Royal Wedding Traditions to Inspire Your Big Day
The last few years have seen some incredible royal weddings, from Harry and Meghan to Princess Charlotte of Monaco. Last weekend we even had a royal wedding in the age of social distancing, with Princess Beatrice marrying Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at a very intimate family ceremony in Windsor. It may have been small, but it was still absolutely gorgeous, and I’m so happy for them both! While you may not actually be a prince or princess, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel like one on your own wedding day. There are lots of ways to incorporate royal wedding traditions into your own celebration. And, while each royal family has its own customs, the British monarchy is always a good place to start. In fact, there are many lovely royal wedding traditions that have developed under the House of Windsor that can be adapted for your big day.
Here are five royal wedding traditions you can incorporate to make your wedding feel like a regal affair.
Wear a white wedding dress. While it might seem like an ancient tradition, white wedding gowns at western weddings actually trace back to Queen Victoria. She wore a white lace and silk dress for her wedding to Prince Albert. Since then, royal brides have all worn white, and most opt for lace, as well as long sleeves. A long train and embroidered veil are also often part of the royal bridal look. For her wedding, I loved that Princess Beatrice wore her grandmother’s dress! It was a vintage ivory Norman Hartnell gown that was remodeled and fitted for her by Angela Kelly and Stewart Parvin.
Carry a bouquet with meaning. Another tradition started by Queen Victoria is the inclusion of myrtle in royal wedding bouquets. The sprigs come from the queen’s own garden and have been carried by every royal bride since, including Princess Beatrice. Kate Middleton’s bouquet took it a step further, by also including lily of the valley (which symbolises sweetness and renewed happiness), hyacinth (constancy) and Sweet William (a reference to her husband). Of course, you too can carry myrtle on your big day, but why not make the tradition your own by using flowers from a family member’s garden, that your mother or grandmother had in her bouquet, or that have some other significance to you.
Have children as attendants. Little bridesmaids and pageboys are the cutest thing at royal weddings. Who could forget Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Harry and Meghan’s wedding? In fact, child attendants are a British royal wedding tradition. Adding ring bearers and flower girls to your wedding party is a crowd pleaser – and an easy way to narrow down the bridal party!
Wear a tiara. Royal weddings always feature a tiara. In fact, tiaras are traditionally only worn by married women, so the wedding is the first time a royal bride can do so. Princesses Eugenie, Meghan and Kate have all worn tiaras from the Queen’s collection as their ‘something borrowed’. Princess Beatrice’s tiara was extra special, since it was the same one that the Queen wore at her own wedding in 1947. So if you want to feel like a princess for the day, then a tiara is a must. It may even become a new family heirloom for you! If you don’t like the idea of a tiara or crown, then another way to honor this royal tradition is to wear a different piece of heirloom jewelry as your very own ‘something borrowed’ instead.
Change for the evening reception. Royal weddings tend to take place early, with a day reception followed by a second evening reception. Guests for the second event usually change into something more formal and festive. But even if you don’t ask your guests to, that doesn’t mean brides and grooms can’t make a stylish switch! Both Kate Middleton’s sweetheart gown with diamante waist detail and Meghan’s slinky halterneck number are great second dress inspirations. You could also opt for something short and sassy, or a chic jumpsuit.
Are you including any royal wedding traditions in your big day?