A California girl marries a prince in the Royal Wedding of 2018. While the love story of the newly-minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex is the kind of story that inspires fairy tales, as a bridal designer, we know her bridal style is the kind that will inspire brides-to-be for years.
The Dress: Prediction vs. Reality
If you followed our Instagram stories that morning, you know our excitement to see the dress was through the roof. By then we had already put our prediction out into the world on what we thought Meghan Markle would wear. We weren’t all wrong. We got the bateau neckline, the ¾ length sleeves, and the a-line skirt. What we weren’t counting on was the minimalism.
Catching glimpses of Meghan in the car ride from Cliveden House Hotel to St. George’s Chapel we knew a few things for sure: the dress had sleeves, it had no visible lace along the bateau neckline, her hair was up, she wasn’t wearing the Spencer diadem as we’d hoped, but she was wearing a veil. You could also see the excitement on her face. She was beaming as all brides should!
The Final Reveal
Fast forward to her arrival at St. George’s Chapel: she steps out of the car and… well, we felt underwhelmed. Don’t get us wrong, it was a beautiful dress designed by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy! In fact, we’d love the chance to see the couture construction up close, but our first reaction was not, “Wow!”
If we’d known Keller was the designer, we would’ve expected this minimalist design. But, where’s the fun in knowing beforehand! That said, the Duchess did say in an interview last year that her favorite celebrity wedding dress of all time was the Narciso Rodriguez creation for Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Talk about a major hint.
All in all, the bridal styling was perfection: the natural makeup, the updo, the minimalist bandeau tiara to compliment the dress, and the veil. Oh the veil! The dramatic, statement-making veil that (for us) was the perfect balance to the simple and understated dress.
Truth Bomb: It doesn't matter that we didn't love the Royal Wedding Dress
Us along with many others out there wanted more, but Meghan’s wedding dress was exactly that. Her dress. It was her élan. Not ours. Not the world’s. Erin Szymanski (owner of Luna Boutique in Pittsburgh, PA) said it best:
Kudos to Meghan for staying true to her personal style while honoring both UK and US traditions of her choosing and not trying to fulfill the expectations of the world. Celebrate your individuality!!
Erin isn’t the only one that thinks so either. Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times said this about the dress:
It was not a Cinderella choice, not one that spoke of fantasy or old-fashioned fairy tales, but one that placed the woman proudly front and center. It underscored Ms. Markle’s own independence by divesting her of frippery, while also respecting tradition and keeping her covered up. It celebrated female strength in the rigorous nature of its line [silhouette]... the substance of its fabric… and the choice of designer: a British woman who... had “served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses — Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy.”
Our Final Thoughts
To wrap it up, while we were found wanting more, it wasn’t about us that day. It was about a girl marrying the love of her life in a dress she loved. A dress that we hope inspires brides to wear something that speaks to them. A dress that they wear with élan.
And with that, we send all our love to the newlyweds. ♡ Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!
P.S. Did you catch Harry telling her she looked amazing when she finally got to his side? Our hearts melted because nothing else mattered!!!