As a Wedding Planner I can just imagine the buzz, excitement and quiet frenzy, present in London this week.
The British Royal Wedding Planning.....
It has been estimated that 2 billion people around the world will be watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday 29th April. Sadly our invitations must have got lost in the post. But I am consoling myself by taking a professional interest in the seating arrangements.
Ceremony to be at this glorious church - Westminster Abby!
1,900 guests are invited to the wedding ceremony, at Westminster Abbey.
660 guests are invited to the luncheon reception, at Buckingham Palace.
300 guests are invited to the evening dinner, hosted by the Prince of Wales.
46 foreign royals will be in attendance, including 6 Kings and 5 Queens.
King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister of Canada) declined their invitations.
The seating arrangements are going to be delicate, (I'm glad I don't have the task of mapping the seating for this one) as:
The guest list includes a mix of royals, family, friends, military personnel, politicians, religious figures and celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment. The couple have invited 4 ex-girlfriends and 2 ex-boyfriends. Westminster Abbey is essentially 2 churches. Guests seated in the Nave will see very little. The family of the late Diana Spencer (Prince William's mother) are not exactly on friendly terms with the British Royal Family.
Like many cash-strapped brides and grooms, Prince William and Kate Middleton are skimping on the reception food. Instead of a traditional sit-down meal following their Friday nuptials in London, the prince and his new princess have arranged for finger food at their lunchtime wedding reception. The reason for the toothpick cuisine isn’t clear, but it may be more politically correct to forego a lavish feast when so many English commoners are suffering economically.
With so many heads of state and other VIPs in attendance, it also may be a way to sidestep sticky diplomatic wickets created when a pecking order-based seating chart comes into play. Or, it simply may be a matter of logistics. Buckingham Palace doesn’t have room for a sit-down dinner for the 650 reception guests.
Times are for the UK, with Eastern Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time noted in parentheses.
Starting at 8:15am (3:15am EST/12:15 PST): The general congregation will begin arrive at Westminster Abbey.
9:50am (4:50am EST/1:50am PST): Governors-General (the Queen’s official representatives in her realms) and Prime Ministers of realm countries, diplomats, and other distinguished guests arrive at the Abbey.
10:10am (5:10am EST/2:10 PST): TRH Prince William and Prince Harry leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. They should arrive at the Abbey about 5 minutes after departure.
10:20am (5:20am EST/2:20 PST): Foreign royal families arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.
10:20am (5:20am EST/2:20 PST): Kate’s mother Carole Middleton leaves their hotel for Westminster Abbey. They should arrive 7 minutes after departure.
10:25am (5:25am EST/2:25 PST): Less senior members of the royal family will leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey. They arrive at the Abbey 5 minutes later.
10:35am (5:35am EST/2:35 PST): The following royals will leave the Palace for the Abbey: HRH The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, HRH the Duke of York and his two daughters TRH the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and TRH the Earl and Countess of Wessex. They arrive at the Abbey at 5 minutes after they leave.
10:38am (5:38am EST/2:38 PST): The father and step-mother of the groom, TRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. Again, it is a five minute trip.
10:40am (5:40am EST/2:40 PST): HM Queen Elizabeth and her husband HRH the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey.
10:48am (5:48am EST/2:48 PST). The bridesmaids and groomsmen (pages) leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.
10:51am (5:51am EST/2:51 PST): The bride, Catherine Middleton will leave the Goring Hotel with her father Michael Middleton.
11:00am (6:00am EST/3:00 PST): The official marriage ceremony begins.
12:15pm (7:15am EST/4:15 PST): The carriage procession of TRH the Prince and Princess William escorted by the Household Cavalry, followed by the Queen’s procession with a sovereign's escort of the Household Cavalry, leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.
12:30pm (7:30am EST/4:30 PST): The bride’s carriage procession arrives at Buckingham Palace.
12:40pm (7:40am EST/4:40 PST): Members of the royal family and members of foreign royal families arrive at Buckingham Palace. Other guests will trickle in from here until 1:25pm.
1:25pm (8:25am EST/5:25 PST): HM the Queen, the Prince and Princess William, together with their families, appear on the Palace balcony.
1:30pm (8:30am EST/5:30 PST): Fly over by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Continue reading on Examiner.com: William & Kate’s royal wedding schedule
Fiona Cairns, designer of this royal cake!
WEDDING CAKE -
Believe it or not, Prince William had a big hand in planning the wedding cake! Although he and Kate Middleton both chose luxury cake designer Fiona Cairns to create the royal wedding cake, the couple opted to have another dessert for their guests. They approached McVitie’s Cake Company and asked them to create a humble chocolate biscuit cake for the Buckingham Palace reception. According to news reports, the recipe of the chocolate biscuit cake is a guarded secret of the Royal Family and was a special request from Prince William. The royal wedding cake will be a traditional fruitcake with cream, white icing and a British floral theme.
Floral Themed wedding cake, with hours of meticulously hand sculptured edible flowers!
Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, Kate's choice of vehicle to get her to the church!
But while horse-drawn coaches have been the typical mode of transport for royal brides arriving for their weddings, Kate Middleton has decided to travel to church by car. Middleton will arrive at Westminster Abbey in a claret and black 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI .
But if the weather is fine the return journey from the abbey will be an altogether different spectacle. After the ceremony, William and Kate will ride in an open-topped 1902 State Landau horse-drawn carriage for the procession back to Buckingham Palace, officials say, allowing crowds to get a better view of the newlyweds.
There is something very special about this sort of occasion. It only happens once in somebody's lifetime. It could well be the wedding of the century. So don't miss out on the days regal festivities. I'll be watching right along with you!
All the world this week, including myself will be glued to our TV screens waiting for the Royals big day. There has been so much buzz globally about all things wedding related for the Royal couples nuptuals on April 29th. I can truly understand the enormous pressure this couple must be under, from press, media, fans and all eyes of the world focused upon them. Their privileged status and blood lines, their youth, as well as their aristocracy create a public frenzy of fans and followers. Yet this couple is truly down to earth. Yes all eyes are on them, but I am sure they like every bride and groom, they will lavish in the private moments they can capture on their wedding day. Finding brief moments to share with each other, in privacy, is paramount for any couple on their special day.
The Royal Programme is as it should be, distinguished and formally ornate. The multitude of other elements to this day are being handled by so many professionals and celebrity planners.
The big question though remains, what will Kate Middleton select for her wedding dress. the most famous yet to be revealed dress in the world is being designed by someone, maybe even the bride herself. Will she select modern or taking the cue from "the Renaissance period" which she studied in Florence. The gown is the one true personal touch in the day and rightfully like most brides, she wanted to keep it a secret from her groom till the wedding day. It provides us a look at the true personality of the wearer. Kate being a 29 year old fashionista, will likely wear something delicate and simple, timeless, classic and elegant. So many brides will view this gown and Kate's selected look as the fashion trend for 2011. After all she already is a style icon for this generation.
Certainly back in 1981 when Princess Diana wed, her gown, then designed by Elizabeth Emanuel, this dress was befitting a royal wedding and a youthful bride. Now 30 years later, the worlds top designers are all creating what they believe to be the perfect dress for Princess Kate. Since Kate Middleton has been compared so much with Princess Diana, my thought is that she should go the complete opposite, in her gown design.
No matter whether Kate has designed the dress herself or not, she will be a vision; feminine, elegant and truly sophisticated in whatever she wears. In so many ways, a true PRINCESS on her wedding day!
Happy Easter blessings to you all - Agatha
I just had to write about this ever so precious wedding that my newest clients (we'll call them appropriately Romeo and Juliette, as they prefer to stay anonymous) are planning with my assistance. Although I must say Juliette as with most brides, has a vivid vision of what her day will encompass. Just 4 months away and looking at an early fall date, they chose the Okanagan as their location since the couples families are divided between B.C.'s lower mainland and Alberta. Kelowna is a good meeting point and who wouldn't like to have a destination wedding in our little piece of paradise.
Now this is what excites me to no end. As a wedding planner I coordinate weddings in many different venues and with usual guest numbers ranging from 75-300, but my heart is with Juliette on this one. She's doing it very much like I myself did some years back for my own wedding. Here is how she has chosen to celebrate this very meaningful day.
- Surrounded by just her groom and 11 of their family members
- In a very intimate setting of a waterfront home
- Ceremony at the waters edge
- Wine and cheese tasting instead of a cocktail hour
- Tapas style reception choreographed by a Personal Chef, to top off their beautiful day
- Entertained by the melodies of guitar strings, played by Romeo's brother
- 3 family members children, to be flower girl and ring bearers
How SWEET IS THAT..... As sweet as the beloved fragrance of Lavender, prized for millenia, and a favorite of this bride. It is refreshing, clean and very soothing to the soul. We will showcase it throughout the day in various ways. Since it is both edible and fragrant, it will show up in surprising ways!
Her STYLE: It's a mix - Natural, Bohemian, Modern - they like the alternative, vintage and eco styles, but still loving modern
RECEPTION FEEL: Vineyard Vintage
COLOR Palette: Blue shades, Lavender, pink, purple
ELEMENTS repeated throughout the day: Lavender, specially selected old books, Hydrangea
VENUE chosen: "Casa Belle" - here is her modern choice, in it's natural design. I did a blog posting some time back on this exquisite property. Located 1/2 way between Vernon and Kelowna, past Coral beach and situated on Okanagan Lake. A multi million dollar property, spectacularly perfect for such an intimate wedding celebration. With it's modern West Coast feel, 9,000 sq.feet of multi levels, private beach and glass elevator it is a dream property for both a wedding and honeymoon stay-over.
CEREMONY: Under the flowing canopy of a bamboo structure on the dock, with the water as a backdrop. The private sandy beach will be thoughtfully strewn with lounge furniture. The bride will make her way down by glass elevator to the path leading to the beach. Once on the beach an aisle of shephard hooks with hanging mason jars filled with Lavender will guide her to the dock where Romeo and family members will be waiting. After the signing a leisurely respite to take in the moments just passed, while mingling with family at the beach side lounge area.
Casa Belle's beachfront and dock where the ceremony will take place
COCKTAIL HOUR: A magnificent 2000sq.ft. covered Mediterranean patio wraps this home and even in September, this patio is perfect for a late afternoon indulgence. Again setup with relaxing lounge furniture, masses of candles, and lots of personal items in a vintage theme. For the children, I suggested lavender lemonade presented in a beautiful glass dispenser and maybe lavender martinis for the grown ups. It will be a self serve - make your own Martini bar - which will provide interest and amusement for the guests. After a photo session, relax time while taking in the lake breezes and languishing in the beauty surrounding them, they will then make their way inside where dinner awaits.
RECEPTION: Since in the early fall, the sun is warm but the nights can be cooler, they chose to have dinner in the dining room which has French doors opening to a marvelous patio, sitting at treetop height overlooking the lake. So while eating inside they can feel like they were outdoors in the open, dining Al fresco style. Juliette wished to keep this family style and a little more casual so they selected a Tapas Themed menu, but with a West Coast twist. Sharing superb small plates provides everyone an opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Of course to go along with the West Coast Tapas plates, they will serve Sangria, still keeping in the winery theme. Husband and wife personal chef team, from "Your Seasoned Chef" are busily preparing an elegant Tapas Style sit down dinner fare. Having the chefs on hand in the open kitchen is entertaining and indulgent at the same time. Of course well chosen wine pairings will be offered with the small plate choices as well.
To serenade the group into the evening, the sounds of a romantic guitar, plucked by non other than Romeo's brother.
DECOR: Keeping in mind that the home is modern, but they both like vintage, we have chosen to decorate minimally but with a vintage edge. The dining table will have a running centerpiece of vintage mementos from treasured old books and journals, glass mason or apothocary jars filled with Lavender laid on a mat of green moss or possibly a tastefully elegant runner. This is a painting still in progress. We are discussing at this time whether the elements should be shabby chic style, rustic vintage, or modern vintage. Juliette has picked out some wonderful vintage elements she especially likes, and it is just a matter of collecting all these items to see where we will place them effectively to best show them off within the decor stylings. We may go Modern vintage in the dining room and perhaps Rustic vintage elsewhere. This can be tastefully accomplished by our mixing elements with different styles, colors, textures and shapes and in doing so we will create something unique, different and beautiful. Unique to this particular couple.
Re-occuring theme of old books, lavender and family mementos
Hand crafted stationary and invitations (wait till you see these, in my next blog) - Gorgeous idea!
Elements of the day, decorated with sentimental vintage items
Scent of Lavender in the air
Personal Chef is a unique twist and works especially well for a small intimate group
So stay tuned to see what Romeo and Juliette have selected for their wedding cake, awe inspiring vintage invitations, unique personal touches and very creative DIY decor elements for this fabulously intimate vintage wedding.
Back to more planning!
Veils add drama, mystery and romance to any ceremony. They create an aura around the bride that makes her walk down the aisle magical! It is the single most recognizable Bridal accessory.
For all my Okanagan Destination brides, here is another creative Canadian designer to purchase your wedding headpieces and accessories from. Sharon is the oh so talented owner/designer of Posh Veils, from Toronto.
Her newly launched 2011 collection is fun and fresh, modern clean and feminine. Pieces to compliment any style or personality. Beautiful statement pieces for that perfect touch of glam! Each piece lovingly handmade with touches of ethereal tulle & lace, satin & silk roses, wispy ostrich feathers, tulle petals, rhinestone encrusted or pearl beaded and all couture inspired.
Photo Credits to: Photographer Ishmil Waterman
Bonus, for any of my present clients there is a 25% discount if you provide my name as a reference when you call Sharon.
From classic to ultra modern, try these elegant traditional and non traditional alternatives for that perfect veil or hair accessory. Find Sharon at www.poshveils.com
Be bold - put it on!
AGATHA SOROS, Kelowna, B.C.
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