Royal wedding planners get to work: 13 things on the to-do list before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have much to decide for their wedding - starting with the date - WireImage
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have much to decide for their wedding - starting with the date - WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in a religious ceremony in the spring next year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who disclosed the pair had "chosen to make their vows before God", is expected to perform the service.

But what is still to be revealed about the royal wedding and what arrangements need to be put in place?

1. The date

Royal-watchers are waiting for Kensington Palace to confirm the date of the royal nuptials.

Courtiers synced their diaries a while ago to fix a suitable day and make sure the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other royals could all attend.

It is unlikely to be April when the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her baby, more likely is March, or even May, after the third Cambridge sibling has been born.

2. The venue

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle is a good bet.

The 15th century church is still grand, but will allow for a smaller scale royal wedding compared with Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral.

St George's Chapel - Credit: Eddie Mulholland
St George's Chapel Credit: Eddie Mulholland

3. The size of the guest list

More than 2,000 people attended William and Kate's wedding in 2011, whereas around 800 went to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's religious blessing in St George's Chapel.

The Queen's grandson Peter Philips had around 300 guests at his St George's wedding.

The guest list will have to be finalised, including which dignitaries have to be invited.

The Duke of Cambridge revealed how the Queen helped him.

"I went to (the Queen) and said 'Listen, I've got this list, not one person I know. What do I do?"' he said.

"And she went 'Get rid of it. Start from your friends and then we'll add those we need to in due course. It's your day."'

More than 2000 people attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - Credit: AFP
More than 2000 people attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Credit: AFP

4. The best man and bridesmaids

The Duke of Cambridge is expected to be Harry's best man, or perhaps jointly take on the task with one of Harry's childhood friends.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to be page boy and flower girl, but Ms Markle is also expected to choose some grown up bridesmaids from her close set of friends.

She could make the wedding thoroughly modern by having a best woman.

5. Who will foot the bill?

For William and Kate's wedding, the costs including the church service, music, flowers, decorations, reception and honeymoon were split between the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Kate Middleton's millionaire parents.

But the taxpayer picked up the bill for security at the event, including the 5,000 police officers, and the clear-up operation on the streets afterwards, with reports suggesting the total cost to the taxpayer came to between £10 million and £20 million.

6: Citizenship

Will Ms Markle become a British citizen? Perhaps, but not necessarily.

When Canadian Autumn Phillips married the Queen's grandson Peter Phillips, she said: "I'm happy being Canadian and I'm proud of where I come from. So I'll keep my passport."

Autumn Phillips - Credit: PA
Autumn Phillips Credit: PA

Their children, Savannah and Isla Phillips, are said to hold dual British and Canadian citizenship, which would pave the way for dual citizenship for any children Harry and his bride might have.

7. Will Ms Markle have to get a visa?

Technically yes. The rule is that all non-European nationals must obtain a visa if they want to come to the UK in order to marry.

Ms Markle could apply for a Family Visa if she wants to live with fiance Harry in the UK for more than six months.

Fees range from £993 to £1,583. Decisions by the Home Office can be made on the same day via the premium service or sometimes take up to 12 weeks. There is unlikely to be any hold-up for the future HRH.

8. The dress designer

Bridal-wear designers around the world will be hoping to get the call for this royal wedding.

Actress Ms Markle appeared in an Anne Barge ballgown wedding dress for her role as Rachel Zane in Suits, and her own first wedding to TV producer Trevor Engleson saw her wear a sleek, strapless, floor-length white dress with diamante detail.

 Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle - Credit: Wireimage
Jessica Mulroney and actress Meghan Markle Credit: Wireimage

Her stylist and close friend Jessica Mulroney runs the bridal store Kleinfeld Hudson's Bay in Toronto, so it is likely Ms Mulroney will be Ms Markle's first port of call for help picking out dress amid great secrecy.

Bookmakers Coral currently have Erdem Moralioglu as the favourite at 1-3. Sarah Burton who designed Kate's dress is at 2-1 and Vera Wang at 5 -1.

9. The invites

The Lord Chamberlain's Office at Buckingham Palace is responsible for organising royal weddings.

Under the guidance of Harry's private secretary, Edward Lane Fox, they will deal with the ceremonial aspects of the day.

From the sending of the usually gold embossed invitations, to arranging any royal carriages, the nuptials and the schedule of the day, the Royal Household staff, with their meticulous planning and tried and trusted procedures - are skilled at executing smooth-running ceremonies and celebrations for royal VIPs.

Ms Markle is an expert calligrapher, who used to craft invitations for celebrity weddings, so will be heavily involved in the arrangements.

The day-to-day running of the Lord Chamberlain's Office falls to the Comptroller, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Ford.

10. Cake and flowers

From choosing the wedding cake to picking the flowers, Harry and Ms Markle will be busy as they prepare for their big day.

The wedding bouquet is likely to have myrtle in it, a tradition for royal brides.

11. Honeymoon

A honeymoon will be booked, perhaps to Africa, a continent much loved by Harry and Ms Markle and the couple will be hoping to keep the destination a secret.

They could return to Botswana, the scene of their first holiday where they camped out under the stars, or adventurous Ms Markle and Harry may head elsewhere for their post-wedding break.

Prince Harry during his visit to southern Africa as he helps sedate a Rhino in Botswana - Credit: PA
Prince Harry during his visit to southern Africa as he helps sedate a Rhino in Botswana Credit: PA

12. Coat of Arms

The royal bride and groom will also have to approve Royal Collection wedding souvenirs, decide on a design for their cyphers and look at their Conjugal Coat of Arms.

13. Joint website

A new official website will be launched for the royals after their wedding, as well as, most likely, one celebrating the day.

After their wedding, Harry and Meghan will also have to decide whether to split off from William and Kate and create their own foundation, or rebrand the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to include Ms Markle.