Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding is expected to cost upwards of £32million. And you thought your friend’s £30,000 wedding was expensive? Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding is taking place on Saturday 19 May, with the world and his wife tuning in to watch the fifth (soon to be sixth) in line to the throne tie the knot – that is, of course, if you’re not one of the 2,640 members of the public invited to their big day. They’ve had just six months to plan it, announcing their engagement on 27 November last year, but there has been no expense spared.
Wedding planning website and app Bridebook.co.uk has expertly calculated that the overall cost (excluding security) is expected to be over £2,099,873 – that’s over 100 times as much as the national average, which is £17,913. With security costing an eye-watering £30million, suddenly Meghan and Harry have got themselves a £32m wedding. A total of 800 guests are expected to attend the ceremony and lunchtime reception, followed by 600 at a private evening reception for family and friends. There are also the 2,640 members of the public they’ve invited to think about, so it’s no surprise the wedding is on the expensive side. Here’s a breakdown of Harry and Meghan’s wedding costs, in case you’re feeling inspired…
Venue – £350,000
Harry and Meghan are tying the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and luckily, they don’t need to worry about paying for the privilege. While their first receptions is to be held at St. George’s Great Hall, their second reception is being held in a luxurious glass marquee (just like Pippa Middleton had at her nuptials last May) in the grounds of Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle, and these can cost as much as £300,000. Add on catering, security and staff adjoining marquees, it gets pretty pricey.
Catering – £286,000
Catering will be needed for the formal lunch reception for state guests and the intimate dinner reception for close family and friends at Frogmore House. London caterers charge at least £100 per guest for a lunch reception and £300 per guest for a dinner reception, including all food, chefs, staffing and crockery hire. If Meghan and Harry provide the 2,640 members of the public who they’ve invited with tea and scones in the grounds of Windsor Castle, that will also set them back a few bob.
Drinks – £193,000
According to Bridebook, the wedding standard is to serve one glass of champagne for every 30 minutes of the drinks reception, in addition to a minimum of half a bottle of wine per person during dinner. They predict around 1,700 bottles of vintage champagne and 650 bottles of fine wine, whiskey and cocktails to accompany dinner and dancing for the 800 plus guests. While Buckingham Palace’s wine cellars – which boast contents worth a reported £2million – will likely provide the champagne and fine wines for the wedding, they will still set the Queen back a few bob. The royal family’s favourite champagne is Bollinger and that sells for £80 a go, equating to around £136,000 on bubbles. Throw in a few bottles of Prince Charles’ favourite 15-year-old Laphroaig Scotch, some of Meghan’s favourite wine, Tignanello – the wine she named her former lifestyle blog The Tig after – it adds up pretty quickly.
Dress – £300,000
We are unlikely to find out which designer Meghan has chosen for her wedding dress, but she’s expected to spend around £300,000 on a bespoke dress and a tailor-made outfit for the evening.
Flowers – £110,000
There’s no secret about Meghan’s love of flower – especially peonies. Considering Meghan and Harry are having their wedding in two locations, the cost of flowers is likely to jump. While us mere mortals would do the sensible thing and use the ceremony flowers during dinner and dancing too, it’s likely, with no expense spared, Meghan and Harry will deck all of their wedding venues out.
Photography & Videography- £17,000
The country’s top wedding photographers could set you back around £4,500. Meghan and Harry will likely need more than one to ensure all angles are captured, not to mention a videographer so they have the moment on film to watch again and again… and again.
Cake – £50,000
A stunningly-decorated cake from a top cake maker will start from £4,000 and will need to be at least eight tiers to give a slice to each of the 800 guests. Meghan and Harry have chosen Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery in East London and they’ve gone for a lemon and elderflower buttercream-frosted sponge. It’s also expected Harry and Meghan will go for more than one cake, which will only serve to bump up the cost.
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