April 6th, 2018 | Julia Braime
We don’t like to get too carried away, but with the temperatures reaching double figures over the past few days we’re inclined to believe that spring has finally arrived – hallelujah! This means that those of you set to tie the knot in the coming weeks can stop considering a snowmobile as a practical method of wedding transport as calm is restored across the country.
Meanwhile, for those of you just getting started on the big day planning, we’re bringing you details of a stunning East Yorkshire venue perfect for stately celebrations. Introducing new Brides Up North Sponsor, the gorgeous Rise Hall.
Sound familiar? You may well recognise the name of the building from Channel 4 show Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare, when the property guru and her husband Graham Swift brought the historic building back from the brink of dereliction.
From nightmare to dream, the determined couple painstakingly restored the Hall to its former glory, transforming it into a truly unique wedding venue that invites others to share its beauty and heritage, while also helping to safeguard its future.
A grand yet welcoming home from home, Rise Hall is available to hire exclusively for a full weekend of celebrations, giving couples and their guests use of the entire house, including all 29 bedrooms.
Here to tell us more about the venue’s incredible transformation and wedding offering, while also passing on some words of wedded wisdom, is the lady that know Rise Hall best, Sarah Beeny…
Can you tell us a little about the history of Rise Hall?
sarah says: Rise Hall was built in 1820 and was the home of the Bethell family until the Second World War. During the war it was used for the army and shortly afterwards the family moved out to the rectory and rented the house out to a convent who opened a boarding school. This shut down around 1980 and it was then inhabited by the nuns for ten years falling further into disrepair until around 1990 when they moved out. It stood empty and on the market for ten years until myself and my husband bought it in 2000.
What attracted you to Rise Hall and what kind of condition was it in when you bought it?
It was pretty bad but unlike many of the houses ‘at Risk’ that we had looked at, the dry rot hadn’t taken hold too much and it sat happily in the centre of its land. It was solid and straight and surprisingly quick to get to from London, Leeds and York, despite looking a long way east on the map. The first few years were spent with a lot of buckets trying to keep the rain out, but we had fun there and had lots of hardy friends who used to come and stay on mattresses with electric blankets!
What was your vision for Rise Hall and can you give us an overview of the work that has been carried out so far
When we first bought it, I think I honestly thought we might just live there. However, when we had the children we had to make a decision about their schooling and as much of my work was based in London we based ourselves there. It made us look at Rise in a different way and we realised that for it to come out of a ‘building at Risk’ category, it needed a proper future that was financially secure and for that it had to have a purpose. Weddings seemed the perfect option as the dozens of friends who had visited Rise over the years all wanted to get married there so we started the major internal refurbishment which resulted in the finished home we have today.
What is the look and feel of the Hall like now?
We very much want people to feel it is ‘their home’ when they get married at Rise Hall. Yes, it is incredibly grand and walking down the amazing main staircase it is difficult not to pretend you are in a film, but it is also wonderfully relaxed with our ‘pub’ and ‘kick off your shoes’ style mixed with seamless, cheerful service. Rise is pretty classic and traditional in many ways (with a few modern exceptions in the bedrooms) and I believe this is what attracts a lot of our couples.
When did Rise Hall become available for brides and grooms?
It was about six years ago – we wanted Rise Hall to have a sustainable future and knew that weddings were a great place to start. We also have quite a lot of special birthday parties celebrated at Rise also and regularly host corporate getaways.
Is it still a home to you and your family too?
Yes, very much so – it is trickier now that the children are getting older to get there as much as we’d like but all the children, their cousins and most of our friends’ children all have childhoods full of memories of Rise Hall.
Can you tell us about the areas of Rise Hall that can be used for ceremonies and receptions and how many guests the venue can cater for?
There are actually eight different spaces you can get married in at Rise Hall – and of course Rise Church, which is a lovely walk across the parkland. At Rise itself we have rooms that can seat from as few as 20 in the Gallery to 300 in the Ballroom. We want people to be able to have the wedding that perfectly suits them and their guests.
What makes Rise Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
To be honest I think the proof is in the pudding – people rarely visit Rise Hall and don’t book it. It is exclusive yet accessible, impressive but informal, grand but comfortable. It truly is your stately home from home!
What sort of bride would be a Rise Hall bride?
We see such a variety of brides at Rise – from the more relaxed bohemian bride, to the dark red tartan bodice wearing bride and to the bride who has always dreamed of the 20-foot train! You name it, we can do it – we are entirely flexible and it truly is your day. I think the thing that all the Rise Hall brides have in common is a love for grand architecture, the feeling that they want the house to be all theirs for their stay and wanting a really great party with feasting and celebration.
How can the venue’s events team help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
I believe that a perfectly organised event is generally down to how experienced the person delivering it is. We have amazing staff who not only know Rise Hall, but they are headed up by our general manager, Ed, who joined us last summer and is fantastically capable of ensuring the planning and delivery of a wedding is seamless. Our motto is that you should enjoy the journey as well as the destination and our team help to make that happen.
Can you tell us a little about the accommodation at Rise Hall?
We have 29 bedrooms. Graham is an artist and was very hands on for much of the design of all the rooms. We have three rooms that reflect the different periods that the house has lived through – Regency, Victorian and Millenium as houses such as Rise Hall would have had perhaps one or two rooms that were refurbished every generation, but most would have stood the test of time. All the beds are fantastically comfortable with loads of feather pillows and shutters or blackout curtains to ensure a great night’s sleep.
What is the feedback like from couples about Rise Hall?
They all say that it feels like home despite being amazingly grand – they never want to leave as the house and gardens are beautiful and somehow time stands still whilst they are there. I think the roaring fires in the winter and endless lawns that can be enjoyed in the summer are a big plus but also that they can have a truly bespoke wedding that is completely different to all the weddings they’ve been to before – that is probably the biggest selling point.
What do you love most about the venue and do you have further work planned for the Hall?
The house is pretty much finished, but we always have plans for improvement – we are going to build a pagoda in the garden, so we can have garden weddings also. There is also potential to refurbish the stable block in the next couple of years, so we can offer additional bedrooms.
How can our readers get more information on the venue?
Visit our website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01964 564096 and book an appointment with our team.
Do you have any special events or open days coming up shortly that our readers should know about?
We are in the midst of planning some special summer events so watch this space!
We have a number of late availability dates for weddings in 2018, which are as follows: Saturday 14th July, Saturday 8th and 22nd September, Saturday 1st and 15th December. Discounted rates are available on these dates, please co ntact the Rise Hall team for more information.
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…
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