If you’re currently planning your wedding, you may find some trends that pop up over and over again. The 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine “Kate” Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has influenced the wedding industry and may have influenced some of your own wedding choices without you even realizing it! Let’s explore the romantic wedding that put a fairy tale spin on a real world marriage.

The Love Story

Kate and William met in 2001 while they were both studying at the University of St. Andrews and began dating two years later. The couple got engaged in October, 2010 while they were on vacation in Kenya. William proposed with his mother’s famous engagement ring, a 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds. Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II formally consented to the marriage and the world prepared for a royal wedding that would set trends and inspire brides planning their weddings! There is already a historical precedent for royal weddings to inspire other brides — the trend for white wedding gowns dates back to the wedding of Queen Victoria and in the 80s, many brides emulated the fairy tale gown Princess Diana, Prince William’s mother, wore at her wedding.

The Wedding Basics

The couple married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey with the whole world watching through television and the internet. The in-person wedding guests included ambassadors, royals, and family friends including David and Victoria Beckham, Guy Ritchie, and Elton John. Instead of wedding gifts, the couple encouraged donations to charity instead and set up a charity fund in celebration of their marriage.

The Reception 

The wedding guests enjoyed a menu served that was designed to highlight foods from around the United Kingdom including locally sourced salmon, lamb, asparagus, and potatoes. The wedding cake was a traditional eight tier fruit cake with a chocolate biscuit groom’s cake based on a recipe the groom enjoyed with his mother, Princess Diana. After the morning ceremony, the Queen hosted lunch at Buckingham palace and the Prince of Wales hosted a dinner reception with a party that followed. The couple’s choice for their first dance was a romantic rendition of Your Song performed by Ellie Goulding!

The Dress

Perhaps the most influential part of the wedding was Kate’s breathtaking dress. The dress was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. The bodice was made of ivory satin and featured floral lace that was hand appliquéd onto silk net. The skirt and train also featured matching lace. Kate’s “something blue” was a blue ribbon that was sewn into the inside of her gown. The gown featured long sleeves which has resulted in a trend of long lace sleeves for wedding gowns, a change from the strapless dresses that had become standard. This change has been appealing to modest brides, those who marry in religious venues, and those who want to embrace vintage glamour. She also borrowed one of the queen’s tiaras to complete her look, designed by Cartier. Another fun fact: Kate actually finished her look herself, doing her own makeup after she took lessons.

Take Some Royal Inspiration

Do you love the elegant, timeless style Kate shined in at her wedding? You can take some inspiration from her big day to make you feel like a princess on yours!

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