Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) officially tied to the knot on May 19, 2018 at Windsor Castle, and their ceremony has drawn a lot of comparisons to Prince William and Kate Middleton's back in 2011. Here's how these two very different couples made their celebrations their own (and, yes, you can love both!).
Kate and William got engaged after publicly dating since 2004.
After dating for more than six years (opens in new tab), William and Kate announce their engagement in November 2010. William proposed on a safari trip in Kenya in October of the same year.
Meghan and Harry got engaged after a little over a year of dating.
Harry and Meghan hit it off on a blind date (opens in new tab) back in July 2016. In November 2017, the couple happily announced their engagement with a photoshoot and interview.
Harry created a custom diamond ring.
The prince selected two diamonds from his mother's collection to flank a central cushion-cut stone (opens in new tab) sourced from Botswana. For the band, he chose yellow gold—Meghan's favorite.
Kate was "Miss Catherine Middleton" on her invitations.
The bride used her full name on the invites (opens in new tab) that went out to all 1,900 guests.
Will and Kate hosted their wedding at Westminster Abbey.
The London church traditionally hosts royal weddings, coronations, and other major events. It's only a five-minute drive from Buckingham Palace (opens in new tab), where the couple kissed (twice!) in front of thousands of well-wishers below the iconic balcony.
Harry and Meghan picked St. George's Chapel.
Located 40 minutes outside of London, this church located on the grounds of Windsor Castle holds less people, but it's still a top choice for high-profile weddings. Prince Edward (opens in new tab), the younger brother of Prince Charles, tied the knot with Sophie Rhys-Jones there in 1999.
Kate wore a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress.
The long lace sleeves drew comparisons to Grace Kelly and '50s bridal style, but Burton also drew on the brand's signature corsetry by creating an hourglass silhouette. She even added some subtle padding around the hips for extra oomph. All together, the lace and satin ensemble (opens in new tab) cost a reported $434,000 (opens in new tab) to make.
Meghan wore Givenchy.
The French fashion house was a surprising choice, but there is a U.K. connection. British designer Clare Waight Keller, the brand's first female artistic director, created the gown (opens in new tab). "After meeting Ms. Waight Keller in early 2018, Ms. Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanor," Kensington Palace announced in a statement. "Ms. Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has now served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses–Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy."
Kate wore the Cartier Halo tiara.
Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab) lent the bride a pretty amazing "something borrowed." The monarch originally received the Cartier Halo tiara on her 18th birthday and the gorgeous diadem includes nearly 1,000 diamonds.
Meghan chose Queen Mary's diamond bandeau.
The platinum piece (opens in new tab) also belonging to Queen Elizabeth II dates back to 1932, but the circa-1893 center brooch is even older. Eleven sections make up the flexible band, and it's pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. The center, detachable brooch itself is set with 10 more diamonds.
Kate's veil was created by the Royal School of Needlework.
The Duchess of Cambridge had flowers embroidered around the edge (opens in new tab) of her veil to match her dress.
Meghan's veil was created by Claire Weight Keller for Givenchy.
Much longer than her sister-in-law's veil, Meghan surprised her groom and paid homage (opens in new tab) to her new home by featuring flowers from all 53 of the countries in the British Commonwealth on it.
Kate did her own wedding makeup.
She took a few classes from Bobbi Brown makeup artist Hannah Martin because the Duchess of Cambridge insisted on doing her own makeup (opens in new tab) for her big day. She kept her overall look fairly natural for the ceremony and used Bobbi Brown eyeshadow shades "Rockstar" and "Ivory" to finish off her face.
Meghan had her makeup professionally done.
Her good friend, Daniel Martin (opens in new tab), had the task of creating Meghan's wedding day look. He later revealed that it was important for the bride to look natural and for her freckles to appear—she just wanted to look like herself on the biggest day of her life. The Dior ambassador and celebrity makeup artist also said that they did their makeup trial over the phone, rather than in person, because they know each other so well.
Kate's bouquet had a subtle nod to her soon-to-be-husband.
Kate's bouquet contained local flowers (opens in new tab) like lily of the valley, sweet William, myrtle, hyacinth, and ivy. She also embraced the royal tradition, dating all the way back to Queen Victoria, to carry a sprig of myrtle in her wedding bouquet.
Prince Harry helped pick out Meghan's flowers.
Meghan's bouquet featured an array of blooms (opens in new tab) such as forget-me-nots, sweat peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and astrantia. Princess Diana's favorite flower was the forget-me-not.
Michael Middleton walked his daughter down the aisle.
Kate was the first of his three children to get married. Her parents (opens in new tab) also gave her the Robinson Pelham diamond earrings she wore on her wedding day.
Prince Charles accompanied Meghan.
After her dad Thomas Markle (opens in new tab) announced he could no longer attend the wedding due to his health, the future King of England stepped up to the plate. Meghan walked through the first section of the church—the nave—by herself, then the Prince of Wales escorted her up to the altar.
1,900 people attended Kate and William's wedding.
Because William is next in line to the throne and because Westminster Abbey is a much bigger venue than where Harry and Meghan got married, hundreds more people (opens in new tab) were invited to their wedding. Kings, queens, and celebrities from around the world came to see their nuptials.
Only 600 people went to Meghan and Harry's wedding.
Despite a smaller number of guests at Meghan and Harry's wedding than at Kate and William's, it was a star-studded affair. Amal and George Clooney, (opens in new tab) Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra, and more celebrities came to their big day.
Kate had a maid of honor.
Her sister Pippa Middleton assisted with the nine-foot train and helped wrangle members of her bridal party. When Pippa married James Matthews (opens in new tab) last year, the Duchess of Cambridge didn't serve as hers (she reportedly didn't want to detract attention from the bride!), but she did return the favor of keeping unruly page boy Prince George and flower girl Princess Charlotte (opens in new tab) in check.
Meghan went solo.
The bride decided against having a maid of honor because she "has a very close group of friends and didn't want to choose one over the other," a spokesperson for the couple stated. The bride did rely on her close pal Jessica Mulroney (opens in new tab) to serve as her "secret wedding planner" though.
Kate had four bridesmaids and Prince William had two pageboys.
Kate broke tradition by having Pippa be her maid of honor. She also asked Grace van Cutsem (William's goddaughter), Eliza Lopes (Camilla's granddaughter), Lady Louise Windsor (William's cousin), and Margarita Armstrong-Jones (William's second cousin) to serve as junior bridesmaids (opens in new tab). Tom Pettifer (Prince William's godson) and Billy Lowther-Pinkerton (the son of William's secretary) served as William's pageboys for the wedding.
Meghan had six bridesmaids and Harry had four pageboys.
Princess Charlotte (daughter of Kate and William), Remi Litt, Rylan Litt, (Meghan's godchildren), Ivy Mulroney (the daughter of Meghan's's stylist Jessica Mulroney), Zalie Warren, and Florence van Cutsem (the goddaughters of Harry) were in Meghan's wedding party (opens in new tab). Brian Mulroney, John Mulroney (sons of Jessica Mulroney), Jasper Dyer (Harry's godson), and Prince George (Kate and William's son) acted as Harry's pageboys.
Will and Kate decorated with trees.
Six field maples and two hornbeams measuring up to 25-feet tall flanked the aisle along with almost 30,000 flowers (opens in new tab) mostly grown at Windsor Great Park's Valley Gardens in Surrey. The neutral-colored blooms included azaleas as well as lily of the valley and myrtle in the bride's bouquet.
Harry and Meghan chose pollinator-friendly plants.
Their florist Philippa Craddock also selected a neutral color scheme with an emphasis on flowers that bloom naturally during the spring season, such as white garden roses, peonies, and foxgloves. She also used silver birch and English oak foliage for added greenery in the elaborate archways constructed both outside and inside the chapel.
Will and Kate had a traditional cake.
Pastry chef Fiona Cairns led the charge in creating the eight-layer, 220-pound fruitcake. The traditional British flavor (opens in new tab) lasts for years (it's often served at later christenings!), but no one ate the final decorated creation that later went on display. Guests actually nibbled at 600 separate slices of fruitcake for breakfast on the morning of the wedding, Cairns told Town & Country (opens in new tab).
Meghan and Harry picked lemon-elderflower cake.
The couple tasked baker Claire Ptak (opens in new tab) with their unusual choice (opens in new tab). She and her crew of six used 200 Amalfi lemons, 500 organic eggs from Suffolk, and 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial to bake the lemon sponge confection. It was filled with lemon curd and iced with a Swiss meringue buttercream, which she revealed in a video (opens in new tab).
Kate's second wedding dress was by Alexander McQueen.
Kate switched out of her first Alexander McQueen dress for another design by the fashion house. Her second look was a satin gown (opens in new tab) with a smaller train and a white angora bolero.
Meghan wore Stella McCartney for her reception dress.
She paired it with Aquazzura shoes (opens in new tab), which featured a hidden detail: The soles were painted baby blue!
Queen Elizabeth wore bright yellow to Kate's wedding.
The Queen's matching dress, coat, and hat were all designed by Angela Kelly.
Queen Elizabeth wore bright green to Meghan's wedding.
The Queen wore a lime green coat (opens in new tab) and a matching dress, both by Stuart Parvin. Her hat, made by Angela Kelly, featured the same lime silk tweed and handmade lace crystals to finish off her look.
Kate and William borrowed Prince Charles's car to leave their festivities.
Prince Harry and family friends decorated Prince Charles' Aston Martin DB6 MkII (opens in new tab), which Will and Kate drove away in after their wedding. They even had a custom plate made that read "Just Wed."
Meghan and Harry drove to their reception in an electric car.
Meghan and Harry opted for a silver-blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero (opens in new tab). The car was converted into an electric car before their wedding, so their ride was environmentally-friendly!
22.8 million Americans watched Kate and William's wedding.
Plus 24 million Brits (opens in new tab), which is about six million more U.K. viewers than Meghan and Harry's.
29 million Americans watched Meghan and Harry's wedding.
Fifteen channels aired the wedding (opens in new tab). It's no surprise that Harry and Meghan's wedding had a bigger American viewership, considering Meghan is from the U.S.
Kate and William's first kiss was very traditional.
The pair shared their first kiss as a couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, per tradition.
Harry and Meghan skipped the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss.
Instead, the couple shared their first kiss as a married couple outside on the church steps in front of a small crowd.
'The Umbrella Academy' Season 4: Everything We Know
Including what could come next after that cliffhanger finale.
By Quinci LeGardye
The 22 Best Korean Romance Movies Ever Made
They'll shatter your heart, then put it back together again.
By Marina Liao
All of the Best Fourth of July Fashion Sales
Let the savings begin.
By Julia Marzovilla
Prince William and Kate Middleton Showed Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community During Pride Month
They highlighted a mental health charity.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Prince Charles Was "Delighted" to Meet Lilibet for the First Time, Reportedly
It's not a huge surprise, to be fair.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Buckingham Palace Won't Release Meghan Markle Bullying Report Findings
They're avoiding pouring salt in already existing wounds.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Prince William and Kate Middleton Honor Cancer Campaigner Dame Deborah James After Her Passing
James sadly died of bowel cancer at 40.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Meghan Markle Calls Prince Harry a Feminist, Expresses Fear for Women's Safety Over Roe v. Wade Being Struck Down
The duchess spoke to Gloria Steinem about it.
By Iris Goldsztajn
Prince William Was Filmed Shouting at a Photographer Who Interrupted a Cambridge Family Bike Ride
By Iris Goldsztajn
The Queen Helped the Crown Princess of Greece With Her Wedding Dress as They Posed for a Portrait
Guest of honor, much???
By Iris Goldsztajn
Meghan Markle's "Polo Wife" Delfina Blaquier Praises Duchess' "Big Heart" on Instagram
She's setting the record straight.
By Iris Goldsztajn