Like the Royals: The Wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews
By: Desi Dimitrova
2017 was a year of many happy star-struck unions. From Serena Williams to Jim Parsons (you may also know him as Dr. Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory) — the world of actors, athletes and socialites is tying the knot! But the most spectacular wedding of the season was that of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.
So, let’s take a look at what made it so memorable!
Who Is Pippa Middleton?
First off, we should establish who Philippa (Pippa) Middleton is. You probably recognize her last name, don’t you? Her sister had one of the most unforgettable weddings of all time, with people flying in from all over the world to witness the event. That’s right — she’s the sister-in-law of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge!
Of course, Pippa didn’t rely on her royal relatives to make a name for herself. She’s worked as an event planner, and even wrote a book about it. She’s a regular contributor to several newspapers and magazines, and in 2013 she became the head of her own company. Impressive, don’t you think?
Who Is James Matthews?
Now let’s take a look at Pippa’s new husband. He’s the heir to the title of Laird of Glen Affric. Even though it’s only a courtesy title, it comes with a side dish of a 10,000-acre estate. James used to be a racing driver and is now a hedge fund manager.
In 2016, Pippa and James announced to the world that they were getting married! The wedding itself took place on 20th May 2017 and the world was indeed watching. At St Mark’s Church in Englefield Estate, Berkshire (close to the Middleton family manor), the couple said their “I do”-s in front of their close family and friends. And yes, that included Pippa’s sister Kate, her husband — Prince William, their children — Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and of course, Prince Harry.
With so many royals in one place, you know that the wedding was bound to be elegant and tasteful. And it really was. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who was the maid of honor, was wearing a gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress.
The ceremony itself was in keeping with tradition. Kate read a prayer, while James’ bother read a passage from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
A 16th century estate seems to be the most romantic place where you can host the reception for your wedding. Add to that the proverbial gloomy British weather, with the sun peaking here and there, and you’ve got yourself a real-life fairytale!
The estate is in fact the family home of the Middletons, and it’s located 6 miles away from the Church. Could you think of a more perfect venue? We’ll leave Westminster Abbey out of the equation.
Pippa said “Yes to the Dress” by the British designer Giles Deacon. He custom-made the design, together with the then-bride-to-be. The lacy dress had a high neckline with an open back, cap sleeves and a full skirt.
The style slightly resembles that of Kate’s wedding dress, though the accent here was on Pippa’s toned arms which were bare throughout the whole ceremony.
The Food & Drinks
This almost-royal wedding deserved remarkable catering. And it got it! The 350 guests were treated with a variety of 20,000 canapés (no, we didn’t add an extra zero, and yes, that seems quitea lot!), and a five-course meal. They also enjoyed 17 lbs. of caviar allegedly worth £40,000 (~ $54,000), courtesy of an anonymous Russian donor. That’s quite the wedding gift!
The children had a simpler menu. They were mainly treated to finger sandwiches and vegetables.
As for drinks, guests were offered primarily champagne. A source found out that the brand of choice was Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne. It also came out that the guests drank about 900 bottles of alcohol. If you divide that by the number of quests, that’s pretty impressive. Cheers to them!
And what about the cake? No wedding is complete without it, and for an event of this scale, we’d expect a pretty spectacular cake. And we were not disappointed. It was custom-made by Domino Purchas, a cake designer. In its essence, it was a fruit cake, coated in icing and it consisted of 4 tiers. And it sounds delicious!
The Cherry on Top
No wedding would be the same without a special event to make the day even more memorable. And Pippa and James made no exception. Everyone held their breath as they were being treated to a spectacular acrobatically aerial performance from Supermarine Spitfire, the most widely-produced single-seat World War II aircraft fighter coming from Great Britain.
The show was truly amazing, and was followed by a live band.
The Little Quirks
We talked about the venue, the dress, the cake and even the breath-taking performance. But do you know what gives a wedding party its character? The little quirks. And Pippa and James’ wedding had several of them!
To start off, there were table tennis stations located on different spots in case guests decided to change up the pace. That may sound a little bit weird for an elegant wedding, and at the same time - it’s seems so British, right?
Then, there was the “phone police”. As the wedding included many high-profile people who cherish their privacy, mobile phones were strictly forbidden on the reception. And there were several staff members actually patrolling around and checking if the rule was implemented. Very smart!
Another little quirk was the cheese wheel. It’s exactly what you’re imaging: a wheel made of cheese. Parmesan, to be exact. It was standing along Spanish ham, which the chefs were slicing for the guests. But the cheese was left to each individual person and their skills with the knife. A bold move, Pippa and James, a bold move!
This incredible day cost the newlyweds an alleged 1 million dollars! It did seem to be pretty spectacular though. Do you think it was worth it? And did you see any ideas you might use in your own wedding?