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10 Ways that Britain’s Royal Wedding Will Impact Weddings in the USA

With a royal event, it is all about tradition.

BUT: Meghan and Harry will most certainly put there own spin on their wedding!

William and Kate had the first royal English wedding in the internet era. The British Monarchy was on Facebook, and it had wedding updates. AND, for William and Kate, European royalty received notice of their wedding by FAX!

So, what will Meghan and Harry’s wedding mean to weddings here??

1. Fashion is the easiest thing to copy:

Dress. In 1840, Queen Victoria wore a white dress, which inspired (with the help of photography) wedding fashions. Prior to that time, brides wore colorful dresses and were able to wear them again and again. A white dress that could be worn only once was a huge extravagance. And a monarch typically wore all the regalia of the monarchy, while Queen Victoria chose a comparatively simple white silk gown and orange blossoms in her hair rather than a diamond tiara.

In 1981, as we all know, Princess Diana influenced the world with her fairy tale wedding and the wedding gown industry with her 25-foot cathedral length train and big puffy sleeves.

Kate’s wedding gown, as we know, had long, slim lace sleeves. This was reminiscent of Grace Kelly’s wedding gown and even that of the Queen.   It had a beautiful neckline (rather than being strapless), and it was made of lace with both ivory and white satin fabric.

Meghan has had so many red carpet opportunities; those occasions always permit one’s personal style to be featured, so perhaps we will see a modern flair with a nod to tradition.

Styles for bridesmaids will be influenced too.   Will they wear small hats or feathers in their hair? If so, feathers may make comeback. Diana and Kate wore crown from the monarchy’s “family jewels,” and it won’t be a surprise to see Meghan wear one as well. There may be a spill-over effect for US weddings, with more jewels in hair adornments.

2.  Venue. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is planned for St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Will and Kate were married in a cathedral that held 2000 guests, and Harry and Meghan have chosen one that only seats 800. Does this portend more “low-key” and intimate weddings here? And this Chapel is very near their new home. This could be a trend to stay local!

3.  William and Kate were married at 11 a.m. It will be interesting to see if this royal wedding starts that early too… and whether there will be an impact here. As a wedding planner in Philadelphia, I saw absolutely no impact of William and Kate’s chosen wedding hour!

4.  Understanding about guest lists! It’s hard not to include the entire universe in your wedding guest list, but this is a reminder that the royals don’t do it either!

The Obamas weren’t invited to the wedding of William and Kate… and St. George’s Chapel holds less than half the guests of Westminster Abbey. So the enormous potential guest list will definitely have to be cut.

And here are some fun facts about royal guest lists:

  • President Truman did not attend Princess Elizabeth’s wedding on Nov. 20, 1947. Truman Library Archivist Randy Sowell said library records show the British government invited “the United States to send an official representative to the wedding.” Truman “selected the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Lewis W. Douglas, as the official representative. Neither President Truman nor first lady Bess Truman attended the wedding” of the woman who is now queen of England.
  • President Eisenhower and first lady Mamie Eisenhower were not invited to Princess Margaret’s wedding on May 6, 1960, according to Kevin Bailey, an archivist at the Eisenhower Library. Instead, Eisenhower remained in Washington, D.C., and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960. A summary of telephone calls maintained at the library show the president had to be convinced by John Hay Whitney, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, to send a wedding gift to Princess Margaret, Bailey told us. In an April 29, 1960 phone call, Eisenhower told Whitney he was against sending a gift because “no official notification of the wedding had come to him,” but Whitney insisted, and “settlement was made on a small wedding ring ashtray,” the records show.
  • President Nixon did not attend Princess Anne’s wedding to Lt. Mark Phillips on Nov. 14, 1973. Instead, Nixon met with a group of House members that morning, and senators that evening to discuss Watergate, according to the Nixon Library. The New York Times reported two weeks before the wedding that no member of the Nixon family was invited.
  • President Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan were invited to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. The president did not attend, but the first lady did.
  • Nancy Reagan was also invited to the wedding of William’s uncle, Prince Andrew, to Sarah Ferguson in 1986. Again, the first lady attended without the president.
  • President Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton did not attend Prince Edward’s wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. But then again neither did British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The New York Times reported on the day of the wedding that “the guest list of 550 to the wedding itself inside St. George’s Chapel included no politicians.” –www.factcheck.oUse of favors. America seems to love the pageantry of royal weddings.

5.  Use of favors.  America seems to love the pageantry of royal weddings.  The are/will be so much royal memorabilia, so many commemorative products. A British “loving cup” with two handles may be a tradition that is copied by American couples. A commemorative doll in Kate’s likeness was produced by the Franklin Mint, and there is no doubt that there will be some sort of Meghan doll.   And “official mementos”- a tankard, plate, and pill box- were all on sale with the approval of the William and Kate. A British company offered an interesting souvenir for William and Kate’s wedding: Crown Jewels: Condoms of Distinction!

6.  Wedding gifts: Aynsley China, Royal Doulton, Halcyon Days’ porcelain boxes may make a mark on guest registries.

7.  High tea bridal showers. Yes, this one has taken hold here after William and Kate’s wedding. I recently helped plan a high tea for the bridesmaids on the wedding morning!

8.  Alcohol. We remember from his earlier years that Prince Harry was a party boy. Whatever he will be drinking… and whatever they will be serving at the wedding… will make a splash. Drambuie created a signature cocktail for the engagement of Prince William to Kate, so we will watch to see who is getting creative with marketing ploys between now and May 19, 2018!

9.  This will be one of the “I know where I was on that day…” days of our lives.   Television and the internet will be alive with this wedding!

10.  We want this wedding to MEAN something. The fairy tale that we all grew up with… through Barbie and Ken… and Disney… is in front of us once again.

Hopefully this one will be happily-ever-after!!





photo courtesy of Micaela Scimone



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