— On April 29 at 9 a.m. in London, an elite group of well-dressed dignitaries and celebrities will begin arriving at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of a lifetime.
But across the pond, royal enthusiasts who didn’t quite make the guest list will be fighting off yawns in their finest pajamery and tuning in to watch the nuptials live. (A special edition of the TODAY Show will begin at 4 a.m. ET across all time zones.)
Some Anglophiles have seized upon the time difference, using it as an opportunity for royal-themed slumber parties. And these bashes go way beyond pillow fights and “Dirty Dancing” on DVD.
Take Sara Mooriadian, 35, a stay-at-home mom from San Francisco whose slumber party will rival the wedding itself. After a girls’ night out of dinner and dancing, her pals will return to her San Francisco Bay Area home to be greeted by life-size cutouts of the royal betrotheds, a “huge Union Jack flag hanging from the house,” and homemade British-themed snacks. Guests will receive a “viewing guide” to the event complete with family trees so they will know who’s who. She plans on waking her children, ages 4 and 5 ½, so they can watch as well, explaining that “watching Charles and Diana get married is one of my most vivid memories as a child.” (Read more on her blog, here ). She’s not fazed that her own Prince Charming is not participating in the festivities: “My husband thinks I’m crazy," she said, “but I’m super-excited!!”
Food is king at parties like Elizabeth Anderson’s. As a food blogger, she had the most fun planning an elaborate British-themed menu, which includes Princess Punch (Champagne pomegranate juice), tea sandwiches, Cheddar and herb scones and a chocolate raspberry torte. The San Antonio, Texas, foodie, 28, swears by her Earl Grey-tinis, and provides recipes for the menu on TheWaspyRedhead.com.
Staying up all night has its consequences: Anderson has already made plans to go into work late on Friday after what she calls “the romance Olympics.” It’s something to consider when making your own watch party plans. The wedding’s not exactly a secret, and clever bosses may raise an eyebrow at that last-minute sick call.
J.M. Oliva predicts she’ll skip work on Friday, after hosting a sleepover in the city that never sleeps anyhow — New York. “Excited doesn’t even explain it," she said. “I read almost every article that I see pertaining to the big day.” Still, the gravity of the historical event is not lost on her: “It is a defining day for my generation. Especially how the definition of marriage has changed since Charles and Diana got married. It’s a great statement.”
Those who remember that other royal wedding understand how this one has captivated a whole new demographic. Boston University sophomore Rho Muller and her classmates are celebrating the event with silliness, requiring that “American accents will be checked at the door.” She’s encouraging friends to wear “elegant hats, tasteful scarves and appropriate jewelry” with their pajamas. Only the finest accessories will be accepted at her Boston tea party.
To up the ante yourself, take advantage of the myriad royal resources popping up online. At Brides.com, download an incredible free 17-page party-planning kit. It comes with invitations, Union Jack banners, menus and goodie bags. Other sleepover swag sure to make your party a royal success: Invitations, British-themed pj's, Decorations, Union Jack Heart blanket and a British sleep mask.
While there’s still time to get the goods for your own party, unless you’ve been plotting for months, you can’t compete with wedding watchers like Jessica Gazzola. “I have been waiting for this proposal for a very long time, and when he proposed I started planning a party,” says Jessica, who, along with her University of Georgia sorority sisters, will be serving Champagne, royal cupcakes, scones, tea and “other royalty-inspired things.” Hailing from Canada, Jessica has long been enthralled with the royal family. “People from all over the world are joining in on the wedding madness. I think that they are perfect for each other and we will get to see that on April 29,” she said.
Luckily, as a college student, her schedule is a bit more flexible than most. “I doubt any of us will be going to class that Friday!” she admitted.