Yorkshireman Tindall's Royal Wedding Day

30 July 2011, 09:07

It's the second Royal wedding of the year and this time a Yorkshireman's involved!

England rugby star Mike Tindall who's originally from Otley, will marry Zara Phillips at a low key event in Edinburgh.

They'll be surrounded by family and friends in the church but it will be a lot different from the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year.

William and Kate's televised marriage was watched by a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions and attended by a host of celebrities and dignitaries.

The doors of the Scottish capital's Canongate Kirk, where Tindall, 32, will first catch sight of his 30-year-old bride in her wedding gown, are to be closed to the press and public when the ceremony begins at 3pm.

But large crowds are still expected in Edinburgh's Old Town to watch the arrival of the Royal Family who are all expected to attend.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will join Zara's parents the Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips at the kirk.

Also believed to be attending are the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, William and Kate, Prince Harry, the Duke of York and his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Tindall, who went to Queen Elizabeth Grammer School in Wakefield, is likely to have invited some of England's best-known rugby players who are colleagues and friends.

Like most modern brides Zara is expected to say she will 'honour' her groom rather than 'obey' when she exchanges marriage vows with him during the ceremony conducted by the Reverend Neil Gardner.

The couple appeared relaxed yesterday when they arrived for a wedding rehearsal at the kirk, and waved to acknowledge the crowds who cheered them.

In the evening they were guests of honour at a black-tie party on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, permanently moored in Leith, Edinburgh, also attended by William, Kate and Prince Harry.

The journey to the altar began last December when Mike proposed to Zara at their £800,000 regency townhouse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, after they had been together for the previous seven years.

The England rugby star, who has captained his country, staged his stag do in Miami while his fiancee - one of Britain's leading equestrian competitors - held her hen party at a spa in Portugal.

His best man is fellow England player Iain Balshaw and Zara's maid of honour has not been announced but could be Autumn, the wife of her brother Peter Phillips, who was part of her hen do party.

The wedding reception will be held in the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the official Scottish home of the Queen.

Speaking about organising her big day, Zara recently told The People newspaper:

'My wedding preparations are going really well. It's actually quite scary, but I'm enjoying it. I'm looking forward to becoming Mrs Tindall.

'Edinburgh's a very special place to us both. We're just really excited and very much looking forward to being husband and wife.'

The couple are expected to postpone their honeymoon as Zara will be competing in the Gatcombe Park horse trials later this week and Tindall is likely to feature in an England rugby match against Wales next Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the royal would not divulge any details of the nuptials ahead of the event, stressing it was a private family affair.

The wedding dress worn by Zara Phillips is likely to be a traditional one but may still retain a sense of the royal's exuberant personality, a fashion expert has predicted.

A host of British designers have been available for the bride to choose from to create the ultimate gown.

Favourites who may have been considered for the commission range from Stewart Parvin, who creates outfits for the Queen, to Bruce Oldfield - a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales - and Amanda Wakeley and Alice Temperley.

Summing up the prospective designers, Peta Hunt, fashion director at You and Your Wedding, said:

'Stewart Parvin would be delightful - he knows how to bring out the best in a girl, he has old-school charm and knows exactly what's appropriate.

'He would be stylish and just because he designs for the Queen doesn't mean he hasn't got any other irons in the fire - he can turn his hand to anything.

'Oldfield would bring a flirtiness but equally he's designed for plenty of royalty. He has made some fabulous dresses and has quite a classic look, he's a master of cutting and if you're small can make you look tall with a great waist.

'Amanda Wakeley makes gorgeous dresses and Temperley is the darling of the Notting Hill set so would also be a good choice.'

Zara's nuptials follow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's glittering April wedding where Kate wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen creation which featured a lace applique bodice and skirt, a veil and tiara.

The Queen's granddaughter is known for her daring outfits which frequently feature high hem-lines, low-cut tops and bare shoulders but royal brides are expected to dress modestly for their big day.

During Royal Ascot in 2003 Zara wore a Gharani Strok dress that was slashed to the thigh and a year later an outfit with a plunging neckline to a ball.

For her engagement announcement photograph, Zara and fiance Mike Tindall posed together outside their Gloucestershire home in the snow last December.

Their casual look of jeans, jackets and boots was a far cry from the polished presentation of William and Kate who were both dressed smartly for a photocall at St James's Palace to mark the news of their nuptials.

Ms Hunt believes the royal will be every inch the blushing bride when she walks down the aisle with her fiance but will remain true to herself. She said:

'There are lots of levels to Zara, she will bring her sense of fun to the occasion.

'She pushes her style as far as she can and knows where to draw the line. She knows the rules and might bend them a little.

'I don't think she's going to have the same constraints as Kate did but she cannot have her dress slashed to the navel and hip, it still has to be venue-appropriate.'

To complete her look Zara will probably have a hairdresser and may opt for a make-up artist.

There is also the question of whether she will wear a veil, something royal brides traditionally put on.

Ms Hunt added:

'I think nothing says a bride more than a veil and she does have access to one of the best dressing up boxes in the history of dressing up boxes - the royal jewels.

'She can borrow a tiara or other jewellery from the Queen to finish off her look.

'And I wonder if she will continue the trend of having a small bouquet of white flowers - the Duchess and Kate Moss both carried one at their weddings.'

We don't know whether or not Yorkshireman Mike will don a kilt for his marriage to Zara Phillips.

While details of their private wedding have been closely guarded, the couple could incorporate the Scottish tradition into their event.

One choice could be the modern Phillips tartan in a fine blue and purple check, designed for a private commission in 2002, and available for the use of Phillips worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Tindall tartan, with its blue, green and red colour scheme, was designed in 1998 and could feature if the England rugby star so chooses.

Blair Urquhart, director of House of Tartan, the company responsible for the Phillips design, said:

'People are actually very precious about which tartan they chose to wear for a wedding.

'The use of tartans has changed quite a bit over the past 20 to 30 years. Previously people identified with the clan to which their name belonged and would use that particular tartan, however more recently we've seen the use of family tartans for weddings as a statement of identity.

'The Phillips tartan is a modern design, and the use of blues and purples like the ones featured in this cloth are now very popular.'

Mr Urquhart, who is a published author on the history of tartans and the traditional dress of Scottish clans, added:

'New designs have become very popular - if you don't have a family tartan, you can have one created.'

The Phillips tartan is one of thousands listed on the Scottish Register of Tartans. The register was established by the Scottish Parliament to act as an official list of tartans, and was launched online in 2009.

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