Plane castle is absolutely stunning and my friend’s wedding was beautiful. However, the event was marred by Sonja the next day. I was in my room the next day packing my belongings when Steve came in and said “oh sorry, I thought you were out” I replied with we were told 11 but would be out soon and he left. I thought that would be the end of it as I didn’t realise there was an issue at that point. However, a few minutes later, Sonja came into the room and asked if I was Leah, I confirmed I was and she proceeded to berate me for not yet being out the room. I said I was told 11, she argued it was definitely 10 and I said well if you just let me get on with packing, I’ll be out the way soon.
This was my first interaction in person with Sonja. She came back not too long after and she was shaking with anger, got right up in my face and said shall I tell you why I’m really angry? Her major issue was that the wedding had brought in takeaway food from outside. When I repeatedly tried to say I believed there was a misunderstanding, she interrupted me, shouted and called me and the bride, groom, mother of the bride and father of the bride liars. I was merely a bridesmaid so had nothing to do with the organisation of the wedding but Sonja made it clear she was shouting at me because she didn’t want to shout at the bride the day after the wedding. I informed Sonja that the bride was in the next room and could in fact hear everything and Sonja’s response was “let her hear”.
Sonja from the get go was aggressive, very in my face and very much shaking with visible anger, before I even knew there was an issue. As far as I was aware, we had until 11 and there was no issue with external food. We had a murder mystery the night before the wedding which the family helped us set up for which was takeaway food so I was unaware there were any grievances, especially as previous guests in their reviews have noted they brought food in from outside and the venue appeared to have no problem with that. My major issue, however, is not the fact there was a problem, it’s the fact that it was aired in such an aggressive manner. Sonja blockaded me in the room whilst demanding I leave and shouted at my dog for being in the room and not being downstairs. My dog was well behaved and quiet and dog’s were allowed in the rooms (supposedly dog friendly venue); I had no way to take him downstairs as she was so insistent that I pack and leave.
When the bride left her room with some of her belongings, that’s when everything really kicked off. I was already feeling intimidated by Sonja but she then started shouting at the bride. I still believe there was no malice in any contract breaking, nor in the venue being upset about a contract being broken. However, I feel it is important to stress that the bride and groom never did receive a contract and they were going with what they had been told verbally and I was doing the same. I had organised a mini highland games for the bride’s hen do at the venue the previous weekend. Sonja was the person I was organising this with and when I confirmed we had 8 people attending, Sonja informed me that there was a minimum of 12 people needed for the games to go ahead and this was a week before the event. She had never once told me this previously and we came to an agreement that I would pay for 10 people, despite only the 8 attending. I will say, Steve ran the mini highland games and it was excellent. If my entire opinion of plane castle wasn’t marred, I would very much recommend. I am happy to retract this part of my review if Sonja can show me written evidence that she informed me of the numbers earlier.
When the bride left her room, Sonja was screaming at both myself and the bride. Having heard Sonja previously yelling at me, the bride tried to ignore the situation and said loudly over the top of Sonja’s screaming “no I’m not discussing it, I’ve had a lovely day thankyou!” and tried to walk down the stairs. She was prevented from leaving by Sonja who barricaded the door with her body and refused to move until she’d said her piece, which the bride had already heard as she yelled it at me previously. She was screaming at both of us and I’m ashamed to admit we shouted back. Steve, Sonja’s husband repeatedly told her to calm down and the bride’s father came up to try and rectify the situation. The bride went back into her room to collect the rest of her stuff and Sonja left both Steve and the father of the bride and came storming down the corridor towards the room the bride was in who was in tears by this point. I shut the room door and refused to allow Sonja to get to the bride. I’ll admit I yelled and said you’re not shouting at her again. Sonja was screaming at me, screaming for her husband saying I wasn’t allowing her into her rooms in her castle and demanding we got out. Steve managed to calm her down and allowed us to pack up the rest of our belongings. I had no way of getting all my stuff down the stairs in one go so I took as much as I could carry, made it downstairs and absolutely broke. I was genuinely terrified of this woman to the extent I could not go back upstairs for the rest of my belongings.
She had issues with us and a belief that the contract had been breached. I can 100% understand why she would be angry about this but her way of going about it was unacceptable. To say she was airing her grievances with me because she didn’t want to bother the bride with it the day after her wedding would be fair, but she they proceeded to also scream at the bride. I certainly don’t believe we de-escalated the situation but it became increasingly difficult to remain calm when someone is screaming in your face, and trapping you in a room whilst demanding you leave. In my opinion, she’s an awful human being and I will say I was very grateful her husband was there because I have no idea what she would have done otherwise.
Plane castle is, I’m absolutely certain, a wonderful place if you don’t piss off the owner. If you don’t get a contract and are relying on verbal communication… well just don’t do it. It’ll end badly and you’ll be remembered as monster guests because you refuse to put up with someone expressing their anger by shouting in your face. The only physical thing I did was hold a door closed and bar entry to stop the bride having a full blown panic attack. No one deserved to be treated like that, especially a bride embarking on her first day of married life. Up until that morning, we were I hope, considerate guests. Had I not personally been making a conscious effort to ensure my room was clear and in pristine condition, including stripping the beds, I would have been out by 10:15 at the latest. I was indeed making every effort to pack up and go when informed I had the time wrong, rather difficult to do when you’re being screeched at and actually fear for yourself, your pet and your friend’s safety. However, I in no way assume us leaving on time would have appeased Sonja who came like a woman scorned, repeatedly called us liars and deceitful and ignored all pleas that it was simply a misunderstanding. Her way of handling her issues was deeply unprofessional and absolutely terrifying. In my opinion, this woman should absolutely not be running a business and I firmly believe all the good reviewers either didn’t interact with her or didn’t do anything to annoy her. God help you if you do.