This Is How Much The Royal Wedding Will Cost

Royal weddings don't come cheap. Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day, for example, carried a hefty price tag of $34 million, US Weekly reported. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's estimated wedding expenses have not been confirmed by Kensington Palace — that would be quite garish. Nevertheless, the royal family issued a statement clearing up the matter of who exactly foots the gigantic bill — British taxpayers can rest easy knowing it's not them. "The Royal Family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards," the statement read.

Bridebook, United Kingdom's number one wedding planning website and app, has done the dirty work of counting costs. By analyzing over 170,000 weddings and reviewing 70,000 wedding industry suppliers' price estimates, the site discovered the estimated costs of "core aspects" of the next royal wedding. According to their extensive calculations, they theorized the big day to cost £32 million ($45 million). A significant chunk — over $42 million — is expected to go toward security costs. What about the other $2.7 million? Keep reading, and get ready for the most glamorous math you've ever seen!

Note: All of the following estimates in this article have been converted from British Pounds (£) to United States Dollars ($).

The seemingly simple invitations

Harry and Meghan's invitations were fairly traditional as far as wedding stationery goes. However, don't make the mistake of thinking traditional equates to affordable. Kensington Palace shared a photo of the royal invitations, naming the company who created them, Barnard and Westwood, and included a brief description: "They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink."

Although Bridebook originally estimated the cost of stationery to be around $28,000, that figure is likely higher — much higher. This is because the couple opted to use Barnard and Westwood, which sells 200 piece bespoke stationery sets exceeding $14,000. Then, after you add in the "Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales" with gold ink for all 4,000 guests and the cost easily skyrockets to around $281,000. The VIP invitations alone (sans gold embellishments) are estimated to cost $70,000 or more. 

Compare that to the average cost of wedding stationery, which is around $750 for 150 guests according to (via Brides). You certainly can't classify Harry and Meghan's invitations as a good bargain.

Those venues, though

The venue is an important part of any wedding. Unlike "regular" people, Harry and Meghan don't have to enter their names on waitlists or put down a security deposit. That's not to say the ceremony and reception are free — no way.

Harry and Meghan will say "I do" at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, as confirmed by Kensington Palace. To do so, they will have to pay a fee of $245 — chump change for this royal couple. The receptions — yes, multiple — are going to cost quite a bit more. A statement issued by Kensington Palace announced that the first reception will be held in the Great Hall of St. George's Chapel. Afterward, the couple will have "a private evening reception" for friends and family, a secondary statement confirmed. 

Bridebook gave estimates for reception costs if the couple were to choose a "luxury marquee," or tent, in the Upper Ward of Windsor. If Harry and Meghan opt for a glass marquee as Pippa Middleton did, the cost could easily exceed $421,000. Add the costs of catering, additional security, and marquee staff, and you've easily tacked on another $70,000 — at least. 

From lighting to dance floors — the decoration expenses

Decorating a massive estate like Windsor Castle is no easy — or affordable — feat. According to The Telegraph, the Lord Chamberlain's Office at Buckingham Palace has the task of organizing royal weddings. Harry's private secretary, Edward Lane Fox, helps in the organizing as well. Together, they oversaw the production and sending of the royal wedding invitations. They will also oversee the nuptials, the overall schedule of the big day, and the royal household staff. 

Although Lord Chamberlain's Office and Edward Lane Fox are responsible for a whole lot regarding the upcoming wedding, that doesn't necessarily mean they have to do everything themselves. That may very well be impossible — even for people as skilled at planning weddings as these folks. Bridebook contends that a top London agency, like HRP Production Solutions, could be tasked with everything from lighting to furniture to even dance floors. The cost? Oh, just about $182,000. NBD.

The cost of catering

What's a beautiful wedding without great food? Guests at Harry and Meghan's wedding likely won't have to choose between chicken, beef, or fish. In addition to having a dinner reception, a statement issued by Kensington Palace confirmed there will also be a lunch reception. According to Bridebook, members of the public who are invited to Windsor Castle — all 2,640 of them — will also be served "a hot tea and a snack." At just $14 a head, even the snacks add up.

Not to mention, hiring the best of the best caterers in London will easily up the total. With rates of about $140 per guest for lunch and up to around $420 per guest for dinner, the catering costs for this wedding are going to be nothing short of astounding. If you dream to plan a similar wedding someday, just know you'll need to save around $400,000 — just for food.

All that booze adds up

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding will not be a dry one, Bridebook says, which makes sense considering Buckingham Palace is home to an epic seven-room wine cellar. The 300-year-old cellar was completely renovated in 2007 and, according to The Telegraphits contents are estimated to be worth $2.8 million.

Likely 1,700 bottles of "vintage champagne" and 650 bottles of wine and spirits will be sufficient for Harry and Meghan's wedding guests. The champagne alone will run about $191,000. The addition of wine, scotch, other spirits, and mixed drinks bring the grand total to $271,000. To put that figure into perspective, the cost of supplying Harry and Meghan's invitees with booze — and booze alone — is roughly ten times the cost of an entire average American wedding. Though, the average American also doesn't serve vintage champagne... at their royal wedding... to thousands of guests.

No cheaping out on style, that's for sure

According to a survey by (via Allure), the average bride spends just shy of $1,000 — $998 to be exact. Meghan, on the other hand, is expected to spend over $420,000 on her wedding day look, which includes both her gown and reception dress. Bridebook surveyed over a thousand dressmakers in the United Kingdom and over 70 percent felt she'll probably choose an Alexander McQueen gown, as did Kate Middleton. Meghan's wedding makeup will likely cost an additional $14,000. 

Harry's entire wedding look may actually be cheaper than his bride's makeup. At a little over $11,000, that's still not exactly inexpensive. He may don a tailor-made Royal Air Force uniform to the wedding and then a custom suit later on. So, the cost could get higher.

If Meghan does end up having bridesmaids in her wedding, Bridebook estimates three dresses to cost close to $7,000. Lastly, Harry and Meghan's flower girl, Princess Charlotte, and page boy (ring bearer), Prince George, will need to look spiffy on the big day — and the estimated cost to outfit these two royal kiddos is nearly $2,400.

Can't forget the flowers

Shortly before William and Kate's wedding, a warm front descended on London and wilted 28,000 tulips in front of Buckingham Palace, Us Weekly reported. All of the flowers were then cut down and 10,000 more flowers were used to decorate the palace and Westminster Abbey. Hopefully Harry and Meghan don't have similar floral troubles in May 2018. If they do, the already-exorbitant cost will only increase.

Barring any issues, Bridebook estimates that the royal duo will have $154,000 worth of flowers. Nearly two-thirds of that budget could be spent on landing flowers for beside the marquee, and $56,000 will likely go toward decorating St. George's Chapel. Whichever luxury florist Harry and Meghan end up using, over a thousand UK-based florists told Bridebook they expect peonies to be front and center. Matching bridesmaids bouquets are also widely anticipated. The florists even speculated on potential colors — white and green throughout the entirety of the wedding. Time will surely tell.

The cost to capture it all on camera

Wedding photography is often a large expense — and that's without using the best in the industry. Hiring a top photographer will cost around $6,300. If Harry and Meghan choose someone like Hugo Burnand to take their photos, the expense may just about be double. Along with still photos, the couple are also likely to have a videographer present in order to truly and accurately capture the full day. If that's the case, they're looking to spend about $24,000.

Photography and videography are certainly not the most expensive services the couple will be utilizing on their big day, but it's still quite a shocking price. After all, it's only about two grand off from the cost of an average American's wedding — from beginning to end, that is. Nevertheless, well-wishers and fans will be glad to see some — or all — the photos of the big day.

The eight-tier (at least) wedding cake

Harry and Meghan bucked royal tradition when they chose to forego fruitcake for their wedding. A statement from Kensington Palace confirmed that the couple instead chose a "lemon elderflower cake." The cake will be iced with buttercream and "decorated with fresh flowers." Another statement released by the Palace named pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of Violet bakery, as the one tasked with providing the royal dessert. 

A cake from a top baker can start at $5,600. Additionally, since Harry and Meghan are having 800 guests, there will likely need to be at least eight tiers. The decorations used on the cake will also likely inflate the cost. In addition to the lemon elderflower cake, the royal couple is also expected to serve a second cake at their wedding. Okay, so the cake — er, cakes — will be outrageously expensive. At least they're paying for it, right? Let them eat cake!

Not your average DJ fees

Royal weddings feature many different sounds. According to Bridebook, if you were in attendance, you might hear everything from bell ringers and organists to choirs and trumpets. Kensington Palace announced that the Military of Defence will provide "ceremonial support" at the royal wedding, although the type of support was not specified. Nevertheless, The Telegraph reported that a trumpet maker by the name of Richard Smith received an official request from the Military of Defence for "20 state fanfare trumpets... silver-plated and stamped with the Royal coat of arms." They will likely be used for the Royal Announcement.

Of course, there's also a need for music at the reception(s).There hasn't been any confirmation from Kensington Palace as to who will perform at Harry and Meghan's wedding, but there will likely be live music, as was the case with William and Kate's wedding. The total cost for the big day's music? Over a half-million dollars: roughly $547,000. Add in additional entertainment — including fireworks — and this figure will easily surpass $600,000.

The wedding ring(s)

Not only does the royal family store their own wine, they also have their own pot of gold. Okay, maybe not a pot, but pretty close. In 1923, the royals received Welsh gold from the Clogau mine and then from the Gwynfynydd mine in 1986, according to Reuters. That Welsh gold is used to craft the royal family's wedding bands, which will most likely include Meghan's. Ben Roberts, managing director of Clogau Gold of Wales, explained to Reuters that he expects her ring to be a yellow shade to match her engagement ring.

According to etiquette expert William Hanson's interview with Harper's Bazaar, it's not exactly traditional for upperclass British men to wear wedding rings. You may have noticed William is never spotted wearing one. Nonetheless, if Harry decides to favor American tradition over British, that'll add to the total cost of wedding jewelry. Bridebook estimates fairly conservatively at around $8,400.

All the "little" extras

If you've ever planned a wedding, you know how all the little costs can add up. The same is true for Harry and Meghan's wedding, albeit on a much larger scale. The wedding favors may sound expensive at an estimated $4,200, but the royal family will be able to spare the funds, no doubt. Even more expensive than the favors are the toilets. Yes, you read that right — toilets. This is an extra that the couple's guests will likely appreciate. "Luxury toilet rental," as Bridebook described, will cost a pretty penny. At $49,000, they're definitely not your average port-o-potties. 

One very important aspect of the royal wedding is transportation. Lucky for Harry and Meghan, royal transportation is 100 percent free. According to Business Insider, Queen Elizabeth has a car collection valued at over $14 million. Will Harry and Meghan choose the Bentley, Range Rover, or Aston Martin? Decisions, decisions.

The honeymoon

Once the stress of the royal wedding is behind them, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can officially go on their honeymoon. Woohoo! The couple hasn't revealed where they're planning to go — probably so we don't show up. The couple has camped in Botswana together, as confirmed by their joint interview with BBC. It was apparently in Botswana that their relationship became more serious. "I think about three, maybe four weeks later [after meeting Meghan] I managed to persuade her to come and join me... And we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry explained. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic," the groom-to-be added. 

So, will Harry and Meghan decide to return to Southern Africa for their honeymoon? It's really anyone's guess. Wherever the couple decides to go, though, a hefty price of around $168,000 will follow. Hopefully they'll at least bring us back some souvenirs.