Although Princess Eugenie has big shoes to fill following Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle earlier in the year, it seems this royal is taking a slightly more frugal route to her upcoming October 12 nuptials. And by slightly, we mean about a mere £2.7 million (about $3.5 million) predicted budget compared to Harry and Meghan's estimated $45 million wedding cost. Royals seemingly spare no ceremony expense!
So where exactly will the 28-year-old and her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank, allocate their predicted funds? Hamish Shephard, founder of British wedding planning website Bridebook (which also predicted Meghan and Harry's wedding budget back in March), dished on the dollars (er, pounds) in an interview with Daily Mail. With data drawn from 170,000 weddings and 70,000 bridal vendors via Bridebook's database, here are a few key points from Shephard's mind-boggling breakdown:
If we've learned anything from royal brides past, it's that their wedding dresses alone tend to significantly spike the bill. Kate Middleton's, for example, is believed to have been worth $434,000. So far, we only know that Eugenie has selected a British designer to create her gown, but Bridebook pegs Stella McCartney, who designed Meghan Markle's wedding reception dress, as The One. "The price tag for a bespoke Stella McCartney gown? Somewhere around a casual £200,000," said Shephard, which equates to $260,000, a.k.a. way more than most couples spend on their entire weddings.
Rounding out the largest chunk of Princess Eugenie's wedding budget, an increased security presence will cost $2.5 million...at the taxpayer's expense. Citizens of the U.K. aren't too thrilled to be footing the bill, but this fee pales in comparison to the estimated £20 million ($25.4 million) worth of security precautions that the public also covered for Harry and Meghan's wedding.
Brooksbank and Eugenie will follow Harry and Meghan's footsteps and wed within St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Taking a different approach for their reception, however, the pair has reportedly decided to host a black-tie evening party at the bride's family home, Royal Lodge. The reception venue itself obviously won't require any out-of-pocket fees from the couple, but they do plan to set up a marquee on the property grounds. According to Shephard, a tent fit for a royal, combined with extra catering and bathroom accommodations, could set Eugenie and Brooksbank back up to £85,000 ($110,000). Plus, it's rumored that they have decided to make their reception a two-day event, further bumping up the cost.
Speaking of catering, the couple will have plenty of mouths to feed—they supposedly invited 850 guests to their ceremony (that's 250 more than Harry and Meghan!)—along with 1,200 members of the general public. Additionally, Eugenie previously told British Vogue that she plans to have a plastic-free wedding (save the planet!), and Shephard says finding plastic alternatives will be costly. All in all, she expects around £100,000 to £151,600 (between $130,000 and $197,000) to be spent on high-end catering.
It wouldn't be a wedding, royal or not, without plenty of beverages to keep guests entertained. And given Brooksbank's background (he's an ambassador for George Clooney's tequila brand, Casamigos), alcohol will likely be a top budgeting priority.
"If there's one thing Eugenie and Jack will do better than Harry and Meghan, it's the alcohol," said Shephard.
Tequila could potentially be complimentary, but that still leaves wedding-worthy liquor like champagne and wine, all of which could cost around £84,500, or $110,000 (they have plenty of guests to satisfy, after all!).
"Hundreds of thousands of fresh flowers and herbs will decorate the church, Windsor Castle and marquees, likely with the notable caveat that they can be replanted following the wedding to ensure minimal environmental impact," says Shephard, who believes the pair will opt for an eco-friendly floral route. "This a noble, yet pricey decision."
The couple has chosen London-based florist Rob van Helden to design their wedding blooms. While we don't know what specific arrangements to expect on the big day, Shephard predicts a £100,000 ($130,000) bill for flowers alone.
According to Shephard, Eugenie and Brooksbank made their wedding invitations unique with a Nelson Mandela quote. "To top it there is some beautiful calligraphy and the family's badge printed in gold ink, which, although not as significant as the quote, will weigh on the final price a lot more," she says. Royal-worthy wedding stationery likely cost the couple around £30,000 ($39,000).
Photography and Videography
Harry and Meghan's wedding and engagement photographer, Alexi Lubomirski, set the picture bar high. Topping their royal wedding predecessors in the photography department will require the best of the best—and potentially up to £17,000 ($22,000).
"Expect to see the ever increasingly popular documentary photography style prevailing, highlighting Eugenie and Jack as a young, fun, and more laid back royal couple," says Shephard.
With big hitters like Ellie Goulding pitted to perform, music and entertainment will likely amount to no small fee. Although the couple has no shortage of musically-inclined pals in their close circle (including Goulding and James Blunt), who may offer their talents for free, they'll also have to plan for ceremony music, DJs, and potentially a live band. Not to mention the Kingdom Choir from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding ceremony will be hard to beat. Shephard thinks this planning component could amount anywhere between £25,000 and £55,000 ($33,000-$72,000).