Prince William and Kate Middleton: The Royal Wedding of 2011
Ben Stansall, AFP / Getty Images
With the big date set for April 29, plans are beginning to take shape and people planning to travel to the Royal Wedding are dying to get more details on the event. If you're looking for all the latest news, consider this page -- which will be updated frequently as news is announced -- your one stop shop for Royal Wedding details.
Royal Wedding Details: The Date
When is the Royal Wedding? The big day for Prince William and Kate Middleton is set for April 29, 2011.
Royal Wedding Details: The Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties
The details on the bride and groom's bachelor and bachelorette parties have been kept under tight wraps. Prince Harry, well known as William's naughty little brother, is the one making the bachelor party plans -- a detail that has the Royal family and Williams future bride a little worried. It is rumored Prince Harry has made a trip to a secret location to plan his brother's last shebang as a single man, but if you are traveling to the Royal Wedding and think you have a chance of catching a glimpse of the pair of Princes at a strip club, keep dreaming -- security is sure to be out in full force.
Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa, is planning the bride's bachelorette party -- known as a "Hen Night" in England. Since Kate and her sister have a reputation as quiet socialites, the party is expected to be a much more reserved evening compared to what Prince Harry might have under his belt.
Royal Wedding Details: The Invitations
Save-the-date warnings for the Royal Wedding were sent to guests by fax, but full handwritten invitations -- embossed in gold -- will be sent to 1,800 friends and family members of the couple. These guests to the Royal Wedding are separated into three tiers: those invited to the ceremony, the reception, and the after party.
Royal Wedding Details: The Dress
Kate Middleton's dress -- quite possibly the most important article of clothing she will ever wear -- has been the talk of the town. The public won't catch glimpse of the gown until the big day, but rumors are flying about who will design the dress. It is rumored that Bruce Oldfield, who designed Queen Rania of Jordan's dress and was one of Princess Diana's favorite designers, may have a hand in the matter, but no official details have been released.
Royal Wedding Details: The Ceremony
Westminster Abbey (pictured above), the official church of the royal family where the Royal Wedding ceremony will be held, is expected to fill to capacity at 2,000 people. However, most of the onlookers crammed into the church to watch the couple take their vows will include Royals and government officials, not friends. High-profile guests that have confirmed they will attend include Princess Fergie and the monarchies of Romania, Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium -- a list that is sure to grow substantially as guests RSVP over the next few weeks. It is also rumored Prince William invited Princess Diana's family, who have had a troubled relationship with the Royal Family since her death.
Royal Wedding Details: The Route
After the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the new couple will weave their way through some of the city's most historical parts in a horse-drawn carriage until they reach Buckingham Palace, where the royal wedding reception will be held. Thousands of people will line the route, hoping to catch a glimpse of the newlywed couple. The route isn't long, but the carriage will glide by many famous sites, including Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade, the Mall, and -- of course -- Buckingham Palace, where the bride and groom are expected to wave to the public from the balcony.
Royal Wedding Details: The Reception
Next comes the wedding reception at Buckingham Palace, a dinner party hosted by Prince Charles that 600 guests have been invited to. This event really is the "golden ticket" when it comes to the Royal Wedding events. Kate Middleton and Prince William were each told they can invite 100 guests, so only close friends of the family are expected to attend.
Royal Wedding Details: The After Party
The night of the Royal Wedding will be capped off with a so-called "after party" for Prince William and Kate's personal friends. Only 300 people have been invited to attend the celebration, mainly the couple's friends from college. Complete with a DJ and dancing, the party is expected to go well into the night, but there will be no bouquet toss here: it is traditional for royal brides to leave their bouquets at the grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, a tradition started by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at her 1923 wedding.
Royal Wedding Details: The Cost
PopEater's Rob Shuter says the Royal wedding will be the most expensive celebrity wedding of all time, costing British taxpayers upward of $20 million dollars.
Royal Wedding Details: Where to Stay
Hotels are selling out, but we've put together a list of secret hotel options that you might not have known about: Click here for that. It is rumored Kate may be spending her last night as a single woman at the The Goring, an old luxury hotel near Buckingham Palace, before she takes her vows, but not just any visitor will be able to check into the hotel for the wedding: Since many of the Queen's guests have stayed at the 100-year-old hotel when visiting London, The Goring Hotel is also speculated to be the place where the royal wedding party's guests stay.
Royal Wedding Details: Life After the Wedding
Following the Royal Wedding, the couple is expected to embark on a low-key honeymoon in Cornwall's Scilly Isles (pictured above), where Prince William went on vacation with his family in 1989. There is a lot of speculation into where the new bride and groom are set to spend their first year, but most sources think the couple will hole up in Wales, where the prince works as a search and rescue pilot. Several sources have reported the couple may embark on a visit to Australia and Canada soon after the wedding for some quality alone time. As the couple settles into married life, baby talk is sure to start spreading through all the tabloids. The couple may have a lot of pressure placed on them since Princess Diana gave birth to William within a year of her wedding.