I remember watching Diana and Charles’s wedding with my mom, curled up in our den in our robes. So when Will and Kate announced their engagement, my first thought was a viewing party with my girls and their mommas.

The Friday wedding put a little kink in my “brunch and pjs” plan because I couldn’t ask my guests to take off work and keep their girls out of school. Thanks to the DVR, we just shifted the party to a Saturday brunch.

My inspiration was the Union Jack, which translated into a low-cost event for me because many of my July 4th decorations and white serving pieces coordinated beautifully with the red, white, and blue color scheme. And my old-fashioned glass snack sets were perfect for balancing food and drink on our laps.

I’m no designer, but I did my best (thanks Mario Testino!) and so was a little crushed when, a week before the party, gorgeous free printables started appearing online. But, my paper goods were all assembled and I certainly wasn’t going to start over. I did get to use Boden’s bingo for kids and adults and coloring pages of the bride and groom.

I had Union Jack flags serving double-duty as decorations and something for us to wave at the happy couple. Each guest had a tiara so we could all play princess. And, I couldn’t resist party favors: 12-for-a-$1 favor boxes from Dollar Tree (love that store!) filled with pearl Sixlets, bubbles, and a “diamond ring.”

Food was kept simple, as well: Paula Dean’s French toast casserole (just put on your stretchy pants and indulge!), Honey Baked Ham, mixed fruit, cupcakes, and shortbread out of the box. All I had to do that morning was put the casserole in the oven and frost the cupcakes. For drinks, we had Capri Sun for the kids and for the ladies, mock and real mimosas. (Guess which pitcher was still full at the end of the party!?)

This was easily the least complicated party I’ve thrown and – surprise – I enjoyed it because I wasn’t worn out from prep! The key is so simple: just start early, and do a little each day, and you’ll be ready for party day without an aching feet and back.

Including food, the party cost less than $50 to throw. Well worth it for a fun afternoon with the girls.

I think if Harry ever marries, we’ll do it all over again!

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