With Pippa Middleton’s wedding taking place in just a week’s time, comparisons to older sister Kate’s royal wedding are rife.
Of course, it’s hard to give the two marriages equal standing considering the Duchess of Cambridge’s cost £20 million and was watched by the world. Pippa, however, is opting for a much more intimate day that is set to cost around £250,000.
Here’s how the two high-profile weddings compare so far:
Kate’s royal wedding venue – the grand Westminster Abbey – seated 1900 guests and was filled with cameras in order for the public to watch.
Kate’s lavish lacy dress was created by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton. The satin design featured a long train and was unsurprisingly a traditional white shade. Apparently, the gown cost a whopping £250,000 to make.
Pippa’s is expected to be designed by British face Giles Deacon. Although the designer is known for dramatic couture creations, experts believe that the younger Middleton sister will go in the opposite direction to Kate. Diana’s wedding dress designer David Emanuel told Lorraine Kelly: “I’m thinking soft material… yards and yards of chiffon.”
Kate’s engagement ring has history in the royal family. First given to Diana by Prince Charles in 1981, it was passed down to Prince William who in turn presented it to his bride-to-be. The 12-carat sapphire is surrounded by a halo of 12 diamonds. Kate’s wedding ring was a much simpler design. As with most royals, it was made from Welsh gold.
Pippa’s engagement ring couldn’t have been more different. James Matthews proposed to the younger Middleton with a £250,000 Asscher-cut stone surrounded by smaller round diamonds. It has a much more vintage feel than Kate’s glitzy design. Pippa’s wedding ring is yet to be seen but is reported to be a diamond-encrusted style from Cartier.
Kate wanted her wedding to feel as spring-like as possible so actual trees were placed inside Westminster Abbey at a cost of £50,000. The bride’s bouquet was rather subtle and was made entirely from lily of the valley.
Pippa’s florist is luxury company Lavender Green. Her flowers are estimated to cost £16,000 for the day including elaborate table pieces for the marquee plus flowers for the church. Luckily, the Middleton family’s garden will have plenty of wild blooms, keeping the cost down a little.
The Duchess had two receptions: a 650-guest lunchtime one followed by a smaller evening event. Both were held at Buckingham Palace with all the major royals in attendance.
Pippa is going back to her roots, holding her evening reception in the garden of Carole and Michael Middleton’s Georgian mansion. 350 guests are thought to have been invited.
Kate’s wedding was naturally catered for by royal chef Mark Flanagan and his team of 21 chefs. For the lunchtime reception, they prepared around 10,000 canapés including crab salad, quails eggs and smoked salmon. Prince William’s favourite chocolate biscuit cake was also specially created by McVitie’s.
The royal evening reception consisted of a seafood starter followed by a lamb main course and a trio of mini puddings (trifle, chocolate fondant and homemade ice-cream).
Pippa’s marquee reception is expected to be catered by luxury caterers The Admirable Crichton. Over 2000 canapés will be required with 15 chefs needed for the preparation. 233 bottles of champagne are expected to be consumed with the total catering cost estimated at £70,000 (£200 per guest).
Kate’s eight-tier cake was made by Fiona Cairns. 17 individual fruit cakes were used in the stunning bake which featured 3D scrollwork, 900 iced flowers and over 17 different varieties of iced leaves.
Pippa will either be using London-based Domino Purchas or the more local Berkshire baker, Rosalind Miller. Her cake will need to be six tiers to feed all of her guests and is expected to come to a sum of £2600.
The Duchess went all out for her wedding day. The Westminster Abbey service had two choirs, an orchestra and a fanfare ensemble. For the evening reception, Kate organised fireworks and a live band led by Ellie Goulding. Buckingham Palace’s majestic Throne Room was also apparently transformed into a lively nightclub until the early hours of the morning.
Pippa’s wedding entertainment has not yet been confirmed but the bride is thought to have booked a choir, acoustic musicians for the drinks reception and a top-notch band for the evening. She may also hire a photo booth for guests to remember the occasion along with a luxury children’s entertainer to take the likes of Prince George and Princess Charlotte off their parents hands.
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