In a few weeks all eyes will be on the UK as we celebrate the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle. After the engagement was announced, I was approached by world renowned flower guru and icon Karen Tran who wanted me to work with her on bringing a rather special floral masterclass to London. I asked event planner extraordinaire, Jane Riddell of Planned for Perfection to work with me on this project. Along side the very talented, supportive and generous Leanne Roberts-Hewitt of WildAbout, we set about planning the the most anticipated royal inspired gala in the events industry calendar.
From the onset, my preferred venue for the royal inspired floral masterclass was The Lanesborough in Hyde Park, London. The former St George’s Hospital was originally opened in 1733 and now has a reputation of being one of the best hotels in London. It has a long standing association with the royal family with the late Princess Diana often taking Prince William and Prince Harry there for tea and the Great Hall of the hotel actually has an entrance that is only accessible to Her Majesty the Queen. To top things off, the hotel actually has an aptly named Royal Suite (the most expensive in London) that overlooks Buckingham Palace Gardens!
The three day royal wedding inspired floral masterclass was attended by students from all over the world and they alongside Karen, her team and WildAbout delivered a grand wedding breakfast fit for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle. The outcome was a perfect blend of outstanding American floral design in a typically English regency style setting.
The floral filled gala was a breathtakingly beautiful kaleidoscope of pastels, whites and golds.
Karen transformed the wedgwood blue Belgravia room designed by the late Albert Pinto into a floral wonderland featuring the most dramatic floral tunnel and tablescape laden with exquisite blooms supplied by Piet Van Kampen of G Fresh. She used a combination of blush and peach roses, white hydrangeas, seasonal tulips in white and pinks, hyacinths, phaelanopsis and cymbidium orchids to create her signature tall cascading table arrangements. In between the tall arrangements were baroque gold candlelabras and along the length of the tables were low groupings of flowers in beautiful hand cut vases and gold candlesticks.
The floral tunnel and archway of beauty that framed the entrance to the Belravia room stood at an impressive 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide and was a sight to behold. Decorated with a flower carpet made up of thousands of roses, hydrangeas and orchids, it featured a tulip canopy and was topped off by magnificent branches of cherry blossom.
In the centre of the room the focal point was the impressive 6 foot cake in wedgwood blue and peach designed by us at Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. Inspired by the ceiling of the Belgravia room, it featured hand painted clouds, the signature mouldings of the baroque design of the ceiling, hand made peach and pink sugar roses, piped scroll work and a hand painted royal crest. The cake sat on table completely covered with a ‘cloth’ of peach and pink roses.
The evening began with guests being given a red carpet welcome by the famous Lanesborough butlers. They enjoyed a cocktail reception in the beautiful Great Hall whose grand staircase had been decorated with thousands of blooms.
The guests included a mix of the best event planners and notable florists, editors of bridal magazines, bloggers, influencers and fashion designers to royalty. They sipped on specially created floral inspired cocktails, the finest Champagne and canapes from the Michelin starred kitchen of the hotel. Niche London String Quartet and magician Richard Parsons entertained the guests.
After the cocktail hour guests were ushered in to the dinning room which had been transformed into a floral wonderland. They all enthusiastically applauded the very regal Karen as she made her entrance into the room. The guests were welcomed by Head of Events, Antoinette Lettieri who had worked incredibly hard in bringing the event to The Lanesborough.
For the first course, guests were delighted with scallop carpaccio and roasted beetroot tartare served with berries and pomegranate yoghurt. The gasp inducing main course was a very delicious stone bass baked in globe artichoke with samphire seaweed and lemon butter and crunchy green asparagus parcel with an incredible burratina. For dessert, the pastry chef created the glossiest chocolate pudding with a perfect mirror glaze layered with the lightest chocolate cream, cocoa streusel and chocolate sponge; a perfect blend of texture and smoothness.
The food and drink was served on never seen before charger plates, supplied by Whitehouse Crockery, who also provided the china, crystal and gold flatware. The tables were dressed with linen from Over The Top Linen Hire and Great Hire provided the white and caramel CKC chairs. The opulent gold foil stamped menus and place cards in wedgwood blue were by Grosvenor Stationery Company who also made the invitations and thank you cards.
In between the main course and dessert, guests were entertained by a duo of opera singers who performed a few arias including the flower duet by Lakme.
Jane of Planned for perfection who meticulously planned the event, said “Elizabeth has been the driving force behind bringing Karen’s wonderful royal master class to London. Thank you Elizabeth for asking Planned for Perfection to join the collaboration and to choreograph this evening’s event. Karen thank you for your inspirational artistic talent. A fabulous team has worked so incredibly hard to bring everything together culminating in this wonderful environment.
Congratulations to you all, especially to Leanne of WildAbout, her team and masterclass students who have worked tirelessly with Karen to create these exquisite surroundings”
The event was captured in all its glory by fine art wedding photographer Roberta Facchini and Vogue Wedding Films. We can all agree that this night of floral celebration full of awe inspiring beauty produced by the queen of florals, Karen Tran was indeed perfect for the royal wedding.
Venue: The Lanesborough, London – www.oetkercollection.com/destinations/the-lanesborough
Wedding & Event Planner: Planned for Perfection – www.plannedforperfection.co.uk
Cake: Elizabeths Cake Emporuim – www.elizabethscakeemporium.com
Support Florist: Wild About – www.wildabout.co.uk
Stationery: The Grosvenor Stationery Company – www.grosvenorstationerycompany.com
Photographer: Roberta Facchini – www.robertafacchini.com
Videographer: Vogue Wedding Films – www.vogueweddingfilms.co.uk
Hair /Make up: Diana McDonald – www.dmwmakeup.co.uk
Entertainment: Niche Quartet – www.nichelondonquartet.com
Candles: Wick and Tallow – www.wickandtallow.com
Crockery, Cutlery & Glassware: www.eventcrockeryhire.co.uk
Magician: Gloucestershire Magician – www.gloucestershiremagician.co.uk
Opera singers: Fiona Haynes & Atinuke Koyejo
Master of Ceremonies: Lanesborough Butler
Chair Hire: Great Hire – www.greathire.com/uk (Chandelle Chairs – Gold / Latte)
Linen: OTT rentals (Libby) – http://www.overthetoprentals.co.uk
Illustrator: Poppy the Illustrator – www.poppywaddilove.com
Karen Tran’s Dress – The Wedding Club www.thewedding-club.co.uk
Flower Supplier – Piet Van Kampen G Fresh