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A Glamorous Botanical Glasgow Wedding

MrsMSeptember19MrsMSeptember19 Posts: 27 New bride
edited February 2019 in Your planning threads
I've been lurking here for a while now but I thought it was time to start my own planning thread! I've been enjoying so many here and with less than eight months to go now, I thought it would be a really good time to start one and have a record of our memories. Here we go...!


  • How We Met

    We were both at music school back in 2009 - I'd already been there a couple of years and was quite used to being one of the only girls on campus. I'd seen H2B around in my second year and was convinced that the boy he was always with was his twin (turns out just a regular brother, but they really do look similar!). I didn't know who he was and he wasn't in my class, but I recognised him every now and again - he's pretty striking. 

    On the first day of third year, they merged the music classes and this hottie ended up in the seat next to me, although I was so wrapped up in catching up with everyone after the summer that I don't remember really noticing. They were passing around registration sheets and I do remember that he passed me mine, and that I was quite impressed that he knew my name and told him so. I think that was his way of trying to get my attention but classic airhead 18 year old that I was, I carried on my conversation with the person on the other side of me and didn't speak to him again. He and his brother were particularly quiet and I assumed they were just really shy or boring, but then one day someone stole my seat in a lecture and I had to go and sit in the last spare chair - next to H2B. I was pretty annoyed and remember saying to my friend, "well, this will be boring." Literally within five minutes I was crying with silent laughter - he and his brother had all these in-jokes and were so witty and so, so funny.

    I think I totally fell in love with him right away, I remember messaging my friend right after the lecture to tell her that I had a problem, I think my exact words were "I'm in trouble". I then spent the next two months trying to get him to notice me again and more importantly, to like me - I flirted up a storm, I found every excuse to be in class groups with him, I even pretended to have lost my bus pass on a day that I knew he walked home without his brother, so that I'd have an excuse to walk with him and have some time alone. So far, so stalker right?! I was so keen and he was oblivious! We ended up going for dinner a few times and eventually it all kind of came out that we really liked each other, and we made it official at the end of December.

    Despite us being so young (he was 21) we just slotted into each other's lives perfectly and it just worked. We moved in together after six months and we've been together, living together, ever since - all through college, then uni and our first jobs, a few moves to different cities to try a few new places and where we live now. We just couldn't be without each other - he's my best friend. It's amazing that we're getting married in our tenth anniversary year!
  • The Proposal

    I have always, always wanted to get married. 

    However, H2B didn't used to be so keen. His parents divorced when he was young and they both always told him that it's just as good just being together, you don't actually need to get married. Which is totally true and fine, except I always wanted to be a bride! I always wanted to have the same surname and be a family unit.

    About five years into our relationship (despite me only being 23) we started getting questions about getting married, and we started talking about it. H2B wasn't keen on the concept of marriage and I didn't want to force him to have a wedding if he didn't want to get married. I was happy enough just being together and I thought he was too.

    For our eighth anniversary in 2017, H2B told me he'd like to plan something, and I was quite happy for him to do it. He likes planning surprises, and he's done so many amazing romantic things over the years, so I figured it would be lovely, whatever it was. I think I felt really laidback about it, despite not knowing anything about what he had planned.

    Just before we went, people started asking if I thought he might propose and it started stressing me out. It got me all in a spin and I started wondering if this might be it...

    Christmas Day 2017, I still didn't know what we were doing, but that night H2B told me we were going to Paris - my favourite place in the world. I was so excited I didn't even really think about anything else! 

    We jetted off the day after Boxing Day and had the most amazing time, I even cried with happiness that day because I couldn't believe I was so lucky. Then it was our anniversary and it was the most beautiful sunny day. We went for a wander around, just generally had a really lovely morning. Then we went to the Eiffel Tower to go to the Christmas markets, and after that we went to the Champ de Mars to take photos. It was only around this time that I thought H2B was acting strangely, he was quiet and was doing laps of the area, like he was looking for something. He sat on a bench and I walked over - it was spinning around my head that he might ask me and I had to have a firm word with myself that he probably wouldn't, so stop getting excited or I'd be disappointed.

    I sat down next to him, and put my hand in his coat pocket to warm it up (like I usually do when it's chilly!). And then I felt something in my hand that was cold and round and I remember feeling my stomach drop. I asked him what it was and he didn't say anything, and then I took my hand out and I was holding the most beautiful ring. I remember repeating "What is it?" to him, and when he told me it was an engagement ring I was in such a tizzy I just said "Are you being serious?" Then he asked me, sat by my side, and I said yes!

    We kept the secret to ourselves until we got home the next evening, so we had a whole day of it being just us who knew. It was so exciting, the best day of my life so far.

    And here's the ring! H2B had decided the year before that he really wanted to get married after all, so he spent around six months searching for the perfect ring. I don't think he could have picked any better. My ring is rose gold with a morganite centre stone (pink!) and a diamond halo with diamond shoulders. I've been wearing it for 14 months now and I still find myself staring at it every day - I couldn't love it more. 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    Love a new planning thread! Such a sweet story of how you met and your proposal. I absolutely love your ring 😍
  • Oh thats such a sweet story!! I absolutely love your ring its gorgeous!
  • That's lovely!  And your ring is amazing !
  • The Date

    We threw ourselves into planning straightaway, I know lots of people say to just wait and enjoy being engaged but having been together for so long, we just wanted to crack on with planning our big day. We knew immediately we didn't want an overly long engagement (but also that it couldn't be an immediate wedding, as we're paying for it ourselves and had just bought a flat - savings at rock bottom!) so we decided on 2019.

    We were semi-relaxed about the month and to'd and fro'd over this for a while - initially we wanted to get married on our tenth anniversary, which would be a Saturday at the end of December, but that would mean a two-year engagement and that felt too long for us, so we ruled it out. I also didn't want early 2019 as it wouldn't be enough time to save, or high summer as it would be too expensive (and we'd be relying too heavily on the weather actually being nice - always a risk in Scotland!).

    I'd always liked the idea of a September wedding so we started leaning towards this, and we wanted to be able to choose the date if we could, rather than have it chosen for us by venue availability etc. (I appreciate how lucky we are to have been able to do that!). 

    Once we'd pulled everything together and had a long discussion about the date, we settled on 28 September 2019. 28 is quite a sentimental number for us (our anniversary, our door number, his age when he proposed and my age when we'll get married!) so we're really happy with that, it's a tiny thing that just adds to it for us.

    Now there's less than eight months to go and I can't wait!!
  • Love your meeting and engagement story... sounds like it was meant to be! Looking forward to reading more about your plans :)
  • The Theme

    I was pretty adamant from the beginning that I wanted our wedding to look like 'ours', not mine. I personally love pink and sparkles (in moderation), but I didn't really want our whole wedding to be like that. H2B has a very strong sense of style and he's super into aesthetics, design etc. (graphic designer by trade!) and we have a similar taste so we've always decorated our homes in a way that's suited us both. It was important to both of us that we followed the same process for the wedding, so that it really felt like our day. 

    After a Pinterest scour that went on for days, we kept looking at the same things and agreed pretty quickly that the look we wanted to go for was very crisp, clean and minimalistic, but also glamorous. We both love dressing up, we go to a lot of events with our jobs so we're quite used to getting all glammed up and knew that we wouldn't want to be understated with our outfits, so we were leaning towards a black-tie theme, but paired with a more laidback general theme to keep it looking cool and not too traditional (or scary for our guests!)

    So the theme is 'Black Tie Botanical', and our colour scheme is ivory, deep greens, soft greys and rose gold (to bring my engagement ring back into the colours!). We want lots of festoon lighting, flowers and candles to create a really intimate atmosphere, in a venue that has personality but a bit of a blank canvas too, so that we can really put our stamp on things. 

    We're thinking along these lines...

  • Yay a new thread! Also I'm a professional musician and met my H2B at conservatoire :) .
    Your story is lovely and the colours look really beautiful! Can't wait to see mor.
  • Yay new planning thread! What a lovely proposal story and gorgeous ring. 
  • Silly question - where might I find my draft posts? I wrote a LONG post about our venue search and saved it to finish later, and now I can't find it?!
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    It should just be there when you open your thread.
  • Yay!
    A new thread!

    I love your ring, and your proposal story, I'm looking forawrd to reading more :)
  • What a lovely proposal story!

    I LOVE your colour scheme and decor ideas too! X
  • Seems my saved draft didn't save after all, here we go - attempting to redraft my very long post!
  • Also thank you everyone for being so lovely! 
  • The Venue Search

    We decided to start looking for venues straightaway, to make sure that we could have a 2019 wedding. In terms of venue, we wanted somewhere that we could put our stamp on, we're both too fussy about literally everything to go for an easy packaged option. We didn't feel comfortable with a stately home or a castle (much to my mum's dismay) and my brother had had a pub wedding the year before, so after a lot of discussion, we decided the best option was a barn wedding!

    Venue One - The Barn at Harburn

    The first venue we really liked was The Barn at Harburn, which is in Livingston - about an hour from where we live. They could only give us an appointment on my fiance's birthday, so we cancelled our plans and booked in. On the day, the trains were cancelled and we had to take a taxi to get there. Once we arrived at the estate that the Barn is on, it took us ages to find it - there's very little signage and what there was had fallen down, so we didn't see it. Eventually we got there - only to be told that the wedding coordinator had forgotten about our appointment and had gone home. The greenskeeper took pity on us and showed us as much as he could, but to be honest it totally tainted the experience. We were also disappointed with what the venue actually looked like in real life, particularly the onsite bridal accommodation. 

    The whole experience put us off of rural barn venues to be honest, so we decided to look into other options.

    Venue Two - The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

    We went along to the open day at the Botanic Gardens about a month after getting engaged. It's a beautiful place, the wedding planner was amazingly helpful and reserved a date for us, and sent us details of what they could do. We really thought it might be the one, but the more thought we gave it, the less we felt like it actually ticked our boxes - the package options didn't give us too much room to put our own stamp on the place, and one thing that concerned us more than anything was the ceremony space. I loved the idea of getting married in the little glen they use in the gardens, but if the weather is bad, the ceremony is moved to a marquee. It really wasn't us, and we felt that if the weather was bad after all, we'd both be very disappointed to have our ceremony in that space - whereas in other venues, the weather wouldn't matter at all. So we decided to move on and look elsewhere. 

    We struggled to find anywhere we liked in Edinburgh, most venues here are castles and country estates or glitzy hotels, and all of them were wildly out of our budget and didn't allow us to make the space our own, which really was a priority.

    We did love the look of the Secret Herb Garden, but then we found that it's around £4/5k to hire (without food) and you can only have it from 4pm on the wedding day, as they don't close to the public even when you've booked your wedding there. It felt like an awful lot of money to only have eight hours' usage!

    We also viewed The Biscuit Factory, which isn't for the fainthearted. There's warehouse venues, and then there's this place. I'm talking no heating, plastic wrap on the windows, the worst toilets I've ever seen and the fact that I'd have to sign a safety disclaimer to put my wheelchair-bound granny in the lift. Not for us...

    So, after a lot of thought and research, we decided to go back to our university city - Glasgow. It's a city with a much more laidback vibe and we felt like there would be more options for us.

    It still wasn't easy; we needed a weekend date as some of our party are teachers, so couldn't get time off (and we didn't want high summer!) and lots of our preferred venues wouldn't take us as we're hosting a fairly small wedding (50 day guests, 100 in the evening). So we still had limited options...

    Venue Three - City Halls and The Old Fruitmarket

    I've had this place pinned on my 'dream wedding' board for years! We love the setting of the Merchant City for photos, and we've both been to lots of gigs in the Fruitmarket, so we knew it was an amazing space. You have the ceremony in the City Halls room, which is lovely, and then your reception in the Fruitmarket. It's also amazingly cheap because it's owned by Glasgow Life (part of the council). However, we couldn't go ahead because of one major flaw - it's also the reason why friends of ours didn't book it either. You can only confirm your wedding date 9 months in advance, because the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra use another room in the building for recording, and there can't be any other events on at the same time because it disrupts them. They only confirm their calendar 9 months ahead, so while you can hold a date you can't actually lock it in until they confirm they don't want it. We felt it was too risky, we already knew a few suppliers that we wanted to book and we didn't want to risk waiting until the next January to book them (this was last March!). So unfortunately we couldn't go ahead - but a great venue if you want a short engagement!

    Venue Four - Civic House

    I heard about Civic House, a new venue set to open. When we viewed it, it was a total building site (they were actually laying that dreamy parquet floor you can see here!). I don't know what's happened since, but I think plans have changed a lot here. At our viewing, the coordinator told us that the big room you see here would be split in half - half ceremony room, half office space (so weddings wouldn't get that dreamy brick wall). The reception space downstairs was also split into two, and we were worried about the effect on the ambience. Also, it's right next to the motorway, and the only green space for photos had a graffiti-covered bunker in it. We reserved a date with them but in my heart, I knew it wasn't quite right.

    Venue Five - The One

    Just for our own personal reasons, I'm not including the name of the venue just yet, or pics - but will post soon! 

    After we held the date with Civic House, I heard about another warehouse venue set to open, so I called the owner. I loved his vision and we booked a viewing - another building site! However, something about the owner and the venue itself clicked for us, it's a big open space but with a high-end finish, lots of options, beautiful details and its own private garden too. Plus it was very affordable! The risks were that it was still very, very unfinished, and nobody else had actually booked it yet.

    We held the date and gave ourselves a few weeks to think about it, but eventually decided that if we liked the blank building site more than several actual finished venues, we should probably go with it. It's not perfect but it gives us so much opportunity to do what we want with the space, plus it's exclusive use and very much to our aesthetic! There's no guest limit or minimum numbers, we can bring in any caterer we want and we can do whatever we want to the space to make it our own.

    It's a daunting prospect (it actually still is!) but we're confident that we can have the day of our dreams there. Can't wait to put our stamp on it!
  • Cant wait to see your actual choice as the ones you viewed looked stunning! Plus, no limit on guest numbers will make things so much easier for you. Exciting!
  • Sorry, been away for a while there!

    The next step after booking our venue was...

    The Bridal Party
    I've known who I'd have as my bridesmaids for such a long time, so it was really exciting to be able to ask them and make it official. I've got my future sister-in-law, my oldest friend and my best friend, who I actually met through my fiance. I did dither on another long-time friend of mine who's just a wonderful person, but I felt like she had a lot on, she was supposed to be a bridesmaid for a wedding just before ours too (which has actually since been cancelled!) so I felt at the time that it was probably too much for her to take on - and now it's too late and looks shady to add her so last-minute. We have asked her to perform a reading at the ceremony though, as she's so close to both of us (she's known my fiance since nursery school and has always been a fabulous friend to me - writing this down really makes me feel like I should have asked her...).

    Anyway, I wanted to make it official so I bought them all a Rifle Paper Co bridesmaid proposal card, and a Katie Loxton bridesmaid clutch, and asked them all separately, but within the same week. I asked my SIL first, and she was so delighted and cried buckets. Then I asked my oldest friend, who knew it was coming and was just relieved that I'd done it! And then I asked my best friend, who wasn't expecting it at all and was so happy it just burst my heart, she was so over the moon. So happy with my squad! I decided not to have a MOH as they're all fabulous to me.

    For my fiance, the choice was really easy. He's had the same group of friends since school and they're so close, plus he has two younger brothers who are very close in age to him. His brothers are his best men, and his three schoolfriends are groomsmen. They did a fantastic job at our friend's wedding last year (with the exception of L's youngest brother, who wasn't involved in that wedding party, just a guest) and I know they'll do us proud!
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