How to decide?

Would love opinions on how to decide where to get married. I was never one for dreaming about my big day.

For a bit of background, myself and H2B have been together for 9 years and have two kids (6,1). Mortgage and car. Im a SAHM so not loads of spare income but we have some savings we are happy to use and getting £5k from my dad  

So we have a guest list of around 80-90 people day guests and then 40 evening guests (but really difficult to judge).

I'm in a real muddle about what venue to pick and what time of year as there is such a massive difference in price. Perhaps if I explain each one someone could help to give their opinion?

Venue 1- 1 hour away (buses costing £1k would be provided)

Includes venue, drinks x3, evening guest arrival drink, canapes, LED dancefloor, honeymoon suite  

Saturday November 2019 £8k (100 day guests, 40 night)

Saturday May 2020 £11k

Saturday October 2020 £7k

This venue is our dream venue. Overlooks a loch, lots of Windows, decor is exactly to our taste. Such a lovely place. 

They also have lodges and we planned on hiring 1, possibly 2, for the night before for the girls/guys to get ready. They have hot tubs and are stunning but cost £650 a night and I think would add to the experience.

Downside is the cost for the summer 2020 wedding as that is ideally the date we would love although being in Scotland we are in no way guaranteed good weather. But October and November I worry it'll be too close to Christmas and October 2020 seems miles away. 


Venue 2 - 20 mins away 

Includes venue, food, drinks x 3, evening guest arrival drink, cake, LED dancefloor, honeymoon suite, ppiper

Bank holiday May Sunday 2020 - £7.5k (100 day guests, 40 night)

This venue is nice, modern but just not as amazing as venue 1. Its close to no issues for people travelling.

 Venue 3 - 40 mins away (£1k buses provided) 

Includes venue, food, drinks x 4, dj, cars, Led dancefloor, honeymoon suite

Saturday April 13th 2019 - £6750 (80 day guests  plus 40 at night)

This is a wedding venue only so not a hotel and quite like the idea of people being able to stay over if they want. 


Honestly im not sure what to do. Keep looking? Any advice?


Something doesn't sit right with me with spending £11k on the venue alone (and food ect) then everything else when we have two kids and I feel guilty. However we have our house and car ect and could afford it (although would be saving every month and using about £5k from savings). But its such a huge amount im not sure if ill regret spending so much money


  • MrsC2B14MrsC2B14 Posts: 5

    Venue 1-


  • MrsC2B14MrsC2B14 Posts: 5

    Venue 2-


  • MrsC2B14MrsC2B14 Posts: 5

    Venue 3-


  • MrsRendall2BMrsRendall2B Posts: 348 New bride

    Prefer 1 and 3. 1 is the clear favourite though, isn't it?!

    Ultimately, if you think you can get the money together for Venue 1 without it being to the detriment of your family life and kids, I say go for it. You're only going to do this once (or so we all hope!), so you may as well do it properly :)

    Nothing worse than looking back a few years down the line and thinking "If only we'd spent a few £K extra...".

    I think a wedding is one of the most justified 'selfish' purchases we ever make :)

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    If you love venue 1 then you should go for it.

    You can cutback costs by not providing transport at a cost of £1k, there is no need, people can make their own way there. You can then go for the summer date you want. 

  • TiaMariaTiaMaria Posts: 120

    Hi! I have been to 3 weddings at lochside and one at the Vu (number 3) and I would have to go with loch side as my personal favourite! 😀 it also sounds like your heart is set on it also! 

  • KittyFiennesKittyFiennes Posts: 875 New bride

    I'm always a proponent for doing the "quality" thing - even if that means waiting and/or saving up. I think that with all things in life the old, "If you're going to do something, do it well" motto applies to weddings as much as it does to anything else. If you love Venue #1 (and it's certainly my fav from your options), then I would definitely go for it, even if it means the 2020 date.

    Def don't make your decision on 2020 being too far off; time will absolutely FLY. You have kids (two, no less) which can make planning challenging, and you also don't have your outside income to help with the costs, so saving/ paying may take longer. You'll appreciate that extra time between now and 2020. 2018 is more than half over already.

    You will only get to be a beautiful bride in your dream venue ONCE.

  • I wanted to put my two-penneth in as well as I have a differing opinion to those above. 

    We have a small(ish) budget of £9k max but ideally wanted to spend more like £8k. Compared to some, this is nothing and lots of people spend tripple that easily. However, I still think to myself that it is sooo much money to spend on one day (even if it is the only wedding day I’ll get). We chose our venue because it was the most cost effective we saw and still had nice grounds and lovely rooms.

    I know MrsR said you wouldn’t want to get down the line regeretting not having spent that few extra £k, but on thet other hand might you regret spending so much just for the venue? I think if you go for venue one, there will be extra costs for decorating a bigger room etc. 

    I also wanted to mention that you need to be cautious when booking a venue so far in advance. I’ve seen so many brides on here say that there venue has recently been redeorated or changed and they no longer love it. By the time your wedding rolls around in a couple of years, they could have given it a makeover.

    All that being said, I would choose 3. 

  • Oh, I also wanted to say don’t make any final decisions until you’ve visited all three. They could look perefect on paper but in reality they might not wow you or vice versa. 

  • Samantha265Samantha265 Posts: 251 New bride

    We viewed a few venues and went with our gut. At one of the venues we could imagine our wedding there, and others we just couldnt. We spent what we were comfortable with but didn't go over the top, we could have spent more but decided not to. Now we are about to extend our house and hopefully have a child, I'm glad we didn't spend more. Yes it's your wedding day but in my opinion it's only one day. The marriage is what comes afterwards. We chose to have it during the week and off peak season, and we negotiated discount by offering to pay up front rather than in instalments. The budget will creep up so be aware that your final total will be higher than first estimates. 

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 1,906 New bride

    We aren't getting married at our 'dream venue' - it cost too much! We also have a child, and we have booked a smaller venue where we will still have a lovely day and everything we want.

    We would prefer to still be able to live a fairly normal life and have days out, holidays etc, rather than put ourselves under financial stress for one day.

    Of the venues above I prefer the look of the third - it looks less corporate than the other two.

    I also agree that there is no need to spend £1k on transport- none of your venues are a huge distance away, people can make their own way - and lots will prefer to as then they can leave when they want to.

  • Before seeing your pictures I knew where venue 1 and 3 were.

    My personal preference is venue 1. I've been to a few functions there and popped in for dinner - the food is amazing, views are sublime and that driveway is to die for. However, it's much like any other Rad Group hotel (and a few Manorview group on the inside) and I personally couldn't justify the cost (we looked at it was similarly priced to you). Once everything else is added our wedding would cost x4 more there than where we are having it.


    The Vu is nice but very much a wedding factory. Your numbers make you the 2nd wedding of the day, and to me I didn't want someone else getting married in my ceremony room a mere few hours before I did. For that money I'd want to be the only wedding. I know they are professional but it wasn't for me.


    The Radstone is a lovely hotel, same standards as Lochside but without the same price.


    However it's your wedding and Lochside seems to be your favourite. Most people only intend on marrying once and it pays to pay for what is important to you. I loved Lochside, as I said, but not starting my married life with any debt, and so it was out the question.


    Where are you based? I researched every venue from Perth to Ayrshire 😂

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