WEDDINGS

A Modern Fairytale at the Historic Royal Palaces Showcase

It’s every little girl’s dream, walking down the aisle to marry her very own Prince Charming, celebrating in her fairytale castle and living happily ever after.

Years later, when the ring finally lands on your finger, your grown-up wedding dreams may look a little different from your childhood Disney-inspired vision. But we truly believe there’s a fairytale wedding out there for even the most modern of princesses!

As part of our partnership with Historic Royal Palaces, the B.LOVED team were delighted to have the opportunity to experience our own fairytale celebration as we headed to the Historic Royal Palaces Showcase at Hampton Court Palace at the end of last month. For centuries this majestic palace has played host to the lavish banquets and celebrations of Kings and Queens from Henry VIII and his wives to King William III and Queen Mary II, and after hearing tales of grandeur and glamour we were sure the evening would enchant and delight!

We arrived at the palace just before sunset to capture the grand Tudor palace with Hannah Duffy Photography, just as the last few tourists finished their tours. Treated to our own behind-the-scenes tour, and wandering the corridors, it was hard not to imagine the palace’s most famous former residents doing the same many centuries ago as they hurried to feasts and balls in the many grand rooms.

As guests began to gather outside the West Gate, the time had finally arrived to welcome the eagerly awaiting crowd of top planners, bloggers and industry greats. And what a welcome! With LED Drummers and Light Walkers lighting up the Clock Court with their incredible displays, guests were guided into the palace via the grand King’s Staircase and into the King’s Guard Chamber where a stunning ceremony set up, with giant floral arrangements by Lavender Green, only added to the drama of the room. With views over the incredible Fountain Court this is a beautiful space to welcome guests.

Moving into the Cartoon Gallery, where ‘cartoons’ by Renaissance painter Raphael once graced the walls (now replaced with copies), we were welcomed with cocktails and canapes from rhubarb catering inspired by the histories of the six palaces under Historic Royal Palace’s care. This gallery space also provided the perfect opportunity to showcase a selection of dresses chosen to represent the personalities of each palace. From a classic Suzanne Neville dress representing the chic elegance of Kensington Palace, to the more whimsical romance of Katya Katya London’s design representing the intimate Kew Palace, they truly captured the essence of a modern fairytale bride And Sassi Holford’s awe-inspiring design echoing the majestic interiors of Hampton Court Palace.

From here we were led down history-steeped corridors to find our seats for dinner, but not before stopping to admire the incredible six-tier creation designed by Unique Cakes by Yevnig. Delicately detailed, with each tier representing the unique history and stories of each Historic Royal Palace. From the cherubs from the Ante-Chapel at Hampton Court Palace to the detailing of the balcony at Banqueting House and topped by the Imperial State Crown housed at the Tower of London, this was an incredible element to the evening.

But the true highlight of the event was yet to come, the unveiling of Henry VIII’s Great Hall where Tudor architecture and modern styling came together with lashings of greenery, elegant tableware and glass-topped tables reflecting the incredible ceiling details.  A main course of venison was served as a nod to the palace’s past as King Henry VIII’s hunting lodge, while diners were serenaded with a surprise performance modern love songs sung from the Minstrels Gallery under the magnificent hammer-beam ceiling. It truly was an incredible experience to get a sense of those lavish celebrations centuries ago, and one guests are sure to remember for years to come!

To complete the evening, guests were lead into the palace’s Undercroft, which had been transformed into a cocktail and dessert bar to rival the trendiest city venue! The mirrored tables laden with incredible dessert ‘art’ by the team at rhubarb were almost too good to destroy, but with tempting treats paired with yet more palace-inspired cocktails we soon got stuck in and enjoyed the spectacle of the display being replenished by the team.  This is the perfect space to entertain guests with some after-dinner dancing as you celebrate your first night as Mr & Mrs.

Hampton Court Palace is just one of six magnificent palaces across London and Northern Ireland cared for by the Historic Royal Palaces charity. Just as each palace has its own love story to tell, it has its own unique character providing you with a choice to match your own personalities. From the stylish Kensington Palace which is perfect for city brides, to the perfect intimate family wedding retreat at Kew Palace and even a Central London ‘party palace’ at Banqueting House, there’s only one question left… which palace will you pick?

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Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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