Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at St. George’s Chapel and became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a ceremony fit for royals—but with some unexpectedly personal and modern touches. We laughed, we cried and we rounded up some of our top moments along with our thoughts on how you can use them as inspiration for your own special day.
Much to the surprise of royal fashion watchers, Meghan opted for a wedding dress from French fashion house Givenchy designed by Brit Clare Waight Keller, the label’s first female artistic director. The gown was demure with a bateau neckline, a nipped in waist and three-quarter length sleeves.
But the true star of the show was the veil, which was over 16 feet long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. The design has a deeper meaning—it nods to all 53 countries in the Commonwealth of Nations by featuring the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united. It also incorporated a few flowers more personal to the now Duchess of Sussex—Wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, the royal couple’s new residence, and the California Poppy, the flower of Meghan’s native state. The veil was held in place by an equally spectacular diamond bandeau tiara, made in 1932 for the queen’s grandmother and lent to the bride by the queen.
How to make it your own: Embrace drama, whether it’s by opting for a floor length veil (keeping in mind all the wrangling required) or a regal tiara—we promise you don’t have to be royal to pull off the look. Not convinced? A simple crystal headband or hair accessory can add sparkle without going full princess.
The grandeur of St. George’s Chapel was softened by lush arches of foliage, white peonies, white garden roses and other white blooms at the front of the organ loft as well as the chapel’s exterior. The flowers were a favorite of Princess Diana, whose beloved Forget-Me-Nots were also included in the bride’s bouquet to honor the late princess’s memory.
The bouquet’s other blossoms—scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia and sprigs of myrtle—were bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon. And prepare to swoon…Prince Harry even handpicked several of the flowers from the private garden at Kensington Palace.
How to make it your own: Greenery is a trendy contrast to wedding white and a great way to introduce texture to otherwise prim proceedings. Whatever route you choose to take with your florals, take a note from Harry and Meghan and get personal, adding buds that call to mind a special place, person or moment.
Gorgeous florals and fab fashion were expected, but the music was much more of a surprise. Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed R&B classic “Stand By Me” during the ceremony, which also featured a beautiful performance by 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The couple left the chapel to the tune of “Amen (This Little Light of Mine).”
How to make it your own: Music is an easy way to inject your personality into the wedding day, and not just at the reception, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex proved. Don’t be afraid to deviate from traditional songs during your ceremony and add a little soul to the proceedings.
The most memorable moment of all might be the loving looks the bride and groom shared at the altar, especially in the seconds after Meghan arrived when Prince Harry could be seen whispering “You look amazing” and “I’m so lucky” to his bride.
How to make it your own: If the couple at the center of one of the weddings of the decade can still find time to connect and take in the moment, so can you. Even if the pomp and circumstance feel overwhelming, take a breath and cherish the experience with your significant other.