Cue the tea and biscuits! Because you might want to sit down for this royal wedding analysis.
The Exquisite Weddings office has been buzzing with reactions to Harry and Meghan’s magical day since the newly-deemed Duchess of Sussex navigated the aisle.
From the Givenchy gown to the forget-me-not florals and the tiara—oh, and how could we forget about Princess Charlotte’s little wave!—we can’t quit swooning.
And so, with the fairytale-like elements blurring our judgements, we felt it best to instead to turn to some of SoCal’s wedding-planning best for their take on…
Modern. Simple. Surprising.
Across the board, our experts described the duchess’s Givenchy gown as this.
Some early predictions placed the duchess in Ralph & Russo, Erdem, or J. Mendel. But as Ashley Babiarz, wedding and event coordinator at Bliss Events, points out, with Givenchy finally having female artistic director Clare Waight Keller at the helm of the design house, Meghan’s dress was not a far stretch.
“It was a subtle nod to her strong stance as a feminist,” Babiarz says. “And I know everyone took notice.”
Tessa Brand, owner Tessa Lyn Events, adds: “Even with the long sleeves, the neckline showed just enough skin to make it sexy. She will be able to look back on that gown in 20 years and still love it.”
Admittedly, we stand with Melissa Barrad, owner of I Do Weddings and Events, in that we’re not entirely bowing down to the fit.
“I loved her modern, simplistic dress,” she says. “However, I felt the fit was a bit off. The boat neck was very flattering on her, but I felt it could have been fitted a bit better.”
Alas, the duchess fully redeemed herself in her second gown by Stella McCartney.
“The silhouette was so American and fun,” Barrad says.
Still, the simplicity of the ceremony gown allowed other elements to shine.
The floral arch entrance, for instance, took Babiarz’s breath away and the duchess’s hair and makeup, too, stunned Barrad and Brand.
“It was regal, but undone,” Barrad says. “I think she looked very natural, but elegant at the same time.”
Brand adds, “The gorgeous bride stayed true to a natural look with her hair and makeup which worked perfectly with her Givenchy gown.”
Of course, there were comparisons to the most recent royal wedding to memory.
“This was an absolute change from Kate’s wedding,” Barrad says, nodding to the gospel choir as a refreshing add-on. “I felt like she definitely adhered to royal protocol more than Meghan.”
And some traditions continued.
There was the petite bouquet overflowing with forget-me-nots handpicked by Prince Harry as an homage to his mother’s favorite flower, plus sprigs of myrtle cut from stems planted by Queen Victoria and carried down the aisle also by Queen Elizabeth.
Of course, it was the duchess’s tiara, the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau borrowed from Queen Elizabeth, that glistened in every angle of St. George’s Chapel.
And the something blue, donned later with the duchess’s reception look, also pulled our heartstrings: Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring.
With decades until the next royal nuptials (we’re looking at you Prince George), brides around the globe will undoubtedly attempt their replications.
Incorporating entertainments such as a choir would be in tune, Barrad notes, but it’s the color palette that’s most timeless to mimic.
“By selecting one or two soft natural colors and a flattering yet understated dress, you can give off the air of a princess,” Babiarz says. “No more drowning in beads and lace!”
Brand calls the color scheme “elegance at its finest.”
“Embrace greenery with accents of white floral,” she says. “Not only is it gorgeous, it can be cost effective, and it will never go out of style.”
Another element that will never go out of style? Babiarz summed this up quite simply.
“Instead of all the bells and whistles, they let their love be the star of the show. Shouldn’t we all strive for that on our wedding days?”