The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will cost millions, but the bride’s parents won’t go broke paying for it. The royal wedding will be paid for by the royal family, according to the Hollywood Reporter, although taxpayers will help foot the hefty bill for the extra security required for the high-profile event.
While the wedding venue usually eats up a large chunk of a wedding budget, Meghan and Harry’s ceremony will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, and the lunch and dinner receptions will be held at St. George’s Great Hall and Frogmore House. Since these are all venues owned by the royal family, that part of the wedding won’t cost anyone a penny. The queen’s fleet of Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, and Daimlers means transportation for the bridal party and families will also be free.
But Ivy Jacobson of the wedding website The Knot told CBS News the royal family will reportedly shell out $500,000 on a tent to keep paparazzi away and an estimated $186,000 to transform Windsor Castle for the big day, “including lighting, dance floors, bars, and seating.” There are also rumors that a pricey glass marquee that will be constructed for the reception, while the budget for flowers will likely top $100,000.
The invitations for the royal wedding, created by Barnard &Westwood, were estimated to cost $290,000. The invites feature the Prince of Wales’ badge printed in gold ink.
The UK site Bridebook provided estimates for other royal wedding expenses, including a catering estimate of $686,000 for the lunch and dinner receptions. Drinks will likely come from the royal palace cellars, but it’s estimated that at least 2,300 bottles of spirits will be opened, including 1,700 bottles of vintage Bollinger champagne and at least 650 bottles of wine, whiskey, and cocktails to be poured for over 600 guests throughout the day.
The lemon elderflower wedding cake, whipped up by East London pastry chef Claire Ptak, is rumored to cost more than $70,000.
As for the entertainment, the music for the royal wedding will be under the direction of James Vivian, director of music, St. George’s Chapel. Songs will be performed by the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, and a selection of choral groups and soloists (there will also be a DJ), and there will be $129,000 worth of personalized, silver-plated trumpets. Cost estimates for the music, photo booth, and fireworks display top $430,000.
One expense that has been kept tightly under wraps is the wedding dress, which Meghan Markle reportedly paid for by herself. Once the designer is revealed when the bride debuts the gown, it will be easier to determine the cost.
All totaled, Bridebook estimates Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding could cost in excess of $45.8 million, with an estimated $40 million needed for security.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding takes place Saturday, May 19 at noon at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.