to a wedding can be a lot of fun. What's not to like? You get to wear
your best stuff, sit through a ceremony, and then attend a well-thrown
(if you're lucky) reception. And the best part of any wedding reception
(well, maybe aside from the music) is the food.
Most people planning a wedding, even a modest one, want their guests to remember being well-fed and well cared for, and the royals are no exceptions. So there you are in your fancy frock and your hat, leaving the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey. What's next?
If you're one of approximately 600 members of the royal family, assorted dignitaries, and other guests from the couple's public and private spheres, you'll be heading to a reception hosted by the Queen, held in the spectacular state rooms at Buckingham Palace. This will be an hors d'ouevres reception, and a staff of 21 chefs are preparing more than 10,000 nibbles for the honored guests (for the mathematically inclined, that works out to approximately 16 or 17 nibbles per guest). These royal bites will consist of selections both sweet and savory, hot and cold. There are rumors abounding that musical entertainment will be provided by Jay Z and Beyoncé, and if that spins your head around a little bit, you're probably not alone.
If you're an intimate of the newlyweds - one of roughly 300 close friends and family members - you'll be invited to an '80s-themed sit-down dinner dance in the evening hosted by Prince Charles. While the menu has not been publicized, the Prince is well known for his keen interest in organic farming and local agriculture, so the dinner will likely showcase the best of British cooking using the finest locally sourced ingredients.
All of this food needs to be washed down with something. Champagne is certainly traditional under these circumstances - Charles and Diana poured Dom Perignon at their reception - but there's some interesting speculation afoot that the choice here might be an English sparkling wine. These wines are made from grapes grown in the south of England and these wines are just one more way in which the British are upending expectations.
And be glad you aren't footing the bill. According to several different sources, the average cost of your typical American wedding is in the neighborhood of $27,000, with the largest chunk of that going for food and drink. By contrast, the estimated cost of William and Kate's wedding is around $34 million - with roughly $600,000 of that covering the cost of the reception and the dinner (exclusive of the wedding cake, which is another whopping $80,000). That's one expensive party.
While English food has long been the subject of many a joke, it's really come into its own over the last few decades (just ask Gordon Ramsay). Regardless of what ends up on the menu, the food served at Buckingham Palace to celebrate William and Kate's marriage will most certainly exemplify the national cuisine at its finest.