By far the biggest buzz this past weekend, the 2018 #royalwedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was such a memorable one even you cynics out there will have to admit it was quite a significant one as far as royal weddings go. If you didn't devote your weekend to watching and rewatching the highly anticipated royal union, here are all the highlights you need to piece together a picture of a truly inspirational modern fairytale.
Breaking (More) Traditions
Besides the obvious straying away from tradition that you already know about in regards to the matrimony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Harry and Meghan's wedding took place (at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle) on a weekend, which is actually a break from royal tradition. British royal weddings are traditionally held on weekdays, with the chosen day being declared a holiday by the British government. This was, for instance, the case with Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding on April 29, 2011—a Friday FYI. Meghan and Harry's wedding also fell on the same date as the FA Cup Final, which Prince William normally attends as President of the Football Association. "What's more important, bro?"
As Meghan's life pre-Duchess of Sussex was spent in Hollywood, notably as one of the main characters of the hit TV series Suits, the guest list of the royal wedding included more than a few major celebrities we don't usually see at British royal weddings, such as Oprah (OMG!), George Clooney, Idris Elba and, of course, the cast members of Suits. See which other celebs attended the royal wedding on Saturday here.
The royal turnout wasn't bad either. Besides Harry's brother, the Duchess of Cambridge, Charles, Camilla and the Queen, Harry and Meghan's matrimony saw the lovable Middleton family as well as members from Harry's mum, Diana's side of the family—notably uncle Earl Charles Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Kitty Spencer—in attendance. Even Duchess Sarah Ferguson, despite her feud with Charles, was an attending invited guest at the ceremony.
A bigger deal than anything worn to the recent Met Gala and Cannes combined is the dress that Meghan Markle would be wedded to Prince Harry in. Finally unveiled to the world on Saturday, Meghan's dress was designed by British designer Claire Waight Keller, who became Givenchy's first female artistic director last year. Even if you opted out of the televised ceremony this weekend, you had to have encountered the spectacularly unique gown involuntarily. A masterpiece of timeless minimal elegance, the sleek long-sleeved, comfortably-fitted silk dress with a boat neckline and sweeping train was a stunner but without frills. Meghan stated that she wanted Keller's knack for "elegant aesthetic" and "relaxed demeanour" put into play in the design, and Keller definitely delivered.
The Bridesmaids, Pageboys And Other Mini VIPs
The youngest attendees at the royal wedding showed us who the real event VIPs were. Rolling up to the church in Rolls-Royces were the five adorable bridesmaids and three pageboys. Meghan decided against choosing adult pageboys and bridesmaids, opting to give the large roles to the family's mini members—four-year-old Prince George and three-year-old Princess Charlotte. They were joined by Harry and Meghan's godchildren, as well as Meghan's BFF Jessica Mulroney's kids. The bride herself arrived with seven-year-old twins Brian and John Mulroney.
Bishop Michael Curry
Though David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, did the usual honours of officiating the royal wedding, as a cross-cultural union, a charimatic American preacher was brought in to give an address so engaging and unprecedented at the venue you could say he brought the American church to the British state! Bishop Michael Curry's fiery speech managed to throw in some heavy Martin Luther King JR content while also making the more high-strung side of the room laugh with honest lines like, "two young people fell in love, and we all showed up."
The "I"m So Lucky" Moment
As Katherine Heigl's character in the movie 27 Dresses famously describes, her favourite part of a wedding is the expression the groom makes when he sees his bride walking down the aisle. There was such a moment or more magical at the royal wedding, and it was all captured on television. When Meghan arrives to the alter, to her beloved, Harry leaves all decorum (if there were such to begin with) behind to tell her: “You look amazing... I’m so lucky.”
"I Do" (Or "I Will" Rather)
If you’re an avid follower of royal nuptials, you’ll know that tiny eye glances and shy smiles between the bride and groom are common at royal weddings. Harry and Meghan took their passion and excitement for their union to the next level however. No furtive glances here—Meghan Markle gave her beloved her “100% gaze”, and when Prince Harry said “I do” (or actually, “I will”), the certainty of his love for Meghan was more than enough to melt our hearts through the screens with which we witnessed the vows.
The "Do We Kiss Now?" Moment
It isn’t official until the kiss between husband and wife, and Harry and Meghan definitely did not disappoint. When Windsor royalty meets Hollywood royalty, you know the kiss is going to be something spectacular. Meghan and Harry’s first kiss as a married royal couple took place on the stone steps of St George’s Chapel moments after the exchange of vows and was reportedly initiated by the bride: Meghan leaned into her beloved and asked “do we kiss now?”, and the groom responded with a soft but reassuring “yeah”—according to professional lip readings.
The royal wedding continued to make waves with unprecedented performances such as a gospel choir's majestic rendition of Stand By Me and a cello act by talented 19-year-old Sheku Kanneh Mason, BBC's Young Musician of the Year in 2016. A prince of surprise romantic gestures, Harry also got Sir Elton John to secretly prepare to bust out in song during the lunchtime reception. The 71-year-old diva performed his hits: Your Song, Tiny Dancer, Circle of Life and I'm Still Standing. For the evening reception, the couple opted away from traditional slow dancing for a fun playlist of 80s dance hits and even a special DJ appearance by Idris Elba.
The Second Dress
For the more intimate evening reception, Meghan changed into a Stella McCartney gown, which highlighted a halter neckline but seemed to be cut from the same style of modern elegance as the Claire Waight Keller wedding gown. Harry also changed from his miltary uniform to a dapper tux. Honored guests joined the newlyweds in what was reportedly a "modern AF" royal wedding after party.