Limits on availability means the venue is one of the first things to organise, ahead of other decisions.
The popularity of second marriages and even third marriages and 'renewals of vows', added to first marriages, are increasing the pressure on wedding venues, many of which have long waiting times before you can book a date.
A popular venue may typically have all its Saturdays booked, Winter and Summer, at least a year ahead, with its 'Summer season' Saturdays booked two or even three years ahead.
In 2012 one venue locally ceased all advertising because they could not take any more bookings for the next two years. However more recently many new Venues are now opening up for weddings, creating more competition. Summer Saturdays are still booked a year or two ahead, but Fridays now have much greater availability for short notice weddings.
When selecting your venue consider:
(a) The number of guests the venue can hold for a sit-down meal; is this enough for the number of guests at your wedding breakfast?
(b) The number of guests the venue can hold for a buffet? The venue's fire certificate will stipulate the maximum number allowed at the venue.
(c) Licensing Hours; what are the bar opening times for your guests?
(d) Catering facilities and kitchens; these always merit inspection for basic cleanliness yet few brides and grooms ever ask to see beyond the public reception rooms!
(e) Weddings License; ensure this is up to date.
(f) Your own and your guests' accommodation requirements; how can these be satisfied either at the venue or locally? These days no one wants to get caught for drinking and driving, so it is best to select a venue at which guests can stay overnight if they want to. Your day can then last as long as your guests can! Do inspect the accommodation and convey to your guests the standards and styles of room available.
(g) One venue, two venues or three? You can have three separate venues: a venue for the wedding ceremony, a venue for the reception and a venue for the evening 'do'. For example some couples will get married in a church, have a reception and Wedding Breakfast at one venue, then go on to another venue for the evening 'do'. This is less popular nowadays due to logistics and drink/drive laws.
(h) Should you aim to have everything under one roof? It is simpler to have the entire wedding at ONE venue. This certainly applies to civil weddings (which can be held in the Opera House). Having both the Wedding Breakfast and the evening 'do' at the same venue avoids splitting the party up half way through the day. It also avoids having to organise getting people from one venue to another. Couples who split the wedding or reception between two locations later admit they would have preferred their entire day in the one venue.
(i) What are the available dates? Consider what is more important to you - the dates or the choice of venue. To increase your choice, choose early.
(j) If you have no idea where to choose, consult friends and relatives who have been married within the last year or two. Where did they hold their reception? What did they think of their venue? What did they find were the advantages and disadvantages of the venue they chose?
Here are some frequently asked questions to ask about the venue:
1. Does the venue have a preferred weddings suppliers list or are you free to select your own suppliers (e.g. florist, limo hire etc)?
Craig Y Nos does not recommend specific suppliers but has an extensive list you can choose from. Or you can choose to use your own suppliers. For links to suppliers you can go alphabetically by category, starting from 'balloons'.
You can also see a list of of suppliers who have attended our wedding fairs - see wedding suppliers who attend our wedding fairs.
2. Are there any restrictions on the photography (e.g. listed buildings).
Photographs should be kept to a minimum in the Grade One Listed Opera House but there are no restrictions.
3. How long are you booking the venue for? How much time should be allowed for setting up and breaking down?
Check if there is a wedding or other event before or after yours and their exit times.
4. Will the same person be on duty at the wedding throughout the day? Is this the same person you are dealing with before the wedding? Generally the same person will be on duty throughout your day.
Photography on this page by Celtic Photography
5. Is there free parking?
Yes. The courtyard holds 20 cars. The main car park holds 50 cars. Coaches can park outside on lay-by which can also take a further dozen or so cars. You may wish to ask guests to avoid parking in front of Castle and have us rope off an area for Photographs.
6. What tables, chairs, linen, china does the site have? Is this included? Are there any extra charges for any of this?
At Craig Y Nos, round tables, square tables, chairs and hire of linen napkins are included. Chair covers are an optional extra from a supplier.
7. Is there a complimentary Bridal Suite?
The Bridal Suite is included free if you have 60 guests under the Deal, all staying overnight and paying for their own B&B. It is not included below 60 and not included under the Regular Tariff or Members Tariff.
8. What happens if it is pouring with Rain?
If the weather is bad on the day, the Bride and Groom may enter and exit the Theatre from the Function Room. The Guests may either enter the Theatre as they arrive, or come in to the main castle and enter the theatre from the Function room. Photographs may either be taken inside, or wait until the weather improves so they can be taken outside.
9. Are disabled facilities available?
The Conservatory is accessed via its own ramp from the inner courtyard. Our Brecon Beacons Hotel rooms AB11 and AB12 have disabled bathrooms. The Theatre may be accessed from the main car park / courtyard via a ramp. Disabled access to the castle 'upper ground floor' level is via a special ramp that must be pre-booked as it needs setting up. This internal ramp takes you from a corridor door leading from the inner courtyard up through the Breakfast Room, and we place another ramp from the Breakfast Room to the main ground floor level for the Nicolini Lounge/ Function room/ Main Bar level. The budget Nurses Block is also on the ground floor and has a disabled loo and bathroom and bedroom with wide door for wheelchair access.
There are some wide stairs from the theatre to the Function Room and from the front entrance to the Function Room and Bars. These stairs do not afford disabled access internelly into the main building from the theatre so instead you exit into the courtyard up the theatre ramp and then use the ramp through the Breakfast Room. The staff will provide assistance as required.
10. Is there a floor plan drawn to scale?
This is available on our main website Wedding Venue Wales floorplan.
11. Is there a map with directions to the venue?
See the Craig y Nos Castle map page.
Photography on this page by Celtic Photography