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Posted at 1:05 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Five months is plenty of time to plan Wills and Kate's wedding

By The Reliable Source

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip receiving the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey, 1947. (Central Press/Getty Images)

Prince William and his Kate Middleton, 2010. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)

When planning a typical wedding, experts advise starting a year in advance to nail down the date, place and all those details that fuel the wedding industrial complex. But that's for regular people: Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry on Friday, April 29 -- just five months away.

Totally do-able! "I did a wedding last year in four months," says Washington wedding planner Aimee Dominick. "And no, the bride was not pregnant."

Of course, the royal couple has several advantages: money, connections and a team poised to create Britain's biggest celebration in 30 years. For starters, they've chosen Westminster Abbey for the ceremony; only members of the royal family, abbey staff and a few select others are allowed to marry in the historic site. "The couple were moved to choose the venue because of its staggering beauty, its 1,000 years of royal history and its relative intimacy despite its size," Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the prince's private secretary, told reporters. (The Abbey can hold about 2,000 people.)

They've picked a weekday to wed, which appears to be a royal tradition: the groom's grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, were married at the Abbey on Thursday, Nov. 20, 1947; his parents, Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, married at St. Paul's Cathedral on Wed., July 29, 1981. Prime Minister David Cameron has already declared a public holiday to celebrate the "happy and momentous occasion."

While Wills and Kate will have a hand in selecting the flowers, food and other touches, they've already got a huge team to place to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Mindful of Britain's sagging economy, the royals and bride's family will pick up the tab for the ceremony, reception and honeymoon. "The details of who pays for what haven't been worked through yet but the Middleton family are very, very keen to contribute," said Lowther-Pinkerton. Taxpayers will pay for security.

Royal protocol and a short engagement are actually advantages, Dominick told us. "Many of the etiquette questions a bride struggles with are not issues for them. In some ways, it's better because the bride can't second-guess herself." Even the custom-made wedding gown -- the most hyped and time-consuming element of the preparations -- won't be an issue: "Whoever she has to design this is going to drop everything. This is a career-making dress."

And all you naysayers? That's fine on this side of the pond, but not, apparently, in England. British bishop Pete Broadbent has been suspended for insulting lovebirds online: "History: more broken marriages and philanderers among these [royals] than not. . . I give the marriage seven years."

By The Reliable Source  | November 24, 2010; 1:05 AM ET
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