Familiarise yourself with the sequence of events so you understand how everything is designed to unfold in a set order. Even the best of them get it wrong. We once had a Toastmaster usher guests in to the Dining area before the food was ready.
More often, we've had Photographers hold up the party, taking photographs, delaying the Wedding Breakfast by as much as an hour and risking spoiling the food.
We always recommend allowing an over-run for the Photographs - you need to allow as much as two hours between the ceremony ending and the start of the wedding breakfast!
Once you get behind schedule - and this happens - you may need to consider adjusting the later parts of the day. For example, the Wedding Breakfast will usually last three hours, as this meal is a relaxed and chatty affair with speeches, toasts and everyone is having a good time.
If the Wedding Breakfast over-runs, this means your original scheduled time for the evening buffet to go out comes too soon after the main meal. If the Buffet is requested too early, it may sit on the buffet table untouched.
You should have a gap of at least two and a half hours between the Breakfast ending and the Evening Buffet going out.
Example: A 1.30 pm Ceremony finishes at 2.00 pm, gives you a two hour gap to a 4.00 pm Wedding Breakfast. This lasts three hours bringing you to 7.00 pm, which means the Buffet goes out at 9.30 pm.
Kindly note that egg and mayonnaise and cream products have to be removed for Health & Safety reasons after 45 minutes.
You do not want the caterers to remove part of the buffet at the time your guests start to feel peckish. This can cause disappointment and so we do recommend some flexibility here. You can ask the kitchens to delay the buffet; the staff won't mind.
With outside caterers you will lose this option but provided the castle staff are handling your catering there should never be an extra charge even if it means the staff hanging on a little later for you.
You need to know when the wedding venue opens and is able to receive your weddings suppliers. At Craig Y Nos (for Friday weddings) the tables are normally set up the day before, which means you may have time the day or evening before your wedding to set up your table decorations, venue decorations, flowers and favours.
However on Saturdays, where there are 'back-to-back' weddings, with a wedding on the day before yours, the tables won't be finally set up until 11.30 hrs on the morning of your wedding - if you are using the function room. This will affect your schedule for table decoration, venue decoration, floral displays, favours etc. The Conservatory is not used for morning breakfasts so may be set up earlier, or even on the evening of the day before.
Check with the venue's 'Wedding Planner' when you and your suppliers will have access to the venue for your preparations.
Overnight guests may start arriving ahead of the wedding, wishing to book into their rooms early in order to get changed ready for the ceremony. Advise the venue how many guests will want to book in befoer the official 3.00 pm booking in time. There is a surcharge for early book-in, so let reception know in advance if early book-in is required.
In some cases your guests may have to use a separate changing room, given it is unlikely the previous night's guests will have booked out in time.
Your photographer will need to arrive in time to take some photos as your guests arrive prior to the ceremony.
The florist will need to know when they can have access to the theatre to decorate the ceremony room and the reception venue.
Have regard to the sequence of events and the role each supplier plays as some things have to come before others. For example the table decorations and place settings cannot be put in position until the venue has laid the tables and table linen. The cake cannot be set up on the cake stand before the cake table is prepared. The wine should not be put on the tables too soon ahead of the guests entering the Reception Room for the Wedding Breakfast, nor should guests be invited into the room ahead of the wine being put out.
You will need someone on hand to oversee your suppliers setting up on the morning of your wedding day and to help you and your suppliers all keep to your pre-planned schedule during the day.