It was a complete honour to organise this 6-Day wedding for Nicola and Daren at Castello Orsini in Nerola, Italy.
A full blog will be posted very soon with all the details!
It was a complete honour to organise this 6-Day wedding for Nicola and Daren at Castello Orsini in Nerola, Italy.
A full blog will be posted very soon with all the details!
With the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now just under a month away there’s been lots of news and articles about getting married at a Royal Palace.
I’ve been lucky enough to organise a number of weddings at Royal Palaces for my lovely clients. In fact my very first wedding, way back in 2002, was at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Yes, that is the very same place that next month’s Royal Wedding will be taking place.
So, I thought I would do a little blog about everything you need to know about getting married at a Royal Palace.
After choosing each other, choosing your wedding venue is the most important decision you will make regarding your wedding. It will influence every other decision you make and will take the largest part of your budget. So, it’s a decision you cannot take lightly and you must make before any other part of the planning process.
For many couples the ultimate dream wedding venue is a Royal Palace. Elegance, glamour, luxury and history all rolled up in one romantic location.
It’s not for the faint hearted or budget conscious couple though. So here are a few things you will need to know before deciding if a “Royal Wedding” is for you.
You can find Royal Palaces throughout the UK and probably the best place start is to visit the Historical Royal Palaces website at http://www.hrp.org.uk/Hireavenue/weddings/. My favourites in London have to be The Orangery at Kensington Palace (which is where Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild chose for their wedding) and Banqueting House, located on Whitehall. I’ve been privileged enough to work with couples at both venues and they certainly were spectacular events.
As you would expect the hire fees for these venues are at the higher end of the market. You can expect to pay upwards of £16,000 plus VAT for the hire fee alone, exclusive of the catering, drinks, flowers, lighting and all the other wonderful things that will make your wedding truly special.
So what are the advantages to getting married at a Royal Palace?
Working with the best
You get to work with some of the best people and companies in the UK. Royal Palaces have what are often called “restricted lists”, which means only approved suppliers are allowed to work there. This takes a lot of the stress off you as you know these companies are experienced at that venue, have a proven track record and maintain the highest customer service. They wouldn’t be on the list if they weren’t amongst the best in the business.
The staff working for the palace are also hugely experienced on what works and what doesn’t at these special venues.
You’ll receive a list of around six suppliers for many of your wedding requirements, such as caterers, florist, entertainment and production. They are usually more flexible on photographers, videographers and wedding planners though, so you can bring in people you feel comfortable with for these roles.
Everything in one place
Many are licensed so you can have your ceremony and reception in one stunning location.
The grounds and rooms are immaculate and so beautiful that you only need the simplest and most elegant of décor to enhance what is already there. This really is the art of less is more décor. So, classic décor often works best. You also won’t need to hide any strange carpets, walls or anything unsightly.
Many Royal Palaces only do 4 or 5 weddings a year, so you will probably be giving your family and friends a unique opportunity to attend a wedding at such a grand venue and will not suffer from statements like “oh, it’s that venue again”.
And the Disadvantages?
There are no deals to be done and very few special offers or apologies for charging high venue hire fees. These are “Royal” palaces and if you can’t afford the hire fees then please do not make them part of your venue hunting process. You really don’t want to fall in love with a venue you cannot afford!
I would estimate that to have everything you want at your wedding, you would need a budget of about £120,000 or more, so we are talking the high-end of the market.
The Restricted list
There are disadvantages to the approved only suppliers list. They are amongst the best and most often this will mean they are not the cheapest. They also know who they are competing against and will know what their competitors charge, so it is very hard to make deals or find a bargain.
Royal Palaces were not built with the wedding industry in mind, they were the homes of Kings and Queens, which means the kitchen facilities may not be suitable for mass catering. Often, catering tents will need to be hired, which will put extra pressure on your budget.
Timing for the day
Many Royal Palaces are open to the public and access on the day will not be until the public doors have been closed. Therefore your set up times can be very tight. For instance, you may not be allowed access until 3.00 pm, which means before that time there is not a table, a flower, a canapé or wedding favour allowed in the door – absolutely nothing! Everything has to be planned to perfection. If you are not the most organised of brides, then I would suggest you have a wedding planner to assist you in the planning process, which is never a bad thing!
There will be compromises to be made and rules to be adhered to. Certain pieces of furniture will not be allowed to move, confetti may be banned, no carpet down the aisle, only faux candles, or perhaps red wine can only be consumed when at the dinner table and not when guests are standing. The rules are there to protect the historic palaces and there will be very little compromise. If you are a bride that likes everything her way, it may be a challenge for you. Always remember why you chose the venue in the first place, because of it’s historic significance and beauty, which has to be preserved for future generations.
All the disadvantages aside, if you really want the dream wedding and are lucky enough to have a very healthy wedding budget, I can highly recommend a Royal Palace venue. They are totally unique, utterly stunning and will give you a wedding day you and your guests will remember for the rest of your lives together.
I am so excited for the Royal Wedding. It is sure to be a spectacular occasion and I, like you, will be glued to the television and taking in all the atmosphere of this very special occasion.
All images in this blog are taken from Stylish Events weddings. We would like to thank our clients and the photographers for allowing us to use these images.
I am so excited to share with you the wonderful wedding of Fran and Gary, who were married on a lovely spring day in May 2016 at the stunning Down Hall Country House Hotel.
From the very begining Fran and Gary knew they wanted a wedding full of fun, laughter, love, family and friends. They invited 120 guests to the ceremony and dinner and then another 100 guests joined them for the party in the evening.
The Bridal Party were Fran’s nieces and nephews: Maid of Honour – Hope; Bridesmaids – Grace, Francesca, Emily and Olivia; Ushers – James, Jack, Thomas, Joseph. Gary’s Best Man was his son, Ben.
When Fran and Dominique first met ten months before the wedding, her brief was always clear, she wanted a “WOW” wedding, so together they designed every detail of this amazing, bespoke, sparkly and utterly gorgeous wedding.
The Civil Ceremony took place under two birch trees that were ethically chopped down from Epping Forest and beautifully intertwined with roses to form a “tree-arch” by the wedding florist Ildiko and her wonderful team at Passion for Flowers.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed an elegant drinks reception in the gardens of Down Hall, whilst the 30 children attending the wedding were expertly looked after by the team from Safe and Sound Events Childcare. The guests loved all the garden games available and in particular it was wonderful to see children (young and old) playing on the giant Helter Skelter!
Guests were then invited into the dining room for the wedding dinner and this is where Fran truly demonstrated her wonderful sense of style. Everything was handpicked and every detail thought about. We were so delighted to have been able to work with some of the best wedding suppliers in the industry. Down Hall looked spectacular and certainly sparkled. A full list of all the suppliers involved can be found at the end of this blog.
Entertainment on the day was provided by Jojo and her Five Piece Band, who sang Fran and Gary’s first dance “At Last” so beautifully, The Silk Street Quartet played at the drinks reception and the harpist for the ceremony was Felicity. After dinner the wonderful DJ Dennis took over the music and had everyone dancing until 1.00 am.
As a surprise for Gary, Fran booked a wonderful vintage caravan photo booth by Caravan Photo Booth.
To end the evening in spectacular style, guests were invited outside to view an amazing fireworks display, set to music by the team from Fireworks Crazy.
This was such a wonderful wedding and I hope you will agree, very much the “WOW” wedding that Fran had wanted. It’s always a joy for us to work with lovely couples and Fran and Gary and their families were a delight from start to finish.
Thank you for choosing us to be your wedding planners.
“Well, were do I start!. There are no words to convey mine and Gary’s thanks for the most superb job that you and your team did on creating our perfect day. It couldn’t have been more wonderful and we will cherish those precious memories of our day forever.
From the very start my brief to you was that I wanted a WOW wedding. Well, I lost count on the amount of times I said “wow” on the day. There is no doubt in our minds that our dream wedding would not have happened without your meticulous planning, attention to detail, amazing organisation and your fabulous team who I know worked so hard in both the planning and the execution of the day.
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom on our hearts.”
Fran and Gary, May 2016
The List of Wonderful Wedding Suppliers
This week we wish to celebrate the wonderful wedding of lovely Alisha and Brian at the Rose Hall Hilton Resort, in Montego Bay, Jamaica in July 2012.
This is a wedding we will remember forever. A special couple is a very special place. We first met Alisha and Brian in 2011 when they asked us to help plan their wedding in London. Over the next few months, their plans changed and 18 months later we were in Jamaica together for a wonderful adventure.
70 family and friends from the UK joined them for a week of celebrations at the Rose Hall Hilton Resort and they shared their emotional and heart-felt vows in a 7th Day Adventist Ceremony in the beautiful Garden Gazebo on the grounds.
After the ceremony Alisha and Brian were driven via golf buggy to the Reception at the Private Club, where they were greeted with the traditional confetti shower.
Alisha had a great sense of style and knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding day. So, together Alisha and Dominique designed every aspect of the wedding and just about every thing for the wedding (from the styling, table decor and printed materials) was bought in the UK and transported to Jamaica – in our suitcases!
Dominique realises how was lucky she was to be asked by Alisha and Brian to travel to Jamaica to oversee the wedding and ensure that it was exactly how they wanted it to be. It was a great honour to be involved in this very special wedding in a magical place.
Here she is relaxing by the beach the day after the wedding 🙂
Alisha and Brian have also remained close friends and it’s been lovely to see their family grow over the years. We loved this wedding and it has a special place in our heart and will be remembered with great joy and happiness.
“We would like to thank Dominique and her team for organising such an amazing wedding in the Caribbean, we can’t praise you enough for all the work you have done. You are now a lifelong friend of both of us.”
Alisha and Brian
The next wedding I would like to share with you in our series celebrating 15 years in wedding planning, is the beautiful wedding of Clare and Patrick at the amazing Aynhoe Park, in 2013.
All the lovely images in the post are from Simon Carr Photography.
Clare and Patrick wanted their wedding to be a little bit different, so they chose the quirky, eclectic and wonderful Anyhoe Park in Oxfordshire.
When you arrive at a wedding and a polar bear greets you, a giraffe is floating from the ceiling and a crocodile is holding the Order of Service, you know you are in for a special day.
The ceremony was held in the Orangery and the fabulous team from Pinstripes & Peonies made everything look magical, including the bespoke “tree-arch” that was inspired by the the laser cut invitations from Amoretti Wedding Invitations, who also created all the wedding stationery.
Clare and Patrick wanted their 65 guests to feel like they were attending an intimate, splendid dinner party, so with stunning floral designs from Pinstripes & Peonies; an opulent tablescape designed by our lovely Bride and Stylish Events; a five course dinner from the fabulous team at Absolute Taste and a substantial wine list selected by the bride and groom using our favourite Independent Vintner, Giles Smith Walker, they were certainly treated to a wonderful dinner in the Dining Room at Aynhoe.
One of the biggest challenges our lovely couple set the Stylish Events team was to hand-make their table plan, based on a photo they had seen online. Now, I will say this involved chopping down a tree, sanding and painting the branches and creating every single piece by hand, which my amazing team put together on the day. We were so pleased that Clare and Patrick loved it.
The gorgeous cake, that coordinated with the styling perfectly, was provided by Kelly from the Princess Patisserie.
We had a wonderful SE team on the day and huge thanks goes to Angelique, Becca, Priya, Sarah, Aruna and Julie for working so hard.
I loved everything about this wedding, from the venue, the styling, the fabulous suppliers involved and most of all one of the loveliest couples we’ve had the pleasure to work with, Clare and Patrick.
“Dominique and her team were truly outstanding. We are hectic city professionals and the level of organisation, commitment, understanding and knowledge from the team made our wedding not only possible but a wonderful success! Cannot praise them enough, not just our planners but now our lifelong friends!”
To continue our series celebrating 15 years in Wedding Planning for Stylish Events, this week I would like to feature one of my favourite weddings of all time: Pauline and Luca at The Orangery at Kensington Palace in 2015.
Thank you to the fabulous Kate Nielen for providing these beautiful images of the day.
From the moment Pauline and Luca went to afternoon tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace, Pauline knew it was where she wanted to have her wedding.
The Orangery was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment and its soaring ceilings and classical 18th century architecture were a magnificent backdrop for this classic and elegant Summer wedding.
Pauline, who is French, and Luca, an Italian, have both lived in London for many years and they have a beautiful son together. They wanted to create a chic wedding, with many warm and intimate touches to ensure their 120 guests from around the world experienced a very special wedding day.
As two busy professionals, they also wanted to hire a wedding planner to assist them to create their wedding day. So, after booking the venue and the church, the next supplier they booked was Stylish Events.
With Pauline’s exquisite French style and Luca’s Italian sense of fun, the day was a quintessentially classic wedding, with thoughtful touches, at one of London’s most prestigious venues.
The night before the wedding the Bride stayed in the Royal Suite at The Goring Hotel, which is actually the same suite that Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, spent the night before her marriage to William, the Duke of Cambridge.
The Church of England ceremony took place at Christ Church in Chelsea, which was decorated with gorgeous flowers by Joan Holdsworth and her team.
After the ceremony, Pauline and Luca were chauffer driven to Kensington Palace in the Bentley, whist all the guest travelled on the double-decker buses.
On arrival at The Orangery at Kensington Palace guests were greeted with champagne, canapes and an amazing anti-pasti bar (for an Italian touch), served by the fabulous team from Rhubarb. Music was provided by the Meridian String Quartet.
The Orangery was decorated in classic green and white, with stunning high and low flower arrangements by Sue and the team at Lavender Green and a tablescape designed by the Bride, Stylish Events and Rhubarb. The “chandelle” chairs by Great Hire completed the sophisticated look perfectly.
Without doubt the centrepiece of the room was the elegant “Faberge” cake created by Mich Turner of The Little Venice Cake Company, who was there on the day to ensure that everything was perfect.
Pauline and Luca wanted to make their special day just as special for their son and the many children of their family and friends. So, the children had their own fun and entertainment, expertly looked after by JoJo Entertainment.
Following a splendid five course meal by Rhubarb, Pauline and Luca cut their gorgeous cake and took to the round dance floor for their first dance, with production by Fisher and music by DJ Rich T. The guests were wonderfully entertained by the French magician, Etienne Pradier .
As darkness started to fall on a lovely Summer’s evening, guests were invited on to the terrace for a lavish dessert station by Rhubarb and the children chilled in their own room being read bedtime stories or watching films.
At the end of the evening Pauline and Luca were whisked away to spend their first evening together as a married couple at The Goring Hotel.
Of course a high-end wedding of this size needs a wonderful team of suppliers and you can see everyone involved below. It also needs a great team from Stylish Events, we actually had 12 people on our team that day and I am so grateful to everyone for working so hard – huge thank you to:
Pauline T, Diane, Anna, Alex, Rebecca, Tracey, Steven P, Ellie, Marina, Robert and Kate
And finally, I wish to say an enormous thank you to Pauline and Luca for selecting me as their wedding planner. They were so delightful to work with from start to finish and it was an absolute honour to be part of their very special wedding.
“Dominique really tried to make sure that every single aspect of our wedding was going to be as smooth as possible for us so that we could enjoy our big day. Not only did everything go perfectly and on the day we had nothing to think about apart from living the event, but Dominique and her team managed to turn all the preparation work in a series of meetings which became very enjoyable and special moments in the run up to our wedding.
We were very sad to see the last meeting gone. What is the “difficult” part of getting married, the organisation, it became something to enjoy, to look forward to and so for us the “big day” was the wedding together with a long period of special moments in the run up to it which we will never forget.
Dominique for us will not only be linked to quality, but also to the magic to be able to make every necessary thing to be done around the event, something to enjoy and look forward to.
She was our angel for this special moment in our lives.”
Pauline and Luca, 2015
List of Wedding Suppliers:
Venue: The Orangery at Kensington Palace (www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/hire-a-venue/weddings/)
Church: Christ Church
Wedding Planners: Dominique and the team at Stylish Events (www.stylishevents.com)
Photographer: Kate Nielen (www.katenielen.com) assisted by Cristina Rossi
Videographer: Jonathan and Monica from Portobello Films (www.portobellofilms.co.uk)
Bridal Accommodation: The Goring Hotel (www.thegoring.com)
Guest Accommodation: San Domenico House (www.sandomenicohouse.com)
Catering: Georgina and the team from Rhubarb (www.rhubarb.co.uk)
Flowers at the Christ Church: Joan Holdsworth, Parish Florist
Flowers at The Orangery: Sue and the team from Lavender Green (www.lavendergreen.co.uk)
Production, Outdoor Furniture, Lighting & Dance Floor: Grace at Fisher Productions (www.fisherproductions.co.uk)
Cake: Mich Turner MBE at The Little Venice Cake Company (http://www.lvcc.co.uk)
Chandelle Chairs: Greathire Ltd (www.greathire.co.uk)
Marquees: Berry Marquees (www.berrymarquees.com)
Musical Entertainment: Sternberg Clarke (www.sternbergclarke.co.uk), DJ – Richard Toynton, String Quartet – Meridian String Quartet
Magician: Etienne Pradier (www.frenchmagician.co.uk)
Children’s Entertainment: The JoJo Entertainment Co Ltd (www.jojofun.co.uk)
Hair: Severin at The Hepburn Collection (www.hepburncollection.com)
Make Up: Sarah Stacey (http://www.beautyintheart.co.uk)
Bride’s Dress : Sassi Holford (www.sassiholford.com)
Groom’s outfit : Stowers London (www.stowers.london)
Bentley: Panache Chauffeurs (www.panache-chauffeur.com)
Red London Buses: A Class Corporate Travel (www.aclasscoachhire.co.uk)
I am so excited to let you know that February 2017 marks 15 years in wedding planning for Stylish Events.
We launched Stylish Events at the National Wedding Show in February 2002. My goodness how the wedding planning world has changed over the years.
Wedding Planning was still very new to the UK and there were very few wedding planners. There was also no social media in those days!
To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, each week we will be featuring one wedding or event we have organised, as a thank you to lovely couples and clients we have had the privilege to help over the years.
I won’t be doing it in chronological order, but I have to start with the very first – lovely Hannah and Giles in September 2002.
Over 200 guests were invited to the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on a beautiful September day. After the ceremony the Bride and Groom travelled by horse and cart to the reception at Lilliebrook Manor. Guests first enjoyed canapés and a barn dance in the 18th Century barn, followed by a grand dinner of pig roast and fine wine in an opulent marquee. After dinner they were entertained by an Abba tribute band and a 10 minute firework display.
Since the wedding Hannah and Giles have become close friends and we see each other regularly. They are very special clients, as they were the first to trust us with their precious day.
“It was the best day of our lives. Thank you so much for everything Dominique.”
Hannah and Giles
The photographer was Adrian Neal, from The Studio Without Walls. In fact, Adrian and I have worked together on many weddings over the years and he will be with me on a large 2-Day Indian wedding this August. Working with great suppliers is hugely important in this business and we love working with Adrian.
I will never forget this wedding. It has a very special place in my heart.
Jess and Josh were married in spectacular style at the 5 Star Rosewood Hotel in London.
Dominique has known Jess for many years and she was actually an Intern at Stylish Events in 2012! She is now a successful wedding planner herself.
Jess planned the wedding, but always knew that she wanted Dominique there in the final weeks before the wedding and to run the day for her.
The wedding suppliers for this wedding were some of the best in the business, including Photographer John Nassari, Florist Amie Bone, Cake Designer Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium and on the day Stationery from Intricate Creations.
It was such a pleasure to do this wedding for the loveliest couple a wedding planner could ever hope for.
A full blog of this wedding will be posted soon, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy the video by John Nassari.
Diana and Vic were married at a fabulous restaurant and bar in Canary Wharf, London – Tompkins and the Attic Bar.
Diana is from Spain and Vic is from America with Indian heritage, so they wanted to include their multi-cultural backgrounds into their wedding day.
We helped them design a beautiful and fun day for all their guests to enjoy.
Stylish Events designed and created the whole day, including the flowers, stationery and dessert table. We also translated everything into Spanish, including the speeches to ensure everyone felt welcome and included.
Cake from GC Couture
Photographer: Frances Carlisle
Anne and Dean were married in a stunning Catholic Church in June 2015. We were delighted to assist them to design, plan and style their lovely wedding for 120 of the their family and friends.
Anne is originally from the Philippines and Dean is from Ireland, so we were asked to include many touches that celebrated their cultures, including “Tinikling” and “River” dancers.
Stylish Events decorated the gorgeous Church and create all the wedding day stationery ourselves.
Huge thanks to our wonderful photographer, Sergio de Riccardis, for these lovely images