Craig y Nos Castle has played host to many elite and renowned people over the years, none more so than reality television stars Helen Flanagan and Hugo Taylor. Filmed on 13th February 2013, and screened on Channel 5 on 1st January 2014, Craig y Nos Castle was the setting for the third episode of season four of Celebrity Wedding Planner.
It’s a true testament to our reputation as one of the foremost wedding venues in the UK that Channel 5 chose Craig y Nos Castle as the setting for a lucky couple to tie the knot, with the help of two reality television stars.
We’re pleased to share some images of the day with you – a day that we must say went off without a hitch. Thanks to the combined efforts of our highly capable and skilled staff, the production team, and of, course Hugo and Helen, it’s a day that we all remember fondly.
Celebrity Wedding Planner
All the preparation for the wedding was done on the day. Though Helen Flanagan looked unprepared, she had plenty of helpers behind the scenes!
When you have your own wedding at the Castle, as well as our staff, you'll have your own helpers and wedding suppliers to decorate the venue just how you want, in advance. Unlike on Celebrity Wedding Planner, you won't be setting the Conservatory up at the last minute!
CHAOS THEORY - and an important note about reality TV shows & Entertainment!
It was a cold, rainy day in February 2013. Even with pouring rain and snow and cold outside, guests can enjoy amazing views over the Brecon Beacons and have plenty of photo opportunities inside. We heard all guests of the wedding really enjoyed the views, despite the weather!
However when we watched the programme, my mother who was staying over said, "Doesn't it make the castle look a bit disorganised?" For the 'Wedding Planner' show, the Conservatory was not fully set up until 4.00 pm, just in time for the Wedding Breakfast. "Nonsense!" I said, "Everyone knows it's just entertainment".
I didn't think it necessary to comment as I assumed everyone knew Celebrity Wedding Planner is 'entertainment TV'. It's supposed to be fun - and to look chaotic. An earlier episode had an outrageous amount of swearing, which I thought rather unnecessary - the point is, it's all done just for the cameras. It would be incredibly boring viewing if everything went smoothly and efficiently (as it does in real life).
So I was surprised to see on facebook some brides commenting things looked 'a mess'. One commented: "Why was the wedding room such a last minute mess?", adding, "I assumed you would have had that room ready well in advance of the ceremony and not be setting it up while the wedding party were waiting. You should ask TV company to make this clear as it was pretty ambiguous in the show as to whose lack of planning resulted in the shambles - your venue is too good to suffer bad publicity."
Another commented: "I feel you let yourselves down a little with the lack of help (setting up the theatre and room for the wedding breakfast). When me and my hubby decided to get married at the castle you were all amazing! We didn't have to lift a finger with the decorations and setting up. I think for someone thinking of getting married at Craig y nos, they will be put off thinking that they are responsible for these jobs. Shame really coz you do the best weddings!"
Ok, for anyone who didn't already know, I'm sorry to have to tell you this: these shows are not true 'reality' - where's the fun in watching everything go smoothly, effortlessly, predictably, without any hitches? This would not be 'entertainment' - it would be as boring as watching paint dry.
Celebrity Wedding Planner would not get a repeat series if it did that.
The fun for the viewer is in seeing it all look a muddle, before everything works out 'alright on the night' and the 'Celebrities' come out of it looking good too (happy endings for all).
In reality, for most weddings at the castle, the first phase of the preparation is actually started the week before. Our staff set the tables up according to your Table Plan, on the Sunday or early in the week following the weekend's Saturday Wedding. Cutlery, Wine glasses, table linen, folded napkins and chairs are all put in place. We do this to make the room look smarter for wedding viewings during the week. (With back-to-back weddings, the tables are set up the night before). And of course, the food and beverages ordered are delivered. Then on the morning of the wedding, glasses and cutlery get polished to a shine.
So, somewhat boringly, the room is all set up well in advance (but this would not make good TV)!
Additional decor, favours, table decorations and centre pieces are all put in place by your chosen wedding decorators and wedding suppliers either on the wedding day, or if desired, the night before.
Some work you will want to do yourself, such as your own final touches to the table decorations and favours and maybe even the centrepieces. Most services are completed by your chosen wedding suppliers - e.g. chair covers are placed on the chairs by a chair cover company, flower arrangements are put in position by your florist etc. The staff at the castle help and work with your suppliers as necessary.
Any heavy room decorations such as artificial trees or specialist lighting would tend to be put in place for you by your relevant wedding suppliers. For more personal items such as family storyboards, photo boards, table plan notice boards, you would arrange to be assisted by your own band of helpers.
Many couples and their close family will get involved with the finishing touches on their tables themselves (e.g. placing of wedding favours and gifts on the relevant chairs, checking the name labels on the tables etc), however staff are always on hand to help complete all the finishing touches as required.
In the Wedding Planner programme, the show presented things to look as if there was a mad rush on the day with stuff arriving and no one to move it into place. However in reality this work is either done by the relevant supplier or by castle staff. In the show, to make it the fun show it is, the story line was that the Wedding Planners were putting everything into place. That is the idea of course - the Celebrities are shown becoming 'wedding planners'.
In practice (show secret) there were a dozen helpers and crew as well as our own staff working behind the scenes putting everything where it needed to go.
It is relatively rare these days for weddings to be set up all on the same day. Most weddings are able to set up everything bar the flowers the night before, as the Conservatory, even if occupied by a wedding before yours, is vacated once the Party moves through to the evening function room.
We encourage you and a few friends to stay the night before, as you can then enjoy a few hours putting the final touches to your wedding breakfast room in the evening. This means you'll be more relaxed on your wedding day.
The only items that need to get left to the day itself are the floral arrangements, which will tend to be put in place by your chosen wedding florist, and placing the cake on the cake stand.