What is the difference between a civil and a religious wedding ceremony?
The two main types of wedding ceremonies are civil and religious. Religious ceremonies are conducted by an officially appointed minister from a variety of churches and religious bodies from within the region. Despite what most assume their ceremonies are relaxed and laid back. You do not need to meet with the minister beforehand, there is no objection if you have been previously married or have children.
Your M10 forms will need to be picked up in advance of your wedding (At any point during the previous week) this must be done in person by either of you. Please note the registrars are closed at weekends.
On the day of the wedding you will need in your possession your M10 collected from the registrars in Annan and to donate to the ministers church £150. (Note; Ministers can only accept cash or cheque)
Civil ceremonies are far more expensive, but one benefit is the registrar will bring the M10 form with them. Their charge for attendance can be found here. Their ceremony follows the same lines as those conducted by a minister.
Can I have my own personalised timetable?
Yes of course. Everything we do at Comlongon is bespoke. Although we provide a suggestion of a typical wedding day, this is just for guidance only. You let us know what you want and we will arrange it.
We are having difficulties in managing our guest numbers
Oh yes. Every client we interview has the same problem. Firstly there are two families, often one larger than the other. Your guest list will start at 40, then expand to 60 and beyond. At some point you have to be firm and limit the number of guests who will be invited.
It is worth reminding yourself that every daytime guest you invite couldl cost at least £99...however evening costs for a guest can be as low as £14 per guest as you only need to provide an evening buffet.
There is a simple, elegant solution to this. Arrange your day time numbers around those staying in the hotel..34. Then concentrate efforts on the evening event..this is where it is vital to arrange a Blessing. The evening can be based around this second evening ceremony, which is a unique stunning ceremony..often performed under the oak tree on our lawns.
Can I bring extra guests for the evening?
Most people do. We can host celebrations for up to 180 or so guests quite comfortably within the hotel. But considering the above comment about the problems clients have around guest numbers it is worth considering a radical option to solve this issue.
Most clients divide their guests into two categories; those invited to the wedding, and those who are only invited to the evening celebrations. In a way this creates a two tier invite, with the evening guests being excluded from the actual wedding.
Our advice is to make the evening invitation far more appealing for your invited guests.
Firstly ensure the numbers of day guests are reduced (Every guest removed from the day list will save at least £99) Then in the evening organise a Lairds Blessing, which is a unique celebration held here, which if you word your invite correctly, will form the main part of the evening celebrations.
Basically what you do is to organise a small private wedding for close family and friends as early as possible in the day. Then invite the group to the evening celebration centred around a blessing, which is portrayed as the main part of the day. Or staff will assist you in this. Remember every guest removed from the day and promoted to the evening will save at least £99..10 guests will save £990; this pays for a blessing. 20 guests pays for a blessing and fireworks...
Can I just have the ceremony at the castle?
Yes. We conduct weddings everyday all through the day. We usually find those clients who just wish to marry here and move somewhere else for a reception want an early wedding allowing them time to travel further on. We can arrange a ceremony any time from 10.30 am.
I’ve looked at your menus and want to design my own. Is that possible?
Of course; our chefs will be delighted to work closely with you to arrange a personalised menu. We often create bespoke meal options for a wide variety of clients, reflecting individual geographical, religious or personal choices. Let us know what you require and we can prepare both a quote and a bespoke menu option.
Do I have to book all the rooms at the castle to marry there?
No. We are quite flexible over this. We do expect most rooms to be booked at the height of the season on popular days but take every booking as unique. It must be remembered we often cannot rent rooms to anyone else once we accept a large wedding party if our dining room is fully occupied.
How much is exclusive use and what do I get?
Exclusive use is charged at £500 per day, which is in addition to the normal hiring fee. Although not absolutely necessary some clients do wish to book this facility. We tend to concentrate our efforts on one wedding per day; but if all the rooms are not occupied, or for smaller weddings we may host two per day. Every day is unique and as such will be dealt with on an invividual basis.
There are of course some clients who wish to guarantee they have exclusive use with minimum numbers and rooms. We can therefore arrange a charge to offset rooms and facilities to suit depending upon the time of year.
I am a little confused over the hog roast as a buffet or banquet option; what’s the difference?
We often get asked this. We offer the hog roast as a relaxed alternative to a formal wedding banquet for a minimum of 36 guests at £48 per person (2018). This is a full 3-course meal option with a choice of starters, hog roast with a variety of several side dishes as the main meal and a choice of several dessert options to conclude. This provides an unusual dining option for any group from 36-86 guests. However we also offer a hog roast as an alternative to an evening buffet. This consists of hog roast rolls with chips with side dishes served by chefs for groups of 86 plus. Slightly more unusual than the usual buffet option and priced at £20 per guest (2018)
Do you do marquees?
We can arrange a marquee if you wish. But it must be pointed out they do come with considerable cost (Unless you own a marquee company of course) A typical quality marquee will set you back around £8000. This is a considerable investment, probably more than the entire wedding here.
If you are considering a marquee it is likely you have more than 86 guests; the maximum our main dining room holds. You have to consider to what expense you are taking on board for the extra guests above 86.
As an example if you want a banquet for 150 and need a marquee, this really means you are taking on board a debt of £8000 for an extra 64 wedding guests; or to be blunt £125 per person.
There are a number of ways we can accommodate extra guests without the need for a marquee. Pop in and see us and we can explain.
Do you do wedding packages?
We do. We offer three simple wedding packages; Amber at £99 per person, Emerald at £109 per person and Ruby at £119 per person. (2018) this allows you to create your own package choice and to know exactly what you will spend. We do offer a bespoke service however.
How much deposit do I need to pay?
We require the ceremony fee paid in full and £80 for each room booked upon completion of your wedding application. However once we agree upon prices we can be a bit flexible over payment for the remainder of your balance. We know everyone works to a budget so we can enter into a personalised payment plan if you wish. Many clients wish to make regular payments over several months before they arrive. You let us know and we can enter into a personal contract.
I don’t know how many rooms my guests will require; what do I do?
This is often the case when you initially book a date with us. It is only when invitations are sent out that you get a better idea of who might stay with us. The best way to deal with this is to reserve the rooms you know you will need. We only have 15 rooms so make sure those who you wish to stay with us are reserved a room.
There are basically two ways to deal with this. Ensure all the guests you want to stay at the castle have a room and let us know who they are so when they get in touch we can allocate them the correct room. Or, which is often better block book all the rooms under your name and allocate them as you see fit. We require a £80 deposit for each room booked; often you will have far too much to do to collect £80 deposit from each of your guests attending the wedding.
If we know these are your deposits we can assign a room, from your instructions to a certain guest, and then bill them upon departure, transferring your deposit to your final wedding bill.
Do you do corkage on wine and champagne?
We can allow corkage for clients who wish to bring their own wine or champagne, if pre-arranged. However due to licensing restrictions we cannot allow bottles of spirits to be included.
Can I bring my own entertainment?
Yes. Guests are most welcome to bring their own entertainment. There is a nominal charge of £250 for the hire of the hall for the evening, which will include staff providing suitable tables and seating. Night staff will then clear this away to set this room ready for breakfast service in the morning. All sub contractors must provide current public liability insurance certificates.
Do you allow pets?
We allow well behaved dogs under supervision who have their own bedding and sleeping crates at £25 per night. We also offer the use of our office overnight whereby our night porter will look after them free of charge if sleeping facilities are provided
Do you do drinks packages
Yes we can. Often these are so personalised that to publish them would provide far too many options. Often drinks packages are there to give you a firm idea of what you will expend on your guests whilst here; there are a number of ways this can be done to give you a set price and deliver drinks options for your guests in a much better personalised way. One good example would be providing drinks for your evening guests. Most venues would persuade you to have a variety of drinks available; whisky, sherry etc. This works for the venue, not for you.
A much better way is to provide a token, which we can supply, giving each guest the option to order their own individual drink from the bar ensuring each guest chooses their own drink. For those who have a bit of time on their hands the production of a personalised voucher to issue to evening guests can be overseen by our staff.
Our three advertised packages do include all the drinks you will need for your group.
We are thinking of having a two day stay
A large number of our clients tend to stay for two days; especially those who travel a distance. There are advantages and disadvantages. The obvious cost is paying for accommodation for two nights, but for those who travel from a distance you will probably be travelling the day before the wedding and be looking to arrive in the area anyway.
The advantage is that you can host a relaxed house party for your immediate friends and family, certainly those who stay within the Castle. The first day can be a simple relaxed affair, with maybe clay shooting organised, which allows your guests to choose to take part or arrive at any time they wish. We can organise a very relaxed informal meal in the evening, which would allow guests either to pay for their own meals or to arrive over the day as they wish.
This would allow you to organise subcontractors, such as hairdressers, to arrive at the Castle very early in the morning. You could get married earlier if you wish.
Can I organise my own contractors?
You are welcome to organise anyone you wish to assist you with your wedding. We do of course offer a list of recommended suppliers for those who have no local contacts. However if you do have your own contacts, please use them. Our well vetted list is there only for those who have no local knowledge. If you are considering engaging local suppliers, let us know and we can give you an impartial view on them if you wish.