Pippa Middleton’s wedding day to James Matthews is almost upon us. The high-profile couple will marry in the Middleton family’s Berkshire hometown on 20 May 2017 with plenty of royal (and A-list) faces expected to attend.
Details about the bridal party and venue have already been confirmed (we can’t wait for a cute appearance from Prince George and Princess Charlotte) but some elements of the big day have been kept under wraps. Until now.
From extortionate costs to a surprisingly strict rule, here’s the latest on the couple’s nuptials:
The day will be Scottish-themed
This may seem like a completely random theme for someone with no Scottish background but it’s all down to Pippa’s husband-to-be, James Matthews.
James’s father owns a 10,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands and currently has the title of the Laird of Glen Affric. Eventually, James will inherit the same title, making Pippa Lady Glen Affric.
Apparently, Pippa loves Scotland so much that she has agreed to pay for a bagpiper to entertain guests during her wedding reception. She has also added a number of Scottish delicacies to the menu including haggis canapés and local whisky.
James also has the option to wear a kilt on the big day but is expected to incorporate his family’s tartan into a traditional suit instead.
Pippa’s wedding will cost some serious money
Wedding planning site Bridebook has come up with an estimated cost for the couple’s nuptials. Taking into account the venue, food, dress and evening entertainment, Pippa and James’ wedding could run up to over £260,000. That’s almost 15 times more than the average UK wedding which totals at just over £16,000.
According to Bridebook, Pippa’s intimate church venue and reception marquee could cost up to £65,000 with catering totalling a whopping £70,000. The bride’s dress is estimated to be around £10,000 while flowers are surprisingly expected to cost more at £16,000.
The bride has also installed a £100,000 ‘glass palace’ in the garden of the Middleton family home. The grand marquee will be the venue for the evening reception and will take almost a week to put up. Seems like someone might be trying to outdo her big sister.
It has also emerged that Pippa and James are hiring a vintage Spitfire plane to perform an impressive display above the reception at the family home. Pippa is also reportedly arriving to the church in a horse and carriage fit for the Queen. Two more costly additions.
Wedding guests will be shelling out a lot too
Apparently, Pippa has asked each and every one of her 350 guests to comply with a rather strict demand. They have been asked to bring a second outfit to change into for the wedding reception. It’s common for a bride to change into a second dress for the evening but the entire wedding party? That’s a lot to ask for.
Kate won’t be a bridesmaid
The Duchess of Cambridge’s role was unconfirmed but now, it is clear that Kate will not play a part in the bridal party. This is due to one simple reason: tradition. Bridesmaids are normally chosen from unmarried women in the bride’s family. If the chief bridesmaid is married, she can only be called the matron of honour.
Considering Kate has been happily married to Prince William for the past five years, it’s unlikely that she will be a bridesmaid. Instead, she is expected to read at the ceremony.
Meghan Markle will be attending
Despite Pippa’s strict ‘no ring, no bring’ policy which effectively banned unmarried couples from the ceremony, one man has been allowed to bypass the rule. Prince Harry has reportedly been given permission to bring girlfriend Meghan Markle to the ceremony.
All other boyfriends and girlfriends will only be allowed to attend the evening reception in the Middleton family’s grounds.
Pippa’s wedding dress designer is still a secret
Just like her big sister, Pippa is expected to only reveal her dress designer on the big day. British icon Giles Deacon is the current favourite after being spotted carrying garment bags into the bride’s home last year.
However, other names in the running include Amanda Wakeley, Elie Saab, royal favourite Jenny Packham and Pippa’s beloved Suzanne Neville.
The wedding rings have been purchased
Pippa and James have reportedly purchased their rings from Cartier with the bride’s diamond-encrusted style totalling around £15,500. That’s nothing compared to Pippa’s £200,000 engagement ring that astounded the nation.
The couple are taking married life seriously
James and Pippa have been attending Christian pre-marital counselling in the run up to their wedding. They have had five sessions with the vicar of their wedding venue, St Mark’s Church.
Pre-marital counselling is intended to help the bride and groom think about the vows they are going to make. Topics covered include communication, sex, family, coping with conflict and money.
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