UK

Royal wedding couples

Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day is less than two weeks away, but they are not the only ones preparing for their nuptials on April 29.

We are following four BBC News website couples who will share their wedding day with the royals.

Last week the four couples explained how they met and proposed. Now we hear about how they started to make their plans.

Sarah Wheeler, 31, and Benjamin Whelan, 35, Wiltshire

Image caption "Our cake will be decorated with butterflies"

We're having what I would consider to be an average-sized wedding with 124 guests and another 20 or so in the evening.

We had booked the venue - a barn set in lovely countryside near Bath - only two days after viewing it, as we thought it was perfect.

I will be driven by my dad in his car and Ben will go with his best man in their car, as the best man's wife is expecting their second baby the day after the wedding, so they need to be able to make a sharp exit!

We are going to have a chauffer-driven car to take us home.

We are having a sit down three-course meal consisting of a salmon starter, a chicken main, and cheesecake for dessert.

The cake is being made by my mum's friend who is giving it to us as a wedding gift, which is really kind of her.

It will be a square, three-tier American style construction (with no pillars), decorated with butterflies to keep in with the theme.

It is surprising how much still needs organising with so little time to go. I thought I was a very organised person before I had a wedding to plan - I can foresee quite a lot of panic and stress in the next few weeks.

Cat Houghton, 39, and Steven Leonard, 36, South Lanarkshire

Image caption Steven at one of the venues the couple considered

We were hoping to get married at Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries (pictured) but decided against it due to the extra distance and travelling costs for our guests.

The David Livingstone Memorial Church was the most important venue for us, so this was the first port of call.

I have a large extended family as both my parents have many brothers and sisters so we had already sweated over guest lists when organising our engagement party.

We decided to focus on the family we saw regularly and the close family we didn't see due to distance, and crossed our fingers that long-lost aunts, uncles and cousins wouldn't be offended.

We are having around 70 guests for our meal and around 120 for our reception.

Steven began work again in February, and we also managed to raise money through selling things we no longer needed.

We have been utterly blessed and amazed by the generosity of our friends and family too - they have offered their services and we now have a photographer, bridal car and a place to stay on honeymoon.

This generosity and my shameless haggling has paid off - our wedding has so far cost just under £2,200. I imagine that is a drop in the ocean compared to the royal wedding budget!

Despite the huge savings we have not once had to stray from our Scottish Celtic theme.

Emma Stout, 27, and Kieron Lavers, 29, Isle of Wight

Image caption "Both sets of parents have helped enormously"

We originally wanted a really small wedding and had planned to go to Gretna Green to do it, but once we realised how many friends and family we had, we knew it would be impossible.

It's fairly big with 100 day guests and an extra 150 or so in the evening.

Our reception will be in a beautiful old hotel, shaped and designed like a castle, on the seafront. It's got so much character compared to other places on the island and it just seemed right.

The honeymoon was another easy decision. We aren't beach people so Vegas and San Francisco seemed perfect.

I have a traditional white Rolls taking me to the church, whilst Kieron has a gorgeous Mercedes from the 70s - the guests will be taken in an old Routemaster to the reception.

Originally we thought we could have the wedding of our dreams on a budget of about £6,000, but we stopped counting when we got to £9,000, and we are at least a few thousand over that. Luckily both sets of parents have helped enormously.

We are having a four course sit-down meal with an Italian flair. The food is so good, we are looking forward to that more than anything.

As for our cake, my best friend and maid of honour has arranged the whole thing so your guess is as good as mine!

David Pritchard, 55, and Elise Kershaw, 42, Lancashire

Image caption The citadel on Gozo, Malta, is visible from almost all the island

It is a small wedding in comparison to others but large in other senses, in that there will be a lot of ex-pats there.

Numbers will be mixed as it is being co-ordinated with the ex-pats' street party.

Because we are marrying abroad we have had the help of Elise's mother in a lot of things and helped in the negotiation for the citadel and the evening meal at a local hotel, where entertainment has been laid on.

The budget is a very closely-guarded secret - only Elise knows!

With us living close by, it is a short walk to the ceremony - or maybe a horse and cart ride. We have not decided yet.

A member of the British Residents' Association has kindly donated her time and effort in creating a cake for the street party, and one for the night event.

The British Residents' Association are also pulling in to do the buffet during the day.

More on this story