Kate Middleton's wedding dress makes the Royal Family £10 million
Season 2 MasterChef winner Jennifer Behm is a Wedding Dress lover, owner of Pink Martini Catering, a soon to be wife, an adventurer – and this summer a food blogger for PEOPLE.com.
Last week was exciting! After catering four events and taking meetings with some networks, I missed my flight to L.A.
Did you know they cancel your entire flight if you miss your outbound? Yep, I was at Philly International with no ticket, but thanks to the amazing services of Lerone I was able to secure a seat to L.A.
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Why was I heading to L.A.? WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! Okay, so I had not lost the 30 lbs. that I wanted to, but my friend Mike had a great suggestion: Spend all morning in horizontal stripes and then go try on dresses. I never laughed so hard!
My sister from another mother, Tracy (who also was on MasterChef with me), is one of my fearless bridesmaids and she was going to be there along with my mom and dad.
I flew in early to have meetings and they flew in the day before. After being rerouted due to dust storms, and then sitting on the tarmac for three hours, they arrived in L.A. starved. So what does a daughter who loves food do? We went to eat on Sunset at 1 a.m.!
Off to Aroma! If you have never been there, this place is sick. Enjoying the awesome California weather, we sat outside next to the heat lamps.
After perusing through the novel (a.k.a. menu) I settled on an extra dirty martini ... or sanity drink. LOL. Then a smorgasbord of food. Dad opted for a rib-eye – nothing like a medium rare rib-eye at 2 a.m. to hit the spot! Like father, like daughter: medium rare is the only way to order a steak. Mom was going full monty with four different types of club sandwiches! I quickly snagged a bit of the bacon turkey club with my favorite ingredient: avocado.
I love making a quick guacamole with my homemade tortilla chips. Check out the end of my blog entry for the recipe.
After a quick bite, we were off to our killer hotel for some well needed rest. Looking forward to a yummy breakfast on the roof with my parents!
And for lunch: challenging my parents' palettes. Ceviche time! Off to one of my favorite food trucks for $2.50 tasty ceviche. Mom and Dad were not so adventurous. That's okay, more for me!
So finally, for the real reason I was in L.A: to film TLC's Brides Wedding Dresses of Beverly Hills with the Renée Strauss! First dress: gorgeous. Second: nice. Third: oh poop, I was so sweaty that it got stuck! Yep, four women pulling to get it off. Wow, I really needed to lose those 30 lbs. I laughed so hard! At one point, Renée yelled, "Get the scissors!" With my butt pressed against the mirror and all of us giggling like school girls, it took one last tug and voila. FREE!
It was seen by millions around the world and now the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress has made ￡10 million in ticket sales as the star attraction of a Buckingham Palace exhibition.
Kate’s dress, by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, was also the reason the palace attracted an “unprecedented” number of visitors to its annual summer opening.
A total of 626,678 people saw the dress, displayed alongside the diamond earrings given to her by her parents and the Cartier “Halo” tiara borrowed from the Queen, during the 73-day exhibition.
Today’s figures show for the first time the “Kate effect” on the royal family’s finances. It dwarfs the estimated ￡35,000 cost of her wardrobe to her father-in-law so far this year. The exhibition was highly popular — visitor numbers were 52 per cent higher than for the 2010 summer opening — despite the Queen describing the display as “horrible” and “very creepy”, apparently because Kate’s dress and tiara were shown on a headless mannequin.
The summer opening also featured the royal family’s collection of priceless Fabergé eggs. Today’s annual report from the Royal Collection shows that the royal wedding sparked a massive interest in official souvenirs. Items such as commemorative bone-china plates and tea towels were so popular that the Royal Collection struggled to keep royal gift shops stocked and meet online orders. Overall, the Royal Collection’s income soared almost ￡8.5 million to ￡50.2 million in 2011/12.
Jonathan Marsden, director of the Royal Collection, said last year’s royal wedding had provided the “best possible start” to the year. He said: “Unprecedented numbers came to see the duchess’s wedding dress, as the centrepiece of a special display celebrating the role of British design.”
Financial accounts published last month showed Prince Charles’s spending had risen sharply over the past 12 months with the section of his budget from which the duchess’s dresses are paid for increasing by ￡100,000. Royal aides refused to put a precise cost on how much her Wedding Party Dresses cost, saying the Prince of Wales only pays for outfits Kate wears for official functions.
Prince Charles’s overall outgoings rose 5.4 per cent to ￡12,025,000, paid from ￡2.1 million in government grants and ￡18,288,000 from the Duchy of Cornwall, his private estate, as he picked up the bill for Prince William and Kate, whose staff increased from seven to nine. The annual accounts, which cover the 12 months to April, have, hidden within them, the cost to Charles of his son’s wedding. Aides said it would be “impolite” to reveal the cost as it was considered a private event.