While even weddings among us commoners can still rack up quite the bill, the upcoming royal wedding will most likely be another story entirely. Based off Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding, when Kate’s dress alone cost $212,197, we can probably expect similarly astronomical price tags from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 nuptials. With the groom’s family footing the bill for wedding amenities like music, flowers, decorations, and the reception, the sky could actually be the limit for this widely-anticipated affair. While the count is on until Markle and Harry walk down the aisle, the count of the couple’s expected wedding costs is enough to make anyone of non-royal descent’s head spin. Prepare yourselves for lots of zeroes behind these dollar amounts.
British wedding planning website Bridebook broke down the pair’s estimated wedding cost, predicting the budget for everything from the entertainment to the catering. According to Bridebook, couples today spend around 17,913 pounds on their weddings (about $25,514), but they expect a slightly steeper bill for the royal wedding—£31,969,873, or nearly $45,520,303. Let that soak in.
So, where will these unfathomable costs come from? For starters, Bridebook predicts the royal fam will spend about $498,000 on the venue alone. While the future bride and groom won’t need to pay for access to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, they’ll most likely build a luxury marquee on the venue’s grounds. This can cost about 300,000 pounds ($427,101), excluding the corresponding staff and security.
Next up, the food bill, which Bridebook reports will have a $407,175 price tag. With plenty of A-listers and the Queen herself to feed, there’s no cutting corners when it comes to the royal wedding cuisine. Bridebook expects catering fees will be centered around a formal lunch reception and a later dinner reception for friends and family. Plus, the couple plans to invite 2,640 members of the public to participate in the wedding festivities, which equates to many, many more mouths to feed. Bridebook predicts each of these lucky attendants will be treated to one hot tea and snack. Down to the desserts—Bridebook expects the couple’s cake, which Claire Ptak of the London-based Violet Bakery will bake, to be worth about $70,000.
As for the attire, Markle’s dress will most likely cost a pretty penny. While she revealed she doesn’t want to outshine Kate Middleton’s dress, Markle’s gown could cost around 300,000 pounds ($420,000), according to Bridebook. The bridesmaids dresses and outfits for the flower girls and page boys will total about $9,500. When the groom’s wedding day garb is still up in the air, Bridebook estimates Harry’s look will add up to about $11,000.
The couple seemingly will spare no expense when it comes to decorations, either. Bridebook reports Markle and Harry will allot $155,000 for wedding day florals alone (that’s a lot of stems). As for lighting and production, the royals will most likely enlist an elite London company for the big day, which can cost upwards of $183,000.
Aside from Markle’s wedding dress, the main area of royal wedding attention also seems to be fixated on the potential performer. With rumors of the Spice Girls and Ed Sheeran, the reception is destined to have an unforgettable musical entertainer. Naturally, that comes with a hefty price—about $420,000, according to Bridebook. This will also include church choirs and an organist for the ceremony.
To capture the wedding of the year, it calls for the best of the best photography and videography services, which will set the royals back about a good $24,000. On top of it all, the royal family will pay top dollar for security on the big day. Will and Kate spent 30 million pounds ($42,691,800) on their 2011 nuptials, and this royal affair is expected to follow suit.