Pippa Middleton’s wedding to James Matthew has been described as the society wedding of the year, or at least it has in the UK. The world has been watching Pippa and her dashing millionaire fiancé for months, eager to see what type of wedding they were planning. Some reports suggested Pippa was organizing a traditional Scottish theme; others speculated that she would want something completely over the top to ensure her wedding rather than the royal wedding remained front and center in the public consciousness.
In the end, Pippa’s wedding was none of the above. Instead, it was tasteful, very expensive, and clearly a delight for the bride, groom, their family and their guests. So, what tips can we take away from Pippa and James’ nuptials?
Pippa’s engagement ring was reported to have cost a whopping £250k. By any standards, this is a big spend, even if your former fiancé was a successful fund manager in the City with a seven-figure annual salary. For us mere mortals, £250k is so far out of budget it’s on another planet. Luckily, there are other options.
The average groom spends three months’ salary on an engagement ring for his bride-to-be, but you can easily find a beautiful vintage engagement ring for a fraction of the cost of Ms. Middleton’s flashy ring.
There are some lovely rose gold engagement rings on the high street, so look for a ring that fits your budget and your fiancé will adore. Money can’t buy you good taste, so despite the hefty price tag, on this occasion, we don’t recommend following Pippa’s example.
Pippa’s wedding dress was a big surprise. She could have chosen an OTT designer creation complete with ruffles and acres of silk, but instead, she opted to wear a beautiful couture creation from Giles Deacon. The dress had a high neckline, cap sleeves to show off Miss Middleton’s toned arms, and a cute heart-shaped detail at the back of the gown. At first glance, Pippa’s dress was seamless, but the designer revealed this effect was the result of many hours spent hand appliqueing bespoke silk cotton lace.
In all regards, Pippa’s dress was a triumph. Unlike her older sister’s wedding dress, it was demure whilst showing off some flesh. It didn’t show off Pippa’s famous bottom, but the critics loved it and everyone marveled at how perfect the dress was for the nation’s favorite bridesmaid.
What Pippa has shown us is that less is more. Whereas many brides choose overly fussy creations featuring lace, netting, ruffles, and tons of detailing, Pippa has managed to hit all the right marks, effortlessly.
From the beautiful lace appliqued fabric to the delicate pearls on the bodice, Pippa’s dress was a masterpiece. Most brides can’t afford to go shopping for a couture wedding dress, but you can take away some style tips from Pippa Middleton.
Firstly, keep it relatively simple. The days of meringue wedding dresses are long gone. Modern brides prefer traditional, elegant designs. Remember that the congregation will be staring at your back for much of the ceremony, so include a few style details to amuse them. Pippa went for a heart-shaped cutout section that revealed her impressively toned back, but if you don’t have time to hit the gym, add detailing to your train instead.
Pippa wore a traditional veil for the ceremony. Her veil was elegant and simple, so adopt the same look for your bridal veil.
Work with your body shape and don’t emphasize the parts you dislike. Pippa chose a dress with a high neckline, which is demure and classy. Plenty of brides wear low-cut bodices on their wedding day but think carefully before you go down this road, as revealing too much flesh is neither classy nor elegant. This is your special day and all eyes will be on you, so act like a princess, not a tramp.
Pippa and James got married at St Mark’s church close to the Middleton family estate. By all accounts, it was a splendid affair and the happy couple was blessed with some sunshine when they headed to the reception in an E-type Jaguar sports car.
It was a glorious and very traditional wedding. The church was packed to the rafters with friends and family, and hundreds of well-wishers arrived hours before the ceremony to watch the wedding of the year unfold.
We have no details of the actual ceremony because phones were banned inside the church, but we can surmise everyone had a wonderful time. The happy couple enjoyed their first kiss on the steps of the church as the rest of the world watched, and judging by the happy smiles all round, it seems as if this couple are very much in love.
Planning a wedding reception is a very personal thing. The location, the vows, and even the flowers you choose for the church are very personal decisions. Pippa chose to get married at her local church, as it has a personal connection and her family regularly attend services there, but if a religious ceremony is not for you, stick to your guns.
The important thing is to have the wedding that is right for you. If you want a traditional church wedding, then great, but if you would rather say your vows on a tropical beach, don’t let family bully you into going along with their plans instead.
We have no idea what went on during Pippa and James’s wedding reception, but what we do know is that there was some serious bling going on.
A fantastic £100k glass marquee was erected in the grounds of the Middleton Berkshire mansion. By any standard, this was impressive, but when reports began filtering out about luxury portaloos, we were all impressed. Instead of queuing up for a standard portaloo, as is often the case at a larger wedding reception, Pippa’s guests were able to use luxury ‘throne room’ toilets with oak fittings, porcelain basins, spot lighting and full-length mirrors.
It’s clear that money was no object for the wedding of the year if you want your guests to enjoy your hospitality, it is sensible to pay attention to the details.
Think about restroom facilities when planning a wedding reception. Pippa and James elected to have their reception at Pippa’s family home. Having the reception at home is a great way to save money, but you need to make sure you have the right facilities for guests.
Pippa’s glass marquee is wonderfully over the top and not something most brides can afford, but a budget marquee will provide shelter from the sun or bad weather, as well as a place to eat and drink. Check out local marquee hire companies and see what services they provide.
Rumor has it that Pippa had a ‘no ring, no bring’ rule in place for her guests. Famous partners were excluded from the ceremony and reception unless they were married, although it was believed that Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s girlfriend, was invited to the reception.
If money is tight, it is a good idea to use this rule to keep your guest list under control. Whilst many brides extend invitations to guests and a plus one, adding extra names on to the list will increase your expenditure. There is also the question of whether you allow kids to attend the wedding.
At Pippa’s wedding, children were welcome. She had several children in her wedding party, including Prince George and his little sister, so it’s likely that children from the extended family were also invited to the reception.
If you decide to ban children and plus-ones, be prepared for some negative feedback. Guests often feel that a wedding is a great opportunity to enjoy a free party, but if you don’t have an unlimited budget, this could cost you dearly. Since it is your wedding, it is perfectly reasonable to ask guests to stick to the rules.
A honeymoon is your chance to spend some quality time with your beloved. You can de-stress after the wedding and enjoy a glorious start to married life. Think of your honeymoon as a wonderful oasis before real life takes over.
Pippa and James’s honeymoon destination was only revealed after the reception. Although they could have gone to Eden Roc, the luxurious Caribbean resort owned by the Matthews family, they have elected to spend their honeymoon in Tetiaroa in French Polynesia. The Brando, a luxury eco-resort, costs an estimated £3k a night, but this is a drop in the ocean for the wealthy Mr. Matthews.
For you or me, a honeymoon in French Polynesia may be a step too far, but if you like the idea of soaking up the sun for a week, look for great deals at adults-only resorts in the Caribbean or the Far East. There are always last-minute bargains to be found online.
If you want the perfect wedding, take a leaf from Pippa’s book and marry the man of your dreams. Good luck!