What are your plans for the royal wedding this Saturday? If you're doing anything fancier than simply switching on the TV for an hour, then we urge you to think again – these events don't come round very often, and they're also the perfect excuse to get your family and friends together, have a drink and some nibbles, and celebrate everything about being British. Don't worry if you feel you've left it too late to organise something, either – we've called on professional party planner Tony Jack from Profirst, a hugely successful events ageny, who has organised events for some of the world’s leading cosmetics, fashion and lifestyle brands, for his tips on hosting a last-minute royal wedding get-together.
Remember the wedding starts at 12:00pm GMT sharpish. "Get the TV on really early and ensure it's positioned so that everyone can see it," says Tony. "There's nothing worse for that guest perched on half a sofa arm than having to lean forwards for three hours."
This is what email was made for – grab your friends' work addresses and put together a quick electronic invite to land in their inboxes during their lunchbreaks. "It's sure to cheer them midweek and get them excited for Saturday," says Tony.
"Tell your friends to dress up for the occasion – and go as Royal as possible!" says Tony. "Think jewels, white gloves, gowns and crowns with a slick of Your Majesty, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Luxe Lip Colour across your lips for a bright berry shade of pigment that won’t fade throughout the festivities. You could also ask people to make their own fascinators – whipping them up the night before is great fun – encourage the men in your life to don a top hat or at least some Harry and Meghan face masks.
Royal Wedding party Decorations
"Of course you have to have bunting, its easy to hang and can transform a space in sections," says Tony. "Go for a vintage-looking Union Jack style – this one from Amazon is a little darker in colour and adds a bit more depth when hung."
Party props you can buy from Kikki.K
Its not secret that Meghan Markle loves peonies and you’re in luck as they are currently in season. Tony advises you to dead down to your local florist and pink up a bunch of the palest pink-almost white peonies. "When home, trim them down and tightly pack them into vases of all different shapes and sizes. Place them around your home, they smell great and look divine. Peonies can last for days if you change the water regularly," he said.
"Balloons are cheap, easy and they can really change a space in seconds," says Tony. "Head to Argos for some helium tanks, which will blow up around 30-50 balloons. Purchase a packs of gold, red and white balloons and take some gold string or ribbon to tie the balloons at different lengths, creating a bouquet.
Head to Ginger Ray for the ultimate royal wedding party balloons
"For some drama, fill some large confetti balloons with helium – these look great and can be popped at any time to create a glitter bomb in the middle of your party." Other fun accessories you might want to consider are a balloon arch for photos, and some royal-themed photobooth accessory props. Tony recommends Ginger Ray for last-minute party supplies.
Add a bit of theatre
"I love candles. I always find that Jo Malone London - especially the Red Roses scent - it just sets the scene - you can’t get any more British," says Tony. "Whenever I am personally entertaining, eucalyptus is always my personal favourite foliage to lace down the table. It's cheap and easy to get hold off. Cut away at it and wind it through round your dishes. Take mini glass vases and jam jars and fill them with your favourite flower to add drama to your event.
Set the table
Use blue and white linen napkins for your table, beautifully folded them and place them on the right hand side of the plate," Tony instructs. "Place both the knife and fork on top of your napkins. Then tie the linen or cutlery up with some red string or ribbon."
As for drinks, Tony recommends large jugs filled with Pimms plus a non-alcoholic alternative, such as strawberries, elderflower and sparkling water always goes down a treat. Mini mottles of champagne are also great to pop when the new couple say "I do".
When Miss Markle says ‘I do’, you have to have something to ‘cheers’ with. Tony says: "I suggest these mini bottles of Moet - they are so cute and perfect as it will be only be around 12:30pm and if you want your party to head into the evening, you may want to pace yourself - they come in original and Rosé. Be on the look out for special edition ‘sippers’ that pop onto the top of the bottle - perfect for when you’re on the move and can’t find a class!"
MORE IDEAS: The best fizz to celebrate the big day in style
If you can’t find these, simply use Champagne glasses, "I love my Oliver Bonus set - perfect for hosting. Tie ribbon or flowers around the stem of the glass for an added touch. You can also pop an edible flower into the top of the glass too."
What to eat
Tony reccommends going for an-extra special version of afternoon tea. "Set aside some time to bake your own scones - they are so easy to make," he says. "Serve them with strawberry jam and whipped-up double cream."
GET INSPIRED: The best royal wedding-inspired food and drink
if you're particularly short of time, he also suggests purchasing a box of Humming Bird Bakery Royal Wedding cupcakes: "Pop them out of the box and gently place them onto your favourite cake stand."
The finishing touches
"Most of all, have fun!" Tony urges. "It's been seven years since the last royal wedding, so use this excuse to have a right royal get together with your friends. Be the perfect host but remember to enjoy yourself too.
When posing for pics, use some royal props to make the photo as fun as possible - these are from Selfridges
The pièce de résistance
"Of course, you must purchase a life-sized cardboard cut out of the royal couple – you’re only human."