Pippa Middleton‘s wedding planning is kicking into high gear.
A friend of the bride-to-be (and world’s most famous bridesmaid!) tells PEOPLE that the big day is scheduled for May 2017.
“Of course she is super excited and already planning everything,” says the friend. Middleton, 33, and her financier fiancé James Matthews, 41, “have a lot in common – he’s charming and old-fashioned,” says the pal. “Everyone thinks he’s quite the catch.”
Getting down on one knee during a romantic getaway to England’s scenic Lake District — where the Middleton family own a house — Matthews popped the question on July 17 with a ring of his own design. The stunning ring is believed to be from Robinson Pelham, the boutique jeweler who designed the earrings worn by Pippa’s sister Princess Kate on her wedding day (commissioned by her parents, Carole and Michael).
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“He would never have bought something off-the-peg for her, it had to be very special,” adds the friend. The classic design, with its octagonal halo of sparking channel-set diamonds, is thought to be close to flawless and worth more than $250,000. While the Chelsea-based jeweler won’t comment on private commissions, Middleton was seen at their boutique just days after her engagement announcement.
When the sporty couple aren’t busy planning their next thrill-seeking adventure or their upcoming wedding, they can be seen coming and going from Matthews’s London home, cycling around London or walking Middleton’s dog. Earlier this fall they were spotted enjoying a low-key brunch at Little House, a members-only restaurant in London’s Mayfair.
“They looked very happy and sweet, enjoying some breakfast together, just like any other couple,” says a fellow diner. “The ring is enormous! Perhaps even more so because she is so petite.”