August 7, 2012

A Castle For A Castle

As some of you may know, this whole blog was spawned because of the timeless beauty and charm of Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY.

A wedding at Boldt Castle, a Thousand Islands, NY wedding venue.

Such a romantic place made it easy to daydream about a wedding with my sweetheart, but when the time comes to put down deposits, how does it level up to reality?!?

I've mentioned three favorable venue ideas a while back, but since I've posted those, Pine Tree Point Resort's website is nothing more than a real estate listing, so it may be out of business, prices have gotten RIDICULOUS for Edgewood Resort, ($125 per person?!? o.0), and prices have gone up the Clayton Opera House, however those prices are still very reasonable for a building rental.

After looking over the local venues again with a fine tooth comb (since I decided I didn't want to go too far from the castle,) the ONLY other venue worth considering was the newly-renovated Thousand Islands Club.

The Thousand Islands Club, a newly renovated Thousand Islands, NY wedding venue.

I found a couple more pictures on their facebook page, their reception room is alright, however the bar looks smashing and overall it's a lot better than most in the area.  But of course, their wedding packages have not been posted yet  :P  I messaged them on facebook weeks ago and have not received a response.


So I started thinking, "Do I really want to deal with the frustration of dealing with a destination wedding venue that won't return my messages?!"

And I realized...that I don't.

I realized that it might be too difficult to get out-of-town guests over to a town that's 2hrs away from any major airport.

I realized that it might be difficult to afford venues in the area when there aren't many existing to begin with!

But what helped ease the loss of such a pretty ceremony spot?

Why, another castle of course! :D

I present to you:

Belhurst Castle, a Finger Lakes and Geneva, NY wedding venue

This lovely venue my friends, is located in Geneva, NY in the fabulous Finger Lakes area!

Let me tell you, I LOVE THE FINGER LAKES!

There's a reason why Mrs. Locket and Miss Fairy from Weddingbee choose that area for their weddings!  Everywhere you go you are going through gorgeous countryside, with so many lake views, you won't know what to do with yourself! :D

And this gem is on Seneca Lake, right on the shore :)

A wedding ceremony at Belhurst Castle on the shore of Seneca Lake in NY

You want to know what else is everywhere in the Finger Lakes?  Wineries.  Top-notch, quality, wineries.  Dozens of them!  It's awesome sauce XD

And guess what?  This castle is a winery too!  Ack I die!

Belhurst Winery wines

And you want to know what else?!  It's a hotel too!

The Lewis Suite at White Springs Manor, a part of Belhurst Castle in Geneva, NY

AND it has a spa!

Tell 'em what else they've won Johnny!

(just kidding, I was on a roll XD)

So as you can see, this is what Boldt Castle would be like if it was easier to pull off! XD

It's a stunning one-stop-shop, the girls and I can get ready in the spa, (or my hotel room,) the ceremony would be outside facing the lake, the reception indoors, their tasty wine would be poured for the reception, guests can stay there for the night, and then the morning after brunch could be in their restaurant the next morning! :D

(Best photo I could find of the Meritage Ballroom that's not the virtual tour :P)

Doesn't it sound just perfect?!

I'm definitely starting to think so :)

So, what's the catch?

1) It's two hours away from Buffalo
2) It's a bit pricier than my other options

Both are fixable, however:

1) Geneva, NY is close to the thruway so it makes things mildly easier for driving commuters.  For out-of-town guests, Geneva is equidistant from both the Rochester and Syracuse airports, one hour away.  Not ideal, but I can get them a reduced group rate for car rentals at one airport to lessen the blow :P  I found that Rochester, NY was consistently more affordable than Syracuse for flights, so the special rate would most likely be there.

2) Belhurst Castle does have an absolutely horrible policy of having a minimum of $9000 for Saturday receptions May through October o.0  I don't even KNOW how you would spend that much money, (trust me, I've tried pricing it out!).  Solution?  Pick a date in the off-season, where there are no minimums, which is totally doable.

So, is two hours an ideal commute?
--No, but it's better than four hours XD

I can't WAIT til we come for a visit!!! :D

August 6, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts...

So, let's talk about that 6-letter-word in the wedding world, budget.

*shudders* o.o

Or another way to put it:  What ridiculous amount of DIYing am I going to have to do to keep the budget down?!? XD

An anxious bride, probably worried about the budget...

Yeah, our budget is going to be smaller than I would have liked...

...a lot smaller :p

Why? Well, the key thing to note here is:

Home Ownership = Empty Pockets
Empty pockets, so not much money for a wedding budget

Allow me to explain:

1) Foundation cracks downstairs start leaking water
2) Cracks start leaking a LOT of water...
3) Niagara Falls now resides in your rec room
4) ...and your laundry room
5) ...AND the home theater starts developing mold on the walls
6) Time to demo the drywall!
7) *cue sobbing over the mess that was once your home theater*
8) Oh look, another crack!
9) Call in contractors
10) Receive quotes and faint
11) Wake up and realize, no this is not a dream
12) Pout, but fork over the dough because your sick of bailing out your home and you want a quality job done
13) Spend the next year renovating the home theater, which would have taken the average do-it-yourself-er 2 months
14) Give up on the crown molding, leaving only parts of it on the walls and move the theater equipment back in
15) Weird spots start to appear on the ceiling...hmmm...
16) Floor starts warping in the hallway
17) GIANT PUDDLE appears in hallway
18) *cue sobbing as you realize the roof is leaking*

The cost of home ownership can be much more than anticipated.
XP  Yeah...

Pair this with my slow improvement of my spending habits and what do you get?! =
A very, very tiny wedding budget!

I knew this blog would be good for something! XD

So, what have we done to remedy this situation?

-The finance suggested getting married in Vegas by Fat Elvis -.-  I was not impressed.
-A 2014 wedding is practically confirmed.  We simply need more time to save up money, and as they say, time is money!
-A winter wedding is more desirable due to the across-the-board, off-season discounts with all vendors and services (Plus it's so pretty!!! :D)
-Venues that are too expensive get crossed off my list, no questions asked (There might have been some pouting however, lol)

So what does this mean for the gorgeous Boldt Castle in the Thousand Islands?  A very surprising outcome, to say the least.

To be continued!