Any small budget venues in Scotland?


I’m trying to find a ceremony and reception venue(s) for our small wedding (around 30 guests) sometime next summer/autumn in Scotland. Preferably lochside or in a pretty location in Perthshire, Loch Lomond, North/North East or the Highlands. Somewhere that isn’t a pub (don’t fancy walking past strangers to get to some function room, feels too everyday) but not a posh hotel either. Community centres and village halls just look so bland, with not very ‘weddingy’ posters/notices on the walls and aren’t usually located anywhere picturesque. Unless I am wrong?

I was thinking we could find somewhere with self-catering accommodation on site, either a couple of big houses or a row of smaller cottages for our whole group, which would make for a relaxing day with lawn games and a firepit maybe, without the need to arrange transport for everyone. But it’s not essential to have the venue in the same place as accommodation. Would be handy though to have the ceremony and reception either in one place or near each other.

Since weddings in Scotland can happen anywhere, my imagination is running wild but need to think of practicalities, such as plan B for bad weather, distance to accommodation etc.

Our budget for the whole wedding is £2-2.5k. Will be doing our own flowers, DIY decorations, will get an M&S cake and have no bridal party outfits. Catering and accommodation for everyone will cost a fair bit (guests will drive themselves there but can’t ask them to pay for accommodation, could we?). Not sure how to save there, so trying to find an affordable venue. Even if you don’t know of specific venues, could anyone please suggest the types of venues to look for?


P.S. Could we find accommodation at different price points and ask guests to pay for themselves (apart from our immediate family maybe)? Seems cheeky but would save us a fair bit.


  • edited 9 August 2019 at 10:45PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 9 August 2019 at 10:45PM
    I would not expect my accommodation to be paid for, as a guest. Although if you were arranging the accommodation I'd need to know roughly how much to say yay or nay, and to find my own cheaper alternative.
    It's only cheeky if you're expecting people to either stay somewhere they can't afford, or jet halfway round the world. If you accept that the distance and cost may rule some people out of it's a long way from where you/they live, that's the chance you take.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • oldernonethewiseroldernonethewiser Forumite
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    Where are your guests coming from?

    You might want to think of the practicalities of transport and accommodation before deciding on your idyllic venue.
  • First_timerFirst_timer Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary
    Everyone lives in the the same town in Scotland as ourselves and every couple has a car so will be able to drive separately or, as more than half know each other really well, might carpool.

    If the venue is a couple of hours away, I presume everyone will be ok with getting there by themselves in their own time (childcare, other commitments or maybe staying only one night). I could arrange taxis between accommodation and venues if needed. My only concern with guests finding their own accommodation is that some might leave it too late to book (I know some people aren’t as organised as others to book accommodation a year in advance), and we could end up without some key people who we are closer to than others (we are inviting some less close friends because they are all part of our one big group of mutual friends). By booking and paying for accommodation, I would at least know it’s all taken care of and no chasing up of guests is needed. If the wedding location ends up being a popular spot, it won’t be easy to find last minute accommodation. Do I just need to have more faith in our guests’ abilities to book their accommodaton?
  • comeandgocomeandgo Forumite
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    How many guests are you planning on? We hired a small hotel for the weekend. There were no strangers in the bar as they were not allowed in. The guests paid for their own rooms and some stayed in accommodation near by. No fire pits but lovely coal fires.
  • First_timerFirst_timer Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary
    Around 30 guests. How much did hiring a hotel cost you?
  • First_timerFirst_timer Forumite
    12 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary
    I’m getting so confused now because the more I look at village halls, the more I realise they might be too big for our small group. The cheapest would be to have the ceremony outdoors and then have catering nearby. But can’t count on Scottish weather.. Any ideas of small village halls or other small venues? I would like to hire the full place rather than a function room.
  • weenemoweenemo Forumite
    45 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Likely to be most or all of your total budget so I think you will need to ask for a contribution from your guests but actually once you split it between everyone it may be less than you think.

    I also know someone who hired a local scout campsite (not one of the national centres, just a wee place) and hire a marquee but still got access to a large hall and a bunk accommodation so tat might be a possible?
    They got caterers in but it was one of the best weddings I've been to and was quite cheaply done.
  • I have been to a small wedding on Skye where the whole hotel was hired out for the event, guests paid for their own accommodation although a discount had been arranged with the hotel.

    A family member got married on the beach at Achmelvich, brave I know but the sun was shining with the reception held at a hall in Lochinver, no posters in sight. That gave people a range of accommodation options from a hotel and B&B to caravans and tents.

    In both cases though the bride and groom were from different regions and been to universities in different regions and had lived in other places so no matter where they chose at least half the guests would have to travel.
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