Planning diaries: three Scottish brides-to-be update us on their wedding plans

Walking up the aisle is almost in sight for Hazel and Ellen, with just a few last bits of planning to go. Natalie, meanwhile, is breezing through her to-do list…

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 and a wedding invite
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.

Wedding car by Carrs Loch Lomond
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.

Bride and bridesmaids shopping at Bridal Boutique of Falkirk
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!

A group of women standing next to a Christmas tree
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.

Graphic designer Ellen and environmental consultant Callum are marrying on31st March at Verdant Works in Dundee

a selfie of two people and a graphic designed wedding invite
Left: Ellen and Callum; Right: Ellen is a graphic designer so she whipped up her own digital invites – and we love them!

After a restful Christmas and New Year back at home, we were right back into wedding planning mode and trying to organise the last of our plans as the big day is now fast approaching.

Over the holidays, we paid another visit to our venue, Verdant Works in Dundee, while a wedding showcase was on so we could see how things would be set up on the day – how the aisle would look and the tables all dressed for dinner. It was gorgeous! We realised we wouldn’t need to add much decor ourselves as the beautiful and historical features of the room do most of the talking. We’ll just add a few bits of detail here and there. We will have access to the space the day before to set up (which wasn’t going to be possible at our original venue).

It is a huge relief that it can all be ready the night before, so I don’t need to think about decorating when I’m trying to get ready with my bridesmaids in the morning. The venue already has fairylights around the ceiling beams, which look fabulous, and we plan on decorating with some extra jute elements to tie in with Verdant Works’ history of being an old jute mill – part of what Dundee is best known for.

Our invites have been sent out with a link to our wedding website (all designed by me). We did this digitally to save money, plus we don’t have a huge number of guests anyway, so it worked well for us.

I’ve booked my trusted stylists at Freedom Hairdressing to take care of my hair on the morning (and hopefully my bridesmaids’ as well); my nails will be done at the fabulous Sky High Studio in Glasgow; and we are all just doing our own makeup as I don’t wear much usually anyway – plus my friends are amazing at it so they’ll give me a hand!Callum has had a kilt fitting with his groomsmen and they’ve all decided on a tartan. They’ll pick up their outfits the week before.

alternative wedding cakes by Rude Cookies
Rude Cookies are known for their attention-grabbing bakes, and their bold retro looks have won over Ellen and Callum

We have ordered our cake too, which we are so excited about! We thought since it’s a cake that will be cut up and eaten on the night anyway, why not go a bit crazy? I personally love the retro-style cakes that are popping up in my inspo boards recently, and I knew Rude Cookies in Glasgow create this sort of style. We filled in a form, as they do fully vegan cakes as well, with the flavours we wanted and paid our deposit, along with sending some inspiration pics from cakes they’ve made before. I think it will be a fun talking point on the day!

In terms of the actual getting married part of the day, we have sorted our wedding registration forms with the council, and we are now deciding on a humanist celebrant to do our ceremony. There are lots of lovely people available on our date and we’ve narrowed it down to a choice of three, so stay tuned for our next update by which point we’ll have decided who to go for.

We also need to write our vows to each other, which we’re planning on reading during the ceremony. And we need to find out if our best man and maids of honour are brave enough to give a speech on the day!

What’s next?

Our next steps are to find a piper to play me into the venue; I’m hoping to use a pupil from our former high school as it has a fantastic pipe band. I also need to organise my flowers and where these are being placed, and buy all of my smaller decorations and DIY bits and pieces – the fun part! On top of that, we have to finish putting together a Spotify playlist of tunes for throughout the day, transitioning into dance music for the evening.

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

a selfie of two people smiling and a perspex wedding invite
Left: Hazel and Neil; Right: Now that the perspex invites from My Print Man on Etsy have been sent out to guests, it all feels very real, says Hazel

How can it be 2023 already? In a sense, it feels like I’ve been waiting for this year to come around forever but now that it’s here, it feels very surreal. I can’t believe I can finally say I’m getting married this year! And not only this year, but in less than three months!I took a break from updating my diary during the autumn as I had a bit of lull after my amazing hen weekend in Marbella in August and didn’t have a lot to share. There’s plenty to report now, though!

My dress arrived in the boutique, and I got to go and try it on again. Unfortunately, I had to do it alone as my family were all sick with Covid, but the girls at Sophia Grace Couture made sure it still felt special. I was a little worried about the fit as I had ordered a size down – always risky move! – but thankfully it fitted just fine. Phew! It felt amazing to put it on again – in fact, I didn’t want to take it off! I did eventually and now it’s all packed up and safely stored at my mum’s house until the alterations appointment in February.

an engaged man and woman walking in the streets of Glasgow
Hazel and Neil took to the streets of Glasgow with photographer Francesca Morrison for some images for their RSVP website

Neil and I had a few snaps taken in Glasgow city centre at the end of last year to use on our RSVP website. It was a good opportunity for us to get a feel for what it’ll be like to be in front of the camera. It was a great experience, and I would highly recommend you do something similar to get used to being looked at through the lens. We underestimated how nervous we’d be and found ourselves giggling the whole time.

We didn’t use our wedding photographer as she is based down south but the photographer we hired, Francesca Morrison, was wonderful and helped put us at ease. I think we’ll be so much more relaxed in front of the camera on the day now. Plus, we have some lovely engagement photos to hold on to. I would definitely recommend doing an engagement shoot if you get the opportunity!

The invites are finally out. They were the first samples I ever ordered when we got engaged back in 2020. I wanted to be open-minded and did a lot of research, but nothing compared. We went for minimalist clear acrylic with gold foil print presented in a monogram box. To keep it simple, we included a small card with a QR code to our wedding website which has all the other details you’d expect to see on an invitation. The invites were from Etsy and we used a free wedding website, With Joy. There are a few of these websites to choose from, but I found With Joy very easy to navigate so would definitely recommend it.

What’s next?

We still need to get transport booked and hire a piper. It’s also time for final supplier meetings. Very exciting!

Catch up on previous instalments from our columnist brides here