Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming nuptials are sure to be a prominent source of inspiration for many soon-to-wed couples. Here's how to channel some royal vibes on your big day…$10,000,000 budget optional.
If you're in any doubt about the amount of influence that a royal wedding can have on what us commoners do for our own celebrations, consider Kate Middleton and how she single-handedly brought back long-sleeved wedding dress. Before April 29, 2011, it was all strapless, all the time. Then that Sarah Burton for McQueen creation made its debut at Westminster Abbey, and suddenly the world was clamouring for chin-grazing, wrist covering lace. And the same goes for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's own upcoming I-dos. It isn't even May 19 yet, and we're already seeing the way the couple's decisions are influencing wedding trends for 2018.
Based on what we know so far, here are five trends coming out of the Markle-Windsor wedding, and how you can get inspired by them for your own (imminent or entirely hypothetical) Big Day.
THE BACHELORETTE PARTY
While technically not part of the actual wedding, a Hen Party (as Meghan will have to get used to calling her bachelorette now that she's a Brit) is one of the most important lead-up events for a bride. MM has already (allegedly) had hers, and we love how low-key, casual and "on brand" for wellness-focussed Markle it was. Hot tip for any maids of honour unsure of how to incorporate the usual Strip-o-gram, shots and dubiously shaped straws for a bride who's just not that girl: Don't. Instead, consider a spa day somewhere in the country like Meghan did. It's reported she and her closest girls hung out at the Soho Farmhouse, an uber-luxe retreat in Oxfordshire, just outside of London. The onsite Cowshed spa features both pampering treatments and the option of a spin class — the perfect fit for a health-conscious, green-juice-loving gal like Markle.
The couple confirmed that Philippa Craddock will be their florist for the wedding. Per an announcement from Kensington Palace, the London-based floral guru will be using white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves alongside various tree branches including beech, birch and hornbeam. Overall, however, the arrangements are beng driven by what's seasonal and local, and where possible, they're using blooms from royal estates.
Craddock's own Instagram is #inspo central. For instance: How perfect is this grand arrangement for an opulent wedding table centrepiece?
Or this for more rustic-style nuptials?
And how pretty and elegant would this be for a bouquet?
Bad news: If you haven't gotten your formal invite to Meghan's wedding...well, it's probably not coming. The good news, however, is that they have officially announced who created their invitations, so at least you can harvest a bit of inspiration from there? Approximately 600 guests received very elegant, very traditional cards printed by Barnard & Westwood, who hold a Royal Warrant (a.k.a. a big royal seal of approval). Guest names were added individually by a calligrapher. Another great detail from Meg and Harry's invites? Guests can RSVP via email because like, it's 2018.
If you'd like to incorporate a similar touch (and also have each envelope beautifully hand-addressed!) Toronto's Lettering Studio does beautiful modern calligraphy.
Proving that they are a couple after our own hearts, one of the first details Meghan and Harry shared about their wedding was the cake. They chose a lemon elderflower cake, to be created by very cool British pastry chef Claire Ptak, who, like Markle, actually has California roots. Judging by the pastry chef's Instagram page, we say there's a good chance the royal gateau will be topped with pretty blooms.
If you love the idea of an unconventional cake flavour too (fruitcake who?), may we suggest this round-up our takes on the tastes-less-travelled? Or, if you're keen to incorporate the specific floral flavouring of elderflower (but don't know where to start with this unusual ingredient) we love blogger Follow The Ruel's recipe for an unfussy, showstopping Lemon Elderflower Cake that would be perfect for your royal wedding watching party menu.
Royal tradition dictates that Meghan's gown will be a secret until the moment she steps out of the car (carriage?!). Rumour, however, is suggesting that the real surprise here will be that Markle will have not one, but two dresses — one more formal for the ceremony and a second party frock for the reception in the evening. Kate Middleton had two dresses as well. It's a great solution for brides who want to satisfy some more traditional restrictions (like those in religious ceremonies) but still be able to have something that showcases their individuality. Or you know, because who doesn't want two beautiful dresses instead of one?
What do we think we'll see Meghan wearing? A dress that follows the royal protocol, of course, but has some edge — like the translucent Ralph & Russo number she wore for her engagement photos.
We think a stunner from the 2018 Elie Saab bridal collection will fit the bill perfectly.