In just a few short days, the world will be glued to their televisions to watch American actress Meghan Markle ascend the throne (no joke) from basic celebrity to astronomical superstar when she weds Prince Harry. A royal wedding doesn’t come along very often, but when it does, it’s a BIG. DEAL. So big, in fact, that many Americans will be waking up super early (we’re talking TV coverage beginning at 4 a.m.) this Saturday, May 19th to take in every minute of OTT pomp and circumstance that characterizes this ultimate fairytale wedding day.
If it seems as though everyone (including us) has royal fever these days, you’re not wrong. So why not lean in and really celebrate the occasion across the pond by throwing a royal wedding viewing party? Although you and your guests will have to rouse at a brisk hour, it’s a small price to pay to witness the event of the year in real time.
In this three-part series, we’ll share with you everything you need to know in order to throw a smashing good royal wedding party: from how to decorate, to what to serve, to how to fill those frequently long and sometimes unexciting (let’s face it) stretches of time within the royal wedding proceedings. First up: transforming your pad into a palace.
Royal Wedding Party Decorations
There are two directions you can take when decorating for a royal wedding party: either high brow, by trying to replicate the exquisitely grand ambience of a party fit for a queen, or low brow, by plastering your apartment with as much semi-tacky British and/or Harry & Meghan-themed paraphernalia as possible. But since more is more, and since nothing takes the pressure off of your own entertaining skills like group-watching an event that’s being scrutinized the world over, why not do both?
Decorate With: The Union Jack
Throw the British flag over any surface that stands still. Options are rather endless here, but obvious choices include table linens or a table runner, napkins, and drinking glasses. For a more unexpected touch, opt for a dramatic and stately centerpiece with this charming wooden toy yacht fashioned with Union Jack sails. Bonus: when the vows have been uttered and the paparazzi have finally gone home, you’ll be left with this beautiful piece of home décor.
Decorate With: Myrtle
In case you’re not up on your symbolic plant lore, here are some fascinating facts about myrtle:
- It’s the traditional plant of the British Royal Family.
- It was a symbol of marriage for the people of Galilee in ancient times.
- It comes in a variety of types and colors, from white to bright pink.
- Duchess Kate Middleton carried two sprigs of myrtle in her wedding bouquet: one sprig from a myrtle tree grown from Queen Victoria’s bouquet back in 1840, and one sprig from a tree grown from Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 bouquet.
To pay homage to this sacred flower, incorporate myrtle into your royal wedding party décor by placing large branches of flowering myrtle in sturdy vases for dramatic, spring-has-sprung table arrangements. You’ll be so inspired, you might even want to incorporate myrtle into your own wedding celebrations.
Decorate With: London Artwork
Transport your guests to the city of Big Ben and Parliament with some large-scale wall art and a big book of glossy photography. Prop up some canvases of the London city skyline around the room to establish the setting, and place this gorgeous TASCHEN book of London photography on the coffee table for guests to flip through when you’re still waiting for the bride to make her entrance.
Decorate With: Harry & Meghan
Pick an item, any item, and we bet you could find a version emblazoned with these two lovebirds’ faces on it right now. But why not just go full-tilt with a head-to-toe replica right in your living room? If you can’t be there in person, pretend H&M have come to you with this life-size, only slightly creepy cardboard cutout of the royal couple.
Decorate With: Crowns
Go thrift shopping for costume jewelry (or straight-up Halloween costume) crowns or tiaras, or head to the princess section of a toy store (you’ll recognize it by the floor-to-ceiling pink) for the plastic variety. Scatter wearable crowns around the room for guests to don, and then place a few pieces of legit-pretty crown décor on the buffet table or bar. This fine porcelain crown would make an incredible centerpiece when poised on top of a bed of greenery.
Decorate With: Tea Service
The great thing about throwing a British-themed party at 7am is that there’s no question what kind of hot beverage you should serve: tea is practically mandatory. Also great: the beauty of a fine china tea set. Set up an elegant tea service display complete with teapots, tea cups, saucers, sugar bowls, creamers, and accompanying serving dishes. Go with classic, floral, or more artsy china patterns based on your preference.
Pointmierion Sarah Miller London dinnerware
Decorating with tea cups is all fine and lovely, but you’re going to need to know how to brew a proper cup of British tea to fill them up—and what to serve alongside. Stay tuned for the next installment in our royal wedding party series for tabletop picks and recipe ideas.