Finance The royal wedding is a month away — here's how much Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to spend on their big day

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding will cost $2.8 million — plus $43 million in security costs.

The royal wedding is a multi-million dollar affair. play

The royal wedding is a multi-million dollar affair.

(Chris Jackson / Getty)
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  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting married at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, on May 19.
  • Kensington Palace will cover the cost of the royal wedding, an expense traditionally taken on by the bride's family.
  • The royal wedding is expected to cost in excess of $45 million (£32 million), most of which is allotted for security.

The average cost of a wedding for couples in the US and the UK is around $34,000 (£23,700).

Five figures is a huge expense for a one-day affair. That is, unless you're ultra-rich — and especially if you're royalty rich.

Next month, the world will bear witness to the most anticipated royal wedding in years. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are set to be married on May 19 at St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, and will begin a carriage procession immediately after the ceremony. Their reception will take place later on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Kensington Palace will cover the cost of the wedding, an expense traditionally taken on by the bride's family.

The case was the same for Kate Middleton and Prince William's 2011 royal wedding — the only item Middleton paid for was her six-figure Alexander McQueen dress. Their total wedding celebration cost $34 million (£23.7 million).

Markle and Prince Harry's wedding will reportedly cost in excess of $45.8 million (£32 million), according to Bride Book's estimation.

The venue is the biggest part of a typical wedding budget for couples in the US and the UK, taking up nearly half of the entire wedding cost. Access to St. George's Chapel — and St. George's Great Hall, where the wedding reception will take place — is free of charge for Markle and Prince Harry. Transportation is also free, thanks to the Queen's fleet of Rolls-Royces, Daimlers, and Bentleys.

The greatest cost for the royal couple? Security. Protecting Markle and Prince Harry, plus thousands of guests and onlookers, will run Kensington Palace a whopping $43 million (£30 million), estimates Bride Book. That includes the cost of snipers, undercover police, military technology, and security drones. The bulk of Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding budget similarly went to security costs.

Otherwise, Markle and Prince Harry's total wedding spend, including food, cakes, entertainment, wardrobe, and the honeymoon, amounts to about $2.8 million.

Below, check out Bride Book's breakdown of what the royal wedding will cost.

Food and drinks — $686,000 (£479,000). Catering is needed for both the formal lunch reception and the dinner reception for friends and family. Top-shelf champagne, wine, and whiskey will likely come from the Royal Palace cellars. The Royal Family’s favorite champagne, Bollinger, goes for nearly $115 (£80) a bottle; that's approximately $195,000 (£136,000) spent on champagne alone.

Food and drinks — $686,000 (£479,000). Catering is needed for both the formal lunch reception and the dinner reception for friends and family. Top-shelf champagne, wine, and whiskey will likely come from the Royal Palace cellars. The Royal Family’s favorite champagne, Bollinger, goes for nearly $115 (£80) a bottle; that's approximately $195,000 (£136,000) spent on champagne alone. play

Food and drinks — $686,000 (£479,000). Catering is needed for both the formal lunch reception and the dinner reception for friends and family. Top-shelf champagne, wine, and whiskey will likely come from the Royal Palace cellars. The Royal Family’s favorite champagne, Bollinger, goes for nearly $115 (£80) a bottle; that's approximately $195,000 (£136,000) spent on champagne alone.

(Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Source: Bride Book



Wedding dress — $430,000 (£300,000). The rumor mill is working overtime when it comes to Markle's dress, which will reportedly have a six-figure price tag and be paid for by the bride herself. A fashion icon in the making, Markle is expected to go with a traditional design and unique detail.

Wedding dress — $430,000 (£300,000). The rumor mill is working overtime when it comes to Markle's dress, which will reportedly have a six-figure price tag and be paid for by the bride herself. A fashion icon in the making, Markle is expected to go with a traditional design and unique detail. play

Wedding dress — $430,000 (£300,000). The rumor mill is working overtime when it comes to Markle's dress, which will reportedly have a six-figure price tag and be paid for by the bride herself. A fashion icon in the making, Markle is expected to go with a traditional design and unique detail.

(CARL DE SOUZA / Getty)

Source: INSIDER



Marquee — $500,000 (£350,000). Even though Markle and Prince Harry are using St. George's Chapel free of charge, they'll need a large event tent to host guests on the grounds after the immediate reception in St. George's Great Hall.

St. George's Chapel in Windsor. play

St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Source: Bride Book



Music — $430,000 (£300,000). An organist and choirs will be on hand for the ceremony, while a DJ and live wedding band will set the mood at the reception. The Ministry of Defense also reportedly ordered $129,000 (£90,000) worth of personalized, silver-plated trumpets for the event.

Music — $430,000 (£300,000). An organist and choirs will be on hand for the ceremony, while a DJ and live wedding band will set the mood at the reception. The Ministry of Defense also reportedly ordered $129,000 (£90,000) worth of personalized, silver-plated trumpets for the event. play

Music — $430,000 (£300,000). An organist and choirs will be on hand for the ceremony, while a DJ and live wedding band will set the mood at the reception. The Ministry of Defense also reportedly ordered $129,000 (£90,000) worth of personalized, silver-plated trumpets for the event.

(Colin Dewar/Shutterstock)

Source: Bride Book



Invitations and wedding favors — $290,800 (£203,000). Kensington Palace announced in March that British printing company Barnard and Westwood made the invitations featuring the Prince of Wales badge printed in gold ink. The wedding favors will be something low-key and personal, according to Bride Book.

Invitations and wedding favors — $290,800 (£203,000). Kensington Palace announced in March that British printing company Barnard and Westwood made the invitations featuring the Prince of Wales badge printed in gold ink. The wedding favors will be something low-key and personal, according to Bride Book. play

Invitations and wedding favors — $290,800 (£203,000). Kensington Palace announced in March that British printing company Barnard and Westwood made the invitations featuring the Prince of Wales badge printed in gold ink. The wedding favors will be something low-key and personal, according to Bride Book.

(Victoria Jones / AP)

Source: Bride Book



Production/decoration — $186,000 (£130,000). A top London production agency is expected to transform Windsor Castle into a modern-day fairy tale. This includes lighting, dance floors, bars, and seating.

Production/decoration — $186,000 (£130,000). A top London production agency is expected to transform Windsor Castle into a modern-day fairy tale. This includes lighting, dance floors, bars, and seating. play

Production/decoration — $186,000 (£130,000). A top London production agency is expected to transform Windsor Castle into a modern-day fairy tale. This includes lighting, dance floors, bars, and seating.

(Mambographer/Shutterstock)


Flowers — $157,600 (£110,000). Elaborate floral displays from one of London's top luxury florists will adorn both the chapel and the outdoor marquee. Bridesmaid's bouquets are also included in which the Peony is rumored to be the starring flower.

Flowers — $157,600 (£110,000). Elaborate floral displays from one of London's top luxury florists will adorn both the chapel and the outdoor marquee. Bridesmaid's bouquets are also included in which the Peony is rumored to be the starring flower. play

Flowers — $157,600 (£110,000). Elaborate floral displays from one of London's top luxury florists will adorn both the chapel and the outdoor marquee. Bridesmaid's bouquets are also included in which the Peony is rumored to be the starring flower.

(Jennifer Montgomery/Shutterstock)

Source: Bride Book



Entertainment — $78,800 (£55,000). A photo booth, children's entertainers, and a fireworks display will keep hundreds of guests entertained throughout the reception.

Entertainment — $78,800 (£55,000). A photo booth, children's entertainers, and a fireworks display will keep hundreds of guests entertained throughout the reception. play

Entertainment — $78,800 (£55,000). A photo booth, children's entertainers, and a fireworks display will keep hundreds of guests entertained throughout the reception.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Source: Bride Book



Wedding cake — $71,600 (£50,000). Guests will enjoy a lemon elderflower cake covered with butter cream and fresh flowers, made by California-based pastry chef Claire Ptak.

Wedding cake — $71,600 (£50,000). Guests will enjoy a lemon elderflower cake covered with butter cream and fresh flowers, made by California-based pastry chef Claire Ptak. play

Wedding cake — $71,600 (£50,000). Guests will enjoy a lemon elderflower cake covered with butter cream and fresh flowers, made by California-based pastry chef Claire Ptak.

(Ruslan Shramko/Shutterstock)

Source: INSIDER



Luxury toilets — $50,000 (£35,000). A necessity when you're accommodating hundreds of guests.

Luxury toilets — $50,000 (£35,000). A necessity when you're accommodating hundreds of guests. play

Luxury toilets — $50,000 (£35,000). A necessity when you're accommodating hundreds of guests.

(Shutterstock/August_0802)

Source: Bride Book



Photographer/Videographer — $24,300 (£17,000). Press will not be allowed inside the reception, so a private wedding photographer and videographer will be tasked with capturing the entire day. They'll also put together multiple photo books for an additional cost.

Photographer/Videographer — $24,300 (£17,000). Press will not be allowed inside the reception, so a private wedding photographer and videographer will be tasked with capturing the entire day. They'll also put together multiple photo books for an additional cost. play

Photographer/Videographer — $24,300 (£17,000). Press will not be allowed inside the reception, so a private wedding photographer and videographer will be tasked with capturing the entire day. They'll also put together multiple photo books for an additional cost.

(Stakhov Yuriy/Shutterstock)


Wedding party wardrobe — $21,000 (£14,700). Between stylish bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen tuxedos, and flower girl and page boy outfits, wardrobe costs for the wedding party will run deep.

Wedding party wardrobe — $21,000 (£14,700). Between stylish bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen tuxedos, and flower girl and page boy outfits, wardrobe costs for the wedding party will run deep. play

Wedding party wardrobe — $21,000 (£14,700). Between stylish bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen tuxedos, and flower girl and page boy outfits, wardrobe costs for the wedding party will run deep.

(Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock)

Source: Bride Book



Beauty — $14,300 (£10,000). A hair and makeup team will be on hand to keep Markle and the rest of the wedding party looking fresh throughout the ceremony and receptions.

Beauty — $14,300 (£10,000). A hair and makeup team will be on hand to keep Markle and the rest of the wedding party looking fresh throughout the ceremony and receptions. play

Beauty — $14,300 (£10,000). A hair and makeup team will be on hand to keep Markle and the rest of the wedding party looking fresh throughout the ceremony and receptions.

(IVASHstudio/Shutterstock)

Source: Bride Book



Wedding rings — $8,600 (£6,000). The wedding bands will be made with the Royal family's Welsh gold kept in the Royal vaults. While it's no added expense to the wedding, the rings are incredibly valuable.

Wedding rings — $8,600 (£6,000). The wedding bands will be made with the Royal family's Welsh gold kept in the Royal vaults. While it's no added expense to the wedding, the rings are incredibly valuable. play

Wedding rings — $8,600 (£6,000). The wedding bands will be made with the Royal family's Welsh gold kept in the Royal vaults. While it's no added expense to the wedding, the rings are incredibly valuable.

(Getty/Chris Jackson)

Source: Bride Book



Bonus: The Honeymoon — $172,000 (£120,000). Bride Book's expert predicts Markle and Prince Harry will take a pre-wedding trip as well as a vacation with friends after the wedding frenzy has subsided. Markle is reportedly footing the honeymoon bill as a gift to her new husband.

Bonus: The Honeymoon — $172,000 (£120,000). Bride Book's expert predicts Markle and Prince Harry will take a pre-wedding trip as well as a vacation with friends after the wedding frenzy has subsided. Markle is reportedly footing the honeymoon bill as a gift to her new husband. play

Bonus: The Honeymoon — $172,000 (£120,000). Bride Book's expert predicts Markle and Prince Harry will take a pre-wedding trip as well as a vacation with friends after the wedding frenzy has subsided. Markle is reportedly footing the honeymoon bill as a gift to her new husband.

(Facebook, Necker Island)

Source: Bride Book