Wedding FAQs

What is the maximum number of guests allowed?

Please find our maximum guest numbers below. Please note, these numbers INCLUDE the couple and any children or babies.

Ceremonies in the study – 10 maximum

Ceremonies in the drawing room – 36 maximum

Ceremonies in the garden – 36 maximum

Catering in the Servants Hall – 36 maximum

Reception in the Servants Hall – up to 60

What kinds of ceremonies do you allow?

We are licensed for civil ceremonies. We can also hold religious and humanist blessings. Please contact our wedding coordinators for more information.

How do I book the registrars?

Once you have viewed the venue and we have confirmed our availability, you must contact the relevant officiant to preform your ceremony. We cannot move forward with your booking until this is done. Please contact Manchester City Council to book registrars for Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – 0161 234 5005.

What time can I have my ceremony?

The earliest ceremony we can facilitate is 11am.

From November to February, we would recommend not having your ceremony any later than 2pm to ensure that you have plenty of light for your photographs.

How much are your wedding packages?

Our prices are variable and subject to change. Please contact our wedding coordinators for more information and a quote.

How many hours should I book?

We offer a 3 or 5 hour package and additional hours can be booked on top of this.

We suggest the following timings:

3-hours: couple arrival, guest arrival, ceremony, drinks reception, photos

4-hours: couple arrival, guest arrival, ceremony, drinks reception, photos, canapes only downstairs

5-hours: couple arrival, guest arrival, ceremony, drinks reception, photos, sit down catering downstairs

6+hours: couple arrival, guest arrival, ceremony, drinks reception, photos, sit down catering, and reception/dancing downstairs

What is included in the packages?

We offer a 3 or 5 hour package and additional hours can be booked on top of this.

3-hour hire:

  • Wedding Coordinators – our wedding team will be available to contact throughout your planning process and will be there on the day to ensure everything runs smoothly
  • Exclusive use of the venue on the day – we only host 1 wedding per day
  • A choice of ceremony rooms – The Study or The Drawing Room (dependent on numbers)
  • Beautiful south facing garden – can be used for photographs, drinks reception and licensed for outdoor ceremonies
  • Use of Elizabeth Gaskell’s bedroom for wedding prep
  • Use of the boudoir grand piano (only trained persons are permitted to play)
  • Use of our Bluetooth speaker
  • Tables and chairs for the ceremony and drinks reception
  • Licensed bar and bar staff
  • Glassware for the drinks reception
  • Guaranteed parking for your suppliers on the day
  • Accessible parking on the day – we have limited parking but guarantee 2 spaces for you to use as you wish

5-hour+ hire:

  • All of the above
  • Tables and chairs for the reception
  • Glassware for the reception (includes water, wine, and champagne glasses)
  • Water jugs with ice on each table for wedding breakfast
  • White catering table cloths
  • Cake knives and cake cutting service

Additional fees apply:

  • Crockery and cutlery hire- all vintage mismatched China
  • Vintage table cloths with floral embroidery hire

Which rooms will we have access to?

All of our wedding packages include exclusive hire of the full house. We are not open to the public when we hold weddings and we only hold 1 wedding per day.

Regardless of your choice of ceremony room, you will have access to the study, drawing room, dining room, bedroom, servants’ hall, tea room and garden.

What are the ‘period rooms’?

The ‘period rooms’ are the rooms that have been carefully restored to resemble a Victorian house. This includes the study, drawing room, dining room and bedroom.

When do you take payments?

We take a 50% deposit at the time of booking. The remaining balance is taken 1 month prior to the wedding along with a refundable security deposit of £500.

Why do you take a security deposit?

As we are a museum, it is necessary to mitigate against any potential damages to the house and the collection.

Do you have a supplier list?

We are always happy to recommend suppliers that we have worked with in the past or you can choose your own. However, you are responsible for contacting, booking and paying them yourselves.

Before booking your caterer, you must discuss this with us so that we can ensure they are suited to the venue.

Our wedding coordinators are always happy to talk/meet with suppliers before you book. We will invite them into the venue for a viewing if necessary.

Around a month before your wedding, we will take the details of your suppliers. We then arrange deliveries and arrival times as necessary, managing all of the logistics for you.

Do you provide catering?

We do not provide catering at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. However, can hold your wedding breakfast in our Servants Hall and hire a caterer of your choice.

When considering caterers, please remember that ours is a prep, warming and assembly kitchen only. We do not have commercial fridges or freezers and cannot have food cooked from scratch. All caterers must bring staff to serve and clear the food away, return the kitchen to its original state and take any rubbish away

All food must be served in the basement and cannot be taken upstairs into the period rooms.

You must book a minimum of 5 hours to allow time for catering after your ceremony and drinks reception. Our 5-hour package includes tables, chairs, tablecloths and glassware for your wedding breakfast. Additional table linen and crockery is available to hire for an extra fee.

Do you have a bar?

We have a fully licensed bottle bar serving a small selection of wine, beer, soft and hot drinks.

This is available for your wedding, with a minimum spend of £100.

If you would prefer, you can bring your own drinks and create a self-serve bar for a flat fee of £200.

What type of drinks can we serve for our drinks reception?

Drinks receptions are typically held in the period rooms after the ceremony. WE only allow clear drinks in these areas of the house to protect the collection. Champagne, prosecco, white wine, elderflower fizz, lemonade and water are all permitted.

You can purchase suitable drinks from our bottle bar. Alternatively, you can bring your own for a corkage fee of £12 per bottle.

Other drinks are permitted in the garden and basement.

We do not allow any food or canapes in the period rooms.

Can we hire crockery and table linen?

We have a selection of mismatched vintage crockery and tablecloths available to hire for an additional fee. Otherwise, you can ask your caterers to provide this.

We provide all glassware free of charge.

Can we decorate the house?

We do allow you to decorate the house as you wish. However, we do have a few rules that must be followed:

  • No naked flames anywhere in the house or on the property
  • Nothing to be placed on the piano
  • Nothing to be adhered to the walls in the period rooms
  • White tac and 3M command strips ONLY can be used on the walls in the servants’ hall and tea room

Our staff will be on hand the day before the wedding to help you decorate and set-up.

Do you allow candles?

For the safety of the historic house and our collection, we do not allow any naked flames on the premises. However, LED or battery powered candles are permitted.

Do you allow confetti?

We do allow confetti to be thrown anywhere outside the house. This must be biodegradable – real petals (fresh or dried) only.

Can we use the piano?

Trained pianists are welcome to use the piano. We have a variety of musicians that we have worked with and can recommend.

Do you have a sound system for the reception?

We do not have a sound system. However, we have a bluetooth speaker available for you to use.  This can be moved around the house as needed.

Is there parking available at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House?

We can offer couples 2 parking spaces, including 1 accessible space. On-street parking in the surrounding area is free up to 3 hours in the week and all day at the weekend.

Other parking is reserved for staff, volunteers and suppliers.

When should I tell my guests to arrive?

We would recommend that guests arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before the ceremony. The house cannot be accessed prior to your hire time.

What time do you close?

As we are situated in a residential area, last orders are at 10.30pm and all guests must leave the premises by 11pm.

Photo by Embee Photography

Mr Thornton is coming to tea

North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell