With less than 24 hours to go before saying ‘I do’ to her dashing groom James Matthews, excited bride-to-be Pippa Middleton spent Friday putting the finishing touches to their wedding plans at her family home in Berkshire. A full rehearsal at the picturesque church, St Mark’s in Englefield, where her parents Michael and Carole, brother James Middleton, and her husband-to-be’s brother and best man, Spencer Matthews, sheltered beneath umbrellas from the summer rain, was followed by a flurry of activity back at Bucklebury Manor.
Pippa and James will soon be man and wife
While a convoy of vans transporting wedding fare and equipment for the big day rattled down the country lanes and through the heavily manned entrance gates, the huge ‘crystal palace’ glass marquee that has been built in the grounds at the back of the Middleton home was being prepared with flowers and place settings for the 350 guests who will attend the lavish reception there.
Pippa's wedding - all you need to know!
Vans arrived to prepare the church for the big event tomorrow
And in a large canvas marquee that has also been installed in the garden for the nuptial revelry, a microphone sound check was taking place, perhaps for the special act that has been organised to surprise the couple’s guests – or for father-of-the-bride’s speech. Caught up in the last minute preparations, too, 67-year-old Michael Middleton was seen out and about for the second time that day, driving his green Land Rover Discovery back into the family home.
A huge glass marquee has been erected in the grounds
Meanwhile a ring of tight security was placed around both the church and Bucklebury Manor. On Friday morning CCTV cameras were installed in the public footpaths that run alongside the house, and the narrow road leading to Grade 1 listed St Mark’s Church on the private Englefield Estate was placed in total lockdown.
Only the weather was beyond the bride’s control, and if she had been worried about a downpour spoiling her big day, she would have felt relieved when, by 4pm, the sun emerged from behind the clouds, auguring a bright, sunny morning when she makes that six-mile journey to the church as Miss Pippa Middleton and returns as Mrs James Matthews.
For all the best photos and coverage of Pippa's big day, stay tuned to hellomagazine.com and pick up the souvenir edition of HELLO! magazine out on Monday.