Royal wedding planning attracts bookmakers

Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to meet with advisers to begin planning their wedding as media speculation about the date and venue for the event shifts into overdrive.

Betting odds for date, site of Prince William-Kate Middleton nuptials

Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to meet with advisers Wednesday to begin planning their wedding as media speculation about the date and venue for the event shifted into overdrive.

With the "who" and the "what" out of the way, the focus has now shifted to "when" and "where" for what is sure to be the most-watched wedding in decades.

William, second in line to the British throne, and his longtime girlfriend will marry next spring or summer but haven't determined a date.

Paddy Power, Ireland's biggest bookmaker, is offering bets on the wedding, with Aug. 13 the current favourite at 3-1. Aug. 6 has odds of 4-1, while July 30 — a day after what would have been the 30th wedding anniversary of William's parents, Charles and Diana, the late Princess of Wales — is at 10-1.

A May wedding, with overall odds for the month standing at 12-1, is less likely.

"Now that Will and Kate have finally confirmed their engagement, the big question on everyone's mind is what date the couple will choose for their big day," a Paddy Power spokesman told a British newspaper. "The first to find that out will be able to make themselves a right royal mint out of such sought-after information."

The venue for the wedding is also high on the minds of bookies that have tapped Westminster Abbey at 6-5 and St. Paul's Cathedral, where William's parents were married, at 15-8.

"It's very much their day like any other couple, and they will make the decisions all the way through — they want the day to be enjoyable for everybody," a palace spokesman said, speaking anonymously in line with palace policy.

Other bets include the colour of Queen Elizabeth's hat, the best man, the maid of honour, and the country of choice for the honeymoon.

Prince William and his fiancée Kate Middleton greet the news media on Tuesday. Speculation has ramped up about all details of the wedding, including date and venue. ((Associated Press/Sang Tan) )

But perhaps the biggest decision the bride faces will be her wedding dress.

Hilary Alexander, fashion director of the Telegraph, said she expects Middleton to come up with a surprising choice for a wedding dress.

Deborah Joseph, editor of Brides Magazine, said Middleton will face substantial pressure to choose an English designer.

"It's a British royal wedding, there's no need to look abroad," Joseph said. "Obviously, there will be lots of speculation on the designer now. It depends which route Kate takes. She may give a nod to Princess Diana and use one of her designers, like Bruce Oldfield or Amanda Wakeley, or she may make a statement of her own."

Joseph said Middleton's decision could define bridal wear for the next decade, much as Diana's choice in 1981 became the most-copied wedding dress in history.

After news of the royal proposal broke, newspapers carried full-page pictures and bold headlines.

"Something borrowed, something blue," wrote the Times, referring to the large sapphire-and-diamond ring that had belonged to William's mother and that William gave Middleton when he proposed, while the Daily Mirror wrote, "With this ring, Di thee wed."

(With files from Associated Press)