Having touched down at Gatwick on Sunday with Mr LL, returning from our mini break to Scotland, I was on cloud 9 after the amazing few days we had spent there. It’s always great getting to go home and see my family, but this time was even more special because I could spend quality time with my nieces and see my cousins getting married. The wedding was beautiful, and I’ll definitely be heading to the new Mrs for tips who was an absolute vision on the day. Glowing and radiant in the most stunning dress.
We had traveled up a few days before as we wanted to squeeze in some time to visit some wedding venues. After all, we did get engaged in August last year, so it is nice to finally get the ball rolling. We were both really open minded, laid back individuals about the whole thing. With the ultimate goal of trying to keep the wedding under ten thousand – excluding the dress – we really were happy to compromise on most things to keep the cost down.
To say I was completely naive about the costs of wedding planning is really quite an understatement. It’s suffocating almost. You look at the numbers and its dazzling, a slight nauseous feeling sweeps over you as you think about all the extras ontop. Trying to plan a low key, minimal, cost effective wedding is seeming so much more difficult than initially expected.
The first experience of ‘well out of our budget’ was at Cameron House. An absolutely beautiful wedding venue set on the banks of Loch Lomond. From the initial meeting, you could just tell the day would be taken care of with ease, with added touches here and there that go the extra mile. They really were fantastic, and if we had smaller numbers it would have been a consideration. There really isn’t anything they will not do for you at Cameron House, it set the bar very very high.
Next we popped next door to Duck Bay, which is nothing in comparison (all be it lovely) to Cameron House. We couldn’t have a look around sadly because it was booked out for a private function, which was a shame because we were really impressed with their video online.
Lodge on the Loch was next up, we preferred the smaller of the two venue rooms meaning we would have had to reduce our numbers, the setting outside looking out onto Loch Lomond from the terrace is just beautiful, private beach and room for an outside wedding. It came in a little bit more expensive than I had thought given what I had seen and using the pricing from Cameron House as a benchmark. Despite stressing the low key relaxed environment, without all the bells and whistles, it didn’t seem as though this was reflected in the price. Affordable, but pushing more over budget than we would want to.
We drove all around Loch Lomond and headed towards Balmaha to visit the Waterfront. A selection of lodges with hot tubs and a private beach. As well as inside venues. This was sounding a lot more up our street. More secluded and private. The view was just absolutely spectacular, it has room for a marquee at the front with the option of getting married outside (weather pending of course). The place was nice, not amazing but certainly nice and more so appealing because of the space outside rather than the interiors. We both fell absolutely in love and we were convinced this was ‘the one‘. That was until we got the quotation through. It literally sent me on my backside with shock. Almost double our budget, Double!! I’m still trying to fathom the costs.
So it really goes to show, it doesn’t matter if it’s a flashy top rated hotel or what appears to be affordable venues in quiet areas they can all surprise you. And all be more expensive than planned. It seems as soon as you mention the word WEDDING costs go through the roof. The question is, how much negotiation can you get away with? And does it even work?
I wonder how much success people have had with negotiating their prices down. Do let me know in the comments box below. It’s back to square one for me.
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