Rise Hall Wedding
Katie & Aaron
Rise Hall Wedding Photographer – A little preview from Katie & Aaron’s wedding at Rise Hall –
Katie & Aaron say;
Aaron and I got engaged in May 2014. I have to study throughout the year for exams as part of my job, and I had just finished a set at the end of April. Aaron and I had planned a long weekend away in Northumberland as a treat. We spent one day in a beautiful fishing village called Crastor. We walked along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle. We were walking around a totally deserted castle, taking in the beautiful views. I turned to Aaron and thanked him for organising the weekend, and out of the blue he dropped to one knee, and said “I have something else I want to ask you”. In all honestly it was a complete shock – not least because I had told him not a month beforehand that I wanted to wait until I had finished all my exams if we ever got married. He spent a good minute getting a wet knee, assuring me he was serious, he had asked my dad, and that he was taking me to buy a ring the following weekend, before I said yes!
We got married on 10 September 2016. The date didn’t have any real significance for us, other than the venue we chose was available on that date!
The Wedding Venue
We got married at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. We looked at a lot of venues. For one reason or another, they just didn’t fit us. Either I liked them, and Aaron didn’t or vice versa, or there was just something that was too big an obstacle to overcome. Rise Hall was suggested to us by a friend, and it got pushed down the list a few times due to the distance from Leeds. However, the minute (and I mean the actual minute) we walked into Rise Hall and were greeted by Helen (the lady of the house) we just knew it was everything we wanted and felt the fit click.
We were able to have exactly the type of wedding we wanted at Rise Hall. You have the venue from Friday until Sunday, and are welcome to use the venue as your own for the duration. We had our family and wedding party join us for an informal meal on the Friday night (our mums cooked some delicious food. We provided our guests with champagne from a small champagne house we had visited in the summer when we had visited my parents on holiday).
Our blessing took place at All Saints Church, about half a mile down the lane from the Hall and was overseen by Rev AndySimpson, the vespa-driving, guitar-playing vicar. We had countless compliments about Andy, he really and truly made our blessing one of the best parts of the day.
We didn’t have a theme for our wedding – we had hints of things that mean a lot to us, such as the flowers in the bouquets, the boys button holes and the ladies corsages had thistles in them and they were tied together with tartan ribbon. I was born and grew up in Scotland until I moved to Newcastle for University. Aaron has supported Middlesbrough Football Club since he was tiny, so our table names were a selection of his favourite Middlesbrough players. We also both studied maths at university, so our save the dates, invites, orders of service and menu cards were all slightly maths-related. The save the dates were Venn-diagrams, and our invites and other stationary were embossed with an infinity symbol.
I chose a Jenny Packham gown, called Lilya, which I bought from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. As soon as we got engaged, so many people said “oh I can just see you in a Jenny Packham gown”, however I refused to try them on as they were way out of my price range, and I didn’t want to try on something, love it, and then either have to try and justify the price or then try and find something else.
I tried on quite a few gowns, and there were definitely a few that I could have happily got married in, however as luck would have it, Ava Rose were having a sample sale on their Jenny Packham dresses, so I tried my luck and went along (first in the queue with two of my friends). Lilya was the first one I tried on, and I loved it so much. However I definitely did not have that “oh my word, this is the ONE” moment that everyone talks about – the whole thing of actually committing to a dress just meant that the whole thing was still quite a big deal, and I did spend a good hour taking it off and on again and deciding whether or not to go for it! In the end, I left with my dress in tow, and it lived at my friends house for half a year until I could sneak it to the seamstress for alterations!
I wanted to wear my mum’s veil from her wedding (a beautiful white double-layer cathedral length veil) however the colour of the veil and the under-layer of my dress didn’t match at all, so I bought a long cream veil from the seamstress I used.
My shoes were Jimmy Choo “Lang”, in steal grey glitter. I love wearing heels and definitely knew I wanted a cracking pair of heels to wear on the day – plus my dress had a slit up the front, so I knew they’d also be on show!
Aaron wore a bespoke three-piece suit from a tailor in Leeds called Michelsberg. He wears a suit for work and so having something really special and tailor made was a lovely treat for him. It also means he has a really beautiful suit to wear in the future for special occasions. A few of our friends had used the same tailor for their weddings and so we were confident he could get something he loved.
We went to the first appointment together, and then after that Aaron went o n his own as I didn’t want to see him in it before the wedding!
He wore black oxford shoes, bought from Joseph Cheaney &Sons, a white fitted shirt and a wine red knitted tie, both from TM Lewin. He also had a unique pair of socks which were designed by a friend of ours, which I surprised him with the night before!
We hired navy blue suits from Debenhams for the groomsmen and our dads. They looked so good: the boys were able to get measured up properly in advance so they all had a really well fitting suit. We asked them to wear a white shirt and black shoes, and as part of their gifts from us, bought them silk ties to match Aaron’s.
My bridesmaid dresses were a bargain, from Asos in the sale! My bridesmaids were all quite different heights and builds and so I wanted something that they’d all be comfortable in. They were also navy blue (verging on black) with a small train and a keyhole back. I absolutely loved them and they looked absolutely fantastic in them. They wore their own shoes and jewellery, no restrictions.
We asked my uncle to take my dad and I to the church on the day – it was half a mile from Rise Hall and so we just didn’t see the point in hiring a car. On the way back from the church to the Hall, we just hopped in with one of the groomsmen.
Rise Hall Wedding Photographer – Our photographer was Bethany Clarke, who we knew through a mutual friend. I had always admired the pictures Beth took, they are so relaxed and she has a real knack for catching really special moments that you might otherwise miss! She had photographed a number of our friends’ weddings, and so we knew we were in safe hands. On the day, Beth was just brilliant, I don’t know whether it’s the wrong thing to say but we barely noticed her taking the photos! There’s nothing worse than being aware of the photographer taking pictures, and it can be really distracting for the guests.
We have had nothing but compliments on our pictures since we’ve had them back, and the more I look at them the more I find to love about them!
I asked a friend of ours, Julia Mitchinson, to construct our bouquets. She has worked at a local florist nearby and now does freelance work – she was brilliant to work with, giving me (the bridal flower dummy) loads of guidance but didn’t make everything too prescriptive.
My bouquet was white, green and blue-y purple blooms, including included roses, thistles and eucalyptus. My bridesmaids carried the same bouquets but smaller. I wanted quite a large bouquet with a full shape, and it was one of my favourite things about the day. If I’m being honest though, I didn’t have any specific flowers that I wanted, I just knew I wanted mainly creams and greens, so I cant tell you exactly what was in them! The blue was a last minute addition that our Julia suggested, that tied in really well with the bridesmaids dresses.
The Hall is quite stunning on its own, so we didn’t want to overdo it too much. Julia did our beautiful table top flower arrangements – on every other table we had a large floral centrepiece: these were green and cream again, in tall glass vases. We needed reasonably large tall arrangements given the size of the Hall, and they looked absolutely stunning on the day. On these tables we also had a variety of tea lights, gold and silver mercury votive jars, and miniature hurricane vases. On the other tables we hired tall silver candelabras from a supplier recommended by Rise Hall, Cherry Williams, which burned on the entire night and looked wonderful once night fell. On these tables we also had small clusters of blooms in jam jars, which I’d decorated with copper glitter.
I also hired seat pad covers (I have an aversion to full blown chair covers) which were cream and neutralised the actual colour of the upholstery. Again these were hired from Cherry Williams.
We framed a number of pictures of us over the years, and displayed these in the hall for everyone to have a giggle at, plus placed large hurricane vases and other large church candles in various spots around the venue. The venue also happened to have a number of floral displays as standard in cream and green that went really well with the flowers I’d chosen, so we displayed these too!
We gave lottery tickets to our guests, alongside a tag with a penny stuck to it reading “for richer, for poorer”. My mum, dad and I spent a morning constructing them, dad glueing the pennies and mum and I writing and threading the tags with hessian!
We didn’t have a wedding cake. We couldn’t agree on something we both liked and I just wasn’t that bothered about having one. Rise Hall h as a beautiful library for guests staying at the Hall to use once the day is coming to an end, and for this, I did order a giant “Colin the Caterpillar” from Marks and Spencer to have in the Library.
We chose Saunts, a catering company recommended by Rise Hall to provide the food. For our canapés, we had haggis balls, mini Yorkshire puddings with rare steak fillet chunks, blue cheese rarebit bits and chicken bites. For our meal, we chose smoked salmon with crushed new potatoes and horseradish, a beautiful slow cooked lamb shank with mustard mash and veggies, and a huge wedge of sticky toffee pudding. The food was to die for, especially given our speeches (which we had before the meal) ran over by an hour, and they were catering for 118 people. We had a lovely sauvignon blanc white wine, and a merlot to accompany the dinner.
We had lots and lots of samples for our food, and it was really hard to choose, but we thought lamb was a little bit different, and we both absolutely love it. We basically just chose food that we really enjoyed! We did have a few guests who were really not keen on smoked salmon so we substituted it for parma ham.
We had a wonderful singer during our drinks reception called Georgia Thursting. She had played at our friends wedding, and we booked her straight away after we’d heard her. We chose some of our favourite songs, and as a surprise I asked her to play Aaron’s favourite song, “Whatever” by Oasis, which she managed to coordinate when we were both having a moment together.
I had always thought I’d have a ceilidh band at my wedding. Obviously having the wedding in England meant it was slightly less common. We were a bit worried people wouldn’t get fully involved in it, so we chose a live band instead. Our band were called “Lights” – we spent a really long time scouring the internet and listening to samples of bands. The female singer of this band really stuck in our memory. They had a full band, including brass section, and kept everyone dancing all night. They learned our first dance song, “Wildest Moments” by Jessie Ware and played as we had our first “married couple” moment on the dancefloor. They also dj-ed at the end of the evening for an hour, playing some absolute classics we had requested.
We had a company called “Kerb Edge” come and provide breakfast for the guests who had stayed at Rise Hall. They have restored an old VW camper van, and the park up outside the dining room and prepare delicious breakfast babs for you. They were absolutely delicious, highly recommended!
Our rings were made by a jeweller in Leeds called “Form Bespoke Jeweller”. Yet another friend recommendation. I had been unable to find a wedding band that I loved, so I contacted Form and they were brilliant. Apart from being much better price wise than your high-street jeweller, I was able to get what I absolutely wanted, and making small tweaks and adjustments was all part of the service. I cant stop looking at it all the time! It is perfect. Aaron chose his platinum band here too, they were so helpful at helping him choose a width and style. They were also kind enough to engrave Aaron’s ring for me, which I’d wanted to keep a secret until the wedding day but ended up letting slip whilst I was a bit worse for wear on my hen weekend!
My make up artist was absolutely incredible. Her name was Sarah Plews and I came across her at the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Harvey Nichols in Leeds. She was able to interpret my loose instructions into exactly what I wanted (quite a dramatic eye look, nude lips) so well and my make up stayed in place through to the next morning (no I did not remove my make up before I went to bed). She also did my bridesmaids on the morning, they looked so beautiful, and were able to tailor their looks how they wanted, I didn’t prescribe how they had it done.
I got engraved Jo Malone candles for my bridesmaids as their presents from Aaron and I, in the scent of the perfume I wore on the day– they smelt divine and looked so beautiful, I was really happy with them.
Our invites were designed by Hollie Hart creative – she was recommended to us by a friend and she was really good, our invites looked beautiful and were exactly what we wanted, very simple and elegant.
Would you recommend your venue to another couple? Why?
Oh my goodness, I would recommend it to everyone! It is just such a special place, so secluded and peaceful, the bedrooms are all individually styled and decorated, meaning all the guests have something special in their room, be it a free-standing copper bath or a 7 foot bed! The staff make planning so easy, especially for someone like me who wasn’t really that into the planning process. You can absolutely make Rise Hall exactly how you imagine your day to be, they have so many contacts and suggestions that absolutely nothing is too much trouble our off limits.
They have a number of rooms that can be used to hold your wedding ceremony if you prefer to get married in the same place as your reception, and also a number of rooms to hold your wedding breakfast depending on the number of guests you have.
What was your favourite part of the day? Why?
It was all just so wonderful its hard to pick a favourite time! I really enjoyed our actual ceremony, as Andy the vicar was just fantastic. We had lots of uplifting hymns and our readings were really special (we had “Yes, I’ll marry you my dear” by Pam Ayres, and “Love”, an extract from “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, which I had loved ever since I read the book when I was about 14). The speeches were also absolutely fantastic. My dad got so many compliments, and watching and listening to Aaron give his really made my heart swell.
What would be your top tip for another bride/groom to be?
Try and enjoy the planning if you can. I really didn’t enjoy it at the time, but looking back on it now it wasn’t actually that bad, and if someone asked me to do it again I definitely would. Don’t feel like you have to please all your guests all the time. Yes some people wont like what you choose to eat, yes someone will probably be sitting there thinking “well I wouldn’t have done that” but you just shouldn’t worry about it. Have your wedding day how you and your husband/wife to be want it, and that will shine through to your guests on the day and that is the most important thing. I’d also say that, yes weddings are expensive, and yes some of the costs will make you think “can we juts elope please”, and there are certainly areas you can save on (things like our orders of service, table menus, name cards etc, we didn’t get made professionally, we just did them ourselves) but there are also other things that are worth spending a little bit extra on. The food is a big part of the day, so have the food you want, rather than what is the cheapest. Rings as well, they are something you keep for the rest of your life, so make sure you get something you love. They can be a big outlay, but paying more for something you are going to wear every day just seems to make so much more sense than splashing out on something that, once the wedding is over, you might actually end up just throwing away.
Rise Hall Wedding Photographer – Bethany Clarke take a look at my blog here