Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged to be married in Spring 2018, which means the world is officially on royal wedding watch. Here's every possible thing (down to the tiniest detail) you need to know about their upcoming ceremony:
The bride-to-be's designer friend, Roland Mouret, hinted that he could be designing her dress for the big day. In an interview with WWD, he said, “I don’t want to say. No comment. It’s…there is no comment on that. She’s a friend. And that’s...I can’t say."
And earlier this February he provided more details, saying Meghan knows what she wants. “Meghan knows really well what she likes, and the main thing with Meghan is to listen to her and work in collaboration with her,” he told the New York Post.
Like Kate Middleton, Meghan will likely be inundated with wedding dress sketches from every major designer on the planet. Kate ended up wearing a lace-sleeved Alexander McQueen dress by Sarah Burton, but she wasn't short of options and Meghan won't be either. While we don't know what designer she'll pick yet, it's possible that she'll choose an American fashion house as a nod to her home country. Either way, it's important to note that Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney is literally a fashion and bridal stylist, so it's likely that they'll be working together to pick a gown.
ET royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter also notes that Meghan will likely choose a more modern silhouette than Kate Middleton: "I think it'll be completely different to what we saw with Kate. Kate's was quite feminine and girly [and] Meghan's got a different sophistication about her. She's a little bit older and perhaps will want something a bit more fashionable."
May 19, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.! BTW, keep in mind that Kate Middleton's due date is reportedly in April, which means this wedding will have an extremely tiny and extremely adorable guest of honor.
The couple will also take a royal carriage ride at 1:00 p.m., per Kensington Palace who said in a statement, "At 1300 [that's 1:00 p.m.], the couple, now married, will undertake a Carriage Procession along a route from St George's Chapel, leaving Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and processing along the High Street and through Windsor Town, returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk. They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day."
Kate Middleton and Prince William married inside Westminster Abbey in a massive, televised ceremony. While Harry and Meghan will doubtless have similar pomp and circumstance, their wedding will likely be a little less intense thanks to the fact that Harry isn't as close to owning the throne.
Meghan and Harry have chosen St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to marry, where Prince Charles and Camilla had their post-wedding service, Prince Edward married Sophie Countess of Wessex, and Peter Phillips married Autumn Phillips.
The Wedding Planning
Per Hello Magazine, planning a royal wedding is an enviable job that The Lord Chamberlain's Office at Buckingham Palace has the pleasure of undertaking. They're responsible for throwing massive parties so they definitely know what's up—and apparently were the ones who sent out invites to Kate and William's big day. That said, Meghan and Harry will presumably want plenty of say in their wedding—it's only the organizational details that will be left up to the palace office. (FYI, the royal family is footing the bill for the wedding.)
William and Kate were married by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, while Harry and Meghan will be married by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. "The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd. David Conner, will conduct the Service," the Palace said. "The Most Revd. and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows."
It should also be noted that Meghan does not currently belong to the Church of England, but it might be a moot point as historian Hugo Vickers (a friend of the royals) says, "Meghan Markle has already been married, so I believe they would have a service of blessing."
They did indeed. Meghan was baptized in a secret ceremony at the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace.
The Maid of Honor
Breaking royal tradition (which seems to be a pattern these days), Markle will reportedly choose to have a maid of honor rather than a chief bridesmaid. The future royal hasn't confirmed this or who the lucky person is, but we imagine it's one of her close friends (see "Guest List" section below). Prince Harry already asked Prince William to be his best man and we're crying already.
Alexi Lubomirski has been chosen as the official photographer for Harry and Meghan's wedding. He will take photos of the newlyweds at Windsor Castle following the ceremony at St George's Chapel. Lubomirski is a highly praised portrait photographer, maybe most well-known now for taking Harry and Meghan's engagement photos in November.
"I could not be more thrilled or honoured to photograph this historic occasion," Lubomirski said in the press release. "Having taken Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's engagement photos, it brings me such joy to be able to witness again, the next chapter in this wonderful love story."
Harry and Meghan have chosen pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London-based bakery Violet Cakes, to design their wedding cake. It will be a lemon elderflower cake that will "incorporate the bright flavors of spring," according to Kensington Palace, covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. Oh, and get this: Meghan previously interviewed Chef Ptak for her former lifestyle website, The Tig.
William and Kate's cake was made by Fiona Cairns, and took five weeks to complete. "The whole cake was—not just the cake but the wedding—was Kate's idea," she told Hello at the time. "It was all her idea. She's a very creative person and that's why it was so special."
Meghan's bouquet will almost definitely include myrtle, a tradition flower for royal brides, which you can see in the photos below.
The tradition began with Queen Victoria (who carried myrtle in her bouquet when she married Prince Albert), while Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Kate Middleton also had the flower in their bouquets. Even more amazing, this myrtle originates from one bush in Queen Victoria's holiday garden on the Isle of Wight.
Meghan and Harry could potentially travel to Botswana, a place that means a lot to both of them, and where one of their first trips went down. Harry recently explained, "I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars."
The Wedding Party
The royals are *extremely* fond of having adorable children dominate their wedding parties, which is great news for Princess Charlotte and Princess George. The royal children of William and Kate will doubtless feature in Meghan and Harry's wedding, as will their parents. It's unclear whether Meghan will go the traditional American route and have a fleet of bridesmaids at her side (or keep things simple like Kate, who just had her sister Pippa Middleton), but here's a list of contenders:
"What I anticipate seeing is a bridal party made up of children," Victoria Arbiter tells ET. "Royal parties love to have children in the bridal party. Perhaps we'll see George and Charlotte redo the roles that they had at earlier this year."
The Guest List
Other than the Queen (casual), Kate, William, and a fleet of other royals, this wedding will be a star-studded affair. Thanks to the fact that she's an actress and is close friends with people like Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra (say nothing of her Suits costars), Meghan's side of the guest list will bring a lot of attention—but Arbiter says the couple will try to minimize the spotlight on their friends.
"There's been a lot of speculation that explains. "This is not a red carpet affair [or] a celebrity wedding. This is a wedding between a member of the royal family and someone who happens to have been an actress. They're going to want to minimize the fuss."might take part, but I think the couple is going to be keen to avoid the circus that comes with that," she
Per a statement from the palace, there will be a public reception at St. George's Hall for guests from the congregation (this part could be televised), and "Later that evening, The Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family."