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You’ve been anticipating the event for months, you’ve watched them, you’ve seen the pictures and you’ve even teared up as they said ‘I will’. The royal wedding may be over, but we’re definitely not over it yet. And if you’re all about that dress, that music and that cake, here’s a detailed recap featuring all there is to know about the biggest wedding of the year.
All about That Dress
The bridal gown was definitely one of the most highly anticipated parts of royal wedding. She might have married a prince, but Meghan’s wedding dress of choice was anything but fairy-tale princess-like. The former actress forwent the frills, the ruffles and the lace in favour of a much simpler, streamlined cut. While various critics argued that her dress was too simple for the occasion, Meghan’s choice represented her personal style, defined by clean lines and modern minimalism. Reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s timelessly elegant aesthetics, the bridal gown was designed by from Givenchy couture.
Other critics were fast to discuss how Meghan’s dress lacked in details and fit, compared with as she married Prince William back in 2011. The Duchess of Cambridge wore an Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton that featured long lace sleeves, a narrow V-shaped neckline and an ultra-long train. By comparison, Meghan’s dress followed a more minimalistic route and featured a boat neckline, with long sleeves and an epic veil, decorated with lace trim. The 16-foot-long veil was more than just gorgeous – it actually featured the particular flora of each Commonwealth country. Meghan kept the accessories to a minimum and paired her gorgeous gown with the stunning Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara that featured diamonds set in platinum.
A few hours later, the new Duchess of Sussex wore a gorgeous white dress designed by Stella McCartney for the reception at Frogmore House. The second dress came in a crisp white lily shade, a silky finish and a high neckline with bare shoulders. To complete the look, Meghan opted for an emerald-cut aquamarine ring that once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. Ahead of the reception, Prince Harry also changed from his military outfit into a smart traditional black tie.
The Honorary Maid of Honor: Jessica Mulroney
Prince Harry & Meghan Markle offered the roles of bridesmaids & groomsmen exclusively to children – but there was one person in attendance that held an important role. Meghan best friend, Jessica Mulroney, was the unofficial maid of honor of the royal wedding, as well as the ‘unofficial wedding planner’. Jessica, who is known for dressing the wife of the Canadian prime minister, reportedly originally bonded with Meghan a few years back through their shared love for yoga. The 38 year-old Canadian stylist stole the show as she attended the wedding in a royal blue dress, designed by Montreal-based designer Di Carlo couture. The mom-of-three accessorized the fit & flare dress with an on-tone hat and nude pumps. Not only did Jessica help Meghan before the wedding and throughout the event by fixing her train, but her three kids were part of the adorable bridal party.
The Royal Wedding 2018 Cake
Like most aspects of the royal wedding, the cake took a slight departure from the tradition. The customary choice of royal weddings: tiered fruitcake. Meghan and Harry indeed opted for a fruity flavor, namely lemon, but in combination with an elderflower sponge. To add a personal touch, the elderflower syrup was actually made at The Queen’s residence from the royal’s own elderflower trees. And while the flavor of the cake was reveled prior to the famous nuptials, the fact that it was not tiered still came as a surprise. Featuring a modern layout and decorated with Swiss meringue cream, the royal wedding cake came adorned with roses and peonies. Created by Claire Ptak, who owns Violet Bakery in London, the cake perfectly represented a unique take on tradition with a modern, personalized twist. The talented chef was quoted saying: ‘I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding cake. Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavor, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of.’
The Bridesmaids and the Pageboys
One of the most adorable parts of the wedding was definitely the bridal party. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s niece, delighted the public with her cheeky personality. Two of Price Harry’s goddaughters were also part of the cute crowd: Zalie Warren, the daughter of Zoe Warren and Jake Warren and Florence van Cutsem, daughter of Alice van Cutsem and Major Nicholas van Cutsem. Two of Meghan’s goddaughters were also there to help: Remi and Rylan Litt, the daughters of Benita and Darren Litt. Ivy Mulroney, the daughter of Jessica Mulroney, Meghan’s best friend and unofficial maid of honor was also part of the bridesmaid crowd. The little bridesmaids wore flower crowns that matched the ones featured in Meghan’s bouquet. And as for their fancy dresses, they were created by the same designer who designed the bride’s gown: Clare Waight Keller of the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris.
In addition to the six little bridesmaids, four pageboys also played a big supporting role in the royal nuptials. Prince George of Cambridge was joined by Prince Harry’s godson Jasper Dyer, the son of Amanda Dyer and Mark Dyer, and Brian and John Mulroney, the adorable twins who carried Meghan’s veil.
The Guest List
It was an extravaganza like no other, loaded with A-list celebs. The ladies and gents of the big and small screens made dolled up appearances at the royal nuptials, complete with the mandatory fancy hats. Amal and George Clooney were some of the most familiar faces at the big event. Brunette beauty Amal opted for a bright canary yellow dress designed by Stella McCartney, matched with an on-tone hat and metallic Gianvito Rossi shoes. The mother of the bride Doria Ragland opted for a pastel green Oscar de la Renta dress, paired with an on-tone coat and hat. The Queen also wore green in a brighter lime hue, purple feathers and white gloves. Green seems to have been a popular color choice, as Pippa Middleton also went the same route. Kate Middleton’s sister impressed with her minty frock that featured a floral pattern, perfectly matched with a blossom fascinator.
Both Serena Williams and opted for blush pink frocks, while ‘Suits’ actress Gina Torres wowed in a red maxi dress and neutral heels. Victoria Beckham kept it true to her style and went for a darker neutral shade of navy, but added a pop of color with her bright red pumps. Friends of the bride Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra rocked polka dots and pastel lavender, respectively. Actress Carey Mulligan was joined by her husband Marcus Mumford at the royal wedding. The ‘Pride & Prejudice’ star ditched the fascinator and opted for a dainty feathery accessory instead, paired with a floral print summery dress. James Corden showed up at the big event with wife Julia Carey, who sported a pale pink dress, accessorized with .
Camilla Parker Bowles opted for an epic oversize statement hat, matched with a pink silk marocain asymmetrical coat dress designed by Anna Valentine. Kate Middleton, aka The Duchess of Cambridge, opted for a repeat: a pale yellow dress designed by Alexander McQueen. The Duchess, who gave birth to her third child three weeks before the royal wedding, wore the same ensemble to Princess Charlotte’s christening back in 2015. Some more familiar faces: Prince Harry’s exes Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, who seemed to be in good spirits while dolled up royal style. Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice of York also took part in the royal nuptials and selected shades of azure, paired with neutral-hued pumps.
When Harry met Meghan at the altar, he greeted her with a sweet ‘You look amazing. I’m so lucky.’ Visibly full of emotions and joy, the two looked deeply in love throughout the ceremony, while watched by a whopping 30 million Americans. The happy newlyweds later shared their first kiss on the steps of St George’s Chapel, while gleeful onlookers applauded. Sweet touch: the bridal bouquet featured flowers handpicked from Kensington Palace’s luxe gardens by Prince Harry, who included his mother’s favorite blooms Forget-Me-Nots in the arrangement. Including delicate flowers like sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, the bouquet perfectly matched the simplicity and grace of the dress.
Featuring renowned guests like Oprah and Serena Williams, as well the black choir and Rev Michael Curry, who quoted Martin Luther King Jr. during his sermon, the wedding was a step up in terms of diversity. The bride black’s heritage was honoured by the Episcopalian Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago, who delighted the audience with his animated that emphasized the power of love. While quite a departure from the traditional Anglican sermons, the Bishop’s speech quoted the Biblical Book of Amos: ‘When love is the way poverty will become history. When love is the way the earth will become a sanctuary. When love is the way we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way there’s plenty good room, plenty good room for all of God’s children.’ The verdict: most British and global media outlets seem to agree that the royal nuptials managed to finally bring the monarchy into the 21st century.
One of the main highlights of the royal wedding was without a doubt, the wonderful music – particularly, the performance of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand by Me’ by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir. Noted as a symbolic element that aimed to represent the transition towards a more open, diverse royal family, the choir was the perfect choice to not only welcome, but also celebrate a mixed race bride.
Like most aspects of the royal wedding, the musical selection was personalized and diverse, ranging from gospel to more traditional sounds. Another highly appreciated musical moment: cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the 19 year-old talent who played Schubert’s Ave Maria. The kids stole the show once again during the festivities when The Choir of St. George’s Chapel featured the gifted male students of St. George’s School, conducted by James Vivian. The royal wedding carried a love-inspired music theme all throughout the ceremony. And as the bride walked down the aisle, Welsh soprano Elin Manahan-Thomas delighted the audience with her rendition of ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’.
The Feminist Bride
‘I am proud to be a woman and a feminist’, declared Meghan in a speech back in 2015 – and the same words are now posted on her page on the British Monarchy’s official website. And during the nuptials, Meghan stood by her feminist values on more than one occasion. Due to the fact that her father’s ill health prevented him from attending the wedding, Meghan chose to walk the majority of the aisle alone. She was later joined by , who ‘accompanied’ her to the altar, and not ‘gave her away’, according to the royal statements. During the wedding reception, Meghan allegedly resisted tradition once again, when she chose to give her own speech. Following her speech in which she thanked her new husband and family, Prince Harry stepped in to say that the two ‘make such a great team’.
Another instance in which Meghan chose to forgo tradition was during the vows, when she excludes the word ‘obey’ from her speech. Just like the Duchess of Cambridge and Diana, Princess of Wales, Meghan simply stated: ‘I Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.’
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