The Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie are set to inspire brides around the world with every element of their wedding planning following their very modern royal weddings in 2018. Both royal brides broke tradition on their big day – including walking down the aisle alone and opting to forego a veil to send a defiant message about body positivity – and we couldn't love them more for it. So if you're busy planning for your own nuptials, here are the lessons to take from our inspirational royals…
1) Be Yourself:
Make your wedding day a reflection of you and your partner as much as possible. While it's easy to get carried away and turn your wedding into a carbon copy of everything else you've seen on Pinterest, try to add some personal touches. It could be a nod to something important to you via your outfit (Meghan's embroidered veil paid homage to her new role working with the Commonwealth), your cake (Eugenie and Jack chose their favourite red velvet and chocolate flavours for their stunning Sophie Cabot creation), or even your wedding reading (the character in Princess Beatrice's reading reminded her of her new brother-in-law Jack Brooksbank).
2) Don't be afraid to break tradition:
Both Meghan and Eugenie broke with tradition on their wedding days. For former Suits star Meghan, this included walking part of the way down the aisle of St George's Chapel alone, before joining her new father-in-law Prince Charles for the rest of the walk. The Duchess is also said to have given a speech at her wedding reception, even though brides traditionally don't do so. Meanwhile, Princess Eugenie opted not to wear a veil for her wedding ceremony, choosing instead to wear her hair up and showcase the scar she has on her back following surgery to correct scoliosis when she was 12. The lesson to take away? Make your own rules.
3) Don't worry about family politics:
From family arguments to divorced parents, there can be lots of family politics to consider when planning your wedding. However, Meghan and Eugenie both proved you should ultimately do what's best for you. Doria Ragland was the only member of Meghan's family who attended her wedding, while Princess Eugenie still seated her parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew side by side in the chapel despite them having been divorced for over 20 years.
4) Invite who you want:
You may feel obliged to invite certain people to your wedding including extended family members, family friends or work colleagues, but there's nothing to say you have to. Your wedding should be a celebration with your nearest and dearest, so if it's someone you're not particularly close to, why should they attend? Prince Harry and Meghan particularly adhered to this school of thought, and only invited the closest members of the royal family to their wedding, while only Meghan's mother Doria attended, after her father Thomas Markle fell ill and was unable to travel.
5) Have fun:
Your big day doesn't have to be too formal, have fun with it! Once the ceremony is done, brides, grooms and their guests can let their hair down with champagne, cocktails and a more relaxed alternative to the traditional wedding breakfast. For Prince Harry and Meghan, this meant serving their guests "bowl food" which could be enjoyed while standing around and chatting, while Princess Eugenie and Jack kept their celebrations running over two days, with a fairground-inspired party at her parents' home, Royal Lodge Windsor.
6) Think about entertainment:
You may not have Elton John or Robbie Williams on speed dial like the royals, but your choice of entertainment can make a huge difference in both yours and your guest's enjoyment of your day. Whether it's a carefully-curated playlist of all your favourite songs or splashing out on a live band or DJ, take the time to create a memorable soundtrack to your wedding.
7) Go seasonal:
Both Meghan and Eugenie incorporated seasonal details in their big day, and it's an easy thing you can do too. For Meghan's spring wedding this included creating a lemon and elderflower cake using fresh ingredients from the Queen's estate, while Princess Eugenie's wedding cake had an autumnal feel, with sugar-spun leaves and ivy decorations.
8) Relax afterwards on a romantic honeymoon:
What better way to unwind after months of wedding planning than by jetting away on a relaxing honeymoon? The royal newlyweds have stayed tight-lipped about their exact honeymoon destinations, with Harry and Meghan's getaway so private only the Queen and Prince William are said to know where they went.
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