Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are one week out from their much-publicized nuptials, after a whirlwind romance that saw the couple get engaged in November 2017. On May 19, 2018 — a mere six months after they announced their intent to wed (so much planning, so little time!) — the couple will say “I do” in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
More than 2,600 members of the public have been selected to watch their carriage procession and arrival. The chapel only holds 800, so guests at the vows will be fewer and will include family and close friends. The couple is handling much of the planning themselves and have slowly unveiled the lineup of event professionals they’ve chosen to make their celebration beautiful and memorable. Of course, at PartySlate, we’re eager to see this event unfold and are excited to share every little detail about the team contributing their expertise and skills to the nuptials and reception. Read on for the scoop on the couple’s progressive choices of team members who possess value systems that closely mirror their own, with a focus on charitable giving and sustainability.
Photographer: Alexi Lubomirski
Instead of a royal photographer, Harry and Meghan have chosen fashion and celebrity photographer, Alexi Lubomirski to capture their wedding memories. The photographer already expertly captured warm, yet chic, pictures of the couple at their engagement shoot late last year. During an interview with ENews!, Lubomirski said of the shoot, ““It was one of the easiest, most joyful jobs because they were so deliciously in love.” Now, he will have the opportunity to beautifully capture the couple’s special day.
Lubomirski developed an interest in photography while traveling through Peru during a gap year in college and, according to his website, “his interest later shifted from social commentary to narrative-based fashion photography.” He boasts an impressive client list including publications like Harper’s Bazaar (US and UK), Vogue (Mexico, Germany, Russia, to name a few) and celebrities like Beyoncé, Scarlett Johansson, and Jennifer Lopez.
The photographer has published several books of his work, with the most recent, “Diverse Beauty,” aiming to highlight a broader range of beauty than that which is presented to us in fashion magazine and campaigns. Proceeds from his books are donated to the humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide.
Floral Design: Phillippa Craddock
Harry and Meghan have strayed from the norm again in their choice of the floral designer for their nuptials. Rather than following Prince William and Kate Middleton’s lead (who themselves followed Prince Charles) by selecting Royal Warrant holder Shane Connolly as florist, the couple have opted instead for a more fashionable choice: Phillippa Craddock.
Craddock’s website states that the team is “known for our discretion and warmth” — which will certainly come in handy for the high-profile event that promises to be a media circus. A self-taught florist, Craddock leads a team with diverse backgrounds sharing her passion for flowers and “down to earth” approach to floristry.
The team will work closely with Harry and Meghan to create floral displays that make use of locally-sourced foliage — much of which, according to a royal family press release, will be taken from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. Craddock will create designs that reflect “wild and natural landscapes” using florals that are in season in May which includes branches of beech, birch and hornbeam and blooms like white garden roses, peonies and foxglove.
It’s expected that Meghan’s bouquet will contain at least one sprig of myrtle in accordance with a tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest daughter. Myrtle symbolizes hope and love.
Craddock has said about working with Harry and Meghan: “The process has been highly collaborative, free-flowing, creative and fun. The final designs will represent them as a couple…with local sourcing, seasonality and sustainability being at the forefront.” Appropriately, Harry and Meghan have arranged for the flowers to be distributed to charitable organizations after the wedding.
Pastry Chef: Violet Cakes London/Claire Ptak
The couple has chosen pastry chef Claire Ptak, California-raised owner of London-based Violet Cakes to bake their wedding cake. They’ve requested a lemon elderflower cake covered with buttercream and fresh flowers to incorporate the bright colors and flavors of spring.
Ptak formerly worked as a pastry chef under the legendary Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She opened Violet Cakes in 2010 with a focus on using high-quality, seasonal and organic ingredients. On Twitter, Ptak said of Harry and Meghan, “They both share so many of the same values regarding food provenance, sustainability, seasonality, and of course, flavour!”
Meghan previously interviewed Ptak for her former lifestyle website TheTig.com (a now-shuttered site which she described as a “hub for the discerning palate—those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty). On it, Markle wrote, “Oh, Violet Cakes Bakery – you get me every single time. Pastry Chef Claire Ptak has hit the nail on the head with her London bakery serving up delightful treats that have garnered a cult following (in that ever so civilized British way) in the UK and beyond.”
Caterer: Blue Strawberry Table Talk
While no official royal announcement has been made, speculation abounds that Harry and Meghan will use the same caterer that Prince William and Kate Middleton used for their wedding reception: Blue Strawberry Table Talk (formerly just Table Talk). The caterer has earned a following for their innovative menus. Guests at William and Kate’s wedding dined on a three-course meal of salmon, lamb and a desserts that included Berkshire honey ice cream, sherry trifle, and chocolate parfait.
According to Food and Wine magazine, “Table Talk is one of the rare caterers that proudly holds a crown listing, which means it is one of the few companies that is permitted to cook and serve food in Historic Royal Palaces, or the HRP Group, which includes Kensington Palace. Table Talk also boasts a partnership with Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married.”
And given that Meghan used to run a blog called The Tig, named after the full-bodied Tuscan red Tignanello, it’s fair to assume wine will be in no short supply at her wedding to Prince Harry.
The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 12 p.m. U.K. time and is scheduled to last about an hour, so be sure to set your clocks for 7 a.m. EST/4 a.m. PST.
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