The world’s most famous bridesmaid will soon become a bride.
Pippa Middleton, Kate Middleton‘s younger sister, got engaged to James Matthews, a hedge fund millionaire and former racing driver, last summer. He proposed with a 3.5-carat Asscher-cut diamond engagement ring from London jeweler Robinson Pelham after dating Pippa for nearly a year. The two have known each other for more than a decade.
Pippa became an international star when she stepped out wearing a figure-hugging ivory Alexander McQueen dress at Kate and Prince William‘s royal wedding in 2011.
Wedding Date and Venue: Pippa and James are set to exchange vows on Saturday at St. Mark’s Church, located at Conservative Party politician Richard Benyon‘s family estate in Englefield, Berkshire, E! News has learned. Pippa and her siblings attended services there as children and grew up in neighboring Bucklebury. The venue is also one of the locations where the Netflix series The Crown was filmed.
Pippa and James will be wed on the church’s altar in front of a beautiful stained glass window.
Due to the increased guest count, TV screens have been installed in the church so that everyone can see the nuptials and have a good view.
Stephen Lock – Pool/Getty Images
Wedding Party: Kate will attend the wedding with her family, although it isn’t clear if she’ll be in the wedding party, with some speculating she won’t want to steal Pippa’s thunder.
Her and William’s son Prince George, 3, will be a page boy while their 1-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte will be a flower girl.
Pippa and Kate’s brother James Middleton and the groom-to-be’s siblings, including his brother Spencer Matthews, a reality TV star in their native Britain, may also be part of the wedding party.
A source told E! News Pippa has warned Spencer to play it cool during the event, as she is a little concerned about his behavior.
Wedding Guest List: There are going to be over 300 guests, but nothing official has been announced. The bride-to-be’s parents, Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton, will be among them and will also host the reception. Other attendees include the groom-to-be’s parents, David Matthews and Jane Matthews and William’s brother Prince Harry.
His girlfriend, also Meghan Markle, also scored an invitation despite an alleged “no ring no bring” policy. Pippa’s brother’s girlfriend Donna Air will also reportedly attend the wedding. However, Spencer’s girlfriend Vogue Williams did not make the guest list.
Pippa and Kate’s controversial uncle Gary Goldsmith will be attending the wedding ceremony, reception and party, sources confirm.
Getty Images; Splash News
Wedding Prep: For three months, the bride-to-be has been undergoing bridal body boot camp at the Grace Belgravia health club in London. On the day of the wedding, Pippa will reportedly get ready at the Englefield House. Her glam squad is set to arrive at 5 a.m.
Pippa and James have attended pre-marriage counseling sessions with the vicar conducting their wedding service.
“Pippa and James are a wonderful couple,” a source told E! News exclusively. “They are very well suited and have spent a long time preparing for this day. They are both taking the responsibility of what this marriage means very seriously. They have been having pre-marriage counseling with the vicar who is conducting the service to make sure they are both on the same page and full aware of the commitment they are making to one another.”
“They want to do everything they can to ensure they enjoy a long and happy marriage,” the source added.
Pippa and James have “spent a lot of time getting to know the vicar,” the source said, adding that the vicar and his wife “have become quite close to the Middleton family” and have had dinner together several times at each other’s homes.
The vicar had also conducted the Christmas service that William and Kate attended with their kids last year.
Wedding Transportation: A source tells E! News that church guests will join the rest of the guests at the Middleton house in the afternoon and will be driven directly from the Englefield Estate in minibuses provided by a company called Windsorian (who also provided transportation from the Goring Hotel during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding).
After the Ceremony: Guests will go on two-minute walk for a Champagne reception at Englefield House.
Wedding Reception: The reception will take place at the $7 million Georgian Grade II-listed manor home of Pippa and Kate’s parents, according to The Telegraph and HELLO! magazine. According to E! News’ sources, the reception will happen in a “glass palace” on the Middletons’ lawn that will house the 300 wedding guests.
Two tents have also been erected, one for the catering and one that houses the luxurious portable bathrooms.
Pippa’s parents had their garden landscaped for the wedding reception by the gardening services company the Gibbons Group. A source told E! News, “They wanted it to be perfect for the big day. They spent a lot of time working on it.”
Wedding Flowers: Lavender Green has been brought on for the floral decorations. The company will arrive on Friday to decorate inside of the glass palace with spring blooms. Flowers are expected to be hanging from the ceiling with a strong “spring” theme.
“It’s going to be magical,” the local tells E! News. “There will be floral arrangements from top to bottom, it’s going to be magnificent.”
Flowers are being flown in from Holland for the event. Bright pink flowers were seen at the venue Friday.
Wedding Weather: Local forecasts predict rain on Pippa’s wedding day, although weather in England is unpredictable. As a result, the Middleton’s nixed an original plan of having Pippa arrive to the wedding in a horse-drawn carriage.
Stephen Lock – Pool/Getty Images
Wedding Cake: A source has confirmed to E! News that the couple has ordered a wedding cake from London-based bakery Domino Purchas Contemporary Cakes. The luxe cake will be feeding over 300 wedding guests and is believed to come with a price tag of roughly $3,000.
Wedding Security: A fly zone has been enacted over the area until Sunday evening. Meanwhile, police have stepped up their presence around the Middleton family’s home. Two offers were spotted patrolling the grounds on foot Friday. However, a Thames Valley police source said they had no problem with the public taking pictures, citing general interest.
Another source told E! News Pippa’s mother has “been incredible to the locals.”
“Englefield has been completely taken over by the press but she has made sure that the villagers do not feel like strangers in their community, so she has spent a lot of time with the local people who live in the houses on the Englefield estate so that everyone feels included in the festivities,” the source said.
The source added that parishioners will receive wrist bands on Pippa’s wedding day “so they are able to watch everything as it takes place.”
Wedding Dress Designer: Giles Deacon appears to be the favorite. He was previously spotted visiting Pippa with a garment bag and a source close to the designer’s team told E! News the design is “very simple, elegant and it’s all handmade.”
“I can never really comment on rumors,” he told HELLO! in February. “Until things are confirmed it’s just rumors.”
Wedding Rehearsal: It happened Friday at the church with the couple’s family. The kids were not spotted, although their nanny, Maria Turrion Borrallo, was. Kate was seen driving her and William from the event back to Kensington Palace. She later took George out to play after it stopped raining.
“The whole family is excited,” an insider told E! News. “It’s going to be a long day for the kids tomorrow but they won’t have to stay out all day. Maria will take them back for their bedtimes so Mum and Dad can enjoy the evening celebrations.”
Bachelorette Party: It happened in March; Pippa went skiing with Kate and friends at the French resort Meribel. A source told E! News the sisters enjoyed drinking and partying together, on the same weekend of William’s infamous boys’ ski trip.
No word on whether William plans to showcase his notorious “dad dancing” moves at Pippa and James’ wedding.
“The Escape:” Once the vows have been exchanged and cake has been cut, the newlyweds will forgo a typical tropical honeymoon for a getaway to the French Alps. According to a source, the couple has booked a chalet where they have stayed before and are skipping live-in staff for true privacy. During “The Escape,” as they have coined it, Mr. and Mrs. Matthews will enjoy the great outdoors with hiking and biking.
“They’re both so active,” the source said. “Expect her to be packing more North Face than bikinis.”
According to the insider, the couple may eventually go on a beach vacation as well later on. “Both of them are so stressed right now, they just want to go away and feel like the only two people in the world.”
(Originally published April 5, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. PST)