Any excuse to throw a party is a good excuse, but the upcoming royal wedding is a particularly fun reason to host a get-together where everybody can play at being posh for a morning. That's right, this is one party that will require your guests to get up super early on a Saturday: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 nuptials will take place at 7 a.m. Eastern Time (12 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time), meaning this won't exactly be your typical after-dark soirée. So how do you throw a royal wedding party that'll make worth waking up at the crack of dawn on a weekend worth it?
Since this is a huge event expected to draw the attention of millions of spectators worldwide, there are luckily lots of ideas and royal wedding-specific party favors out there that will make planning your bash a breeze, even if you don't have a Buckingham Palace-sized budget. Harry and Meghan's wedding, in case you didn't know, is estimated to be costing the royal family nearly $45,520,303, according to Brides (Meghan's dress alone was over $200,000). So think of it this way: No matter what you spend on your party, you'll be saving millions.
Basically, this wedding is like the equivalent of the Super Bowl for people who prefer gossiping about who has the most over-the-top hat than comparing, um, field goals (that's a football thing, right?). So get planning, because the countdown is on!
1. Send Out Themed Invites
It's not too late to send out invitations, as long as they're of the digital variety. These adorable invites ($10 on Etsy) are available to be downloaded immediately (you can edit the details, of course), and wouldn't love to find one of these in their inbox? Much more fun and formal than simply scheduling a Facebook event or sending out a group text (though those methods will do in a pinch).
2. Serve Lemon-Elderflower Cupcakes
Historically, royal wedding cakes are usually fruitcakes. But Harry and Meghan are breaking with this tradition (good for them!), as Today reported, and will be serving a lemon-elderflower cake from pastry chef Claire Ptak of London's Violet Bakery. This truly divine-sounding combination isn't as hard to achieve as you might think; in fact, there are plenty of recipes online to try (like this one at Chatelaine). Don't have time to bake? Grab some lemon cupcakes at the bakery and you'll be close enough. Also be sure to have a pot of tea going at all times (and, because this is America, it might not be a bad idea to have a bit of higher-octane coffee around, too, because... 7 a.m.).
3. Prepare Royal Replicas
While the palace of course hasn't released all the details of the wedding menu, they have revealed a few of the dishes guests will be sampling, including "sweet and savory canapés, bite-sized crème brûlée, biscuits with a mango panna cotta topping, yellow macaroons, and chocolate truffles." Reasonable facsimiles for most of those treats can be found at someplace like Trader Joe's, and the most you'll likely have to do is stick them in the oven or put them on a plate.
4. Set Up A Photo Booth
It's just not a party unless there are ample opportunities for hilarious selfies. Set up a makeshift photo booth in a corner somewhere and stock up on funny accessories like these Harry and Meghan masks (available on Amazon for $10), plastic tiaras, British flags, top hats, monocles, and maybe an outrageous hat or two.
5. Play A 'Harry & Meghan' Trivia Game
Do a little research on the history of Harry and Meghan's romance (as well as maybe some interesting tidbits about their personal lives before they got together, like Meghan's notable roles as an actress and Harry's notable conquests as a very eligible bachelor) and let guests battle it out for some kind of silly, inexpensive prize (a stuffed Corgi, perhaps?).
6. Don't Forget The Flowers
As People reported, peonies are Meghan Markle's favorite flower, so you can probably expect to see the blooms in her bouquet. Make your party Meghan-worthy with a few vases filled with fresh peonies and your guests will feel like they're right there at the chapel.