Do It Like the Royals

Three takeaways from the recent royal weddings
St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

If you’re anything like my Anglophile friends, you’ve probably reveled in coverage of the royal weddings of late—first Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, and then Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank five months later on Oct. 12, both at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

While most of us can’t imagine throwing a wedding on such a grand scale, the visuals come trickling down to us nonetheless. Here are a few ways you can give yourself—and your wedding guests—the royal treatment.

markle and harry

“People are requesting the bright, colorful flowers growing out of the stairs from Eugenie and Jack’s wedding,” says Jessica Shurtleff of JOYEUX Events. “From Harry and Meghan’s, people are copying the large white floral and greenery installations around the church doors.”

While both weddings used lots of floral textures for that “overgrown look,” Shurtleff says that the elegance remained, adding that many clients are following in the royals’ footsteps and donating their wedding flowers to nursing homes and local hospitals after the ceremony. (Harry and Meghan even requested that in lieu of gifts, guests should donate to one of seven charities.)


Shelby Benson of Freeport Bakery reports that when it comes to wedding cakes, “many couples have been taking the idea from Harry and Meghan to have multiple cakes at different levels.”

In quite a break from royal tradition, the cake—created by baker Claire Ptak—boasted multiple tiers positioned on different platforms, “rough iced” and topped with fresh flowers. Eugenie and Jack, on the other hand, served an autumnal-themed, five-tier red velvet and chocolate cake made by London-based cake designer Sophie Cabot.

“The simple textured buttercream frosting is a big hit right now,” Benson says. “The unique bottom tier shape is certainly a trend that’s been increasing in popularity—particularly a hexagon-shaped bottom tier with round cakes on top, one of my personal favorite configurations.”

Meghan Markle’s wedding dress was designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller (under the aegis of Givenchy) with a boat neckline, long sleeves and a sweeping train in crepe de chine—a fine silk material that Brittany Scott, production supervisor of Miosa Bride, says “has been getting bigger every year, so Meghan wearing it has made it even more popular.” Markle also wore a 16-foot veil embroidered with 55 flowers secured by a diamond bandeau tiara on loan from Queen Elizabeth. Underneath, Markle’s hair was gathered in a simple twist.

Princess Eugenie also donned a long-sleeved gown, but hers featured an open back and full-length train designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos. Eugenie’s lack of a veil in favor of a stunning emerald-and-diamond tiara atop a loose chignon might not be a trend many of us can emulate—being that we’re not granddaughters of a monarch—but the sleek hairstyles and simple gowns of both royal brides are definitely indicative.

“We’re seeing a return to a sense of simplicity, especially in bridal attire,” confirms Christina Nichols of Parker Nichols Events & Design. “Lightweight veils and capes, understated and classic gowns—all with a sense of timelessness.”

Harry & Meghan photo by Alexi Lubomirski
Jack and Eugenie photo by Alex Bramall

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