Essential Guide to Planning
your Wedding Day at Craig y Nos Castle
As your wedding date is approaching, we hope you will be able to come to our next Open Day - see Wedding Fair page for dates of all Fairs and Open Days.
At an Open Day the Castle will be set up as if on a wedding day. Pure Weddings DJ set up in the function room as if for an evening wedding party and disco. 'Centre of Attention', a well-known Brecon venue decoration company, set up several display options for tables and chairs in the Conservatory, to give you some great ideas for your own wedding.
To meet with a wedding planner, please complete the appointment request form, suggesting two different times to discuss your wedding.
Planning your Wedding
Information we need for Event Planning Meetings and the Event Finalise Meeting
1. Room Reserving for Guests and Room Bookings; also see Forms and Templates - Accommodation Bookings
2. Guest List and Menu Planning for Guests at the Wedding Breakfast; also see Forms and Templates - Menu Planning
3. Table Setting - seating plan for Guests at the Wedding Breakfast; also see Forms and Templates - Table Plan
4. Running Order of the Day - Timings, Furnishings and Day Plan; also see Forms and Templates - Running Order
1. Room Reserving and Room Bookings by guests
Under your wedding package you may have a required number of guests staying overnight. See Wedding Package minimum B&B Quotas.
Once you have read this let us know if you wish to reserve specific rooms for your guests. It is an idea to reserve family rooms for groups of guests or families willing to share. Double en-suites do not need pre-allocating as guests can book their preferred room.
You can reserve rooms for named guests a few weeks or months before your wedding - let us know who you would like in each room and let your guests know to ask for the specific room you have reserved for them.
If you have disabled guests they should book room AB 11 or 12. If you have guests wanting ground floor rooms, let us know. If you would like a list of guests that have booked for your wedding night, to see who still needs to book their room, we can send you a Room Use spreadsheet.
See Forms and Templates - Accommodation Bookings to reserve and book rooms.
2. Evening Buffet
Have you booked your evening guests for the evening buffet? If so, have you updated the number of evening guests you now expect? We do not take bookings for the Evening Buffet when Brides first book their wedding, so if you wish to offer guests an evening buffet, let us know and this can be added to your account.
Kindly note we do not allow ‘under-catering’ as this leads to complaints from guests if food runs out. So, if you have 100 evening guests, you need to cater for 100. However, you should be realistic about attendance levels. Not all evening guests will turn up on the night. The ‘no-show’ rate may be 5% to 10% or more. So, you can estimate your no-show rate and deduct this from the original total.
For example, if you invite 100 evening guests, but expect some day guests to leave early or some evening extras not to come at all, then this is the ‘no show’ rate. If you assume 10% no-shows, you cater for 90 instead of 100 guests. This is quite acceptable as you are making a realistic estimate of numbers. However, we cannot support intentional ‘under-catering’ where you cater for fewer than you expect, as this leads to complaints when food runs out.
How hungry will your evening guests be? If you have a lot of evening extras, you may find they will eat more than guests who were at the Wedding Breakfast.
If the majority of your evening guests are with us for the day, they'll initially be full from the wedding breakfast and will eat less. That said, alcohol is an appetite stimulator, and demand for the buffet will increase as the evening dancing gets under way. You need the buffet to go out later if you have very few evening extras, to allow your day guests to work up an appetite. If you have a large contingent of evening extras, you need the buffet to go out earlier as these new evening guests will be hungry on arrival.
This is a ‘premium’ service involving a top Wedding DJ who specialises as a DJ for weddings. There are minimum numbers and the package includes the evening buffet.
If you have not booked your DJ yet and have the required numbers, this package will make the evening event as impressive as the day event, rather than a mere ‘add-on’. Check DJ availability on the calendars on the evening entertainment page.
4. Drinks Package
We now offer a Drinks Package (Table Wine and Toasting Wine) on all our Wedding Packages. If you have not yet discussed wedding drinks with your wedding planner this is a better value option than buying the house wines by the bottle, due to the discount on the Drinks Package. Pricing for the Drinks Package is shown at the bottom of our Wedding Package Tariff page. The saving you make on the Drinks Package will in fact cover the cost of adding Canapes, with your drinks - a popular option for weddings with late afternoon Wedding Banquets.
5. Open Day and Appointments
If you come to an Open Day and would like to have a chat with our Wedding Planners, please book an appointment as the Open Days are very busy. For a longer appointment to discuss your wedding, it is better to come on a less busy day.
6. Wedding Planning Guide
This is a useful guide and all Couples marrying at the castle are urged, over time, to browse through this to be sure you have not missed any To Do’s. Either start on the Wedding Budget page and scroll forward using the ‘next page’ button or dive into any of the below:
(a) Who normally Pays for What aspects of a wedding (sharing cost over family, Bride and Groom, according to tradition)
(b) Your Wedding Day Countdown – a handy check-list of what you need to organise (handy in case you forget something)
(c) Your Wedding Day Schedule – listing all events that occur on a wedding day, lots to plan for.
7. Wedding Suppliers Index
Check our index of Wedding Suppliers for ideas and Suppliers you may not have thought of. There are sections for ‘decorating the venue’, Entertainment Day and Evening, Photography, Beauty and Formal Clothes etc.
8. Incorporating a Place of Origin (such as your Home Town) into your wedding theme
This is a bit off-the-wall, but some Brides find this section fascinating and spend a long time on their home town page looking for ideas and information.
9. Changes to Personnel, ‘merging’ of Reception and Wedding Planning Department
In the last year there have been staff changes, with Wedding Planners and Reception staff changing in January and February. A lot of new recruitment took place. All four 2017 year Planners sought pastures new within a month of each other, and 2 new Planners and 2 wedding Assistants quickly took their place.
Donna Davies is in overall charge of the Wedding Team, until our new Wedding Assistants are fully trained. A list of Wedding Planners and Wedding Assistants is on our ‘Contact Us’ page. Donna has been meeting prospective Brides and existing Couples to sort out all aspects of their wedding. When you book an Event Finalise meeting, you will now be speaking to Donna, or a Wedding Assistant under her management.
We have semi-merged ‘Reception’ and ‘Wedding Planning’ departments to encourage all new staff to work 20 hours a week in each department, so they are able to do both tasks. This will enable us to cope with staff changes by having people able to do both jobs, so no one department is left under-staffed.
When you call Reception, you may well get someone who is also a Wedding Assistant, able to answer your queries rather than have to put you through to someone else.
10. Venue Décor improvements 2017/18
We have in 2017 completed the following Venue Décor improvements, some involving major maintenance.
a. New roof on Conservatory, to prevent water leaching onto white canopy, as the water dripping in was staining canopy.
b. New roof on Music Room (Dance area) to prevent leaking and peeling of ceiling paint
c. Walls rebuilt internally where external stone walls faced over Country Park, with Damp Proof membrane, to prevent rain leaching into Function room.
d. Repaint and redecoration of Function room
e. Breakfast room redecorated after further leaks fixed over bay window.
f. Theatre glass roof re-built over several months in Summer 2017, due to rotten timbers and leaking in theatre.
g. Rear wall of theatre covered in new white drapes. There's ongoing work to fix leaks with scaffolding up on one external sidewall - will not affect photos at front of theatre.
h. White chair covers with bows now included in theatre (but not in Conservatory) free of charge, along with Gold Thrones which, while rather ‘dazzling’ in real life, do come out very well in photographs.
i. Arrangement with ‘Centre of Attention’, based in Brecon, to provide table and venue decorations for weddings on an exclusive basis to castle, resulting in very good value rates for Brides and Grooms.
j. Room 13 family room added and available from June 2018. Theatre Green Room (formerly used by live-in Staff) is being returned to Castle En-suite stock of rooms, adding a further family room for four, with Kitchenette attached.
To conclude, it is useful before your wedding to
1. Determine all extras you may need – buffet, third course option, menu choices, drinks package, canapes with welcome drinks, etc.
2. Decide whether to reserve bedrooms or just family rooms. Doubles and family rooms can be pre-allocated to named guests so that when guests call, you have already earmarked a suitable room for them.
3. Check out the Suppliers index for any ideas and Suppliers you may wish to add.
4. Check out the wedding planner guide for a summary of what to do before and on your wedding day.
5. Be sure to book an Event Finalise meeting 4-6 weeks before your wedding date to tie up all loose ends, assuming you have not already organised this.
You will a month before your wedding, be sent an invoice showing the balance of your wedding, including any accommodation if guaranteed under a Wedding Package, which must be paid 7 days prior to your wedding day less the accommodation booked by guests, which will be removed from your account 48 hours prior to the event. The full removal of the accomodation element on your account is subject to the required number of guests staying overnight under the relevant package.
Craig y Nos Castle
Communicating with the Castle by Email
& Chat on the websites
Chat is now available on the websites and one of the wedding planners is generally always on Chat during office hours, in addition to Reception and Martin. So in the first instance, try the chat boxes on the site, they will pop up automatically after a few seconds to prompt you. You will then find any answers you need can instantly be obtained from someone knowledgeable, rather than wait for an email to be replied to.
Chat is more effective than phone or email as an email may wait a few hours to be replied to while a phone call can often find the person you want tied up at that moment, whereas in Chat there is always someone available to answer your query (in office hours and often late into the evenings).
You can also keep a copy of your chat transcript if you provide your email address within the chat.
All our wedding team will reply from our email@example.com email address and any emails to our wedding team should be sent to this email address or to the email address shown individually for each planner here.
Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org are also received by members of the Management team to ensure that any requests from customers are actioned accordingly. Management can ONLY monitor emails sent to the castle's email addresses on this website. We do not have access to any non @craigynoscastle.com addresses or to staff's personal email addresses for obvious reasons, so emails sent to any individual's personal in-box, or correspondence on any form of social media, chat forum, what's app etc, cannot be monitored.
To ensure your emails are actioned appropriately please use the email@example.com email address use the @craigynoscastle.com email address of the person you are dealing with. Requirements that you have for your wedding plans, table arrangements, payments, guest numbers etc should be sent to @craigynoscastle.com email addresses.
For any accommodation queries please also email firstname.lastname@example.org for accommodation bookings (all accommodation bookings go via reception).
All emails to both the above addresses are automatically entered into your database file as they are received, and either responded to by reception or by someone in the Wedding Planning team, generally th same day unless your Planner is off for a day or two. Entering emails and chat transcripts on to your file allows us to create an 'audit trail' of all correspondence with you and to properly record the evolution of your wedding plans. In this way all your requirements for your wedding are trackable within the correspondence/ emails logged on your file.
Remember the Chat service on the website can gain a more immediate response and is proving at least as popular.
In order to ensure that you do receive emails from the Castle it would also be helpful that email@example.com is added to any whitelists or allowed email lists.
Communicating with the Castle by Phone
Reception is manned 09.00 to 21.00 hrs 7 days a week. However, at times there is only one receptionist on duty and even when there are two, both can be away from the reception desk for a while.
If they are already on the phone or are on a long call or have left their desk to show someone to their room, or if they are simply talking to a customer at the front desk, or if they have nipped behind the bar to serve a drink, the phone may not be answered for several rings. We do not operate an automated answering or call holding / recorded message system. If you keep ringing, this can work, but often it is best to simply ring back in ten minutes.
Overflow calls feed through on the 8th ring to another office, so provided that office is manned in turn, calls will be picked up. However sometimes it can be easier to either ring back in ten minutes or email us!