From the venue to the cake, dress and the bridal party, here is all you need to know about the most important wedding of the year!
The most exciting royal event since the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place on May 19th, 2018. We can’t wait to see the wedding dress, the flowers and decorations along with all other important elements of this special day! It is the final week of wedding preparations and many details have been revealed, so here is what we know so far…
Barnard & Westwood Fine Printers & Bookbinders
The wedding invitations were created by Barnard & Westwood Fine Printers & Bookbinders who have been making invitations for the royal family since 1985. The invitations feature a badge of the Prince of Wales in the centre and were printed in gold and black in American ink on British paper. Lottie Small has printed all the invitations with a die stamping machine that dates back to 1930 and is nicknamed Maude.
The wedding ceremony will take place on the grounds of Windsor Castle which is located about 32 kilometres west of central London. Did you know it is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II? The Queen has granted a permit for the ceremony to be held at St George’s Chapel at noon with the Dean of Windsor conducting the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury officiating as the couple make their vows.
There will be two wedding receptions on the day. The Queen will be hosting a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall and Prince Charles will be hosting a dinner reception at Frogmore House. A beautiful 17th-century country house, just south of Windsor Castle was the couple's venue of choice because it is steeped in history and has gorgeous colourful interiors with murals and painted decorations.
Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is still a mystery and we can’t wait to see the gown the bride will be wearing on Saturday! Rumours say that several designers submitted their sketches over the past months. Inbal Dror’s sketches were leaked a few months ago and other names that were mentioned include Roland Mouret, Erdem and Alexander McQueen. It is worth noting that Meghan wore a Ralph & Russo dress for her engagement photos and there are some hints that the Aussie designer duo was also appointed to create her bridal gown. It has been reported that rolls of ivory silk labelled "Ralph & Russo" were spotted at the Joel & Sons Fabrics – the supplier of fabrics to Queen Elizabeth II. And maybe the bride will wear more than one dress!
The wedding party? We will have to wait until the big day to find out the details, but here is what we already know… Kensington Palace has tweeted that Prince Harry's best man will be the Duke of Cambridge and it is very likely that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be page boy and flower girl. But what about the bridesmaids? There is a rumour that Meghan won’t have a maid of honour and the bridesmaids may be her close friends.
Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Bakery
The wedding cake is going to be baked by Claire Ptak, the owner of Violet Bakery in London. The couple wanted something healthy, refreshing and non-traditional instead of the classical alcohol-infused fruitcake. They asked Claire to make a lemon elderflower cake covered with layers of buttercream and colourful floral decorations. And since Prince Harry's favourite fruit is banana, it is possible that it will be the main ingredient of the groom's cake.
The wedding flowers will be provided by Philippa Craddock. She will use seasonal flowers such as peonies, garden roses and foxgloves and branches of birch, beech and hornbeam to create floral decorations that resemble wild and natural landscapes. She will work with a team of florists from St George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace. Most of the flowers and plants will be sourced from the royal parklands of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park and after the wedding, they will be distributed to local charities.
Instead of traditional wedding gifts, the couple asked their guests to donate to a number of charities including CHIVA, Crisis, Myna Mahila Foundation Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage and the Wilderness Foundation UK.
The wedding music is going to be directed by James Vivian, the director of music at St George’s Chapel. Performers include the cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Karen Gibson, the Kingdom Choir and musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia. There will also be soprano Elin Managan Thomas, trumpeter Davis Blackadder, organ player Luke Bond and State Trumpeters. And for the reception… there is a list of potential entertainers including Ed Sheeran, but we will have to wait until the wedding to find out who will be playing live on the day!
The guest list is still a top secret but we know that there will be around 600 people at the ceremony in St George’s Chapel and only 200 of the couple’s friends and family members at the intimate reception. Since Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne, the couple wasn’t obliged to invite state officials and diplomats, but there will be no shortage of celebrities coming to the royal wedding and we can't wait to see their outfits! The dress code has been printed out on the invitations and it says "Uniform, Morning Coat or Lounge Suit" for male guests and "day dress with hat" for the ladies.