While Princess Diana's fairytale wedding to Prince Charles was the iconic royal marriage for a previous generation, millennials swooned over Kate and William's vows in 2011. Now we get to have fun with all things royal again as the date of Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle draws near. And just as Kate's "commoner" status was a refreshing break with protocol, Meghan will be an even more modern royal bride. Celebrate this 21st century love story with royal wedding party ideas that will create a day to remember for you and your guests.
According to The Tylt, a social polling and opinion platform for millennials, more than 1/3 of millennials (35.6%) would give up Netflix for a year in exchange for a royal wedding invite. Perhaps it's because we grew up with crushes on Prince Harry, or because of Meghan's American nationality and biracial identity. Clearly, this is a couple people can identify with and cheer for. And if you're a fan of The Crown like I am, you know this wedding would not have been possible a few decades ago based on Meghan's divorcée status alone. So email your guests a themed invitation, stock up on champagne, and fill your house with royal wedding souvenirs. Live coverage will begin at dawn on Saturday morning, but if you'd rather sleep in, you can DVR the wedding for an afternoon watch party.
This is no ordinary wedding, so don't make your party decor ordinary either. Give your guests a royal arrival by taping a rectangle-shaped piece of red cloth along the entranceway to your home. Voila — a red carpet! Place British and American flags throughout your space to celebrate the transnational union taking place, too. You can also fill vases with peonies, Meghan's favorite flower, according to People.
And of course you can't forget the special couple themselves. Order a lifesize cardboard cutout of Meghan and Harry or print photos and frame them to create a photo table as seen at many weddings.
It wouldn't be a British wedding without fasteners, so encourage your female guests to wear the signature hair accessory. They are surprisingly easy to find and inexpensive, such as the fastener pictured above which sells for $26 on Amazon. Of course, tiaras are also an acceptable choice of headwear at a royal wedding.
As for what to wear on your body? One fun idea is to encourage people to wear an old bridesmaid dress in keeping with the wedding theme. Or you can choose between a more formal dress code generally and a casual one, such as a pajama party if you're watching in the morning in real time.
As with the dress code, your menu choices will be influenced by the timing of your party. If it's in the morning it makes sense to go with a brunch theme. Consider serving up a full English breakfast, a centuries-long tradition associated with England's "great houses" which consists of sausage, bacon, fried eggs, tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, and toast.
Add modern American touches to honor Meghan's modern style such as pancakes, waffles, or fruit and yogurt parfaits.
Teatime favorites like cucumber sandwiches, scones and jelly, and crumpets are all classic choices sure to complement the rest of your spread.
For dessert, slice into the same kind of cake Meghan and Harry chose: organic lemon elderflower with buttercream frosting.
In keeping with quintessential Britishness, any drink menu must include an English tea, preferably served in a pretty teapot with matching cups. Stick with a traditional black tea such as Earl Gray or English Breakfast, or leave hot water in the pot and let your guests choose from a wider range of tea bags.
Since this is a wedding party, your drink selection should also include a fizzy toast. Many media outlets have reported that Bollinger Champagne is the brand preferred by the royal family. However, depending on the size of your party and budget, you may want to choose a lower-priced bottle of bubbly.
If your party happens early, offer guests their favorite brunch cocktail such as a bloody mary, mimosa, screwdriver, or coffee drink. For a later party, pour Meghan's favorite type of red wine: Tignanello. And add classic British drink choices like hard cider and Pimm's.
Create a thoroughly British playlist of contemporary favorites like Adele, FKA twigs, and Sam Smith, as well as classic acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Marianne Faithfull.
Let your guests show off their fabulous outfits in a photo booth stocked with royal props. You can buy an appropriate set of printables from Etsy for $12 (pictured above). Create your own hashtag to share the party fun in real time.
You can also design your own Royal Wedding Bingo or drinking game so your guests can have fun spotting cliches or guessing who/what will be the surprise scene stealer (like Pippa Middleton's backside at William and Kate's wedding).
What do you get for the couple that has everything? How about a donation to one of the seven charities they are asking wedding guests to contribute to in lieu of gifts?