A unique Wedding Venue - the romance of a real Welsh Castle combined with the historic grandeur of our very own Opera House - yours for the day. We are the only castle wedding venue that has its own historic theatre in which you can get married. Our Grade One listed opera house is licensed for wedding ceremonies.
Craig y Nos Castle only accepts one wedding a day, so you and your guests from Neath will have the run of the whole ground floor of the castle exclusively.
All ground floor rooms for your guests:
Rather than be confined to just one room, you and your guests will make full use all four ground floor tall ceilinged reception and function rooms - see below:
Neath Wedding Theme ideas, or Wedding Decor and Wedding Gift Ideas, based on Neath's history, style and culture.
Link your wedding theme, wedding decor and wedding favours to the history, style and sense of place in Neath.
Your wedding theme may be linked to your own past, to key moments in your relationship with each other, your favourite colours, your personal tastes, or you may incorporate some elements of your home area within Neath into your wedding day 'story book'.
When considering wedding decor you may already have plenty of your own ideas for your wedding. Or maybe you are still looking for inspiration?
Reflect the story of Neath in your decor, to connect your personal history in your home city's roots, and your family's location in Neath. You may get some ideas from the quick history of Neath below, its buildings, street names, or local transport routes etc.
Interesting Facts About Neath you may not know and could use in your wedding theme/ decor/ story:
1. Neath Population: 19,258 (2011).
2. Neath derives its name from the time it was the Roman Fort of Nido in AD70. The fort was built by the River Nedd (Welsh name for Neath). Neath takes its name from this, though Neath is the anglicised name for the town and the river. Castell-nedd is the Welsh for Neath, referring to the Norman Neath Castle by the River Nedd.
3. The market town at Neath was established by the Normans in 1150. Its long existence as a market town is still reflected in the old street names: Cow Lane, Duck Street, Cattle Street, Butter Street and Bull Ring.
4. Population growth was held back due to the constant wars between the Welsh and the Normans. Neath was destroyed (repeatedly) by the Lords of Afan, in 1184, 1230 and 1259. The river bridge was erected in 1320, trade flourished and regular markets were held.
5. Coal mining commenced around Neath in the C.16th and copper smelting at Aberdulais in 1584. Neath remained a small town in the shadow of its castle for the next 200 years. One of the largest and most modern copper smelting factories in the country opened at Melincryddan in 1695. Neath expanded with the Industrial Revolution and the surrounding mines, the tin, steel and iron industry. Neath became an industrialised town with coal mining and heavy metal refining as the main employers. Neath's population jumped from 3,000 (1823) to 14,000 (1880).
6. The Neath Canal was completed from Neath to Glyn-Neath in 1795 and the Tennant Canal from Swansea to Aberdulais was completed in 1824. The canals helped make Neath a major transport hub. Neath was also a river port at this time.
7. The South Wales Railway opened in 1850 and the Vale of Neath Railway in 1851 further encouraging industrial growth. Residential suburbs were developed at Penydre, Tyn-y-caeau, Mount Pleasant and Hillside.
8. Quaker entrepreneur William Weston Young invented the blast furnace silica firebrick, later moving silica brick production to the Green in Neath during the Industrial Revolution. Heavy industry has long since left Neath.
9. Pictured on this page are the ruins of the Cistercian Neath Abbey, dating back to 1130, which is now a tourist attraction. It is actually on the site of the Roman fort of Nido built in AD70. It was once the largest abbey in Wales. Substantial ruins can still be seen, and are in the care of Cadw. Tudor historian John Leland called Neath Abbey "the fairest abbey of all Wales." King Edward II took refuge at Neath Abbey, but was betrayed after he left by one of the monks, and died in murky circumstances at Berkeley Castle. The traitor is supposed still to wander the ruins, seeking absolution.
10. A large car sales shop, Trade Centre Wales, is based just south of Wales and worth visiting if you are looking for a replacement car.
11. Famous people from Neath include: (i) Richard Burton (actor), (ii) Katherine Jenkins (classical soprano), (iii) Tony Lewis (former England Cricket Captain) and (iv) Cyril Walters (also a former England Cricket Captain), (v) Ray Milland (Hollywood actor), (vi) Bonnie Tyler (singer).
12. The Welsh Rugby Union was formed at a meeting held at the Castle Hotel Neath in 1881.
13. Neath Rugby Football Club, the very successful "Welsh All Blacks", play at The Gnoll , Neath. The All Blacks apparently hold the World Record for most points and the most tries scored in a season.
14. Local areas and town names around Neath: Cimla, Cadoxton, Briton Ferry, Skewen, Tonna, Tonmawr, Wauncierch.
15. Tourist Attractions, in addition to the Abbey, include (i) Victoria Gardens, (ii) Neath Museum in the Gwyn Hall houses with displaystelling the story of Neath's history, (iii) Gnoll Country Park - a pleasant country park and (iv) Neath Canal, once the lifeline of industry now a public park offering boat trips in the summer, (iv) nearby Afan Forest Park which is extensive and very interesting.
16. Neath opera used to perform at Craig y Nos Castle.
Wedding Theme ideas based on Neath:
1. Reflect the history and past of Neath as a market town by using the old market street names for your table names: Cow Lane, Duck Street, Cattle Street, Butter Street and Bull Ring give you six table names and more can be found. This would appeal where a lot of your wedding guests know Neath. The rest would need informing!
2. If a lot of your guests come from Neath, you could name your wedding tables after the residential suburbs of Neath: Penydre, Tyn-y-caeau, Mount Pleasant and Hillside. Pick up extra table names from the names of nearby surrounding towns and villages. You probably would not want to go so far as to put your wedding guests on a table linked to where they lived as you’ll want every guest to mingle with people they may not know.
3. Some weddings include a storyboard with photos of the wedding couple through babyhood, childhood, into adulthood. If you fancy doing something similar, you could add to your photos by having some photos of one or both of you at various attractions in and around Neath. Visit all the tourist attractions listed on this page.
You could start with the Abbey which has plenty of history and plenty of scenic backdrops for photos. And if you go on a weekday there won’t be anyone else there and you will get lots of good pics with just you in the shots. A camera on a tripod and timer is all you need (or a third person to take the photos). This also enables you to feature your home town and its history alongside photos of you and your own history.
4. If either of you are into Rugby, you might reflect something to do with the Welsh All Blacks. Or you could do a small storyboard about Neath, which would mention all the historically interesting facts about Neath – for example that the Welsh Rugby Union was formed there.
Are you looking for a local venue in or near to Neath, or a 'destination wedding venue'?
You will not have thought of this, for you won't even have realised it yet - at least, not until reading this.
You will have one deciding factor above all others when choosing your wedding venue.
Will you 'go local', choosing a wedding venue in or near to Neath,
or can you go further afield for a more special and unique wedding day?
Provided most of the evening guests are local, you will get lots of extras coming to the evening party. This won't happen if you choose a venue further away ('evening-only' guests won't travel far).
Or would you prefer a more intimate wedding venue, a 'destination wedding venue', where your closest friends and relatives come to your wedding, and where you invite everyone for the whole day?
When you choose a venue further afield, you'll need somewhere all your guests can stay overnight together. Craig y Nos Castle offers accommodation for up to 84 guests. You'll not want your guests traveling between two different locations (for the wedding and for B&B). It is better to have everyone stay at the wedding venue. Having your guests stay over means everyone will party with you late into the night as they have no worries about getting home.
Unlike with a local wedding, when you travel to Craig y Nos, you will not suffer the problem of some guests shooting off early to get home. This can be a problem with local weddings near Neath as 'local' means the wedding party dwindles around 11-12 pm, bringing about an earlier finish to the day than you want.
A destination wedding venue such as Craig y Nos Castle in the Brecon Beacons best suits a wedding where you have the same number of guests invited to the wedding breakfast as to the evening do. It will not suit weddings where you want fewer guests for the day part and more for the evening do.
Initially you will consider many different wedding venues: some local to your area, some further away. You may even search for historic buildings and castles in far flung locations.
But when you come to your short-list, you'll consider not just your own preferences, but your guests' willingness to travel to your chosen wedding venue.
You may have some guests who live some distance away from Neath, who will need to travel to your wedding anyway, so it won't matter to them so much where you get married. You may have more guests on your wedding invitations list who live local to you. These include your friends and neighbours and acquaintances and even work colleagues in and around Neath, for whom it would be more convenient to choose a local wedding venue.
When you draw up your short-list of wedding venues, you'll be asking yourself - 'local or non-local'? This is a key decision you will make, even though you may not have realised it - until now.
You'll ask yourself, do you want a local wedding venue near Neath where all your guests can get to easily - even though you may not find your ideal venue locally?
Inviting a smaller number of guests to your wedding breakfast can sometimes save you money as you're saving on the main meal. This allows you to invite a load more to the evening party.
The decision whether to 'go local' or to go to a more interesting, unique and very special destination will be the first one you make, when drawing up your short-list of venues to visit. Going local means you may have to compromise on the quality and type of wedding venue, but if you are willing to travel, you have no need to compromise on the venue at all.
B&B Offers for Brides from Neath:
To give you an incentive to 'sample' and see Craig y Nos Castle, we offer wedding couples a discounted B&B offer. You can stay overnight for two nights at half price and make a nice B&B break of it. You can even invite relatives to have a look too, and choose a family room if you wish.
So why not combine your hunt for a wonderful wedding venue with a relaxing B&B break somewhere new and scenic!
Craig y Nos Castle is a popular destination wedding venue for couples all over the UK. It combines the attraction of getting married in a real castle, where you can become the princess of your own fairytale castle for the day, with experiencing a historic building (yours exclusively for the day) in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The mountain scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park guarantees you stunning photo opportunities both inside and outside the castle. The Grade One Listed Opera House makes a fantastic setting for your wedding ceremony. You get exclusive use of the whole castle ground floor function rooms for you and your wedding guests completely free provided you have 125 or more guests invited to your wedding breakfast.
Craig y Nos Castle is a truly magical and unique castle wedding venue that Brides and Grooms can now readily afford.