11 Old-Fashioned Royal Wedding Traditions We Should Steal
Ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton were married back in April of 2011, the world has been fascinated by the royals, and all their old-fashioned royal wedding traditions. And now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to do the very same in 2018, it's hard not to dream — just a little bit — about what it might be like to steal a few of their traditions for your very own.
Because if anyone's worth stealing a few tips from, it's these two — especially since their Big Day will undoubtedly be a sight to behold. "Despite the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan are very much a modern couple, the Royal Wedding will still be richly steeped in tradition," Danielle Gonzalez, owner of the floral company Blooms by the Box tells Bustle. "The family has protocol in place for many elements of the celebration and while there may be some deviations from it, expect tradition to reign supreme on the Big Day. With that, if you're a royal enthusiast, it could be fun to give a nod to the grand celebration."
By snagging a few fun ideas from Harry and Meghan, you can up the "royal" factor at your wedding, or simply add a few old-fashioned British elements to your next party. Here are a few traditions experts say might be fun to copy yourself.
1. Wearing A Super Long Veil
If you love drama, or just a touch of tradition, it may be fun to wear a super long cathedral veil on your wedding day, just like the royals do. "While [Duchess] Kate was the one exception, most royal weddings feature a long, elaborate, detailed veil," Brittany Finkle, CEO/Founder of Happily Ever Borrowed tells Bustle. "It's a traditional touch that can be done in a modern way for all brides."
2. Carrying A Coin For Good Luck
The royals often include some sort of good luck charm, somewhere on their wedding outfit. As Janelle Diamond, managing editor of Baltimore Bride tells Bustle, "Brides used to put a sixpence in their shoes or sew a good luck charm, like a silver horseshoe onto their dresses. We love this because it’s charming and intimate." And, it's a super easy and affordable way to feel a bit like a princess on your big day.
3. Having Two Wedding Cakes
If anything is better than one wedding cake, it's two wedding cakes. So if you love a dessert, make like the royals and go a bit overboard. As Apryl D. Roberts, of Memorable Events by Apryl, LLC tells Bustle, a royal wedding generally includes a fruit cake plus a wedding cake of a different flavor. But you can obviously have any type of cake or dessert you want.
And, don't worry about having too many leftovers, "as tradition also calls for the couple to mail each guest a slice of wedding cake as a 'thank you' gift following the wedding." Pretty amazing, right?
4. Choosing Meaningful Flowers For The Bouquet
Many people choose flowers for their bouquet based on a certain color scheme. But why not copy the royals, and choose a few flowers that have a more significant meaning?
One go-to for Brits is myrtle, a sweet-smelling herb that has little white flowers. "Myrtle has long been known as the herb of love, and it has been in every royal wedding bouquet since that of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the mid 1800s," life coach and author Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. Or, you could just go with roses, which everyone thinks of as perfectly British.
5. Having Multiple Receptions
While this may not be in the cards for every couple, having two parties can be fun — even if the second one is just a get-together in your backyard, post-wedding. "Most couples feel as if this day goes by so quickly," says Roberts. "[A second party] allows them to really celebrate and enjoy their guests."
6. Hosting A Wedding Breakfast
If you can't have two parties, one way to sneak the idea in is by hosting a wedding breakfast, as the royals do. "They are able to accommodate this as most of their weddings start at noon," says Roberts. "The first reception is a seated luncheon that they refer to as the 'wedding breakfast.' The royals then have an evening reception."
A wedding breakfast can be the perfect time to visit and chat with guests who might not want to party the house down with you until 2 a.m. After your wedding, you can then host a more traditional wedding reception, with the classic drinking and dancing.
7. Wearing A Crown
Royal weddings are all about pomp and circumstance, crowns, and horse-drawn carriages — all things that might seem over-the-top to us non-royal folks. But it's possible to add these elements to your own wedding in a tasteful, fun way. "One old-fashioned royal wedding tradition we will for sure see is tiaras," says Finkle. "While it can seem a bit princess-y, we bet that Megan is going to find a way to wear a less-obvious and more modern crown." You can totally do so, too, and it doesn't have to be made with royal gems.
8. Making A Grand Entrance
Myra says there's almost a 100 percent chance Markle will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage, which is, of course, just about as royal as it gets. While not everyone has room in their budget for such a grand entrance, there are other ways to make a statement, and have fun on your wedding day. You might want to play your favorite song when you arrive, or have your friends blow bubbles before you walk down the aisle. Anything that'll make you feel special.
9. Wearing White
Brides today feel comfortable wearing whatever they want to their weddings, and that's amazing. If you want to wear black, or red, or pink, or something floral and retro, do your thing.
But there is something so nice about the tradition of wearing white, just like Markle will undoubtedly do. "There are countless designs available to let a bride express her own personal style while still wearing white," Danielle Rothweiler, a wedding and event planner based in the NYC Metro Area tells Bustle. So if you want to follow this tradition, you can do so, and still feel like yourself.
10. Letting The Kids Join In
If you have a few kids in your life, it may be fun to let them join in on your Big Day — especially since this is a major tradition at royal weddings. "The majority of British wedding parties tend to primarily consist of children," Kylie Carson, of the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning tells Bustle. "This notion can spill over to your own wedding day by selecting a wedding party filled with your favorite young relatives and beloved friend's kids. Children bring a dash of whimsy and wonder to the celebration — a joy that really goes unmatched."
11. Wearing Hats
Many couples ask their guests to wear black-tie, so it's definitely not too much to ask your guests to wear some type of hat, if you want to. "Who doesn't love a fascinator? A wedding with hats makes for amazing photos and even better memories," Lesley Smith, a content strategist for all all-inclusive wedding app Ceremony, tells Bustle.
Although you don't need to have a royal budget, by adding a few reasonable royal touches to your wedding, you can truly make your special day feel even more special. So have a wedding breakfast, wear a hat, and top your look off with a crown, if you want to. Meghan Markle (and the queen) would be so proud.