This Is How Much Harry And Meghan’s Wedding Might Cost

prince harry meghan markle

by Katie Rosseinsky |

It's the event of the year: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to tie the knot on May 19th at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in the most anticipated ceremony since... the last royal wedding.

Shortly after the engagement was announced back in November, the royal family confirmed that they'd be fitting the bill for the celebrations. So, how much is the big day expected to cost? Wedding planning website and app Bridebook.co.uk has crunched the numbers to find that the happy couple could spend an estimated £1,969,873 - over 100 times as much as the national average spend of £17,913 - excluding the rumoured £30 million security bill and the honeymoon cost.

For Bridebook.co.uk's founder Hamish Shephard, the wedding 'is the mixing of two incredible two periods. Whilst Harry represents the endless history of the British royal family, Meghan personifies the modern day phenomena of celebrity. Whilst the wedding is being held in a castle following ancient traditions, it will also no doubt break most social media records.'

With 4,040 guests, 17,000 glasses of champagne and an eight-tier banana wedding cake, here's how they broke down the costs...

Venue: £350,000

st georges chapel
©Shutterstock

Harry and Meghan didn’t have to undergo the usual search for the perfect wedding venue: when your grandmother is the Queen, after all, you have an unrivalled array of properties at your disposal. The couple are set to tie the knot at the 800-capacity St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, with the reception thought to take place at St George’s Great Hall and then in an outdoor marquee in the Upper Ward grounds of the castle. According to Bridebook, a luxury glass marquee (much like the one Pippa Middleton used for her wedding to James Matthews last year) will cost £300,000, with an additional £50,000 for catering, security and staff adjoining marquees.

Catering: £286,000

According to Bridebook's experts, this could prove one of the most costly aspects of Harry and Meghan's celebrations. First, there's the formal reception for state guests, then a dinner for close family and friends. Per Bridebook, a luxury caterer would charge at least £100 per guest for lunch, then £300 per guest for dinner. Then there's the 2,640 members of the public who've been invited along to watch from the grounds, who could be given drinks and snacks.

Drinks: £193,000

prince harry
©Shutterstock

On the day, drinks are most likely to come from the Palace cellars. Bridebook suggest that one glass of champagne is served for every 30 minutes of the reception, with half a bottle per guest per meal: with the couple's extensive guest list, they could lay on at least 2,300 bottles to meet this demand. If, according to the site, they opt for Bollinger, the royal family's favourite champagne, they could spend around £136,000 on champagne alone. Throw in some Tignanello wine to keep Meghan happy (RIP The Tig) and the costs keep getting higher. No word yet on whether Harry's ordered in the treasure chests from Mahiki...

Dress: £300,000

Reports on the estimated cost of Meghan's dress vary widely, ranging anything from £150,000 up to £400,000, and Bridebook have set their estimates at the higher end of the spectrum: £300,000 for a completely bespoke wedding dress. There's always a chance, too, that Meghan will chose another custom style for the evening reception (just like her future sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, did on her wedding day), which could double the cost again.

Floristry: £110,000

According to Bridebook, 'floristry is often much more costly than expected, and with at least two locations for the day, it will also be one of the heftiest costs for the couple.' Flowers for the marquee alone could cost around £70,000, with the church costing an additional £40,000. For their 2011 wedding, William and Kate used seasonal, British flowers, and we can surely expected Harry and Meghan to follow suit.

Photography and videography: £17,000

Dorset-based photographer Millie Pilkington, who photographed William and Kate's wedding as well as that of the latter's sister, Pippa, is likely to be documenting the occasion on film, as is Hugo Burnand. While the wedding will be broadcast live on television for the world to see, it's likely that Harry and Meghan will have a personal videography team - and maybe even a drone or two.

Cake: £50,000

The cake will need to have at least 8 tiers to provide a slice for each of the 800 guests, while the addition of fresh fruit will only add to the price (it's already been rumoured that the couple are favouring a banana cake...) As for the cakemaker of choice, our money should be on Fiona Cairns (who created the Cambridges' rumoured £80,000 wedding cake back in 2011) or Rosamund Miller, according to Bridebook.

Stationery: £20,000

From save-the-dates to invites to the Order of Service, the cost for stationery can quickly add up. Bear in mind, though, that Meghan used to moonlight as a professional calligraphist for A-list weddings, meaning that this is one element she'd be more than qualified to DIY.

Music: £300,000

William and Kate had Ellie Goulding sing 'Your Song' for their first dance, and it's been rumoured that everyone from the Spice Girls to Ed Sheeran to Elton John could perform on Harry and Meghan's big day. Whoever gets the top job, they certainly won't come cheap.

Trumpets: £90,000

Yes, really: every royal event needs a trumpet fanfare. The Ministry of Defence has reportedly requested 20 silver-plated fanfare trumpets stamped with the Royal Coat of Arms. Per Bridebook, they'll be made in the same workshop as those used for the Olympics and for William and Kate's wedding, costing between £3,000 and £6,000. We said this was no ordinary wedding...

Decoration and production: £130,000

Lighting and production will make this a world-class event, necessitating the services of a top production agency.

Wedding rings: £6,000

Tradition dating back to 1923 suggests that the rings will be fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold. While Prince Philip and Prince William do not wear wedding rings, Bridebook reckon that Harry will buck the trend with a gold band, predicting that 'Harry will choose to wear a band on his fourth finger, proving again that he is intent on doing things his own way.'

Bridesmaids outfits: £5,000

A designer bridesmaid dress can cost on average £1,000 each. While the Duchess of Cambridge had just one adult bridesmaid - her maid of honour, Pippa - Meghan might opt for more, as a nod to US wedding traditions.

Flower girl and page boy outfits: £,1968

prince george pippa wedding
©Shutterstock

Nicki Macfarlane created outfits for flower girls and page boys at the royal wedding in 2011, so expect to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte in her designs, which cost up to £340 each.

Church fees: £175

Like any other couple, Harry and Meghan will need to pay for use of the chapel at Windsor. This will doubtless prove one of the cheapest aspects of the big day - but it's certainly one of the most important.

Groomswear: £8,000

It's likely that Prince Harry will wear an RAF uniform on his wedding day - just like his older brother - as he is a qualified Apache Helicopter Commander.

Hair and make-up: £10,000

Two words: glam squad. Meghan is reported to favour Neville Hair and Beauty in Belgravia (which has also been frequented by Kate), while Richard Ward (who styled Kate and Pippa's hair back in 2011) could be another contender. There's also Amanda Cook-Tucker, who works with the Duchess of Cambridge on a regular basis.

Entertainment: £55,000

Bridebook reckon upon the RAF taking part in a wedding day spectacle, with a photobooth and children's entertainers among the other more conventional entertainment options. Plus, expect to see fireworks over Windsor on the night...

Wedding favours: £3,000

If Meghan's guide to hosting is anything to go by, expect something that's handmade and personal.

Toilets: £35,000

Not exactly glamorous, we know, but luxury toilet rental for 800 guests - plus the 2,640 members of the public gathered in the grounds of Windsor Castle - will certainly prove pricy...

Transport: free

If we've learned anything from The Crown, it's that the royals have an extensive state fleet at their disposal. Surely Harry can call upon Granny for a Rolls-Royce or three on his big day - and he might even borrow Charles' Aston Martin Volante DB6 to drive from the church to the reception, like his brother.

Honeymoon: £120,000

Bridebook's honeymoon experts predict that Harry and Meghan might break with tradition when it comes to the honeymoon, escaping ahead of the wedding then holidaying with 'a group of party-loving friends [...] to celebrate afterwards, either on safari in Africa or to long-standing friend Sam Branson's private Caribbean island, Neckar.' Sources have reported that Meghan will be footing the bill as a wedding gift to her new husband.

Security: a bonus £30 million

Security for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's nuptials cost a massive £30 million, and while Harry and Meghan's ceremony won't be taking place in central London, it'll still pose a major risk, necessitating rooftop snipers, undercover police and the latest military technology, plus an anti-paparazzi system that'll ward off rogue drones, too.

To read the report in full, head to bridebook.co.uk

NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline

Gallery

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle relationship timeline - Grazia

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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So when did the future Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were introduced by a mutual friend in July 2016, originally thought to be Markus Anderson (also the director of Soho house) but who was later confirmed to be Violet von Westenholz. Meghan said in an interview that before she met the Harry she didn't know much about him 'the only thing that I had asked [our mutual friend] was, 'Well is he nice?'. According to Harry he knew Meghan was The One from 'the very first time we met.' after only two dates Harry asked Meghan to accompany him on a trip to Botswana.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In October 2016 that the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend. However just a month later, Kensington Palace released a statement condemning the 'wave of abuse and harassment' faced by Meghan. The unprecedented statement, which referred to Meghan as Harry's girlfriend for the first time, emphasized that Prince Harry was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.' It continued 'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.' The palace were also forced to address speculation that Prince William was unhappy with Harry for confirming the relationship too soon, stating 'The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Early in December 2017 Meghan was confirmed as the most Googled actress of 2016. In the same month, the couple were photographed together for the first time in London, shopping for a Christmas tree at the Pines and Needles store and attending a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. By January 2017 a source told US weekly that Harry had introduced Meghan to Kate and Prince Charlotte and that the 'meeting went well'. Meanwhile a source told The Sun that Meghan had 'virtually moved in' with Prince Harry to his cottage on the Kensington Palace estate.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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By March things were openly getting pretty serious between the two: Meghan accompanied Harry to Jamaica for a wedding for the first time (his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip to Lara Hughes-Young). On April the 7th Meghan announced that she was closing down her lifestyle blog The Tig writing 'What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You've made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy.' In May, Meghan and Harry attended their first public event together at the Polo in Coworth Park (where they also engaged in some PDA). Later in May Prince Harry was seen driving Meghan to the reception of Pippa Middleton and James Matthew's wedding.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Welcome to Meghan the style Icon: at the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games in September Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands, Aritzia with a burgundy biker jacket by Mackage. The next day the couple were photographed sitting together at the wheelchair tennis and 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and kissing at the closing ceremony. On the 5th of September In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan stated: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
6 of 17

Late 2017 we saw the end of everyone's favourite legal powerhouse Rachel Zane (sob). In November 2017, shortly after Meghan met the Queen, the actress was reported to be leaving her role in Suits after seven seasons.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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After months of speculation, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating On November 27th 2017 . The engagement ring, said to be designed by Harry, is made of two stones that belonged to Princess Diana. The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label (whose website subsequently crashed). When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!' Speaking about his late mother, Princess Diana, Harry said 'I think they'd be thick as thieves. She would be over the moon, jumping up and down, so excited for me... It's days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. With the ring, I'm sure she's with us, jumping up and down somewhere else.' it was announced that the wedding would take place on May the 19th, 2018.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In December 2017 Meghan, Harry, Kate and William were photographed together attending the Christmas service at Sandringham. Pictures of the two couples earned them the title 'The Fab Four'. Meanwhile in the following months Meghan earned a reputation for breaking royal protocol on official visits by hugging fans of the couple and kissing them on the cheek.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In February 2018, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle had their first royal engagement together for the Royal Foundation Forum with Prince Harry and Prince William. Harry stated of the two couples 'We have different opinions and they work really well [together]. Working as family does have its challenges; of course it does. The fact that everybody is laughing shows they know exactly what's it likeu2026 But we are stuck together for the rest of our lives.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In the lead-up to the wedding it was confirmed 2,640 people would be invited to the grounds of Windsor Palace to watch the royal wedding. Photos of Meghan and Harry's wedding invitations were released, bearing Harry's legal name 'Henry'. Meghan and Harry made a number of public appearances together including to the Invictus game tryouts in April and attend the Queen's birthday at the Royal Albert Hall. Meghan's final episode of Suits is also aired, marking the official end of her acting career.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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On May the 14th, three days before the wedding Meghan's father, Thomas Markle sr. who was confirmed to walk Meghan down the aisle pulled out, following an embarrassing incident in which he staged paid paparazzi photos. Thomas Markle later suffered a heart attack, and his son Thomas Markle Jr. penned an unflattering open letter to Harry criticizing Meghan and encouraging him to pull out of the wedding. The day before the wedding, Kensington Palace announced Prince Charles would walk Meghan down the aisle, stating 'The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Meghan and Harry wed on the 19th of May for a combined audience of 11.5 million people who tuned in to watch the ceremony. Meghan's gown was made by Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of the fashion house Givenchy which she later changed for a silk crepe dress by Stella McCartney. Her mother Doria Ragland attended the ceremony along with a host of celebrities including Meghan's former Suits cast and her close friends, George and Amal Clooney.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
13 of 17

Throughout May of 2018 Harry and Meghan made their first official appearances as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. For her inaugural attendance to the Trooping of the Colour Meghan wore an off-the-shoulder dress, reportedly breaking royal protocal. In the following months the newlyweds made a number of public appearances including to Ireland to meet the country's officials. They also took a rumoured trip to visit George and Amal Clooney in Lake Como.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Speculation began during Princess Eugenie's wedding that Meghan was pregnant owing to her loose coat. The rumours were confirmed when Kensington Palace announced on the 15th of October 2018 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting a child. The announcement also coincided with the first day of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official tour.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In October Meghan and Harry departed for their 16-day Autumn royal tour visiting Australia, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand (obviously featuring some serious style moments from the newly-appointed Duchess of Sussex/Style). By November, sources were telling news outlets that the couple were preparing to move to Frogmore cottage in Windsor in 2019. The couple spent the anniversary of their engagement, November the 27th apart, due to Harry being in Zambia.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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As Meghan and Harry embarked on life as newlyweds there was less plainsailing, as controversy continued to follow closely on their heels. Meghan's family have continued to be the subject of unflattering media headlines and Thomas Markle gave interviews to the media about his distanced relationship with his daughter. Meanwhile Samantha Markle (Meghan's half sister, who also claims to be penning a book about the Duchess) was put on a fixated persons list after showing up at Kensington palace in January. Rumours of a froideur between Meghan and Kate were sparked shortly after Meghan and Harry's nuptials by reports that Meghan reduced Kate 'to tears' during challenging dress fittings with Princess Charlotte. In February, Thomas Markle leaks a handwritten letter from Meghan to the media in response to friends of the Duchess defending her in an interview and following numerous staff changes, rumours arise that Meghan and Harry's staff refer to Meghan by the nickname 'The difficult Duchess'.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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In March 2019 it was confirmed that the Sussex and Cambridge's 'royal households' will split, meaning the couples will no longer share staff. Royal spokespersons confirm that Kate and William's staff team will stay in Kensington Palace while Meghan and Harry's staff will be based in Buckingham Palace, reflecting the location of their new residence of Frogmore cottage in Windsor. Representatives are quick to confirm this is a planned move, and not due to rumors of growing tensions between the couples.

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