Royal Wedding Vs. Real Wedding: 4 Big Differences

Kate Middleton is living out every 3-year-old girl's fantasy: Be smart and beautiful, find yourself a handsome prince, get married in lavish royal ceremony.

Of course, the truth of what it will mean to be a royal bride might actually be a bit more stressful than your average hotel function room $23,000 affair. And we all know the latter kind of wedding on its own has been known to send quite a few brides-to-be into therapy.

Wedding planning is stressful no matter how it's done. Even with a wedding planner, especially with a wedding planner, actually. The more bells and whistles, the more details to stress over and the higher the likelihood that someone will require Xanax before all is said and done.


And while it may seem like Middleton has the advantage of money and influence helping to make her day less stressful, the fact remains that poor Kate will be the center of attention in a way no other bride (save for Princess Diana) has ever been before. And she has just five months to prepare, considering her April 29 wedding date. Consider this:

Choosing a venue:

  • Average wedding: In an average wedding, the venue is the most important part, and for some couples, it can take months to pick the perfect spot -- months of scouting locations, going on tours, imagining the guests there, and sometimes being disappointed by the perfect location that costs far too much (DeCordova Museum, I am looking at you!).
  • Royal wedding: In a royal wedding, the ceremony is simple: Westminster Abbey. It's a place where only royals are allowed to marry, making it very special. So in this case, Middleton has it easy.


  • Average wedding: For non-royals, choosing a dress is often the most stressful part of the wedding. Some brides even design their whole wedding around the dress. Is it tea-length? Let's make it a tea party wedding!
  • Royal wedding: Kate will have one aspect easy. The designer she chooses will likely drop everything and design a custom-fit, made-for-her wedding gown. She has it way, way worse than us in other ways, though. Say she picks a bad one? Everyone and their grandmother will be mocking her. It will be a late night joke and possibly end up on Saturday Night Live. As a royal, whose wedding will be watched by millions, the pressure is on in a way none of us can even fathom. 


  • Average wedding: The flowers in an average wedding can range from a huge part to an almost non-existent part depending on the bride. Some skip the fancy and expensive centerpieces and choose instead to focus their budget on other things.
  • Royal wedding: If I had to guess, I would put the floral budget at Kate and Will's wedding near $500K. Why? Because Chelsea Clinton's wedding this summer had a $250K floral budget and she isn't even royal. The stress of choosing half a million dollars worth of flowers is worth not marrying a prince over!


  • Average wedding: This was the area where my husband and I really splurged. We spent around $6,000 on photography (in 2003 dollars) and I do not regret it for a moment. We have lovely photos that mean something to us.
  • Royal wedding: This wedding will be photographed by the best. They probably have a photographer who does all the royal weddings, though, which is kind of sad for the couple.

In fact, it's hard to imagine that Kate will be doing much of the planning at all. With a team of planners, Middleton will probably be able to coast, which is perhaps the saddest part of all. For all the stress of weddings, the average bride still has a day that was all about her and her spouse. No obligations or traditions that must be followed. The only two people making decisions (ideally) are the bride and groom. A royal wedding, on the other hand, is one big obligation.

She could not elope if she tried.

Maybe the couple can have two weddings. One for the public and one for just the family. Now, wouldn't that be nice?

Would you like to have a royal wedding?


Image via Facebook

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