Harriett & Gary's autumn wedding at Rise Hall

Harriett & Gary’s autumn wedding at Rise Hall combined traditional and modern elements – and a grand entrance! They’ve kindly shared details of their day, and how they planned their wedding together.

With huge thanks to Bonnie Lane Photography for the photos of the day.


About Harriett & Gary

Where do you live? 

Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire


How did you meet? 

We met at school, but we didn’t actually get together until we were 17 when Gary had left and I stayed on for sixth form. He was the class clown and I honestly thought he was an idiot! I’ve clearly changed my mind!


What do you both do for work?

Gary is a team manager for British Superbike Team, TAG Racing. I have a less exciting job and I am an account manager in recruitment. 


Tell us about the proposal… 

Gary proposed in New York on top of the Empire State building at sunrise. He had waiting for everyone else to go in so we were the only two people on there (apart from security). He got down on one knee with a little blue Tiffany box and asked me to marry him. Before he even finish his sentence I said “Yes, of course I will!” Unfortunately we don’t have photos of the moment as the security people aren’t allowed to take your photo for some reason but I have one of us when we first got to the top. 


How did you plan the wedding?


How was wedding planning in COVID?

I am highly organised so I got lots done before Covid really hit. Even saying yes to the dress in early 2019. The only things it stopped us doing was physically going to sit down and discuss flowers etc. But we managed to do a lot via zoom calls. 


Why did you choose Rise Hall for your wedding?

I just asked Gary to answer this one and he answered with “because it is amazing”. The truth is that we both just fell in love just driving up the driveway, and then walking through that front door. We both just got that feeling and it really is stunning. We had looked at venues all over the country from London to York and nothing compared. 


What is it that makes Rise Hall different to other wedding venues you looked at?

The fact the whole venue is ours for the weekend. It really felt like home for the time we were there. The fact our guests could explore was amazing, and even the night before it was just so relaxed. We found that with other venues they were either open to the public and wouldn’t close it all off for the wedding, so we would have random people walking around or they were open as a hotel so again random people could still book into the hotel.


What were you looking for in a wedding venue?

We really wanted that wow factor and exclusivity. We wanted our guests to be able to stay at the venue and with Rise Hall having 31 bedrooms it meant that nearly all our day guests had a room. 


Where did you find your invitations?

Our invitations were by Two hearts handmade , a friend of mine recommended her. They were perfect with hand painted flowers. 


Did you have a theme or style in mind?

I wanted traditional with blush pink and gold.  I think we managed to do this. We had the most beautiful flowers and didn’t do any venue dressing as Rise Hall really doesn’t need it. 


The cake – where was it from and what was it like?

So, we had issues with the cake. Unfortunately the 3 tier, blush, gold foil and peony flowered cake we order didn’t happen. The company went into liquidation which we didn’t find out about until the morning of the wedding. We ending up cutting a pizza which to be honest was more us! There was still cake but it was just M&S finest that Gary’s brother managed to sort out. 


Who styled the venue?

We didn’t have a venue stylist as I really don’t think Rise Hall needs it. 


Who did you choose to do your florals? Why? What did you have?

The flowers were by Flowerstyle Beverley – I had seen a few they had done at Rise Hall before through instagram and thought they were beautiful. They were truly amazing and so much better then I could have imagined. Exactly what we wanted. So I had blush coloured “Westminster Roses” as my bouquet. The girls had the same but smaller with greenery. The rest of the flowers for the centre pieces, top table and stair arrangements were all based around that. 


Pre Wedding Preparations 


Where did you get ready?

We got ready at Rise Hall in the bridal suite. 


Who did your Hair and make-up?

Hair was by Natalie Fewlass 

Make up by Becky James (Glam By Becky)


The dress – where was it from and how many dresses did you try on?

My dress was Calla Blanche. I had tried on a few, maybe about 10 dresses, but once I had put this one on nothing compared and although it was way over budget I just couldn’t not have it. Luckily my Mum said yes! 


Groomsmen outfits – where was it from?

We hired the suits from Jon Paul Swadlincote, the Winfield boys have always had their suits from there so it was a no brainer. 


Bridesmaids outfits- where was it from?

I ordered them from a website called jjshouse.co.uk and were so beautifully made!   

The Wedding Day!


Our photographer was Bonnie from Bonnie Lane Photography


Date of your wedding?



What drinks did you have for the reception?

For the drinks reception it was a glass of fizz and then there was a mocktail for the non drinkers. For the Wedding breakfast we had bottles of Prosecco and a bucket of beer on each table and it all went! 


What was the most treasured memory on the day?

I would say we have 2. First one is standing at the end of the aisle together and it honestly felt like no one else was in the room.  Second, Gary surprised me in the morning, he had already bought me a present so I wasn’t expecting anything ,but I was presented with a pair of headphones and he had been and recorded a song for me. He sang little things by One Direction. I cried from the moment I heard his voice. Gary can really sing but would never do it in public properly (hence the headphones) and this just meant the world to me. 


Which band or entertainment did you book?

We had Sam Dawson sing during the drinks reception. He was so good! We had heard him at an open day and just had to book him. 

For the evening we had a DJ which was provided by Rise Hall and he was so good! Knew exactly what to play. 


Did you have any special transport?

Gary and the groomsmen arrived by helicopter. He just had to go all out for the wedding day and the only thing he was really in charge of planning!

Post Wedding 


Would you recommend Dine to friends and family?

Yes, 100%, they were amazing. 


Where did you go on honeymoon?

Due to Covid restrictions we haven’t been yet, but we have California & Hawaii booked for early next year. We went on a minimoon to London after the wedding which was perfect. 


Any special advice you would give to future brides / couples planning their wedding?

Just remember it is your wedding, you do what you want and not what others tell you that you need or have to do. Whether that be who to invite or what food to have, it is your day. Also, for on the day, just a little advice, find time to take 5/10 minutes away from everything to yourselves, just the two of you. The day really goes so fast and it was so nice just to have that time to two of us to take it all in and just be together.