Royal-watchers, businesses eager for nuptials

The thought of traveling to London for the royal wedding first struck Carolyn Wildman and her friend

The thought of traveling to London for the royal wedding first struck Carolyn Wildman and her friend Martha Murphy in Rhinebeck last July.

They were waiting outside Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, hoping to catch a glimpse of celebrities.

When the official date for the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced in November, they decided to go for it and booked their flights.

“We’re just two crazy gals, hopping the pond to participate in all the festivities,” said Wildman, an Albany resident. “We don’t expect to see a lot. We just want to partake in the excitement and be there while history is made.”

The friends, who work at the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King in Albany, took three days off from work for their trip. They left Wednesday and will return Sunday.

Wildman and Murphy plan to visit the memorial in London’s Hyde Park dedicated to Princess Diana before scoping out the best place to see the wedding procession outside Westminster Abbey on Friday. They will then head to Buckingham Palace to see the future king’s first kiss as a married man. The rest of the trip will be filled with tours, afternoon tea and shopping.

“Life is short. You’ve got to do this kind of stuff while you can,” said Wildman. “We both just love the royals. It’s kind of like a fairy tale to us.”

The two friends may be a rarity in the Capital Region.

“I’m happy for them, but it’s a different part of society that I can’t relate to,” said John Baxter of Scotia. He won’t be watching the event on TV, much less traveling to London to see it in person.

Stacy Barron of Burnt Hills said she didn’t care about the wedding because she didn’t feel it had an impact on her day-to-day life.

The early, weekday event has also prevented many groups and dining establishments from holding viewing parties or royal-themed festivities.

Matt Mazzone said Mazzone Hospitality would have liked to put on an English-style tea at its dining facilities while the wedding happened, but it was decided attendance would be low since the ceremony is set to begin at 6 a.m. EST, with coverage starting on most TV channels at 4 a.m.

Instead, traditional English wedding specialties such as quail eggs and sticky toffee and date pudding have been added to all Mazzone menus until Friday.

The Mazzone family and employees will be watching the spectacle on TV for business reasons.

“Being in the wedding industry, we are always trying to spot trends before they are hot,” said Susan Baker, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “My hunch is there will be trends that spin out of William and Kate’s wedding … and I’ll be watching with a keen eye to try and spot [them].”

Baker explained that when she got married in 1986, it was still the fashion to copy details of Diana’s wedding from five years earlier. She expects the same to happen this time.

“I’m not sure how much of the reception[s] we’ll get to see, but yes, we are very interested in getting a peek at the décor, menus for each event, cake, linen colors, etc.”

Marylu Aragosa, owner of Ferri Formals and Bridals, is also invested in the wedding because of the trends to be set.

“I’ll be up and watching because I’ll need to keep that look in mind when I start my purchasing for the next season,” said Aragosa. “If you could have the gown of your dreams, the gown of a princess, this would be it.”

She thinks tiaras will come back in style, since Queen Elizabeth is sure to lend one to Kate for her big day. She also feels that the dress will be toned down so as not to outdo Diana’s dress, which held more than 10,000 pearls and crystals. Aragosa is expecting lace, layers and several different types of cloth to be used, as is now the style in Europe.

In London, Wildman and Murphy said it’s the one thing they really want to catch a glimpse of because the dress has been kept a secret and the designer has yet to be revealed.

“We can’t wait to see it. We’re very excited,” said Wildman. “It’s the only thing we really don’t know about. Everything else has been overpublicized. I’m sure she’ll be lovely.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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