The longtime couple’s upcoming royal wedding will be a weekend-long affair, with a party on Saturday afternoon on the grounds of Royal Lodge — Eugenie’s family home in the parklands around Windsor Castle — in addition to Friday’s ceremony and festivities.
Eugenie and Jack will tie the knot on Friday, October 12 at 6 a.m. ET at St. George’s Chapel — the same venue where Eugenie’s cousin Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle in May. The future newlyweds will also be feted by a lunch hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle and then a black tie evening reception at Royal Lodge.
But unlike Harry and Meghan’s day-long celebrations, Eugenie and Jack are extending the party for another full day. The party will continue on Saturday afternoon with a festival-style event complete with a fairground and food stalls.
Despite claims that the Queen’s cousin, party planner Lady Elizabeth Anson, is involved in the castle reception on Friday, a source says that it’s the couple who are “running the show,” as a friend puts it. “It is Eugenie and Jack’s party and they are very much involved in all the details and decisions,” the source adds.
If Lady Elizabeth’s organization is brought in, it would more likely be for the rehearsal dinner the night before the ceremony or other parties the Queen might want to hold for her friends and invitees.
Around 500 guests are expected to attend Friday’s ceremony and the lunch — with celebrity guests such as Victoria and David Beckham, Elton John, singers Ellie Goulding and James Blunt are all reported to be in attendance (just as they were for Harry’s nuptials). George and Amal Clooney could also be in attendance, as Jack is a brand ambassador for the actor’s Casamigos tequila company, which he sold last year.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Insiders say the Saturday afternoon event is being organized by Bentleys Entertainment — the same company the Beckhams used for their lavish bash when they married at an Irish castle (and sat on thrones for a memorable portrait) in 1999. Bentleys was also used for the wedding parties of two of Eugenie’s other royal cousins, Peter and Zara Phillips. The company declined to comment.
More details will be confirmed by Buckingham Palace within the next week.