Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:45
Hampton Court Palace, one of six venues cared for by independent charity Historic Royal Palaces, last night (30 November) welcomed wedding planners, press and bloggers to the annual Historic Royal Palaces Wedding Showcase.
Following the success of the previous year’s showcase at Banqueting House, the concept behind the evening was to highlight to guests the flexibility historic spaces have for hosting weddings and special events and to introduce them to the various venues available in the portfolio. Guests were taken through the Hampton Court Palace wedding journey, allowing them to envisage the experience their clients would receive, while getting a feel for the varying experiences each of the other palaces offer couples.
On arrival at the venue, guests entered through the West Gate of the Tudor palace, to the historic Base Court, where they enjoyed performances from LED Drummers and Light Walkers on stilts organised by event entertainment company Sternberg Clarke.
Guests were then led into the Cartoon Gallery where they enjoyed a drinks reception, sampling four signature cocktails inspired by each of the palaces and their vibrant histories, as well as a selection of themed canapes by event caterer Rhubarb.
Around the room, dresses were on display from the stunning collections of Sassy Holford, Katya Katya London and Suzanne Neville, with each dress capturing the essence of one of the palaces in Historic Royal Palaces’ portfolio.
Following the reception, guests were called to the Great Hall for dinner by a drumroll from the LED Drummers, where they enjoyed a surprise performance from the Minstrels Gallery under the magnificent hammer-beam ceiling.
After the speeches, the wedding breakfast was served, courtesy of Rhubarb, onto mirrored tables decorated with foliage from Lavender Green. The menu featured venison loin & bon bon with potato terrine, sauternes golden sultanas and jus roti, and was displayed on elegant menus by Grosvenor Stationery.
After dinner, guests were guided to Henry VIII’s beer cellar, the Undercroft, for post-dinner drinks and desserts accompanied by music from Organic Jam. The desserts included chocolate, malt, barley & orange displayed on interactive pudding stalls, with chefs working in front of the guests.
Upon leaving, guests received a giveaway which included a sample of cake crafted by artisan cake designer, Yevnig. The spectacular cake, named ‘Imperial Magnificence’, consisted of six handcrafted tiers and was inspired by the unique features of each palace, including cherubs from the Ante-Chapel at Hampton Court Palace, the balcony of Banqueting House and the Imperial State Crown, which is kept at the Tower of London.
Jo Jennings, Events Manager at Hampton Court Palace, says: “We had a wonderful evening at Hampton Court Palace and it was fantastic to welcome so many specialist wedding planners, press and bloggers to experience the Historic Royal Palaces Wedding Showcase. It was a great opportunity for us to highlight the many spaces we have on offer for memorable wedding celebrations, and allowed us to provide guests with an insight into what their clients or readers might expect if they were to hold their wedding day at one of the venues in the Historic Royal Palaces portfolio.”
Milan Thakrar, Business Development Manager of Commercial Events, adds: “Each palace in the portfolio is truly unique, and the Wedding Showcase is the perfect event to demonstrate the varied offerings and the first-class service we offer. It was also a great opportunity to communicate to guests how weddings at the palaces play their part in ensuring the palaces are well maintained and open for all to enjoy, as income raised from events is reinvested in conservation, public access and educational activities.”
Suppliers on the night included Lavender Green (flowers), Rhubarb (catering), Sternberg Clarke (all entertainment), Grosvenor Stationery (invitations, order of service, menus), HRP Event Solutions (AV equipment), Nick Rose (photography), At Motion (videography) and Unique Cakes by Yevnig, Great Hire (furniture)