Royal wedding: 11 things Harry and Meghan have planned for the big day

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 13:52 pm

With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle fast approaching, royal fans across the nation are eagerly awaiting the start of the celebrations.

But if you just can't wait until Saturday, here are all the need-to-know details of the couple's big day to get you in the mood.

The ceremony

The royal couple will tie the knot at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, with the service due to begin at 1pm.

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The ceremony will be smaller than that of Prince William and Kate Middleton's at Westminster Abbey in 2011, as it accommodates only 800 guests in comparison to the Abbey's capacity for 2,000.

The venue is also the same church in which Harry was christened at three months old and where Prince Charles and Camilla's marriage was blessed, after saying their vows at Windsor Guildhall.

The reception

The Queen will host the first reception for the couple and all 600 guests at St George's Hall in the afternoon, and the second exclusive reception will be hosted by the Prince of Wales for 200 of Harry and Meghan's closest friends and family at Frogmore House.

Timings

9am: Members of the public who have been invited to watch from the grounds of Windsor Castle will begin to arrive.

9.30am: Guests will arrive between 9.30am and 11am by coach.

11.20am: Members of the royal family will begin arriving at the chapel.

12pm: The service will begin, with Meghan Markle due to arrive at the chapel's west steps at 11.59am.

1pm: The service will end. Afterwards, the newlyweds will leave the chapel at the west steps, before leaving the castle by carriage. Prince Harry and Ms Markle will be driven for two miles along Castle Hill, the High Street and into Windsor town centre before returning along the Long Walk for their reception.

Afternoon: The Queen will host the reception for the couple and 600 guests at St George's Hall.

Evening: The Prince of Wales will host an evening reception for 200 close friends and family at Frogmore House.

The Best Man

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Returning the favour from when Harry was his best man in 2011, big brother William will take on the role of the best man.

Prince William's children are also expected to play a role in the wedding party as a page boy and flower girl.

Meghan has opted not to have a maid of honour for her wedding, after struggling to choose from her close-knit group of friends.

The readings

The wedding ceremony will also celebrate the memory of Harry's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, with her three siblings set to attend. Her sister Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading.

The dress

While the details of Markle's wedding dress are sure to remain top secret until the bride steps out on Saturday, numerous designers have been tipped for creating the look, with Canadian-born Erdem Moralioglu, French designer Roland Mouret and duo Ralph & Russo, who designed the dress in worn in the couple's engagement photos, being among the likely candidates.

The dinner menu

The couple have selected a menu featuring classic dishes and seasonal British produce, with produce sourced from the Queen's own estates, and prepared at the royal kitchen of Windsor Castle.

Guests at the first reception are set to enjoy sweet and savoury canapes, and bowl food which can be eaten standing up, while the evening reception will feature a more formal sit down wedding dinner.

The wedding cake

The cake will be designed and created by pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of London-based bakery Violet Cakes, who Meghan previously interviewed for her former lifestyle blog, The Tig.

The cake will be lemon and elderflower flavoured, and will be decorated with buttercream and fresh flowers.

The music

The couple have appointed Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir to perform the music for their service, which will include well-known hymns and choral works, as well as a performance from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a 19 year-old cellist who was the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition in 2016.

The choir of St George's Chapel will also be singing at the service.

The flowers

London-based florist Philippa Craddock has been chosen by the couple to design the flowers for their wedding service, which will have a natural wildflower theme focusing on in season flowers and foliage.

The floral displays will be created using foliage sourced from the grounds of Windsor Great Park, and will incorporate white garden roses, foxgloves, peonies and branches of beech, birch and hornbeam.

The speeches

While both Prince Harry and Prince William are expected to speak at the reception, Meghan is also reportedly planning to give a bride's speech, giving her the opportunity to thank everyone for their help in preparing for the big day.

The photographs

Acclaimed fashion and portrait photographer Alexi Lubomirski will take the official photographs of the couple at Windsor Castle following the ceremony.

Lubomirski also took the couple's engagement photographs at Frogmore House last year.