Bride vs. Bride

Article excerpt

How does Kate Middleton's wedding stack up against the past 'weddings of the century'? Our guide to the most regal pairings in recent history.

Kate Middleton

Date: April 29, 2011

Nickname: Waity Katie

Groom: Prince William

Dress: The latest speculation holds that the dress will be McQueen

Location: Westminster Abbey

Cake: A fruitcake by Fiona Cairns and a chocolate biscuit cake by McVitie's

Audience: 2 billion (TV, est.)

Ring: Princess Diana's ring

Splurge: The couple will travel in the 1902 state landau built for King Edward VII

Mishap: Looking at you, Harry and Pippa

Personal Touch: Will and Kate will have their first public kiss on a Buckingham Palace balcony

Honeymoon: The couple is rumored to have plans for Corfu and Mustique

Happily Ever After? Here's hoping

Diana Spencer

Date: July 29, 1981

Nickname: The People's Princess

Groom: Prince Charles

Dress: Designed by Emanuel, ivory silk with a 25-foot train and 10,000 pearls

Location: St. Paul's Cathedral

Cake: Five-tier fruitcake, five feet tall, took 14 weeks to make

Audience: 750 million (TV)

Ring: Made by Garrard, 14 diamonds around a sapphire

Splurge: Diana arrived in a 70-year-old glass-top coach

Mishap: During her vows, Diana called Charles by his father's name

Personal Touch: Diana broke tradition, declining to say she would "obey" Charles in her vows

Honeymoon: 11 days cruising on the royal yacht

Happily Ever After? Divorced in 1996

Chelsea Clinton

Date: July 31, 2010

Nickname: Secret Service: "Energy"

Groom: Marc Mezvinsky

Dress: Strapless ivory silk organza by Vera Wang, plus $250,000 in jewelry

Location: Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Cake: Nine-tier vegan cake, four feet tall, weighed 500 lbs.

Audience: Not broadcast

Ring: Emerald-cut diamond, rumored to cost $1 million

Splurge: Reportedly spent $15,000 on Porta-Potties

Mishap: Locals were incensed by the circus. The couple apologized with bottles of wine.

Personal Touch: The couple's first dance was a well-choreographed tango

Honeymoon: Safari in Africa

Happily Ever After? So far, so good

Grace Kelly

Date: April 18-19, 1956

Nickname: Gracie

Groom: Prince Rainier III

Dress: Dress designed by MGM's Helen Rose, took six weeks and 36 seamstresses

Location: St. Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco

Cake: Six-tier cake, cut diamond

Audience: 30 million (TV)

Ring: Cartier 12-carat emerald-cut diamond

Splurge: Kelly's parents paid a $2 million dowry

Mishap: MGM taped the ceremony, and Kelly hated the bright lights

Personal Touch: Kelly gave her bridesmaids jewelry given to her by the shah of Iran, a former suitor

Honeymoon: A cruise aboard Deo Juvante II, the prince's wedding gift to Kelly

Happily Ever After? …