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From the dress to the floral arrangements, there’s nothing like a royal wedding to inspire trends. This May, Pippa Middleton wed James Matthew and all eyes were on the happy couple’s stylish ceremony. Here, Scotland’s leading wedding planner, Katie Balmer imparts her expert advice on how to help you turn your wedding in to a rather regal affair.

Something Old, Something New...

When Kate married William, she chose not to use the word “obey”, but did promise to “love, comfort, honour and keep” her husband. It’s likely Pippa and James opted for a personalised approach, too. My advice to brides looking to follow suit is to honour tradition, but give your vows a twist so that they reflect you and your partner.

Iconic Images

The right venue can take a wedding from special to unforgettable. Kate was lucky enough to have hers at Westminster and Buckingham Palace, and the Middleton’s home created a picturesque setting for Pippa. At The Balmoral, our function suites have some of the best castle views in the Capital, which makes a more than Instagram-worthy setting.

Make A List

Pippa and James had a ‘no ring, no bring’ rule, meaning plus ones were only invited if they are married. When it comes to invitees, clarity on the invitations is crucial. Once you have this, most guests should understand that unless their other half’s name is stated on the invitation, companions are not invited. Be clear on your policy on children as well.

Get It in Writing

Nothing beats the look and feel of a traditional invitation. Pippa and her groom opted for understated, ivory coloured wedding stationary decorated with pretty, green vine illustrations. Thank you notes are still a must, and should be handwritten if possible.

Lace Ups

Kate spawned the next trend in wedding dresses, and there’s no doubt Pippa’s will too. The bride chose a demure Giles Deacon gown with cap sleeves and keyhole back which reflected her demure style. With long sleeves and lashings of lace still popular thanks to her sister, there’s also a move towards slim line and simple designs courtesy of society bride favourite Alice Temperley and Jenny Packham, who the Middleton family have on speed dial.

Say it with Flowers...

Pippa, who spent a lot of time at seasonal specialists, Lavender Green Flowers in Chelsea chose English flowers like garden roses and peonies. Whilst the flowers you have will be dictated by seasonality and style preferences, we can work with our resident florists to decide where photo moments will be and where guests will be gathering to ensure maximum impact with displays.

Raise a Glass

The food and wine on offer is an integral part of setting the tone of the whole occasion. Our Executive Chef, Jeff Bland, who oversees our Michelin-star restaurant Number One, works with our couples to create a bespoke menu often featuring The Balmoral’s famous smoked salmon – cured and smoked to our own recipe – as well championing other local produce with dishes such as Isle of Skye Crab, Hass avocado, chilli and mango and Blairgowrie beef, mini Yorkshire pudding and horseradish. Drinks must also be as glistening as your chandelier centrepiece. The Balmoral can source specialist drinks from around the world.

Rules of Engagement

Managing the guest journey through the wedding day, and creating talking points along the way, is the key to making sure everyone has a good time. Team Middleton precision-planned every key stage in the day, from the Spitfire flyover to the 140ft glass marquee. What couples plan depends completely on guests’ tastes. At The Balmoral, we will make sure the day is fun-filled and organised to perfection.

If you would like to celebrate your big day at The Balmoral contact Katie at

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