Here comes the bride! We're less than a month away from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding, and I can't contain my excitement. I'm already mentally preparing to park my butt on the couch early in the morning on Saturday, May 19, but first, I have one major question: How long is the royal wedding? Are we talking 30 minutes, or a few hours? I need to know how much champagne to have on hand so I won't miss a single second of the action.
Depending on your attention span, the royal wedding could be a cake walk or feel like an eternity. The wedding ceremony will begin at noon London time (or 7 a.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) in St. George's Chapel, the 800-seat religious hall in Windsor Castle. It will take roughly an hour for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to walk down the aisle, exchange vows, and share a few prayers, so make sure you have everything you need by your side — I'm talking popcorn, mimosas, candy, and more.
At 1 p.m. local time, the newly-married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take a carriage ride through Windsor, England, the town surrounding the Queen's castle. The procession route will take them through the local streets of Windsor, down the Long Walk — the path that links Windsor Castle with Windsor Great Park — and back to the Castle, where the couple will greet guests for a reception at St. George's Hall. Later that evening, Harry and Meghan will attend a private reception hosted by Prince Charles, and if Harry's past is any indication, it's safe to assume that this one will last well into the night.
Don't worry, the hour-long wedding will be broadcast in its entirety by practically every major news outlet. CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, and BBC America will all have live feeds of the wedding ceremony, so if you have cable, you're good to go on the big day. If you don't have cable, you can access these channels through a live streaming service like Hulu with Live TV or SlingTV.
So, there's your answer: The royal wedding will only take up about an hour of your time on May 19. But who really just wants to watch the wedding ceremony? Any self-respecting royal family fan knows that the best part of any royal wedding (besides the balcony kiss, of course) is watching coverage about the months of prep that goes into the event, the amazing fascinator hats, and the glamorous arrivals. If you want to watch additional coverage of the event, get ready to make a lot of popcorn, because you'll probably be sitting on the couch for anywhere between three and five hours. Let's call it four to be safe.
Most news outlets will be doing lead-up and post-wedding coverage for eager fans in the U.S., and each network is putting their own spin on the big day. ABC's Good Morning America will be doing coverage from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET live on the ground in Windsor; NBC's Today Show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb will begin reporting at 4:30 a.m. ET from a vantage point overlooking the castle; and BBC America will be simulcasting the BBC's coverage to ensure that Americans are getting a much-needed dose of British authenticity. Getting up at 5 a.m. to watch a wedding that doesn't start for two hours may seem a little excessive, but if you're really interested in the fashion and the gossip, it's totally necessary.
This is the celebrity event of the year, so you shouldn't be concerned about how long the wedding be — I guarantee it will be worth it. Plus, it's a Saturday, so if you start drinking at 5 a.m., imagine how much more fun boozy brunch will be. Sounds like a win-win to me.