When you think of modern elegance when it comes to bridal one of the first things that comes to mind is the royal family. It could be Duchess Kate Middleton's lace A-line gown and sparkling tiara in 2011, Princess Eugenie in 2018 but I can only think about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding look in 2018 at the Windsor Castle. The Duchess of Sussex modernized the traditional British royal bridal look. She was effortless and elegant and truly was glowing on her wedding day. Her gown was gorgeous and her look was something that redefined royal elegance. How’d she do it you may ask?
Meghan Markle's wedding dress was something that was era-less. The shape hasn't been defined by a singular era like some iconic royal wedding gowns are. We remember Princess Diana’s strong shoulder and dramatic A-line ball gown, the first thing you think of is the 1908s! Meghan chose a boatneck neckline which was incredibly classic and refined. Nothing too sexy or revealing but it was a nice spin on the expected V neckline royal wedding gowns like Kates and Diana’s. Having a long sleeve for a royal wedding dress was expected for her, however, having it be a three-quarter length was a fresh take on a traditional royal expectation.
Another element of Meghan’s royal elegance is how minimal her gown was. The fabric was a silk cady. What is a silk cady? Silk cady is a triple-ply silk fabric. That specific fabric created this gorgeous refined elegant look. The thickness of the fabric was not only gorgeous but it also was incredibly functional. Because the silk cady was so thick it prevented wrinkles in the gown so when Meghan had to sit in the car on the way to the church, when she got out there were no wrinkles! Genius!
Meghan’s gown was so refined in detailing, it truly let the structure of the gown speak for itself. The gown was soft with no severe lines and was rounded edges with smooth structure. The boat neck neckline came up just a hair over the shoulders creating a rounded shape, very soft and feminine. The fabric also prevented the gown from being skin tight and if it was tailored to be skin tight she wouldn't have been able to sit or walk in the gown. Two things to always check for in your gown while shopping! Can you walk? Are you able to comfortably sit?
Meghan was incredibly mindful of who she wanted to design her gown. Something that every bride should keep in mind! She chose Givenchy for many reasons including their iconic runway looks and luxury fabric choices. One of the biggest reasons she chose Givenchy however was because they were known for dressing one of the most iconic actresses in history, Audrey Hepburn. Meghan wanted to give a nod to her now-retired acting career by working with someone who is known for working with actresses.
When it comes to the construction of the gown she was incredibly thoughtful. She had a fabric of the blue dress she wore on her first date with Harry stitched into the inside of the gown. The veil she chose was the same silk fabric that Princess Diana had for her veil. Meghan had the California Poppy embroidered on her veil.
All of these elements made the gown gorgeous but what truly made her royal elegance shine through is she was creating a gown that felt like her. Meghan shined in this dress because it was meant for her. When trying to emulate that kind of royal elegance all you need to do as the bride is to find a dress that makes you feel like you! Build the lookout of pieces that are meaningful to you whether that is Grandma's pearls or a veil that has your favorite flower on it. The royal elegance can only truly be achieved if you can create a look that is meaningful to you.
Gown Pictured: M. Markle by Floravere
Photo Credit: Koman Photography