If you’re at all interested in weddings, you’ve probably been bombarded with lots of news about the wedding of Prince Harry and Her Royal Highness, Duchess Meghan of Sussex in the last few weeks. While you might not have an entourage — including a few elegantly dressed small children to carry your veil for you — you can look to the wedding for inspiration for your own. Royal weddings have a tendency to dictate bridal trends, from Queen Victoria setting the standard for white wedding gowns to more recent times when Meghan’s sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge leading the trend for long lace sleeves.
Meghan’s wedding gown was designed by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller. The dress features three-quarter length sleeves and clean lines creating an A-line silhouette with a relatively short train (compared to the length of her veil, anyway). The gown was simple and modest, which can serve as wonderful dress inspiration for other brides interested in copying her style.
A dress similar to hers would do well in a formal setting, especially one where you might want to take care to appear modest, such as for a wedding inside a church. The simple lines and luxurious fabric mean the dress won’t feel particularly dated or out of style in photos as trends change. Meghan’s mother-in-law Princess Diana’s wedding gown was beautifully crafted but very much a signifier of the times in which it was worn. If you are a bride who prefers to keep things modest and simple, Meghan’s gown is a great source of inspiration for how you can have that and still look glamorous.
That said, a little sparkle can go a long way, especially when you’re marrying royalty. The new Duchess of Sussex wore a diamond bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen and serves as her “something borrowed”. This tiara was originally owned by Queen Mary and was made in 1893. This was paired with her stunning, dramatic veil that shined with details.
At her request, flowers from all of the countries in the Commonwealth were embroidered onto the veil with two more sentimental flowers — Wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace and the California poppy, to mark Meghan’s own birthplace. A little sparkle near your face can make you feel beautiful and can come in the form of a headpiece or perhaps statement earrings or a necklace, depending on the neckline of your gown.
Meghan walked down much of the aisle alone, only accompanied by the adorable pageboys and bridesmaids. Her father was ill and unable to attend the ceremony, so Harry’s father, Prince Charles, escorted his new daughter-in-law part of the way up the aisle. The ceremony itself was a blend of tradition with more modern touches such as a gospel choir and quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When planning out your wedding ceremony, consider altering a traditional script to suit your needs and to keep yourself and your partner in mind.
Meghan and Harry both changed for their wedding reception. He opted for a very sleek tuxedo- a big departure from the formal military uniform that he wore for the ceremony. She changed into a sleek, sleeveless white gown by Stella McCartney — with light blue shoes to provide a pop of color. Changing for your reception can be great if your wedding ceremony is very formal, allowing you to change into a dress that allows you more movement. This is particularly nice if your reception is a dance party.
While you might not be marrying into the royal family and gaining a title, you can still feel like a princess for your wedding day and take inspiration from one. The Duchess of Sussex’s new role as a royal makes her a trend setter and you can happily follow suite if you wish to keep things simple and elegant on your big day.
Did you watch the royal wedding? What were your favorite parts? Let us know in the comments below!