Small is beautiful is the message from Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, which has been helping couples to celebrate their weddings throughout the summer, all carried out in line with Covid guidelines for marriages and civil partnerships.
The Grade II* listed Regency-style villa is the perfect setting, with the stunning house to relax in and pretty heritage gardens to enjoy. The drawing room is the focal point for weddings at the moment; one of the grandest rooms of the house boasting attractive outlooks all around and as the autumn colours of the garden emerge, it’s a really joyful place to be.
Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, House Manager of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, says, “This is a family house that was much loved by writer Elizabeth Gaskell when she lived here, so nothing makes us happier than seeing it used for weddings, which has been a real highlight for us this summer. It’s been wonderful to see the delight of couples and to know that we have ensured that they have enjoyed the happiest of occasions, despite some of the challenges Covid-19 has created for us all in 2020.”
The words of Claire Myers bring to life the experience through the eyes of a bride, who got married just a few weeks ago, “After a visit to Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, we both knew we’d found somewhere very special for our wedding. A gorgeous Georgian villa in the heart of the city. A secret, hidden gem of loveliness with character and history. It felt grand and yet still somehow cosy – a house that felt like a home and made us feel at home.”
“What none of us had banked on when planning our wedding was a global pandemic throwing everything into chaos! So it was third time lucky when we tried again for a date in mid-August. Throughout the team at Elizabeth Gaskell were simply amazing. They went above and beyond to support us and work with all the ever-changing announcements with flexibility, humour and genuine compassion to help us get married.”
“The day came and it was simply magical. Ellie and the volunteers were just fantastic and provided lovely little touches whilst adhering to all guidelines so all our guests felt safe. Robert playing the piano added a really special element to the day. I’d been worried it might feel too stripped back and clinical but everyone went to such lengths to ensure it wasn’t. The sun shone and the house and garden felt like an oasis in the midst of everything that had been happening in the world.”
Also still glowing about their wedding experience are Alex and Gazz Davies-Huyton, saying, “Thank you for making yesterday such a brilliant day. The house was just the perfect venue for our wedding and everyone had an absolutely amazing time. Thank you so much for all the effort you went to and the volunteers, they were just the best. If we could have another wedding we would do it all again at E G House.”
In selecting Elizabeth Gaskell’s House for your wedding, not only is it all about the venue, couples are also contributing towards the upkeep of this historic building, which has been open as a visitor attraction since 2014. It is a house that represents not only the life of Elizabeth Gaskell, but gives a glimpse of Victorian society as a house frequented by visitors such as Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin and Charles Halle.
Frank Galvin, Chair of Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, says, “There are challenges for heritage venues at the best of times, but now more than ever the support that we receive from wedding couples and visitors can make a huge difference. We also like to think that Elizabeth Gaskell would be overjoyed to see her house being used to create cherished memories.”
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House is taking enquiries for marriage and civil partnerships with the Drawing Room accommodating up to 12 guests. All necessary safety measures are in place and all government guidelines are being followed. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org. The house is also open for visitors every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:30pm, with tickets pre-bookable up to two weeks in advance via www.ticketsource.co.uk/elizabeth-gaskell-house.