Audiences across the world watching Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry on Saturday are expecting romance and pageantry, including diamond studded tiaras and 21 foot long dress trains. But such memorable opulence doesn’t come cheap.
While the average U.K. wedding costs about $37,000, a considerable figure in and of itself, England based luxury wedding planner Aimee Dunne tells she estimates that, before security, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will cost $2.7 million. A whopping $40.1 million more will be dished out on keeping the betrothed and their guests safe, reports U.K. wedding site Bridebook.
Here’s how the expenses break down.
Food and beverage: $680,000
Head chef Mark Flanagan probably won’t be serving ortolans(Italian) on the big day, but there will be no shortage of classy hors d’œuvre(appetizers) and desserts, including a much anticipated lemon elderflower cake.
With 600 guests attending both the lunch and dinner receptions, plus 2,640 guests from the public who will be provided with tea and a hot snack on the grounds of Windsor Castle, Dunne expects the food and beverage to amount to a quarter of the total budget.
“There will be lots of champagne and whiskey, I’m sure, for Harry,” she says.
Glass marquee: $400,000
While the prince and soon to be duchess don’t have to pay to rent out St. George’s Chapel or the Great Hall, there are rumors that the royals are building a glass marquee for the reception. The construction and delivery could cost as much as $400,000, according to Dunne.
The latest front runner in the question of what Markle will wear on Saturday is a dress from Ralph & Russo, London haute couture designers which have previously prepared outfits for stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Beyonce. Ralph & Russo supplied Markle with the dress she wore during her official engagement photo shoot.
Given the size and scale of the wedding, hiring a team of florists to decorate Windsor Castle will be costly. “It will be tasteful. I don’t think it’s going to be overly kind of glam and wasteful in terms of what they spend,” says Dunne, “but even in that case … they could easily spend 100,000 on flowers.”
The rest of the budget
Other considerable expenses include entertainment. “The music will be under the direction of James Vivian, director of music, St. George’s Chapel, including the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, and a selection of choral groups, soloists and musicians,” Kensington Palace announced.