Last updated at 10:13 PM on 29th April 2011
Although it wasn't officially a full state occasion, the marriage of William and Kate saw the Royal household pull out all the stops to make it an event rich in pageantry and pomp.
But while invited dignitaries and world leaders rubbed shoulders and quaffed champagne at a Buckingham Palace reception after the wedding ceremony, a rather less formal celebration - organised by Prince William's new in-laws - was taking place at the nearby Goring hotel.
The 650 VIP guests attending the afternoon reception at the palace enjoyed champagne, upmarket nibbles and wedding cake.
Let the celebrations begin: The Duchess of Cambridge meets dignitaries, including the Governor-General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Sharon, ahead of the formal reception at Buckingham Palace
While a harpist played in the background, the guests mingled and ate some of the 10,000 canapes that were prepared by 21 chefs.
A mouth-watering menu was offered to the distinguished guests, including Scottish smoked salmon rose on beetroot blini, roulade of goat's cheese with caramelised walnuts, Cornish crab salad on lemon blini and quail's eggs.
Privileged line-up: Foreign leaders and officials are introduced to the Royal newlyweds
Royal chef Mark Flanagan and his team also prepared pressed duck terrine with chutney, watercress and asparagus tart, honey-glazed chipolatas, smoked haddock fishcake, poached asparagus spears and miniature Yorkshire puddings with roast beef - and even a bubble and squeak canape.
Proud: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Prince Charles arrive back at Buckingham Palace with Carole and Michael Middleton following the marriage ceremony
The icing on the cake: Reception guests were offered a slice of this eight-tiered wedding cake
Other dessert canapes were blood orange pate de fruit, raspberry financier and milk chocolate praline with nuts.
The guests were also served Pol Roger NV Brut Reserve champagne and other alcoholic and soft drinks.
And of course they were offered a slice of the much-anticipated wedding cake as well as a special chocolate biscuit cake that William commissioned the McVitie's Cake Company to make.
Meanwhile, at the nearby Goring Hotel, Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton hosted a private party for about 100 people. The party kicked off with a champagne reception and continued into this evening with a dinner.
Sir John Madejski, a friend of the Middletons who is also chairman of Reading FC, said: 'Going to history being made is always something very worthwhile, and I have to say it was a great ceremony, and I was so grateful to be there.
'It was absolutely a moment of history, just one of great joy.
'I think we are all suffering royal wedding fever and to actually see the bride and groom...
'The bride looked absolutely enchanting and the wedding dress was superb, and the ceremony went tickety-boo, as it always does in this country.'
Sir John, a friend of the Middletons, said he had enjoyed chats with Prime Minister David Cameron and comedian Rowan Atkinson at the abbey.
Party venue: The Goring Hotel, where the Middletons are holding a reception for friends
Robert Heskett added: 'Having got there, actually what you remember is two youngsters getting together in love, and all our thoughts are that they have a really happy, long and successful marriage.
'This is absolutely a public occasion, but also a private one too.'
Family friend Julia Kilduff said she 'felt a sense of history' at being in the abbey.
'When we first saw Catherine, we all said she looked absolutely stunning,' she said.
'We feel privileged and honoured to have been here today.'
Vickie Downie, who lives next to the Middletons in Berkshire, said her neighbours had seemed very calm.
She said: 'It was lovely. It was fabulous. I thought they would be very nervous but they were totally calm.
'It was just so exciting being there.'
She said everyone was 'really happy' to be at the abbey, apart from 'the odd hat' getting in their way.
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