London is jam packed with historical buildings that make great venues, but it is rare to find one with such stunning outside space like Fulham Palace. Now in the heart of Fulham, the site was initially in what was then the countryside and was the Bishop of London’s country residence. Perhaps this is why the venue has a wonderful country feel to it. We had a chat with Wedding & Events Manager Chloe Goreham to find out what makes this venue so special.
How long have you worked in events?
I have now been working in the event industry for four years and loving every minute so far – roll on the next four years and the adventures it will bring!
What made you want to go in to the events industry?
I love seeing my plans develop and change into real like – it is the most satisfying feeling! Also my mum is in the industry so I think it is in my blood – being super organised and a slight control freak also helps.
What is the best part of working in events?
As I mainly work with weddings, the best part is seeing the bride and grooms face when they arrive at Fulham Palace, as they see for the first time their plans and visions come to life. It is also knowing that they can relax and enjoy the day they dream’t of as we guide them through it.
What was your first job in events?
My first hospitality job was waitressing at a hotel in Norwich when I was 16. I worked on their events, which ranged from weddings, tribute nights and private parties. It was great fun and I got to see a variety of different events.
There is such a variety of events which take place at the Palace, do you get involved in organising all of them?
Yes, whether it’s a wedding for 180 guests or a small corporate away day for 10 guests, I am there to help from answering the initial phone call enquiry to the completion of the event.
What sort of events take place at the Palace?
The majority of the events held at the Palace are weddings, but we also do private parties, corporate meetings, away days and summer parties and this year our first music festival featuring Nile Rodgers! That was pretty amazing!
What is your most favourite event that you’ve worked on?
Still to this day this event gives me goosebumps thinking about it! I was in my first week working for Bovingdons (actually as a placement student) and it was a wedding at Fulham Palace, little did I know I was going to live and breathe Fulham Palace for the next 4 years! The Wedding was for 230 guests and they dined under a clear marquee in the Fulham Palace courtyard, which is sensational and I had never seen anything like it. The Groom was from Bermuda and all the men wore brightly coloured Bermudian shorts which added an element of fun to what was a traditional day. They dined under the stars surrounded by the beautifully lit Tudor Courtyard.
The Palace is rich in history, tell us a bit about it?
From around 700, when the site was acquired, it served as a Bishop’s residence for over 12 centuries. At least since Tudor times, Fulham Palace was the Bishop of London’s country home, providing the Bishop and his family with a healthy rural retreat in summer months. The final Bishop moved out of the Palace in the 1970’s and the Palace was taken into the hands of Hammersmith & Fulham council and more recently taken over by a private charitable trust.
What is your favourite fact or story about the Palace?
We are one of the only venues in London, maybe the country, to have a Church at the bottom of the garden (All Saints, Fulham), a chapel within the building and licensed rooms for civil ceremonies.
What is the strangest request you have had when planning an event?
Perhaps not the strangest but one of the most different requests for a wedding was the groom organising a group of Maori people to perform the Haka for his bride – it was amazing and so emotional to watch, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
What is the biggest event which you have done?
The biggest event I have been a part of was organising the FOLD Festival mentioned previously. It was the first festival held at the Palace and attended by 10,000 people over 3 days, it was a huge success and we are super excited for 2017.
Has there been any major muck ups on an event you have done and how did you fix the problem?
The best laid plans sometimes don’t always work out, but the show goes on! Problem solving becomes very important and ensuring no one is any the wiser. A big smile is often how I get around the issues and a deep breath!
What is your advice to those wanting to get in to the events industry?
Experience, experience and more experience! Gain as much as you can. I have always worked in the industry, from waitressing, working behind a bar, cafe work and planning my own events where possible. I also have a great teacher in my director Julie. Listening and asking hundreds of questions helped me hugely and I am still learning every day.
Your favourite flower?
I am the biggest sucker for a pink peony – I even have the Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede perfume!
We’ve worked on some wonderful weddings and events at Fulham Palace, it is a brilliant venue. The team are fantastic and everything is bespoke, which is the dream. Check out our gallery for images of some of the floral arrangements we have done there.