In November Gay Wedding Blog got invited to attend the Historic Royal Palaces’ annual Wedding Showcase at the Kensington Palace. Due to work commitments I couldn’t attend this very special event but lovely Olivia of Nulyweds agreed to represent the blog and also write about the night to share it with you all.
On a bitterly cold, breath-I-see-you night in November, Kensington Palace opened its doors to wedding planners, major industry influencers and press (that’s us). I went with Nina Beer from Occasion Queens, dressed in our finest to keep to the “lounge suits” dress code. We walked along the twinkly pathway, passed the pavilion, through the glittering archway and down the stairs to the palace entrance. These guys are serious fairy light fans. As you walked into the main entrance and round to the cloakroom, you are immediately in awe of the spaciousness and finery this venue has to offer.
Through to the staircase, with royal red walls and paintings of the land and gentry, we walked to the reception room for a cocktail reception with the industry’s finest. This is where we could really get a feel for the venue. Think pure, unadulterated tradition and royalty. You feel like royalty in there which is either intimidating as a prospect or what you’ve always dreamed of – really depends on what floats your boat. Treated to orange and elderflower mocktails and more-ish canapes from Blue Strawberry Catering, it was easy to feel spoilt.
After the reception we went through to the King’s Gallery where our host welcomed us to the Palace and told us more about the venue. The first thing to note that The Orangery (the grand, gorgeous, space that leads out to the gardens, hosting up to 300 guests and built in 1704), was closed for refurbishment until 2020.
… oh. But, we were assured, the Pavillion which would host our evening entertainment would be the replacement building until the Orangery reopens. The King’s Gallery itself continued the theme of royal red luxury, with windows along the sides that would allow guests to look out to the gardens on a bright afternoon. The room has been licensed for ceremonies now so it was in the formation of a ceremony, as we sat for our talk on iconic royal wedding dresses through history by a Royal Expert and the jewellery editor from Harper’s Bazaar.
Okay so, let’s see this grand Pavillion then. Back outside, and through the glittering archway again we came to the Pavillion. A large glasshouse structure where the party really started. There was no sit down dinner, but Blue Strawberry had set up four food stations in the four corners of the room, each serving a different dish. Admittedly we only tried the duck and the salmon which was absolutely mouth-watering and left us wanting more. The entertainment from Stenberg Clarke were truly great. We started with The Jack Pack which were Sinatra x Bublé x Nat King Cole reborn into four handsome men. Then the Fro Backs delighted us with their hip hop and street dance to 70s and 80s music that had everyone in a great mood. At the end of the night, Wandering Hands,the acoustic trio, serenaded us with their guitars and folksy, soft rock vibe.
Let’s talk about the real star of the show though. This catwalk. How can I even explain it. It was just pure floral wizardry by Hayford & Rhodes which towered high and framed the model’s catwalk in a really awe-inspiring way. The ladies and gents strutted through in their dresses and suits from The Wedding Gallery, fit for princes and princesses.
At the end of the night, we went to the Ananya Cards stall where lovely Vaishali had set up a mini-showcase of her invitation designs. We all got to go home with a package from her with our name scribed on it in calligraphy. My name has never look so pretty!
Overall it was a lovely night and if you want to feel like royalty on your wedding day, then this could be the perfect central London venue for you!
Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk
All images provided by the event organiser.
Special thanks to Nulyweds– Expert destination wedding planner creating colourful, fun-fuelled, authentically Portuguese weddings for free-spirited millennials. Contact Olivia to plan your dream destination wedding in gorgeous Portugal.