The royal weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have undoubtedly had an impact on wedding customs and traditions. While it’s important to note that these weddings did not bring about radical changes, they did introduce some modern elements and adaptations to traditional customs.
Here are a few ways in which these royal weddings influenced wedding customs:
- Venue choices: Both royal weddings took place in non-traditional venues. Prince William and Kate Middleton got married at Westminster Abbey, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted for St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. These choices deviated from the more frequent royal wedding location of St. Paul’s Cathedral. As a result, many couples started considering alternative venues beyond the traditional church setting, such as historical landmarks, gardens, or even destination weddings.
- Inclusion of personal touches: The royal weddings highlighted the importance of personalizing the ceremony. Prince William and Kate Middleton incorporated personal details, such as Kate’s input in designing her wedding dress and the selection of music, which included a mix of traditional and contemporary choices. Meghan Markle also brought her own style to her wedding, including a gospel choir performance and incorporating elements of her American heritage. This emphasis on personalization encouraged couples to infuse their own personalities and interests into their wedding ceremonies.
- Representation and diversity: Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry was significant in terms of diversity and representation within the royal family. Meghan, an American actress of mixed-race heritage, brought a more inclusive and multicultural element to the wedding. This representation resonated with many people around the world and encouraged conversations about diversity and inclusivity in weddings. As a result, couples started incorporating diverse cultural elements, such as traditional clothing, rituals, or cuisine, into their ceremonies to celebrate their own backgrounds.
- Global interest and media coverage: The royal weddings garnered immense global attention and media coverage. As a result, they popularized certain aspects of the weddings, leading to trends and increased interest in various elements. For example, Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, influenced bridal fashion trends, with many brides opting for lace sleeves and a more modest silhouette. Similarly, Meghan Markle’s engagement ring, featuring diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection, sparked a renewed interest in vintage and sentimental engagement ring styles.
- Social media impact: The royal weddings coincided with the rise of social media, which played a significant role in disseminating information and generating public interest. These weddings saw widespread sharing of images, live streaming, and discussions on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The accessibility of these platforms made it easier for couples to find wedding inspiration, connect with vendors, and share their own wedding experiences. Social media has since become an integral part of the wedding planning process for many couples.
It’s important to remember that wedding customs and traditions evolve over time, influenced by a multitude of factors beyond just royal weddings. However, the high-profile nature of these events, coupled with their cultural impact, undoubtedly left an imprint on how couples approach and personalize their own weddings.
More About Royal Weddings:
Weddings have indeed evolved and changed throughout the decades, with trends coming and going. However, it is often the royal weddings that have had a profound impact on wedding culture, setting new standards and redefining traditions.
Queen Victoria Popularized the White Wedding Dress
One significant change that can be attributed to a royal wedding is the popularization of the white wedding dress. While white wedding dresses have been worn for centuries, it was Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 that truly popularized the trend. Queen Victoria’s stunning white satin wedding dress with sleeves captured the imagination of young women everywhere (Fashion History). The white wedding dress, once a luxury reserved for the wealthy due to its difficulty to clean and maintain, became a must-have for brides-to-be. It symbolized joy and celebration rather than just chastity, as it had been traditionally associated with.
As the white wedding dress trend took hold, other aspects of weddings also became more elaborate. Wedding planners emerged to handle the choreography of every detail, professional photographers became essential to capture the grandeur, and elaborate wedding cakes became a focal point. People wanted to experience the feeling of royalty and recreate the magic of royal weddings.
Prince Charles and Diana
In the 1970s, however, there was a shift away from pre-planned cookie-cutter weddings, and the concept of the “Destination Wedding” gained popularity. Couples began to prioritize unique locations and experiences over traditional church ceremonies. This shift allowed for more personalized and adventurous wedding celebrations.
The royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in 1981 marked another turning point. It was a lavish affair that brought back a sense of tradition and spectacle. Princess Diana’s wedding became an inspiration for countless brides, and they sought to replicate elements of her fairytale wedding in their own ceremonies.
Weddings became increasingly elaborate in the 1980s, with the average cost reaching $20,000. Almost every detail was meticulously planned and executed by professionals. However, in recent years, there has been a trend toward scaling down wedding costs and embracing a more inclusive approach that draws inspiration from weddings of the past.
The anticipation surrounding the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in May 2018 (People) exemplifies the influence of royal weddings on wedding traditions. People eagerly awaited to see if Meghan would follow in the footsteps of Princess Diana or bring a more modern touch to the royal family’s traditions. Speculation also arose regarding Meghan’s bridal party, with names like Jessica Mulroney, Millie Mackintosh, Misha Nonoo, and Serena Williams being mentioned. The world awaited the outcome, hoping for a mix of tradition and modernity in Meghan’s wedding choices.
Meghan Markle, with her modern sensibilities, represented a new generation of royalty, and her choices were expected to impact wedding traditions. The hope was that she would bring a fresh perspective while still honoring established customs. The mention of arriving in a carriage, reminiscent of the fairytale fantasy, reflects the desire for a touch of enchantment and romance in weddings.
Final Thoughts on How Royal Weddings Change Wedding Customs
In conclusion, royal weddings have played a significant role in shaping wedding customs over time. They have influenced everything from the choice of the white wedding dress to the level of grandeur and personalization expected in modern weddings. The anticipation surrounding each royal wedding reflects our continued fascination with the merging of tradition and contemporary influences, setting the stage for future generations of brides and grooms.