Throw an affordable Royal Wedding party

The whole world is abuzz with wedding fever as William and Kate head down the aisle of Westminster Abbey tomorrow, Friday April 29 at 11am GMT… which means 6am EST where I live and as early as 3am for west-coasters. That’s not stopping plenty of Americans from watching the wedding live at the crack of dawn, or the lazier Americans from recording it on their DVR and watching it tomorrow night. I’ve been seeing a lot of party plans from different blogs and news outlets, and so I’ve decided to pull together my favorite ideas for parties ranging from early-morning ambitious to evening social.

Early-Bird Royal Wedding-Watchers: I plan to be in this category, but also plan to record the shindig just in case my morning self disagrees, in which case I can try plan B below with some impromtu-invited pals. So, my plan A includes the following, all organized just for me and my hubby in our PJs on the couch:

Nanna's Tea CupFine China tea cups: If you’re a true yuppie you may have registered for such a thing in your wedding or bought it for yourself by now in some classic Lenox pattern. But, if you’re a bit of a casual yuppie like myself the best thing you have is chipped Starbucks porcelain polka-dot cups and saucers. I think I’ll be dashing to Goodwill after work for some replacements, because depending on your area, you can find some stellar old-lady dishes there for next to nothing.

Strong English tea: I like the classic Twinings brand, but Tetley’s tea is the cheaper English alternative (that I have in my house right now and don’t have to buy, so will probably settle for). To be a true Englishwoman, make sure to steep your tea for at least 3 minutes, and despite common misunderstanding, putting your pinky in the air is RUDE so keep two fingers on the tea cup handle and your fingers resting naturally.

Homemade scones: For the non-Marthas out there you can certainly buy a “just add cream” scone mix, but scones are really easy to make by hand so I encourage you to make them yourself with the following recipe (serves 12 small scones):

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or whatever flavor you choose (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C for you Brits).
  2. Cut butter into mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add blueberries/flavor.
  3. In separate bowl beat together cream and egg, and slowly pour into dry ingredients, stirring until dough forms. Knead just until it comes together, 3 or 4 times.
  4. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, shape each half into a 6-inch round. Cut into 6 wedges.
  5. Bake on ungreased sheet about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Hat: It’s not a formal English affair without hats. I’m going to hit up Goodwill once more for an old-fashioned hat, maybe some gloves to go with it. If they’re all stinky, I’ll get myself a little girl tiara when I go to the party store to get a plastic crown for my Prince William.

Evening Recording-Watchers: If you can’t make the 6am showing, or you want to celebrate with friends, have a more lavish high-tea affair at 6pm to celebrate the couple’s 12-hour anniversary with tasteful drinks and dashing attire.

Drinks: In addition to tea for the modest few, you can serve Mimosas (champagne + orange juice), Wine Spritzers (white wine + sprite/seltzer), Pimms & Lemonade (Pimms liqueur – found at more comprehensive liquor stores – and Shwepps sparkling lemonade with fruit garnish) and Gin & Tonics (Tanqueray and tonic water with lime). For the peasants of the group, you can serve some Boddington’s, Old Speckled Hen, or another lowly commoner’s drink of your choice

Food: Finger sandwiches (cream cheese and jam, cucumber and mayo), duchesse potatoes (finger-foodable), plum pasties, and trifle for dessert.

Wedding ShotAttire: Think Kentucky Derby, because that’s as close as us Americans get to daytime formal English attire. Tea-length dresses made of nice fabric (which you can find a Target, believe it or not), big floppy hats, pearls and closed-toe heels (again, Target for a cheap version) for the ladies. Suits with bright colored ties or at least khaki pants with navy blazers for the guys. Provide some crowns, hats and white bead necklaces from the thrift store and party store for extra glam.

Music: When the Royal Ceremony has ended, or while waiting for guests to arrive, play upbeat classical music to mirror Will & Kate’s symphonic music choice. Find a “1-click concert” in honor of the royal couple at  www.classicalarchives.com.

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About Chloe

I'm a writer, editor and constant student of living (and eating) better. I currently work as an HR communications specialist in downtown Minneapolis, MN, with my very non-writery husband and a gruff little Scottish Terrier named Ginny. View my professional portfolio at http://wordtastic.wordpress.com, or my linked in profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/chloeaoneill/.

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