Royal Wedding Traditions To Be Inspired By
Have a wedding worthy of royal cheer with Buckingham Palace flair
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 was a fairytale come true for millions of viewers around the globe, and the upcoming celebration for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will likely be the same. With a glittering crowd of famous and royal guests all dressed to the nines, a specially designed wedding gown by a top designer and a crowd of photographers from major news outlets, all set against the stunning backdrop of an ornate church, it’s a far cry from what most people could aim for with their own celebrations.
But there’s still hope – if you’re looking to get married in the ceremony of your dreams, take some tips from the royals and turn your wedding into something spectacular, without picking up the crown and becoming a member of the British royal family.
Wear a Welsh wedding ring
Wedding rings for royals are made of gold from a mine in Northern Wales, and you can find yourself the same at Clogau, whose Windsor collection features rings chosen by royals, with the Welsh word ‘cariad’ (translating to ‘sweetheart’) inscribed in the inside as a sweet little secret. Although they can get pricey, you’re getting good value for money – Welsh gold is rare, and can be valued for up to 30 times more than standard gold.
Choose your bouquet with meaning
Royal bouquets typically contain a sprig of myrtle, commonly known as the ‘herb of love’. And instead of throwing your bouquet to the nearest single person, you can do as a royal does and take it somewhere else – royal bouquets are placed at the grave of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey, a tradition started by the late Queen Mother upon her marriage to George VI, as a tribute to her brother Fergus, who passed away in 1915 during World War One. If you can’t manage to get to the Abbey, or even take a trip to Canberra to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you can lay the bouquet at the grave of a deceased relative, in silent gratitude to those who came before.
Don a white wedding dress
Although it seems like brides have never worn anything else for their nuptials, the tradition of wearing white actually traces back to Queen Victoria. She eschewed tradition by opting out of the fur-trimmed velvet robes and red gowns that royal brides usually wore, and chose a white lace and silk dress that served as inspiration for almost every bride to follow.
Make your female guests wear hats
Extend your dress code to include hats for all the females, a tradition for royal weddings and a potentially amusing way of being creative with attire – your guests may even turn up with hats as extravagant as those worn by Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at William and Kate’s wedding.
Start earlier, finish later
This particular convention isn’t confined to royal weddings – British weddings typically start around noon, followed by a brunch-like ‘wedding breakfast’, and an evening reception to make the whole affair an all-day celebration.
Arrive in style
Royal tradition saw the bride and groom arrive in a glass carriage, à la Cinderella, but more recent royal weddings have bucked the tradition – the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles arrived in a horse-drawn open-top carriage, and Kate Middleton and Prince William arrived in a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley, respectively. So if you want to arrive in style, consider a luxury car or a carriage, for those who truly want to travel the royal way.
Bride comes first, procession comes after
Rather than having the procession first, royal brides enter with an entourage trailing behind her, largely to help with her lengthy train. The same could apply at your wedding, to give the guests – and the groom – the first glimpse of the bride sooner rather than later.
It might seem like a puzzling rule, but royal weddings refrain from adding shellfish to their gourmet catering out of concern for the higher-than-average levels of food poisoning. If you’re a fan of seafood, go away, but try and keep shellfish off the wedding menu.
Choose a traditional fruitcake
A favourite of British royals, the tradition of having elegantly designed, multiple-tiered fruitcake wedding cakes dates back to the Middle Ages, where rich fruitcakes were served at luxurious medieval celebrations as a sign of wealth.