The Milan gown and cape from Eleganza Sposa’s Iconica collection; Right: Cakes-n-Crafts made this bake with its stunning sugar flowers

Saving the best update for last… I went dress shopping! I was lucky enough to have my sister fly home from Spain especially for the occasion – having her, my mum and my other sister by my side made it so special. The first appointment was at the amazing Sophia Grace Couture in Haddington. I’ve had my eye on this boutique since we first got engaged. The dresses it stocks really reflect my style, so I was thrilled to finally go. It did not disappoint!

I tried on about four dresses, each of them exquisite but none quite ticking all the boxes. Then I tried one that seemed to tie in all the bits of all the other dresses and it just seemed to click. Could this really be the one? My mum and sisters could see that I loved it and we all just stared in the mirror with grins on our faces. I decided to keep my head and give myself time before rushing into anything, especially as I had another appointment lined up. I just knew this dress would be hard to beat, though.

The following day we arrived at Glasgow’s Eleganza Sposa. It was an utterly amazing experience. Every member of staff was so attentive and absolutely committed to helping me find my dream gown. The stylists picked out several for me to try but none was quite what I was looking for. Finally, they showed me one last dress. It was spectacular. Unfortunately, it was also way beyond my price range. I seriously considered sacrificing other elements of our wedding just to get this gown, but in the end I had to concede it was too far out of my budget.

Now that I’ve had a few days to consider everything, I think my heart would have kept me going back to the original gown I loved anyway. So while I’ve not said yes to the dress quite yet, I’ve booked a second appointment at Sophia Grace Couture to try it on again. Hopefully I’ll have some good news by my next update!What’s next? We’re finalising our guest list this week and sending save-the-dates soon. Once I’ve settled on my dress, it’ll be time to take my bridesmaids shopping for their dresses.

Graphic designer Ellen and environmental consultant Callum got engaged at Christmas and have set the date for 30th March 2023 at the Byre at Inchyra

two people taking a selfie in a glasshouse
Ellen and Calum are set to marry in March 2023

Callum and I met what feels like forever ago, back when we were in high school in our hometown of Dundee. Who could believe we would be here now, more than ten years later, planning our wedding together. Certainly not our teachers!

When we were back in Dundee for Christmas last year, we had our annual festive meal with all our friends. After dinner, Callum got everyone’s attention and made a very sweet little speech. He then got down on one knee and popped the question, offering me the engagement ring of my dreams (made by Scottish designer Sarah Brown). Of course, the answer was yes!

A few months later, we have slowly started the process of planning our wedding. We knew that the venue and date had to be our top priority, so we looked up a few places with some things in mind. We wanted to marry relatively close to Dundee so it would be easy for our relatives there to get to; we were drawn to a more rustic barn style; we wanted to host the whole wedding at the same venue; and we needed somewhere that would offer vegan catering as both Callum and I are vegan.

a hand wearing rings and a ring by sarah brown jewellery
Left: Ellen shows off her engagement ring; Right: Scottish jeweller Sarah Brown designs intricate rings just like Ellen’s

After some searching, we organised a trip to see the Byre at Inchyra. It was rustic and cosy, with lots of fairylights, a big dancefloor, an intimate space for the ceremony and a huge and beautiful garden for photographs. It was the perfect fit, so that night, once we got home, we emailed to secure a date – 30th March 2023.

We are trying to keep the budget quite low, so we knew we had to get the more costly and necessary parts sorted first. We were a bit stressed about how expensive it might be, especially as we’ve only recently bought our first flat in Glasgow, but we agreed we would rather have the wedding sooner at a lower budget than wait an extra year or so. We are not too fussed about having it be perfect – we just want it to be a big fun day for everyone. We’re hoping to keep the whole thing under £10K, so we’re looking for more budget-friendly options.

The venue, the catering and the photographer felt as if they’d be the biggest spends, so these are our priorities. We have written a rough guest list, currently sitting at just over 60, but it won’t be over 100 once we add on any extras.

Interior of the Byre at Inchyra set up for a wedding
The Byre at Inchyra looks so inviting dressed for a wedding (Photo: Photos by Zoe)

I’ve been doing some local photographer research and I’m deciding between two at the moment. One of them I have followed on Instagram for a long time and he follows me too, and his work is gorgeous.

We plan on getting in touch with our old school (the High School of Dundee) to see if it has any pupils who could be a piper at our wedding – the pipe band has some amazing young musicians.

We’ll be sorting the catering very soon from one of our venue’s approved suppliers. We want it to be fully vegan and hopefully a buffet style. I’ve also ordered two dresses and plan on booking some trips for dress try-ons with my bridesmaids very soon.What’s next? Being a graphic designer, I’m looking forward to designing all of our invitations and stationery. I might even make us a website! I’ll probably regret saying that later when I am snowed under with work… but I have lots of ideas!