Weddings up to end of June 2021 are invited to contact us to pencil in forward dates in 2022.
Jan Feb and March 2021 weddings should now fully postpone.
We anticipate weddings will not be able to resume until circa May/ June 2021.
Wedding Packages for larger weddigns above 50-60 guests can be booked later in 2021 or in 2022. Recent news of a vaccine breakthrough indicates there will be an eventual end to restrictions on weddings. However until a vaccine roll out is significantly under way, we expect limits on guest numbers to continue through 2021. For a larger wedding, above 60 guests, you should only consider booking from 2022 onwards. Existing weddings when faced with guest number limits, may wish to hold a smaller wedding in 2021, and a larger event later, on an anniversary date, possibly using a Celebrant.
See also 'Customer Information' for updates as we add them
24/03/20: Following the Prime Minister's statement on 23/03/20 the Castle is now closed other than for security, key management personnel and live-in maintenance staff. So there is 'generally' no one to receive incoming calls. The majority of reception, front of house, wedding planning staff are now furloughed and required to stay at home. Please can everyone email us rather than phone us. Or use the Chat Service on the website. Wedding Planners working from home can take incoming emails and answer queries on our chat service but cannot take phone calls. For our email addresses, refer please to the Contact Us Page.
The castle is once again closed due to the latest lockdowns. Weddings cannot currently take place at the castle. In our view, with a new faster spreading mutation of the Coronavirus, full closure and lockdowns are likely to continue for some months until the vaccine roll-out is well under way.
Weddings up to end of June 2021 are invited to contact us to pencil in forward dates in 2022. Jan Feb and March 2021 weddings should now fully postpone. (Note we are closed from 23rd December till 4th January and emails and transfer requests will be dealt with from 5th January). We anticipate weddings will not be able to resume until circa May/ June 2021. This is based on the Government's extension of the Furlough Scheme to the end of April 2021 (which occurred prior to recent concerns about the new mutation of the virus). After May (if not possibly before), while weddings may be able to resume in some form, it is probable there will be continuing restrictions on numbers allowed, on drinks service, with social distancing likely to continue, affecting your ability to have a dance and party in the evening etc.
The removal of all the COVID regulations is unlikely to be 'instant'. Rules our clients may consider unacceptable could continue for a while. Subject to the Tier you are in being allowed into Wales and subject to the regulations in Wales at the time of your booking, postponement or Ceremony Only, your choices remain the same as in 2020: 1. Postpone fully, free of charge, into 2022 or 2023. 2. Have a Ceremony Only on the original date and the main event a year later using a Celebrant for the repeat Wedding Ceremony in front of all your guests. 3. Have a smaller wedding under our Intimate Wedding Package instead, if restrictions require you to have fewer guests on the date of your wedding. Our charges remain the same irrespective of your original date being postponed a year or even two years ahead. We do not increase rates for existing clients who postpone.
What size of wedding might you be allowed in each month of 2021? Here is a guesstimate by our Business Manager Michael Ludwig (this is pure conjecture and is just to give you an idea of what we think might happen): "Whilst, personally I would envisage that by September 2021 we should be able to have 40 at a wedding (I am basing this on 15 from around January to March, 30 for May and June, 40 for July and August and then 50 from September – we can never know what might happen as we saw over the weekend how the country was plunged into a worse position than it was when we spoke last."
Weddings up to 30 guests were permitted in Wales but a new limit of 15 guests has now been introduced. We cannot offer weddings at this number as it is below the Min Req for the Intimate Package. Hopefully from March 2021 onwards the permitted numbers will increase again but limits on guest numbers may continue for a few months in first half of 2021.
Following recent announcements by the British Government that restrictions 'in England' are 'likely to continue for another 6 months', and indications that further restrictions may be introduced over the winter, it is advisable that weddings within this six month period - namely up to 31st March 2021 - now pencil in secondary reserve dates under our pencilling in of forward dates, ready to transfer into if necessary. You may be concerned that either the original date may not go ahead or you may feel that restrictions at the time may not allow you to have the number of guests you wished to have, or that evening entertainment still cannot go ahead etc.
Note that in Wales the limit on weddings remains at 30, so unusually Wales did not follow England's lead in reducing weddings to 15 guests. We may be seeing a divergence between England and Wales on wedding numbers. Note the differing viewpoint expressed in Wales by Mark Drakeford indicating that the current limit for Weddings indoors, in Wales at least, will remain at 30 and he even stated, "If there isn't evidence that it is causing harm then I think that will point us in the opposite direction." (My Italics). This means we could continue to see weddings in Wales allowed for higher guest numbers than in England. This is of course all very hypothetical.
To set your mind at ease, given the ever changing virus and government restrictions, for weddings booked up to 31st March 2021 we do now recommend a further forward pencilled in date now be given as a backup to your original date.
Whilst of course this is only guidance, pencilling in early forward alternative dates in good time allows you to choose a date now, as opposed to in a few months’ time finding the date that you were looking for or would have considered as an alternative, has in turn been taken by a new booking or another existing wedding transferring forward.
Meanwhile existing weddings booked well in advance, who are less likely to need to move (wedding dates after 1st June 2021, for example) should now ensure that if you wish guests to stay overnight on the night before your date, that you do confirm their bookings now, ahead of any other wedding booking the night before your date or transferring their date forward into the night before your wedding.
We are now extending the transfer forward / 'pencilling in of future dates' window up to October 2023. As usual there is no charge for transferring if due to COVID and as usual you are able to retain all your existing 2020 or 2021 tariff and contract terms irrespective of any future price increase that will apply to 'new' bookings on these later years.
Early 'pencilling in' of forward dates is encouraged for the period of weddings booked up to 31st March 2021, especially if you feel your guest numbers may not be possible under any likely restrictions still applying to weddings at the time of your planned wedding date (though we are quite unable to predict what these restrictions might then be). Also, early pencilling in should mean other suppliers are available to accept your forward booking, whereas putting off planning a pencilled in forward date may mean your existing suppliers are not all available.
Remaining September and October 2020 weddings should now complete pencilling in of new dates or full transfers forward to 2021.
Advice from Govt re Wales remains: "Another reason for which you are allowed to leave your local area is to attend a marriage or civil partnership ceremony. Places of worship may be opened for the solemnisation of marriages and the formation of civil partnerships subject to the maintenance of social distancing measures and these venues will be able to decide whether they want to open for such purposes. This will mean that limited ceremonies can take place in these venues and in register offices. This does not extend to receptions or other celebrations that many will want to enjoy as part of their wedding. Tackling coronavirus does not allow us to go further at this stage."
All AUGUST weddings have postponed. Regulations will keep changing, with more relaxation of rules probable around Mid-August. You can read further analysis from our Business and Systems Manager; see up to date legal position on weddings here.
Current restrictions include social distancing, no disco, no music, no shouting at each other, no dancing, either 10 or 30 (numbers allowed are different in Wales to England!) to what amounts to a Ceremony only, no congregating at the bar, no morning breakfast can be served, guests kept apart (aside from those within their own family bubbles), etc, etc. I.e. not a wedding as any Couple would have intended, hoped for, or dreamed of. However if any August Couple wants a Ceremony only, with their main event in 2021 using a celebrant, this looks possible in August. See later on this page for this idea. We first thought of this back in March and now Ceremony Only weddings are becoming a possible solution for Couples to at least legally get married on their original date but with no actual wedding reception; they then have their full wedding reception and party free of all restrictions in 2021.
Advice in England says parties with loud music must not take place as the virus may be transmitted by people shouting at each other above the noise, transmitting the virus by aerosol spray from mouth. There is some very complex guidance about this, for venues in England, but in Wales, which has different rules, the answer re whether you can have a normal wedding yet, is a simpler, NO! For the Ceremony Only option, for anyone wanting to marry on their original date, this is subject to the Registrar confirming when they will do weddings. Further on this page, we discuss the Celebrant route for the later event, if you go down the 'Ceremony Only in 2020, Wedding Party in 2021' route.
Update 12/06/2020: Weddings in August 2020:
On Friday 8th May, Mark Drakeford (First Minister) for Wales indicated that there would be little change in the lockdown rules for Wales. Garden Centres would open on Monday 11th May and people were allowed out more than once to exercise. He made it quite clear that the Welsh Government's message remained to “stay at home”. On Sunday 10th May, Boris Johnson indicated to “stay alert” and that “you can travel by car” to exercise. This gave little indication as to the opening up of businesses within the Hospitality Industry. Maybe by July, with some degree of social distancing measures, “some hospitality” businesses may partially open. However as of mid-June, no further indication of future re-opening of wedding venues has been given. We believe 'large gatherings' are likely some way off.
We anticipate this means for August 2020, Craig Y Nos Castle will remain unable to open sufficiently to undertake large social gatherings as in Weddings or Events. We believe that while “pubs and bars” may be able to open, social distancing rules with outside catering will become the 'new normal'. We now advise all August 2020 weddings to postpone their weddings. We apologise for the inconvenience this all causes for you. We know our summer 2020 weddings had hoped they would not need to postpone, though there was always the risk that you would need to eventually.
As you will know from visiting this page previously, we offer a free postponement service so you can transfer your existing wedding package to a new date up to 31st March 2022. There is no postponement fee and no increase in rates. You keep the same terms as your existing package that you booked and retain its pricing regardless of how far ahead you rebook for (up to 31st March 2022). Your wedding guest accommodation is simply copied en bloc to the new dates, so everything remains exactly as it was, but is simply moved to the new date.
September weddings will shortly be contacted by our Wedding Manager to ensure that you have pencilled in back up date and to advise you of any options in place. We will however wait until the next Government Announcement in respect to September. You can for now 'pencil in' (reserve) a new date first, then check with the Registry Office and other suppliers (particularly DJ, Photographer, Cake Maker and Wedding Cars) to check their availability on the new date. You can then 'confirm' the new date to us when ready to move, and we enter your new date on the Wedding Calendar.
Michael Ludwig, our Business Manager, offers his opinion as of 12/06/2020:
- "If restrictions in Wales are lifted so that Hospitality business can re-open (based on current “rumours”), I believe there will be too many regulatory issues surrounding social distancing, wearing of facemasks and lowering of numbers so that you can’t have the number of guests planned. Along with complex rules about evening meals and breakfasts, this may make the wedding less enjoyable than anticipated, not least you may not be able to have the guests that were originally invited. If it were me, I would be looking to seriously plan for an alternative date and check and confirm with other suppliers, still keeping maybe August and September as a back-up, in case things may go ahead then. We will of course keep all our customers advised and currently the earliest that we think an announcement will be made will be 21st June (for England) and 28th June (for Wales). I personally believe that from 4th July, the hospitality industry could open to serve take-away drinks in gardens on a self-service basis, with some customers being served outside. We though are choosing NOT to open at all in July and will make further announcements on August September and beyond as soon as more information is available. Rules may be relaxed further – they may well say in month xxx, you can only do X, Y and Z, but come middle of month xxx, may say that you can now do X, Y and Z along with A, B and C."
While we are unaware when any restrictions are to be lifted, we now advise August 2020 weddings to move their date. September dates should pencil in an alternative summer 2021 date (but for now you may choose to retain your original 2020 September date in place as well, just in case). Should current restrictions be lifted you may still be able to marry at the Castle on your original September 2020 date but we are no longer confident social distancing will be removed by then. The 14 day air-travel quarantine is also an unexpected new factor affecting some guests' ability to attend a wedding.
You might find you can have a 'legal Ceremony only' on your original date (with no guests or very few guests all socially distanced, and no event) and then have the fuller 'Wedding Ceremony' with all guests present, and your full wedding event, a year later, in 2021. This option, which involves hiring a Celebrant for the postponed full wedding ceremony, is explained here (and also lower down this page) and could become the way to go, in a partial lifting of lockdown.
I can appreciate that this is an upheaval and will cause inconvenience but by working through this together, we can move forward and make your new wedding day every success. The aim is to hold your full wedding as normal, once normality returns. We can postpone dates as required until normality does return. Normality one would expect and hope, should return by next Summer at the latest!
Accommodation & Non Wedding Events up to September 2020:
As we are unable to serve food or drink, any accommodation bookings or non-wedding events will also need to be postponed. As this advice is continually updated we advise you to check this webpage every couple of weeks or so for any updates.
When to postpone to:
To reduce the risk of having to postpone your wedding date again, we suggest you move quite far ahead. Perhaps it is better to shift a year into Summer 2021 to reduce the chances of having to postpone again should there be a 'second wave'. You can transfer your existing wedding package to a new date up to 31st March 2022 with no postponement fee and no increase in rates, when keeping to the terms of the existing package booked.
Please let us know some alternative dates that may be suitable up to March 31st 2022. We are requesting that you pencil a new date and then check with the Registry Office and other suppliers (particularly DJ, Photographer, Cake Maker and Wedding Cars) to check availability and then confirm that date to us so we can then confirm your booking and guest accommodation. We will rebook everything seamlessly into the new date and confirm all your Guest Accommodation into the new date also. Wedding Guests do not need to rebook directly as we will rebook them automatically - they only need to let us know if they cannot attend on the new date.
OLD UPDATES NOW FOLLOW - Adjusted for current advice
Update 20/03/2020 21:08 It is with regret that due to the ongoing coronavirus situation that Boris Johnson on Friday 20/03/2020 at 17:03 advised that Pubs Clubs Restaurants Cafes and Bars are to close at midnight on 20/03/2020. Until further notice we are unable to service any weddings, events or accommodation. Please read our Coronavirus Page (below) for full details of our postponement policy and procedure.
We can transfer all dates and all bookings remain 'do-able' as they have been organised - it is just the dates need changing due to the Pandemic. However this is awful for all our Brides and Grooms, who have worked so hard to organise their Special Day and now have to arrange everything for a later date. People were astounded at the speed in which their lives were turned upside down, but this period will pass. Things will get better. Do not worry. The most important thing is everyone strives to stay safe and well.
Transfers to any available date are free, and we hope all our suppliers will allow free transfer too. The range of available dates in 2021 may diminish as more 2020 weddings move but currently still looks to have good availability. While some went into Oct Nov and Dec 2020, reducing pressure on 2021, we are now seeing these months postpone in turn. So it may be safer to move into 2021.
Which months need to move now? August 2020 weddings should confirm new dates now. If your wedding is in September, please get your reserve 2021 dates in now. We will hold a reserve date indefinitely while you consider what to do. We currently advise you leave your September 2020 date intact, with a pencilled in future date in reserve just in case, then wait to see if the quarantine is lifted.
October onwards can for now play a 'wait and see' game to see how the pandemic comes under control. Email addresses for your wedding planner are here. Please only now contact Nicola as she remains unfurloughed.
Update 14/04/2021 (adjusted as of 11th May 2020): For Accommodation booked in May-July 2020, due to the uncertainty of being open (not least no official announcement on when lockdown restrictions or food service in Hotels/Restaurants are being lifted) and with all of our events and accommodation up to end of July now postponing, all related May to July Accommodation Bookings are now postponed. Wedding Guest B&B is automatically moved into the new dates for the postponed wedding so no action is required by the individual guests. We remain unclear when the Castle should be up and running fully, but currently consider Sept/ Oct 2020 a 'possibility'. Accommodation bookings would not normally have paid and therefore no monies will be debited from guests' accounts or charged until they occupy their rooms.
Added 24/03/2020 (adjusted 11th May 2020): We have a set routine going where we postpone all weddings three months in advance. We are introducing an indefinite reserve system for the following three months whereby further forward dates can keep their original date for now, AND reserve a second date in case they need to move. We need to be ready for more postponements by having weddings 4-6 months ahead pencil in a future date ready to move into.
If we can get everyone lined up with secondary reserve dates a year forward, we are able to offer some certainty as much as one can, to all our booked weddings. We review the situation monthly on a rolling basis. There could be a rolling period of trading dates and non trading dates, which means we need to be able to position everyone so if it is a ‘go’ for their original month, they can ‘go’ and if it is not, they go into their reserved second date, again on a rolling basis. Weddings up to three months ahead need to book foward dates, while weddings 4-6 months ahead are advised to pencil in their secondary reserve dates, ready to transfer forward in their turn if necessary.
The old updates below are retained for now but large sections will be deleted once we decide which information is completely redundant. We do apologise for the length of this page and all the changing information on it. But do read it all to understand the sequence and procedure to move and reserve dates.
WHEN TO USE A WEDDING CELEBRANT:
What if you want to get married on the original date? If 'the venue' as in the Opera House is allowed to re-open and the registrar will marry you (we now anticpate this will be from 01/09/2020), we may in some version of a partial lifting of the lockdown be in a position where we can at least marry a couple just on their own with a couple of witnesses and the registrar on their original date. You would then have the Wedding Day, Reception, and Party on a later date with a Celebrant creating the "Wedding Ceremony". Here is a celebrant: Helen Williams / Wedding & Family Celebrant - contact her on email@example.com / 07986 526732.
This would enable those who want to be married, to actually be married, but as the bar and restaurant may still be closed, the rest of your event may still be shunted forward a year or so. Only the few guests the Registrar could allow (in any partial lifting of lockdown) would be able to attend. There would be no welcome drinks or event. At present, per 23/03/20 PM Statement, NO weddings are allowed, but this may in future be relaxed to allow very small groups of guests (e.g. 5 or no more than 10), while not allowing a full event. This is hypothetical for now (but as of June 2020 is becoming 'actual').
We will not charge for use of the venue or theatre for the Ceremony Only in this way, with whatever guests the Registrar allows. We can only offer this if it is legally possible to do this. You may also all have to stand or sit two metres apart from each other - with only ten guests there is enough space to do this in the Opera House. Just as we went into total quarantine in a series of steps, so we might come out of quarantine in a series of 'reverse' steps, as restrictions are lifted gradually. As of September 2020 you might find you can get married on your original date but STILL not have the party and reception and full event till later, hence the need for you to have the 'two dates' with a second date in reserve for the main event.
You'd then go down the celebrant route for the postponed 'wedding ceremony' having already got married with however many guests you are allowed, IF allowed.
Owner Martin Gover adds: Please follow the advice on this page on postponements.
A pencilling in forward reserving of alternative postponed dates will apply to weddings 4-6 months ahead unless you are ready to commit to a new date sooner.
Weddings in the next 3 months to rebook into a future date now.
However any wedding that chooses to give up completely on 2020 as a year, to be sure of a date in 2021, should contact us ASAP as the 2nd half of the 2021 year will begin to fill up now as the 2020 Summer Season moves into Summer 2021.
Midweek dates can only book into midweek dates. Weekends should have enough 2021 dates to move into, as some clients have gone into Oct, Nov and Dec 2020.
Those wanting two nights in order to have guests stay the night before in the same room will need to consider WED-VIP. Weekend VIP weddings are the two day, two night deal - an exclusive whole weekend package. However we do not have many weekends available for WED-VIPs for 2021, so WED-VIPS are limited to Thursday and Friday combinations.
For those wanting more information and reassurance, the Managing Directors thoughts and Views on what is going on can be further read here but please read the whole of this Coronavirus Page first.
16/03/2020 update - 19:35 hrs: Following the Prime Minister's statement, asking people 'not to go to pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres and to avoid all unnecessary social contact', the advice below on the continuation of weddings is already becoming out of date. Never have we seen things move so fast.
17/03/2020 09.10 - see letter written by Michael Ludwig, Business Manager, here. Some of this letter is now out of date.
Update 17/03/2020 10.55. Registrar's advice sought; what the Registrar told us this morning is below (25/03/2020: this is now out of date): “They have a statutory duty to register births, deaths and marriages unless in accordance with the law they are legally restricted to do so and/or advised by the General Registrars Office. They have however said, that in accordance with good health guidelines they will do their interview in a larger office, they will limit their socialising whilst on the premises and won't be shaking hands. They have not updated their website and don’t have any email/circular to issue but anyone who wishes any re-assurance can call them or email them.”
Update 19/03/2020 12:57 Registrar this morning at 11.55 “Whilst other registry offices and/or local government and Churches are prohibiting gatherings in excess of 10 the POWYS registry office are still going ahead, but naturally 'safely operating' within the realms of the NHS and PHW guidelines". (25/03/2020: this is now out of date):
Update 20/03/2020 21:50 The Registrars at Powys when we spoke too them this morning had opted to reduce Wedding Ceremony size allowed to 10 guests. Options remain as below, but in addition are as follows: If you still wish to hold your wedding, the actual legal part of the Ceremony can only take place with ten guests in attendance. The other elements of the wedding such as the Photographs, the Welcome Drinks, the Banquet etc will all need to skip forward to a new date.(25/03/2020: this is now out of date):
If it becomes possible for you to still marry with ten guests or less present on the original date of your wedding, then we will. If you do marry on your original date, and then postpone the Wedding Reception, you will need a Celebrant to create a "wedding ceremony" in which you will make vows again (but this time not the legal ones) witnessed by your wider friends and family. Here is a Celebrant: Helen Williams / Wedding & Family Celebrant - contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07986 526732. Your decision is currently not yours as to whether to hold your wedding now (with fewer guests) or to postpone in accordance with the advice below. You now do have to postpone your Wedding Reception and Party
Update 20/03/2020 18:30 (adjusted 11/5/2020) Dates 4-6 months ahead could try a wait and see approach. You may still be able to marry with a handful of guests on your original date and then have a Celebrant for all guests to attend a postponed Wedding Reception date later in 2020 or in 2021. This would allow you to have a repeat of the Wedding Ceremony but it would mean paying an extra fee to the Celebrant if you wanted this arrangement. Having a Celebrant not only "feels" like a traditional wedding ceremony - it IS "the ceremony" to celebrate your marriage, in which vows will be said, albeit not the legal ones, in front of all your friends and family.
Or you just get married on the new later date, booking the Registrar forward, and 'write-off' the original date. We were mainly moving the next two months dates forward but now anticipate weddings at least 3 months ahead will need to move.
Our phones are now not manned due to furloughing staff, so please also use the 'contact us' page to email your wedding planner direct if you cannot get through on the phone. Our chat service is also a quick way to speak to us if the phones are not answered promptly - but again if you persist you can get through!
Update 23/03/2020 11:00 (adjusted 11th May 2020): The Castle will remain closed until at least end of May July August September 2020 but by then we should know more about when we can re-open. We had hoped the closure was to be only for 12 weeks as per Boris Johnson's original stated plans. Of course, no one knows. We are reviewing this month by month and are informing all couples of their options in the event that this virus continues.
Weddings four or more months ahead: For now you probably do not need to postpone a wedding four or more months ahead, as, for all we know, we could be open by then. You could be moving dates unnecessarily. Weddings four months ahead should hold fire and see what happens in the next few weeks. You can make a decision at any time to postpone and all postponements are free if due to coronavirus. Remember that once your wedding date is postponed, you may struggle to get back into an earlier date even with attractive Last Minute deals that may be available from suppliers. Once you have 'committed' yourself to a new date with all suppliers etc, you won't want to do it all again to get back to your original date.
There is a way we can help you and this is by inviting you to ‘pencil in’ a future reserve date now. This means we will hold two dates for you. Weddings four or more months ahead please contact us to ‘pencil in’ a 2nd reserve date. We know this is a stressful time for everyone, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Although we are closed, Nicola is still available to answer emails and is working from home.
Below written on 16/03/2020 - as much of this is now out of date I am crossing out sections that are now wrong.
We have sought clarification from the Registrar and they have advised on the continuance of weddings as above. We may be moving faster than we expected towards a situation where there is a legal requirement to postpone weddings en bloc. This situation has now arisen. The recommended phone number for our Clients to ring for updates direct from the Registrar’s Office is 01597 827468. Email is email@example.com
Moving a period of weddings (say 3 - 4 months' worth) into the same period next year was anticipated in our earlier comments and policy (which still apply). While we had been preparing for this as per the advisory notes below, should it become necessary, we had anticipated there would be a longer period of notice before any weddings had to be moved. Weddings do now NEED to be moved for dates up to 3 months ahead and forward reserve dates pencilled in for dates 4-6 months ahead (latter do not need to actually move yet, in case we are then open again).
The Prime Minister's daily statements render out of date some of what was written below. However the policy on wedding postponements remains the same. Our policy is that we will enable the bloc transfer of wedding dates into forward dates at no charge, from any date required, and for any period of time required by the Government, as we are so advised. Over the last few days it has often been unclear on when and even if what is 'advised' or 'asked', will become 'required'. For a few days there was a moral choice, which people were asked to balance against their social responsibility to society at large. This probably wasn't enough, so rather quickly what was optional has become 'required'. We all have had to quickly catch up and realise we have 'no choice' as 'the law' changes and old freedoms are suspended. Whenever we speak to the Registrar's office they say words to the effect, We will marry people until the Government says, "No you can't." (25/03/20 - now you can't!)
We note that not only our own advice on (B) and (C) below is now being implemented by the Government, but that 'all' social events are advised to be put on hold. However the PM's initial statements were 'asking'. This position has changed daily in the last few days.
As of 16/03/2020 13:00 hrs (updated 20/03/2020 20.15 hrs), we know of no cases of Coronavirus at Craig y Nos or in our immediate area of South Wales. All weddings and events are now suspended until further notice - basically until advised they can start again by the Government. Infections are on the rise in the UK, and the coronavirus is probably more widespread than tests have so far identified. People appear to be contagious before symptoms are known, and can be contagious for a period after they have recovered. (25/03/2020 this is now out of date - we do not know the situation in our area now).
Government advice was that anyone with flu like symptoms should remain at home and in self-isolation. We (had understood) that government advice may change such that in the future it may be advised that family members of an infected person should also self-isolate. This, if it happens (it now has), would fit in with the idea that people are contagious before they develop symptoms.
We had advised Wedding Clients to
(A) not invite guests who are suffering symptoms - whom the Government says should self-isolate, and
(B) not invite guests living in households with other family members who are suffering symptoms, and
(C) not invite the elderly and those with existing medical conditions to weddings, as vulnerable people should in our opinion stay away from social gatherings.
(A) above complies with Government Advice, (B) and (C) went beyond current (for 'current' read pre 17.00 hrs 16/03/20) Government Advice but appeared to us to make sense. Government advice will change (has quickly changed) as the disease spreads. Keep Calm & Carry on has changed to something more serious.
We then extended our advice to (D) below:
(D) Pay attention to where there are peaks in infection and do not invite guests from these peak infection areas. Consider seriously whether to postpone and have a larger wedding next year, or a smaller one this year.
Of course all this has moved on now. We wish everyone well, and look forward to seeing you all in a few months.
Older Information continues below:
Last weekend (14/03/20 - an aeon ago now!) we wrote: News reports suggest that the spread of the disease is unavoidable, and Government policy is to slow it down to avoid peak demand swamping the NHS, rather than to quarantine the entire population and prevent its spread. A commentator on Radio 4 explained the inadvisability of quarantining the population by comparing the situation to a car parked on a hill with the handbrake on. If you left the handbrake on it would not roll down the hill, but when you release the handbrake, it is still on a hill and will still roll down it. The suggestion was that quarantining the population would prevent or slow its spread, but once everyone was out of quarantine, its spread would then resume, because the population has not yet built up any resistance to this new virus. The car would still roll down the hill.
Hence the Government's emphasis is (was) not on prevention, but on 'delay'. Government scientists wanted 'herd immunity' to develop, rather than try to prevent the virus from spreading completely, only for it to come back in the winter. However this policy was questioned and more restrictions on movement soon followed. Like you, we are watching the news and keeping ourselves informed, day to day. Rather than make any further comment ourselves (we are not really qualified to do so!) we refer you to the Sources of Government Information & Advice here.
Postponement Notice Waived if postponement is due to Coronavirus
Due to rapidly changing headlines re possible enforced closures of venues, pubs and schools, and the imminent self-isolation of those over 70, we have today removed the notice period on wedding postponements provided you book into a new date at the time of postponement.
Therefore, should you postpone at any stage due to the coronavirus we will postpone weddings with no postponement fee charge, if you have to postpone your wedding at very short notice. This should alleviate any concerns you have with regards to loss of monies already paid.
Should you decide/ should the government decide that your wedding needs be postponed, the only thing we will be unable to do is refund monies paid or waive any monies that would be due under our contractual terms. Monies paid will be retained and simply moved to another date.
We anticipate a block of 2020 weddings during any quarantine will move to 2021. If the Government closes pubs etc., for a set period of ‘peak infection’, then all weddings in that period will need to skip forward. This has now occurred. We recommend you look at the 2021 Availability Calendar now. You can postpone straight into an available date.
You may consider postponing to Nov or Dec 2020 (the first available date range) – the choice is yours. However you may prefer to move forward one full year as a minimum. By then Coronavirus should be ‘sorted out’ – we hope.
Update 17/03/20 11:08 Events have moved fast. We spoke to the Registrar this morning and they advise there is no legal requirement to stop weddings. As of 20/03/20 we interpret a wedding with 10 guests can take place, but no event, dining or drinking can take place so the 'Wedding Reception' must be postponed.
As long as the Registrar says they are prepared to marry you then the law does still allow weddings to take place and we will honour your wedding date for the wedding only in accordance with the Registrar's stipulations. The Registrar may at some point give a cut-off date. They will be closely monitoring Government advice and advising us in turn. We will take our cue from the Registrar. If the Registrar says they can marry you, then 'the law' is that your wedding can still go ahead as planned. Just not the 'Event' you had planned. But we suggest you visit this page regularly! We are updating this page the instant anything changes.
Also please read ALL the documents below but allow for the fact some of the information on the documents may be out of date.
Timeline & Links to Publications/ Advice to Wedding Clients by Craig y Nos Castle on Coronavirus
16.03.2020 System for Pencilling in Postponement Dates
This explains how we are pencilling in provisional postponed dates ahead of you actually postponing a date. This allows you to have two dates in the system - your current wedding date and a provisional second date held ready for you, should you need to postpone your wedding into the provisional 'forward' date.
The above is a letter sent to all wedding clients advising on Hygiene & Coronavirus, reassuring clients that at the moment all weddings are going ahead as normal, and referencing the two documents below etc.
Subjects covered: Much of the below is now out of date as of 20/03/20. You can no longer buy wedding insurance. Weddings Receptions must be postponed. Etc.
1. Weddings versus ‘Large Public Gatherings’
2. Ask Guests with Symptoms to ‘Self-Isolate’,
3. Reductions in Guest Numbers; your Contractual Guarantees and Minimum Number Requirements,
4. Possible Government Interventions & Outcomes,
5. Postponements and Cancellations,
6. Period of Postponement,
7. Should you postpone your wedding?
8. Instalment Plans & Wedding Insurance.
9. New Couples Booking Weddings in 2020, 2021 and beyond.
06.03.2020 Letter to Wedding Clients who are Concerned Most of the below is now not relevant.
1. Guidance for Venues
2. Cleaning Routine
4. Sources of Government Information & further links
Sources of Government Information & Advice
Visit Wales and the Welsh Government are carefully monitoring the ongoing situation with regards to the Corona Virus and will review and adjust planned activity according to the situation.
Visitors are encouraged to check the latest travel and health advice available https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19 and
businesses are advised to visit Business Wales https://businesswales.gov.wales/news-and-blogs/news/coronavirus-acas-advice-employers-and-employees for the latest guidance for Welsh businesses.
Acas has published advice for employers on dealing with the new coronavirus outbreak. The risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) in workplaces is currently low.
It's still good practice to make sure everyone at work follows simple hygiene rules, such as:
• washing hands thoroughly with hot water and soap
• using tissues when sneezing or coughing and throwing them away in a bin
For further guidance on Coronavirus please visit the following websites:
See also Stay at Home Guidance
• BEIS - guidance for employers and businesses
Click here for update from Visit Britain on the latest information and advice for businesses.
The UK Government has issued COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses
The UK Government announced in a press release on 4 March that statutory sick pay will be made available from day one when self-isolating.
Below is the current WHO advice to Hotels
Letter from Michael Ludwig (Business & Procedures Manager at Craig y Nos Castle) written 23.11 hrs 16.03.2020
As far as I am concerned the following was said by Boris:
• Mr Johnson said the risk of transmission of the disease at sporting events was relatively low, "but obviously, it's right that we should extend that advice to mass gatherings as well".
• "You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues," he said.
• However, he stopped short of forcing venues to close, leaving some in the affected industries in limbo.
Therefore and until legally compelled to do so, or until such time and excuse the perhaps blasé comment until we have no staff and no food the Castle remains open for business as usual. We of course are of the opinion that should a customer choose not to get married on their original date, we will look to postpone at no cost.
In Scotland they have banned and cancelled mass gatherings of 500 people or more.
"Staff should work from home." The comments he made, in my opinion are not legally binding and the use of the word "should", indicates that if they can they should of course. This is ok for staff working in an office environment and indeed I could work at home, as I don't meet the public face to face or deal with customers on a daily basis. Clearly, working from home is impractical for a large proportion of the population.
So tomorrow and for the avoidance of doubt:
• Although we heard from the Registrars mid afternoon, who commented that until they were legally advised not to do so, they will continue to perform “ceremonies” – we shall be asking them again for clarification on Tuesday.
• We will speak to our food & drink suppliers and launderers – to ensure we have the ability to serve our customers and for them to sleep.
If the answers to those questions are of the affirmative – then we will remain open – “although, in order to account for traceability” it would be of my opinion that we limit access to the Castle to the casual drinker or diner and permit only booked guests/wedding guests (however, that is my opinion).
From an advisory point of view therefore
• If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
• By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be "largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks"
Therefore it would be advisable that anyone falling into these categories are not invited to any wedding or event. (I am personally of the view that anyone who has also been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days should also self isolate before attending an event.
Of course, at the end of the day the wedding client being yourself ultimately has to decide whether you wish your day to go ahead as planned, or to wait or to postpone – we will do everything we can to assist and it would also be advisable that contact with other suppliers is made also.
Do keep any eye on the web page but of course feel free to contact me should you wish to ask anything.