The nuptials between Suits queen Meghan Markle and ginger Prince Harry — dubbed by the Cut as Royal Wedding 2.0 — are rapidly approaching. That means you only have a few short weeks to don your finest trousers and fanciest hats to prepare for the biggest event since the last Royal Wedding (remember? The one with Kate Middleton and Prince William? It happened hundreds of years ago?).
Here, we answer every question you might possibly have about the upcoming wedding — and we’ll update this post as more information becomes available.
First of all, when and where is this thing going down?
Save the date: the wedding between Markle and Prince Harry will be taking place on May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. Luckily, that’s a Saturday, so you don’t have to take work off to celebrate. For those of you attending the wedding (or planning on sneaking in, no judgments), Google tells us the castle is just about an hour’s drive outside of London. Convenient!
But what time is it all happening?
On February 12, Kensington Palace announced that the service will start at noon (or 7 a.m. ET) at St. George’s Chapel, with the dean of Windsor conducting the service and archbishop of Canterbury officiating.
What happens after the vows?
Glad you asked! At 1 p.m., after they’re officially married, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will then take a carriage ride through Windsor Town (similar to the official carriage procession between Kate Middleton and Prince William after their wedding).
What about the reception?
Well, according to Kensington Palace, there will be a formal reception at St. George’s Hall after the service for the couple and the guests from their congregation (so basically, everyone they had to invite, rather than the people they’re actually particularly close with). Then — again, just like with Kate and William — the royal couple will host a private evening reception for their close friends and family (so, the people they’d invite to their wedding if they were normal, private civilians).
Will the royal wedding be televised? Can we watch the royal wedding online?
As you’ll recall, we all woke up incredibly early the day of the last royal wedding, since it was broadcast live on TV. But will this wedding ceremony and fancy carriage ride be available for public consumption as well? YES! (Thank God.) We don’t have details about where it will be broadcast or streamed quite yet (and we’ll update this when we do) but Kensington Palace has confirmed there will be cameras inside the chapel for the big day. So prepare your early-morning viewing party as such. But of course, the receptions will be off limits, sadly.
Who will be in the wedding party?
All we really know for sure at this point is that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be serving as pageboy and bridesmaid during the ceremony. It’s also been rumored that Markle’s stylist best friend Jessica Mulroney’s daughter Ivy might be serving as a flower girl at the wedding. But otherwise, we don’t really know who else will be in the wedding party at this point — and as of January, Prince Harry hadn’t even asked Prince William to be his best man yet.
Okay, but more importantly, tell us about the dress.
If you think we’d know much about the dress before the big day itself, you’re simply mad, my friend. But here’s what we do know: Markle is said to have already picked out a designer, and her aforementioned BFF Mulroney (a stylist and wedding consultant who is based in Canada) was apparently recently in London to help guide her though the process. Unfortunately, only five close people know who the designer actually is at this point (at least, according to Us Weekly).
Well, who will even be at the wedding?
The guest list hasn’t been released, but we think it’s safe to bet that Kate Middleton and Prince William will be there, as they are related to Prince Harry and also their kids are participating. Beyond that, we know for sure that Trump hasn’t been invited yet (and we wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t get an invite), the U.K. government reportedly doesn’t want the couple to invite the Obamas, and, oh yeah, looks like some ghosts will be there, which is cool. But we do have confirmation from Mel B (a.k.a. Scary Spice) that all five members of the Spice Girls have been invited and will supposedly be performing at the reception.
And what about Markle’s family?
The actress’s estranged half-sister Samantha loooves talking to the press — as does the rest of Markle’s extended family, apparently – so we don’t expect Markle’s chatty relavtives to get an invite. Markle is quite close with her mom, Doria Ragland – it’s even been reported that her mom would be the one to walk her down the aisle – but now that the tabloids are saying that her father, Thomas Markle Sr., has received an invite, there’s a chance he might be walking her down the aisle instead.
What’s this we hear about the public attending the event?
Ah yes, in March, Kensington Palace announced that 2,640 members of the British public have been invited to the royal wedding (and we assume you didn’t make the cut, we’re so sorry). According to a statement, 1,200 people were invited from “every corner of the United Kingdom,” as well as a number of folks from charities and organizations the couple supports, pupils from local schools, members of the Windsor Castle community, and members of the Royal Households and Crown Estate. It should be noted that Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t issue similar invites, how rude.
What about Markle’s bachelorette party?
Markle reportedly had her bachelorette party – or hen party, if you will – at the beginning of the month. According to Vogue, it was “low-key” and involved a “glamorous spa day” at the Soho Farmouse in Oxfordshire.
Where are Markle and Prince Harry going on their honeymoon?
We haven’t received official confirmation about the honeymoon location quite yet, but the Daily Mail reports the pair will be staying at a luxury lodge in Namibia, Africa, after their wedding.
Have the invitations gone out yet?
Yes! Kensington Palace revealed on march 22 that 600 people were sent fairly boring and formal royal wedding invitations (see the picture below) to the service and lunchtime reception. Meanwhile, 200 VIPS were also invited to a private reception at the Frogmore House.
How are Markle and Prince Harry preparing for the wedding?
It sure sounds like Prince Harry is #SheddingForTheWedding, as he’s reportedly changed his diet, quit smoking, stopped drinking as much, and has been hitting up the gym. Apparently he’s already lost a 10 lbs! Markle, meanwhile, has been going through some rigorous royal training – including recently being fake kidnaped and subjected to live gunfire as part of a security training program. Romantic!
What else should we know about the nuptials?
Well, Markle was recently baptized into the Church of England by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at St. James’s Palace Chapel Royal (so that she can be married in a Church of England ceremony). Queen Elizabeth unfortunately missed the ceremony, but the queen has apparently formally given the union her official blessing and Markle has been spotted wearing a new diamond cross bracelet. The couple has also already picked out their wedding cake: trendy lemon elderflower cake from London pastry chef Claire Ptak.
Some additional reading material about the wedding:
– The Significance of Meghan Markle’s New Diamond Cross Bracelet
– Damn, the Royal Engagement Photos Look Good
– Meghan Markle Should Definitely Get Married in Stella McCartney
– See Some Ideas for Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress
– Adorable Children to Steal Spotlight During Family Wedding
– All the Gossip About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding
– Meghan Markle’s Engagement Ring!!!
And check out some more here.
This post has been updated throughout.