Weddings don’t come cheap, but when you’re a royal things are taken to a whole new level.
Now experts have worked out Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day could come with a hefty price tag – a cool £32million.
The average person spends £17,913 on their day, but the royal couple’s comes with a lot of extras – from bespoke silver plated fanfare trumpets to a "drone destroyer".
Wedding planning company Bridebook has calculated the cost based on flowers, food, entertainment and the main attraction, the dress coming in at £1,969,873, but there’s also the £120,000 honeymoon and £30m security costs.
It’s unsurprising then that the wedding, which is being held at Windsor Castle on May 19 , is expected to make the list of one of the top ten expensive weddings of all time.
The main cost is down to security, as Windsor will be locked down for the day, bumping up that security bill, including snipers, undercover police and a counter-drone system – it’s estimated to all cost £30million.
The bill is expected to come in higher than brother Prince William’s wedding, which cost £20m – though it was a larger affair – because of the ongoing terrorist threat level.
Venue – Free
The ceremony is taking place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle while the reception will be in St George’s Great Hall, within the castle.
Marquee – £350,000
Later the party moves to the Upper Ward grounds of Windsor.
While the pair don’t have to pay for the venue, they will have to fork out for that marquee.
A luxury glass marquee, similar to Pippa’s cost £300,00- plus additional catering and staff.
Catering – £286,000
There’s the formal lunch reception for state guests and the dinner reception for their family and friends. This will end up being one of the more costly parts of the wedding.
Sausage rolls and hot tea for the members of the public won’t come cheap either, with 2,640 of them it could come in at £26,000!
Cake – £50,000
Harry and Meghan are opting for a banana wedding cake (we know) as well as a second cake.
The unique cake will be made by pastry chef Claire Ptak , – owner of London hipster hotspot Violet Bakery. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
Drinks – £193,000
It’s not a party, without a tipple or two! The drinks will most likely come from the Palace Cellars, but they’re still worth a fair bit.
If we’re looking at the number of guests, they’ll probably need 2,300 bottles to keep guests happy. Bridebook works out roughly 1,700 bottles of champers will be served throughout the day and 650 bottles of wine, whiskey and cocktails. A bottle of Bollinger, the family’s favourite champagne, comes in at £80 a bottle – that’s £136,000 overall.
Prince Charles enjoys the 15-year-old Laphroaig Scotch and the multitude of bottles of Tignanello Wine (Meghan’s personal favourite according to her old lifestyle blog, “The Tig”) so the bill really adds up.
Prince Harry’s fav drink comes in a little cheaper – it’s a Vodka Redbull.
Dress – £300,000
Meghan is expected to rack up quite the bill with her wedding dress , which is fair enough considering all eyes will be on her.
Most of the budget will go on her first dress, which will be made just for her.
There’s a lot of rumours as to who will design it and what it will look like, but you can expect a clean, classic look with a modern twist. A dress like this, plus her second outfit for afterwards will come in at £300,000 plus. She’s teaming it up with a tiara .
Other sources have predicted that Meghan’s dress will cost far less. Royal expert Katie Nicholl, author of Harry: Life, Loss and Love, told The Telegraph: “Meghan is very mindful of wanting to send the right message with her gown.
“It’s going to be iconic and fit the backdrop of Windsor Castle, but it would send off the wrong message to wear a dress that in cost alone would upstage Kate’s.”
Kate’s dress, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, came in at £250,000.
Flowers – £110,000
This often costs more than you expect, and with two locations it’ll cost even more. Flowers for the marquee alone cost cost approximately £70,000. The flowers in St George’s Chapel and at the formal reception which follows will be provided by self-taught florist Philippa Craddock.
Photos – £17,000
Dorset-based Millie Pilkington, the private wedding photographer for the William and Kate’s wedding and Pippa Middleton’s, is expected to take the pics, though Hugo Burnand should also be around for the official snaps.
Stationary – £20,000
Kensington Palace has announced Barnard and Westwood made the beautiful bespoke invitations for the Royal Wedding. A 200 piece Bespoke Stationery set from Barnard and Westwood exceeds the £10,000 mark.
The invites, with the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink, could cost a total of £200,000 for the circa 4000 invitees, including members of the public, or £50,000 for the VIP guests alone.
Music – £300,000
That’s the bell ringers, organist, choirs….then the music for the reception too. Rumours are flying around as to who will perform – from the Spice Girls to Elton John in the running, Coldplay’s Chris Martin or Meghan’s mate Rihanna…but there’s still the church music to pay for.
Trumpets – £90,000
Yes, trumpets. The Ministry of Defence has made a request for 20 silver-plated fanfare trumpets stamped with the Royal Coat of Arms.
Made in the same workshop where Will & Kate’s wedding and the London Olympics’ trumpets came from, each bespoke trumpet costs between £3,000 and £6,000.
Decorations – £130,000
The lighting for the church, marquee and furniture all rack up the cost.
Wedding rings – £6,000
Since 1923, it has been a tradition in the Royal Family to use Welsh gold for the wedding ring of the bride. Royal warrant holder Wartski, with ties to Wales, created Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge’s ring, so could be the same choice of Meghan’s.
Prince Phillip and Prince William chose not to wear a ring, but it’s thought Harry will opt to follow in his father’s footsteps and wear a band. Charles’ is on a ring on his little finger on his left hand, but Harry may opt for the traditional fourth finger.
Flower Girls and Page Boys Outfits – £1,698
While Meghan isn’t opting for adult bridesmaids she is having the kids as flower girls and the boys as page boys.
A page boy outfit will cost around £226 each, and flower girl dresses £340.
Groomswear – £8,000
As a qualified Apache Helicopter Commander, Prince Harry is likely to be wearing a tailor-made Royal Air Force uniform to his wedding.
He’ll need to change later too, so a tuxedo or suit also needs to be bought.
Hair and Makeup – £10,000
Belgravia’s Neville Hair & Beauty is a favourite of Meghan’s, or she may opt for Hannah Martin of Bobbi Brown and Richard Ward, who did Kate and Pippa’s wedding makeup and hair.
Church Fees – £175
The couple have to pay their fees just like everyone else.
Security – £30m
This is the most expensive elements of the day. A hefty £30m was spent on Kate and Wills’ big day so expect more of the same.
While the wedding isn’t in central London, there’s still a huge number of members of the public attending.
With the threats made against the couple ahead of the service, security is sure to be tight – with drones, snipers and undercover cops.
There’s a British counter-UAV system, costing £1m, used to deactivate intruders and sneaky drones – including pap ones!
Entertainment – £55,000
This is mostly a guest. Expect the Royal Air Force to be in there somewhere, maybe some fireworks, entertainment for all those children… it all adds up
The Honeymoon £120,000
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly heading to the exotic country of Namibia for their honeymoon . Sources have also revealed that Meghan will be the one paying for the honeymoon as gift to the Prince and that the cost will be upwards of £100,000.
Transport – Free
The Queen has her own fleet of cars, she’s got this.
Wedding Favours – £3,000
Toilets – £35,000
Who’s paying for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding?
While it’s traditional for the father of the bride to cough up, Kensington Palace confirmed the royal family will foot the bill.
They will be paying for the church service, flowers, reception and the decorations, but that leaves a few other bits to take care of.
Meghan is expected to pay for her dress, and we, the taxpayer, will pay for the security.
However, the wedding is expected to boost the economy by £500m in tourism and merchandise.
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