50 days to UK royal wedding: Time for the personal touches

Mugs and other souvenir items for the upcoming wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are displayed for sale in a shop in London, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The wedding takes place on Saturday May 19 in Windsor Castle, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
In this photo taken on Wednesday March 28, 2018, a member of the Wedding Gallery staff carries a wedding dress for potential clients at the gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
In this photo taken on Wednesday March 28, 2018, a detail of a napkin with the word 'Bride' embroidered in gold on display at the Wedding Gallery, in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A souvenir plate for the upcoming wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is displayed next to plates bearing images of his mother Princess Diana and his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II for sale in a shop in London, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The wedding takes place on Saturday May 19 in Windsor Castle, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
In this photo taken Wednesday March 28, 2018, a member of the Wedding Gallery staff poses in a wedding dress at the gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Souvenir items are displayed for sale ahead of the upcoming royal wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at a shop in London, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The wedding takes place on Saturday May 19 in Windsor Castle, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
In this photo taken Wednesday March 28, 2018, a member of the Wedding Gallery staff poses in a wedding dress at the gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Memorabilia with a photograph the image of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are displayed for sale in a shop window in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
In this photo taken Wednesday March 28, 2018, Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, shows some of her stock of wedding dresses as she speaks to the Associated Press at her gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
In this photo taken on Wednesday March 28, 2018, a member of the Wedding Gallery staff carries a wedding dress for potential clients at the gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
In this photo taken on Wednesday March 28, 2018, two members of the Wedding Gallery staff carry a wedding dress for potential clients at the gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A tea towel with a photograph of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is displayed for sale in a shop in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Salman Qadir, manager of the King and Queen gift shop displays a mug for sale with the image of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
In this photo taken on Wednesday March 28, 2018, Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, speaks to the Associated Press at her gallery in London. The big decisions have been made: the venue, the guest list, the menu and the flowers. Now, with 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it's time for the details that will make a large royal wedding feel personal and intimate. That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A Meghan Markle mask and other souvenir items for the upcoming wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are displayed for sale in a shop in London, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The wedding takes place on Saturday May 19 in Windsor Castle, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Bunting with the image of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hangs outside a fish and chip shop in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Memorabilia with a photograph of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle displayed for sale in a shop in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Mugs with the image of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen displayed for sale in a shop window in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Souvenir mugs for the upcoming wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are displayed for sale in a shop in London, Wednesday, March 28, 2018. The wedding takes place on Saturday May 19 in Windsor Castle, England. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Mugs with the image of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen displayed for sale in a shop window in Windsor, England, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Britain's Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 19. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON — The big decisions have been made: Windsor Castle is the venue, May is the month, the guests have been invited and the wedding dress has likely been chosen.

Friday marks 50 days to go until the wedding of Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan Markle, 36 — time to decide the details that will make a large royal wedding feel intimate.

That's the view of Anna McGregor, director of the Wedding Gallery, one of Britain's leading wedding planning agencies. Its emporium in central London offers everything from wedding gowns to sample menus to festive cufflinks shaped like top hats.

"You've chosen your menu, so choosing your drinks would probably start happening about now, and picking how much wine you would need is one of the more fun parts of planning the wedding, because you get to do a great wine tasting," she said.

Her recommendation? In most cases, plan on a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine for each guest, plus cocktails after dinner "and beer for the boys."

This being a royal wedding, "I'm sure they've got a nice cellar they can pick from as well," she added.

One big challenge still to come, she said, is the seating plan. That can be a weekslong project even for couples who need to work out seating for 10 or 15 tables.

Harry and Markle have invited about 600 people for the wedding at St. George's Chapel and afternoon reception and then are having a more exclusive nighttime gathering for 200 of them. That's a minimum of 60 tables if you squeeze in 10 people per table.

Some new details are emerging. The Ministry of Defense said this week that regiments and units associated with Harry's years in the military will provide ceremonial support during the wedding and carriage procession. More than 250 members of the Armed Forces will be tasked with this role.

Their wedding cake will be a lemon elderflower concoction made by pastry chef Claire Ptak.

Kensington Palace officials have kept quiet about many of the key wedding details, including the super-secret guest list. Officials say the invitations have been sent but won't reveal the names.

The couple has also invited 2,640 people from all walks of life to come to the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch them arrive and to see their carriage procession from a fine vantage point.

On the wedding dress front , the designer of Markle's gown is still not known to the public, leading to a guessing game that is picking up speed. Will it be a British or American designer? The lucky fashion house that received the coveted assignment has no doubt been sworn to secrecy.

Dress fittings will likely take place inside one of the royal palaces, not at a bridal salon, where Markle could be seen by fellow shoppers and their cellphone cameras.

Regardless of what dress she chooses, McGregor expects Harry and Markle to define wedding styles for the next year — if not years to come — not just for the fashions, but for tableware, flowers and the overall look.

"She's already a style icon," McGregor said. "The royal family are style icons and have been for generations. So yes, it's absolutely going to lead trends and fashions in weddings."

___

Complete AP coverage of the royal wedding:

https://apnews.com/tag/Royalweddings

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