It’s fitting to have a royal wedding celebration honoring Prince William and Kate Middleton at Middleton Place. The name of the plantation itself begs the question, is there any relation between the future Princess Catherine and venue? After queries from the media, the folks at Middleton Place have started their investigations, hoping to make “Cousin Kate” a part of the family. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but more research should be available once the hoopla of the wedding in England has simmered.

To kick off the celebration on Wednesday, guests were invited to stroll the gardens with a glass of champagne in one hand and delicious hors d’oeuvres in the other. Ladies donned frilly hats to celebrate the occasion as they posed next to a cutout of the royal couple — it’s like they were really there! And speaking of frilly hats, designer Leigh Magar was on hand to offer her whimsical and decorative headpieces for purchase. But the hot item of the evening was the raffle for the “genuine, authentic” replica of Kate’s famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring. The prize was awarded at the end of the evening to one lucky lady.

As things wrapped up, guests were asked to gather around the ruins of the original house to toast the future King and Queen of England. Philip Lader, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, stood in front of the audience as he made a heartfelt toast to the couple’s never-ending love and marriage.

America is blessed to be independent from the 18th century British monarchy. Yet our roots are still tied to our sister-nation across the pond, which is why we are so fascinated with and feel such a connection to this modern day fairytale.