For rich and royal individuals like William and Kate, the idea of setting a wedding budget seems contrived. But the couple say they want to balance the extravagance expected of them with a sensitivity to the troubled economy affecting Brits. It’s a sweet sentiment—and an unlikely reality. Estimates put the cost of the April 29 festivities at between $15 million and $68 million, a far cry from the $20,000 that a typical Canadian wedding costs. Most of Will and Kate’s wedding bill will be covered by the royal family, but the Middletons have insisted on paying for certain items, though nobody is saying what. At minimum, the two clans will pick up the tab for the church service, music, flowers, decor, reception and honeymoon. There is, however, one thing taxpayers will foot the bill for: security and street cleaning. The upshot? The big day should boost the British economy by $1 billion through tourism and merchandise. Now that’s a wedding favour.
Up to $315,000
Three different dresses have supposedly been made in case details get leaked. Most expect she’ll wear Alexander McQueen, but Sophie Cranston of Libélula has also been rumoured.
Up to $800,000
Bets are on a white trailing bouquet of Kate’s favourite flower, calla lilies, Kenyan Fairtrade roses (to honour Will’s charities in Africa and their engagement spot), and a sprig of myrtle, a royal tradition.
Up to $32 million
London police will accompany the bridal procession, and armed military personnel will escort the couple from the church service. Since this is a national holiday, officers will be paid double time.
Up to $78,000
Two types: a multi-tiered fruitcake covered in white cream and icing, and decorated with flowers; and a chocolate biscuit cake, a royal family recipe and Will’s favourite.
The first official royal wedding album will be available for download immediately after the church service. It will include performances by two choirs and the London orchestra.
Mailed in late February, each invitation was individually die-stamped in gold, then burnished, and features bevelled and gilded edges.
The Queen will host a lunch for 600 at Buckingham Palace, which will include thousands of canapés and a specially brewed beer. For dinner, given by Prince Charles, 300 guests will feast on a French menu, including a dish named after the bride, a royal custom.
Desroches Island off the coast of Africa seems ideal: it’s pristine and secluded—there’s only one restricted airstrip, and a single luxury hotel. It’s also where the couple rekindled their romance after a brief breakup in 2007.
Will & Kate’s wedding
Up to $68 million
Average Canadian wedding