A few years ago, bridesmaid proposals weren’t really ‘a thing’, but now popping the question to your besties is a big part of the wedding prep.

With this in mind, I wanted to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of my big day by using some of my favourite Scottish suppliers – and they did not disappoint!

I always knew my sister, Beth, would be my maid of honour and I’m lucky to have Brian’s brother’s girlfriend, Lucy, and my besties, Vic and Yasmin, in my life as I knew they would be a massive support in the wedding run-up and I couldn’t imagine my big day without them being my bridesmaids.

With this in mind, I wanted them all to have a lovely present when I asked them the big bridesmaid question.

BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL CALLIGRAPHY

The first boss lady I knew I had to get in touch with was Christina, owner of Laila Lettering.

This talented calligrapher is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met at events and I love all her work.

She kindly worked with me to personalise marbled notebooks I picked up and she sourced me the beautiful boxes I displayed everything in, complete with her iconic script for each of my bridesmaids.

For anything personalised, you can check out Christina’s Instagram @lailalettering (her new website is coming soon).

 

BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL BANGLES

A Scottish-based accessory brand I came across via Instagram, I instantly fell in love with Daydream Bangles’ pretty quote bangles.

The team sent me out my own two bangles earlier last year and I knew my bridesmaids would love them too.

Each bridesmaid got a different quote, all in the beautiful grey mini bags they come with.

Such a gorgeous brand – check them out at daydreamjewellery.com.

 

BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL GIN

If you read my engagement post here, you’ll know Brian and I picked up some drinks from M&S in Malta for a little park picnic – and mine was a pink G&T.

Everytime I see that little can on the M&S shelves, it makes me smile back to that day so I thought it was a cute touch to include them in my bridesmaid proposals too!

 

TOP TIPS WHEN PLANNING YOUR BRIDESMAID PROPOSAL

1. GIFT WISELY

There are so many things you could buy, with loads of websites selling everything you could ever think of, but don’t just buy for the sake of it.

Gift things your bridesmaids can actually use instead of buying loads of bits that will end up at the back of a drawer.

2. MAKE IT AN OCCASION

I asked all my bridesmaids near Christmas time and, for each of them, I made it a little event which just felt so special.

It was a festive night in with Beth that I gave her her box, a cute day out to Halloumi Glasgow for food and drinks when I asked Lucy and our annual Christmas dinner at Vic’s that I gave her and Yasmin their little proposal gifts.

Making it a nice little day out means plenty of time for celebratory prosecco!

3. PLAN AHEAD

Rounding up your besties can be difficult so make sure to get a date in the diary and decide how you want to ask them.

It took me a few months of going back and forward to find the suppliers and right dates to ask them.

4. A PERSONAL TOUCH

Whether you go down the calligraphy route like I did or get one of your fave pics together framed, I think it’s the perfect time to really put a little personal touch on the proposal and give something they can keep forever.

5. CAPTURE THE MOMENT

I’m still so glad I managed to get pictures with all my bridesmaids after I asked them; they’re photos I’ll treasure always so make sure to remember to get a snap of the happy moments.

 

FIND ME ON PINTEREST

Post contains gifted product, but all opinions my own.

One of the things that has got me in full-on wedding mode was attending my bestie Yasmin and Liam’s Italy nuptials. How could I not be inspired by such a gorgeous big day?!

My first ever destination wedding, of course one of the first things to cross my mind was what was I going to wear?!

I wanted something super stylish for the Tuscan backdrop, but also something that wasn’t going to make me too hot in the July sunshine.

After many (many) hours of searching online, it was good old Zara who saved the day.

I’ve had quite a few messages about finding an outfit for an abroad wedding so I thought I’d share my top tips in finding the right style – and some other beauty tips to keep you feeling fabulous all day.

THE DRESS

I think going for something floaty was key for me and this Zara silky gown was perfect.

As soon as I got to where we were staying, I made sure to hang the dress up to prevent too many creases, but check with your accommodation for an iron, just in case.

I was seriously worried about crushing my dress or spilling something on it when travelling so I had it in a separate bag, rolled and not folded!

 

ACCESSORIES

As much as I usually love hats, I knew I’d be too hot and bothered with any proper head accessories.

I think something like an embellished head band is perfect to add a little something, but after a search on Pinterest, I decided on a hair up with a hair plait, which I got from Claire’s for just £8.

Keeping the rest simple, I added a little luxe with a gold beaded bag and rose gold shoes.

Of course, remember your sunglasses for a sunny abroad wedding. I loved these ones from Nasty Gal – very 70’s glam!

 

THE BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

I’m not quite sure how the Love Island girls keep looking glam when it’s seriously hot out – seriously, I’m far too used to Scottish temperatures!

For my hair, it was plenty of kirbys and Silvikrin hairspray, but I also love Creightons Frizz No More Sleek & Shine Serum to try keep things frizz free.

Make-up, I used Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray at every stage of doing my make-up and plenty of bareMinerals mineral veil.

As my bag wasn’t the most practical, I had to choose to pack light and think it’s easiest to take some essentials for quick touch-ups.

BareMinerals’ stick foundation was a life-saver, whilst Bobbi Brown’s mini shimmer brick helped give me a glow later in the day.

I also keep the mini samples of perfumes you sometimes get as a freebie with a purchase through the year as I think they’re the perfect thing to keep in your handbag. Mini deodorant and extra kirbys are also a must in the heat.

Are you attending a wedding in a hot and sunny location? I’d love to hear what you’re planning for your outfit.

 

I can’t believe it has taken me quite this long to share the news, but we’ve officially booked our wedding venue!

If you’ve read my engagement post (you can check it out here), you’ll know we got engaged last August and we’ve been super chilled about the wedding plans so far.

Having worked as a writer for a wedding magazine, I think everyone thought I’d be going round and round so many different venues, but actually it was the opposite! We only went to see one venue and we just knew.

 

THE ONE FOR US

Making our way down to Biggar last October, we arrived at Cornhill Castle for a gifted* overnight stay. I knew Manorview (the group who own the castle as well as other award-winning wedding venues) had a good reputation and the team were super helpful so it was on our list from the start.

We wanted somewhere that could accommodate a larger wedding as Brian and I both have big families so a venue with plenty of space was a must.

The location is also perfect for us as you get the beautiful Scottish countryside and the feeling you’re a million miles away, but still accessible for our families and friends. The stunning hills and views of the river are just so serene and we know it is the right setting for our big day.

 

EXCITING TIMES

The venue is the perfect mix of traditional and luxury – especially the amazing ballroom where we’ll have our reception. It still doesn’t feel totally real looking at it!

Our mums both loved the little bar snug too in the main area of the castle which we all agreed will be such a nice place for drinks the night before the wedding.

One part of the venue we haven’t seen is the three-storey honeymoon suite which sounds seriously amazing. With my role at the magazine, I’ve stayed in some gorgeous honeymoon suites so I kind of want to keep Cornhill’s more of a surprise.

The room we stayed in was one of the gorgeous double rooms and we loved that our families will have somewhere amazing to stay too.

 

SEAL OF APPROVAL

We took a few days to decide for sure – it is such a big decision – but we took our families down for a second view of the venue and they loved it as much as we did. I can’t believe we’ve actually booked our venue!

We’ve not planned much more of the day so far, but we’ve decided on quite a long engagement and our big day is booked for September 2021. I know time will fly in, but I want to chill and enjoy the planning process.

Let the wedding chat officially commence!

I’ll be sharing lots of my wedding planning journey, bride-to-be tips and more every week. Follow me on Instagram @tenderlovingstyle for the latest.

Last weekend might have been my first wedding show as a bride-to-be, but this certainly wasn’t my first Scottish Wedding Show.

Here’s the tips and tricks I’ve picked up from many a wedding show to make it the best day out possible. Spoiler: it may (100% does) contain prosecco.

1 // WEAR SOMETHING COMFORTABLE (AND STYLISH)

I’ve seen many brides/bridesmaids/mums strut into a wedding fair in 5 inch heels looking so glamorous, but do remember that there’s a lot of walking around involved in a wedding show. That’s not to say you need to go casual, but wear something comfortable and stylish.

I wore my trusty flat studded boots, but glammed up my look by wearing a faux leather mini, studded bag and one of my fave hats. If possible, I’d also try and leave your jacket at home: for big shows like The Scottish Wedding Show, there is usually a cloakroom, but I just find it easier to only go with the things I need to save time (and money).

WHAT I WORE //

H&M knitwear [similar here] // Topshop leather mini skirt [£25] //

Kurt Geiger Kensington bag [new season version here] // Deichmann studded boots [£34.99] //

Black fedora hat [similar here]

2 // PLAN AHEAD

Most shows will have a list of exhibitors prior to the show on their social media channels or website so plan accordingly. If there’s a dress boutique you’ve been loving on Instagram who are going to be attending the show, make a note of where they are and make sure to visit.

If finding your wedding rings is on your to-do list, check out which jewellers will be at the show and do a little research prior to the event so you can go chat to the company at the show. Use this as an opportunity to get meeting the suppliers you love, all in the one place.

One of the suppliers I knew I wanted to see on the catwalk was Opus Atelier, so I kept an eye out on the fashion show programme so I didn’t miss a thing.

 

3 // BE FIRM

And polite! I’m not going to lie: these shows, especially the bigger wedding fairs and exhibitions, can be overwhelming for a bride or groom-to-be. The exhibitors want to get their brand out there and help make your dream day come true, but it can be a lot when every company is trying to speak to you and hand you a leaflet.

Honesty is the best policy. A lot of wedding exhibitors are small, independent businesses who count on word of mouth recommendations and meeting potential customers face-to-face for their company to survive and thrive, so don’t just go over to a stand for a free prosecco/goodie bag/other when you have no interest in ever booking them for your wedding.

That’s not to say not to use these type of events to get talking to loads of different suppliers, but it saves a lot of time for you and them if you’re upfront and a simple ‘no thank you’ is totally fine.

 

4 // PACK LIGHT

You’re going to want to take a closer look at some of the lovely companies and their work. Plus, the less you’re carrying in your hands = the more prosecco glasses you can carry (jokes…kind of). A smaller bag with a long strap is your best friend when it comes to wedding shows.

Also, my top tip would be to take some sort of tote bag, just so you’re not having to try and cram leaflets, product samples and business cards into that one carrier bag one of the exhibitors were giving away.

 

5 // SET UP A WEDDING EMAIL ADDRESS

Refer to point 3 in the whole ‘don’t waste businesses’ time, etc, but for the suppliers you are really interested in, it’s a good idea to set up a wedding-specific email address to use for contact. This can be setting up a free gmail or outlook email to keep all wedding-related emails in the one account.

 

6 // MAKE A DAY OF IT

Loads of the bigger shows are more than just some wedding suppliers showcasing their products and services. For The Scottish Wedding Show, we made sure to make a full day of it. This included booking in for one of the catwalk shows, going for brunch at their all-day brunch set up and having some (well-deserved after walking around, of course) proseccos in the VIP bar.

Post-show, we also couldn’t help a little prosecco stop at Glasgow’s Radisson Red Sky Bar (all this wedding show stuff is thirsty work) – just look at those views!

7 // TAKE A NOTE

Keep your phone handy to take quick notes of suppliers or ideas you love, follow businesses on social media there and then if you like what they’re doing and you don’t want to forget and take pics make sure to ask suppliers’ permission first, of course).

You’ll leave with a whole lot of info, so make sure and keep track of suppliers and ideas you definitely want to revisit post-show.

 

8 // KEEP YOUR BRIDE TRIBE SMALL

Take a few friends, but try not take twenty three of your closest acquaintances unless you really, really (really) have to. Too many people will just create a logistical nightmare of trying to traipse round all the suppliers you want to see.

Keep it small and it’ll be so much less stressful (and you’ll also be able to get a closer look at things like these a-ma-zing alpacas from Caledonia Alpacas!)

Are you heading to any Scottish wedding shows? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

For someone who writes about weddings for a living, it seems odd that I get some sort of random stage-fright when anyone tries to bring up my own engagement/wedding.

I guess I’m not the gushy, undying love in public type. I would say “sorry, Brian”, but he’s not either. Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are, but I’ve felt so awkward hyping up my own engagement story to people that I just reply “Malta” and “No, I didn’t know when it would happen, but we had spoken about it,” when people ask the standard engagement questions, finished by smiling and nodding as they look at my ring.

It’s like the engagement equivalent of someone being nice and complimenting your shoes and you quickly replying “oh, they were just £5 from Primark!” Why am I always so eager to play things down?!

The thing is, I loved our engagement. I love being engaged and – even though I had a bit of a anxiety-ridden time when we got back from Malta – I’m excited to plan a wedding with Brian, surrounded by those who mean the most to us.

I just don’t seem to very good at being the centre of attention with something so personal; I find it much easier to write it all down and share it that way instead, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I really want to share lots of wedding planning fun with you on the blog, so where better to start than the proposal?

 

WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED

Brian and I had decided to go to Malta when looking for holiday spots earlier this year. After Susie from Sincerely Yours, Susie recommended we go (she is a Malta holidaying pro!), we found some good flights and a gorgeous hotel (more on that here).

As I said above, I wasn’t sure when we’d get engaged. I thought it would be this year, but I also wanted to be surprised. After arriving on the Thursday and exploring Sliema and beyond on the Friday, Brian had planned our day on Saturday.

After a nice breakfast together at the hotel, we got the water taxi over to Valetta. Even this worked out well as we ended up the first on the boat so got the most amazing view of the city and harbour.

Taking a walk through the pretty streets of Valetta, Brian had a few places he said he’d read about any wanted to see. First up, we headed to the Lower Barrakka Gardens. As it was still early, it was lovely and quiet, with beautiful views out over the sea. It just felt such a special place and I’ll never forget how serene everything seemed that morning.

We then walked back to the main square, before stopping for a drink. Although we were planning on having lunch there too, it felt so busy and we decided to take a walk and see if we spotted anywhere quieter.

Randomly, we ended up walking past Marks and Spencer and saw they had a food hall! We got some baguettes, crisps and some drinks (mine, a pink gin and Brian’s, a beer) and sat in the gorgeous square at the Grandmaster’s Palace. Forget fine dining, it was a pretty perfect lunch.

Deciding to save our drinks (seriously, it was so hot in the sunshine that  we were about to melt), we continued our little tour of Valetta and embarked on the hilly walk to the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Unbeknown to me at the time, this was one of Brian’s proposal spot ideas, but when we got there it was mobbed! Honestly, every tourist in the vicinity must have flocked to the gardens at that time of day. Under the guise of finding ‘a nice place to have our drinks’, Brian suggested we go somewhere else and I asked if we could go back to the lower gardens, where I hoped it would be quieter.

When we got there, we saw that the one bench at the very corner, which overlooked the harbour, was empty so we made our way over. Of course, it wouldn’t be me without some sort of mishap and I had headed to the one single toilet in the park as soon as we arrived. All fine, until I got the lock stuck and had such a struggle with it that I caught my finger in the latch!

Not thinking anything of it, I went back to find Brian at our ideal little bench and felt so content, just sitting taking in the scenery. After a few moments of silence enjoying the views, Brian said he had something to ask me before we had our drinks. Right there, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Everything is a bit of a happy blur of me taking the ring out the box (not entirely sure what the etiquette is here, whether you’re meant to wait for your new fiance to place your ring lovingly on your finger, but I was too excited!) and feeling like I was in a dream.

During this fairy tale moment, we soon realised my finger which I’d trapped in the door was actually bleeding a lot and we ended up having to go find a pharmacy soon after to get antiseptic wipes! The things you don’t see on Instagram!

After calling our close families, we finally opened our drinks and, quite manically, laughed together at how unbelievable it was that we were actually engaged.

 

MY ENGAGEMENT RING DESIGN

So many people ask me if I chose my engagement ring, but it was all a bit different than finding one we liked in a shop. I’ve known and previously worked with Glasgow engagement ring designer, Darren at Bejouled and always knew I wanted him to make my ring when the time came.

One thing I had known for a long time (amid many wedding shows) was that I loved yellow diamonds and the pear shaped cut has always been a favourite. It’s hard not to have a little idea on what you like when you work in the wedding industry! I’d seen a few nice yellow diamond rings in various boutiques when we’d looked together, but nothing was ‘just right’.

We went to see Darren together in spring and chatted through what I liked and how to make it a bit unique and different. It was clear to see that I – shockingly – really love diamonds and, after trying various styles on and discussing ideas, I left it in Darren (and Brian’s!) capable hands to create something amazing.

I still can’t really get over how ‘me’ my engagement ring is. A pear-shaped yellow diamond centre stone with a halo of diamonds is the dream for me, so to then add to that a diamond twisted band was just perfection. I’m still in awe of how something so pretty can be mine (and also legit terrified I’ll ever lose it – the ring fear is real, people!)

Every engagement ring is perfect for their bride or groom-to-be, but I cannot recommend Bejouled enough. It really is lovely to have a ring that has been designed totally for you. Going bespoke just gives you so much control over every aspect of your design and I know we’ll go bespoke for our wedding rings too.

 

WHAT I’VE PLANNED SO FAR

Er, nothing… haha! Seriously though, I don’t know if I’m being a bad bride-to-be but I have not done a thing to start wedding planning yet! Last weekend was the first time I had even started a (secret) Pinterest board for myself to start putting ideas in.

It’s weird, everyone thinks that, because of my job, I’d know exactly what I want, but it actually makes it harder! We’re not planning on getting married until 2021 so I feel I’m giving myself plenty of time and know I’ll have a whole lot of help. I’m looking at you, Team SWD!

This weekend, I’m actually heading to The Scottish Wedding Show at SEC Glasgow. It will be my first time attending the show as a bride-to-be, which still feels so funny as I’ve went to the show so many times for work! I’m really excited to experience it in a different way and it’s always been my favourite show to go to, so I know it’ll be a really nice day.

I’m going to be sharing loads from the show on my Instagram (@tenderlovingstyle), so I’d love if you came along with me via Insta Stories. The first of my real life wedding chat is out – eek!

 

I love that a good pair of heels can completely transform an outfit, especially a casual pair of jeans going from daytime to night out.

As a shoe lover, I was pretty excited when I heard Ted Baker were bringing their shoe personalisation station to Glasgow’s Princes Square for 2 dates only.

HOW CHARMING

The Charmed Off Your Feet service offers you the chance to personalise the soles of your new TB heels completely free – and they invited me along to try it out last month.

For those of you who don’t know, as well as the blog, I’m also a writer for Scottish Wedding Directory so just had to try out the service to advise all the lovely brides (I know, it’s a hard job).

The great thing is, this COYF collection isn’t just on their gorge bridal range, it’s on all their heels – perfect for summer weddings and race days.

GETTING PERSONAL

After trying on pretty much the entire shop, I chose the v. glam Liosa heels in ivory. Just look at that sparkle!

With my chosen pair, it was time to get personalising. I chose to have just my initials put on the soles in the pretty rose gold letters, but you can also get things like a special date which is such a nice idea.

Now, would it be unreasonable to demand all my shoes from now on are personalised…?

The Charmed Off Your Feet personalisation station returns to the Ted Baker Glasgow Princes Square store tomorrow, Saturday 12th May. All you need to do is buy any pair of heels and you’ll get the soles personalised absolutely free! 

This is not a sponsored post, but contains gifted product.