We don't have to live in England to be excited about Prince Harry and Meghan's upcoming fabulous royal wedding. Not only is it super fascinating to watch a real-life fairytale unfold before our eyes, but we're also witnessing history and on top of that—Harry's marrying an American! We're triply invested just on that score alone.
Ever since news came of their engagement, we've all been excitedly anticipating news of their wedding. Any little tidbit is gobbled up and overanalyzed by eager fans and casual observers alike. Will their wedding be anything like Prince William and Kate's or maybe Kate's sister Pippa? Or maybe something similar to another lesser-known royal family member? Or something completely different in every regard? How traditional verses modern will it be and who will be on the guest list? We're waiting on so many details.
We should all take a moment to be thankful we don't have to actually plan any of these tiny details out; I'm sure most of us would probably opt to elope if we had to plan something like this. But then again, they're royal so they probably have a whole team of wedding planners to handle the nitty-gritty details while they just make the final calls and sample the cake options. At any rate, here are some sneak-peeks at what to expect at the royal wedding.
15 Spring Is In The Air
One thing we know for sure about the upcoming wedding is that it will be held at noon on May 19th. This was a strategically chosen wedding date for several reasons. Firstly, it's a few weeks after Kate is due to give birth to her third bouncing baby, so she'll be able to attend without being super pregnant and ready to pop. She'll probably still be a bit sore, so maybe she'll do one or two dances and call it an evening.
Secondly, it's a Saturday which means most of us won't have to take time off of work to get up super early to watch the wedding live (cause the DVR won't record it for us, you know).
Thirdly, it's very firmly in spring with nice lovely weather, natural flowers everywhere and won't overshadow anyone else's big anniversary dates.
14 Location, Location, Location
In another move to set themselves a bit apart from big brother William and still have something grand to offer, the engaged couple are officially tying the knot at the gorgeous Windsor Castle in Berkshire. This magnificent building is known for its association with the royal family and for its architecture which is mind-blowing when seen in person. Photos just don't do it justice.
It's also private which is excellent for planning a wedding (especially a royal one that's attempting to be low-scale grand) and big enough for the entire guest list and various staff who'll be busily running around that week. While they could've gotten married at Westminster Abbey, Harry and Meghan felt that Windsor Castle suited their needs better, and since they're not quite so high profile as William, they have the freedom to pick their location.
13 Horses, Honey!
Another guaranteed occurrence at the wedding will be the traditional carriage ride. After the couple does their thing with the ceremony and all at noon, they'll load up into a grand carriage at one and parade around to great the general public and arrive in style at the reception back at the castle.
While there's no word yet on which royal carriage will be used in the procession, it'll still be grand and someone is going to be assigned the duty of oiling it all up and making sure it's a smooth ride for the newlyweds.
The carriage ride will take place in the small town of Windsor (home to over 30,000 residents) and will cover six streets before heading back to the party. The couple is hoping this event will help draw the people closer together.
12 Wedding Party Plans
Word of who is actually in the wedding party hasn't officially been released yet (but we should all set a Google news alert for when it does get announced). What we do know, however, is that it's a very family-focused affair.
So, we can fully expect to see adorable little Prince George trotting along as a pageboy and his cute sister Princess Charlotte trailing along as a pretty flower girl. They both served in their Aunt Pippa's wedding in similar positions, so they should have a pretty good handle on what to expect and how to perform their duties.
After that, it's speculated that Prince Harry will break with tradition and ask his brother William to be his best man—which is only fitting. And Meghan will likely ask her bestie, Jessica Mulroney, to be her maid of honor.
11 Guess Who's Invited...
One of the biggest wedding concerns for anyone is the guest list. Since they're royals, Harry and Meghan will have to invite several politicians, government representatives, weird family members and such just to keep the peace and follow protocol.
But as for the people they like and actually want to have there, there is a long list of possibilities. Both rub elbows with big-name celebrities and both have far-flung friends all across the globe.
Meghan has movie star friends galore and Harry is friendly with Michelle Obama (though there are rumors the UK government doesn't want him to invite the Obama family for political reasons). Mel B of the Spice Girls group has confirmed she and her group will be there and will likely perform at the reception. Several others are expected to perform as well.
10 A Select Few From The Public Have Also Been Invited
In a truly unique move, Harry and Meghan have decided to randomly invite 2,640 members of the British public to attend their wedding. William and Kate didn't do this, but they were a lot more high-profile and formal while Harry and Meghan are more relaxed and down-to-earth.
Since the invites have presumably already gone out, we can assume there were lots of very surprised people suddenly finding themselves invited to a royal wedding and need to go shopping for a great dress or suit to wear.
As for the rest of us, we'll have to be content to watch it stream live on TV from the comfort of our own homes and assorted time zones. Still, it's fun to imagine being invited to a royal wedding and wondering what it'd be like, who we'd talk to and what we'd wear.
9 Religious Rules
Luckily for the happy couple, Meghan isn't a Catholic, though she did attend a Catholic school growing up. She was raised Protestant and recently was baptized and confirmed in a private ceremony over in England. She now wears a gorgeous silver cross bracelet. Her new bling aside, this necessary step means that she converted to the Church of England and the couple will likely have a Church of England ceremony at Windsor.
This shows respect for the Queen and Harry's upbringing as well as long-held traditions.
If Meghan had been Catholic, everything would've been drastically different and she would've had to convert or Harry would've had to give up his claim to the throne to marry his true love.
A bit unfair toward the Catholics but with the changing modern times, maybe that rule will change too someday.
8 Not Her First Trip Down The Aisle
One interesting thing about Meghan is that she's been married and divorced before. Thankfully, due to some law changing back in 2002, she and Harry can still get married even though she's divorced. So that chapter in her life will fade to a footnote in her biography someday.
This also means it's not her first wedding. As everyone who's ever been married before can tell us, the first wedding is stressful because we have to balance our childhood dreams and expectations with reality to get the wedding we want, and it doesn't always go our way.
Second or third weddings are calmer and more focused on the important details rather than the trivial. This is good since they don't get a huge amount of say in their royal wedding.
7 What Will We Call Them?
Right before the ceremony will take place, the Queen will give Harry and Meghan official royal titles. Most likely they will become a Duke and Duchess but of what estate remains to be seen. The popular opinion is Sussex as it's currently available and suitably royal. After their marriage,
Meghan will technically hold the rank of Princess but it would be very improper to address her as such since she married into it and therefore isn't a blood royal.
Her name will most likely change as well once she's married. She'll use her first name, Rachel, and her name surname will be Mountbatten-Windsor which looks funny to Americans but is quite serious business to the British. They'll also acquire some new royal duties as a duke and duchess, which will keep them occupied.
6 Bananas And Bouquets
The royal bridal bouquet traditionally includes a sprig of myrtle ever since Queen Victoria put some in her bridal bouquet. The flower typically represents love and lasting affection, which is quite nice for a wedding. After that, Meghan will probably pick from her personal favorites of roses and peonies and might include Lily of the Valley as a nice gesture toward Princess Diana. A lovely blend of traditional and personal tastes there.
As for the cake, traditionally it's an alcohol-soaked fruit cake but since Harry is all about bananas, he wants a banana cake. Their cake maker will likely still do a fruit bottom and something spongy with a strong banana flavor to it, as well as decorating the whole thing with a decided spring theme. This will be another blend of American and English traditions. They'll also have two cakes at the reception, because... why not?
5 Let Them Speak
In America, wedding speeches are traditionally given by the father of the bride, the happy couple, the best man, the maid of honor and anyone else who wants to speak. In England, the best man gives a speech, the father of the bride gives a speech and that's about it. Optional speech givers include the maid of honor, but there usually isn't one of those.
The bride normally doesn't give a speech herself but in the royal wedding, Meghan will give a speech.
She's estranged from her father who likely won't be invited, and she's very American. So, giving a speech at her wedding is very fitting and appropriate for her. It's just something not usually done in England. It'll most likely be a sweet little something thanking the Queen and royal family for all they've done, and the guests for attending and such.
4 Saying Yes To The Dress
Unfortunately for us, nothing is concrete about the wedding dress at this time and such details probably won't be released for a while yet. We don't even have the designer's name yet! But we can assume it'll magnificent, breathtakingly beautiful and way out of our personal price range.
We can also assume it won't be the traditional white. A safe bet is a cream or ivory off-white shade or even a champagne color. Some of us are hopeful that Meghan 's modern American side will break free dramatically and the dress will be yellow, purple or blue.
While many of us would love to have a non-traditional colored dress that leaves white and any related shades in the past, it's very likely she'll stick to safer approved colors. Can't rock the boat too much.
3 The Crowning Touch
A tradition at every royal wedding that every girl looks forward to is the tiara. A light circular ornament made up of shiny priceless gems (usually diamonds) and worn tucked into the beautiful up-do of the bride along with a magical veil. According to royal protocol, Meghan won't appear in this tiara until her wedding day and can wear it after she's married and officially royal but not before.
She has a choice of royal tiaras she could wear, but she'll likely take a different route (such as others before her have done in recent times) and design her own modern tiara. At any rate, it'll be beautiful, sparkling and the envy of women and girls everywhere. It'll also get safely locked up when not in use for some very obvious reasons.
2 Family Photos
A staple at every wedding, no matter how small or grand, are the photos. There will be groupings of required photos and then professional family photos and, of course, the informal way more fun photos taken by guests on their cameras or phones as they all mingle and celebrate the wedding and the happy couple.
Among the family photos, we'll likely see a tiny new face cradled safely in Kate's arms. This baby will steal the spotlight from the couple until he or she is whisked off by a nanny for a snack and a nap while William and Kate continue with the festivities. The baby will be brand new and probably overwhelmed by all the fuss, but everyone will want to see the little cutie and take pictures anyway.
1 Pure Speculation
Finally, there is a lot of speculation and many rumors floating around as to what else we can expect at the royal wedding. We know that Meghan is American and likes her greasy fried foods. So people are expecting to see doughnuts, hot dogs and other delicious goodies served at the receptions afterward.
There will be two receptions—a big one for all the have-to-invite people, and a smaller private one hosted by Charles for the people they actually want to hang out with.
Another thing we're hoping to see are games. Harry has stated he wants his guests to have fun and feel involved so that usually translates to games and fun things to do at the reception following the ceremony. What will actually be offered up all remains a mystery? We're definitely expecting lots of toasts, and drinks to be served accordingly.