Being such a die-hard Diana fan and a dreamer at heart, for me this royal wedding held a lot of hope. I had hoped Meghan Markle would emerge from that car in a gown that would create huge waves. A design that would be truly a showstopper, the princess gown of everyone’s dreams and the start of the modern pop-culture fairytale of the prince and the glamour-puss American actress.
When she emerged in her modest Givenchy gown, (modest in design, not cost) I was shattered. And so I voiced my repulsion and lamented the missed opportunity for this girl to become the new people’s princess. BUT….and here’s the but…. Meghan and the royal wedding held a few important lessons for us all. I’ve had a few days to digest the wedding and my view has changed somewhat about a lot of things. These are the lessons:
1) Luxury isn’t what it used to be:
It’s 2018. A lot of people have disposable incomes and weddings are becoming a big business. Over-the-top lavish affairs are almost becoming a norm, well on Instagram anyway. Meghan, who could’ve had the cream puff meringue laced frilled gown to end all gypsy gowns chose to have no lace, the ultimate lesson in restraint. A shock, yes, but this may truly in time make her a style leader. Where the opposite has become the norm, with frou frou gowns as far as the Insta-eye can see, maybe there is a return to minimalism on the horizon. I should acknowledge that the ready-to-wear market has trended with minimalism for quite some time now, my reference is to bespoke couture, a very different market.
2) Choose your guests carefully:
So her father and other relatives were not in attendance, amid all the controversy. Smart move Meghan. Weddings are all about atmosphere. I often counsel my brides by asking them ‘Would you shout this person a meal normally?’ when they are laboring over inviting their cousin 87 times removed. Very simple, keep it to those you know well, see regularly and are important to you. If you don’t, the wedding vibe will go from excitement to ‘meh’. They will attend by force, you’ll waste precious minutes talking to them and in 5 years you’ll regret it.
3) Make tradition work for you.
Meghan and Harry honored some traditions and threw others out. You should do the same. Too many brides do things at their wedding in the name of tradition without giving them a second thought. Some examples are: the garter, not talking to the groom the day before, entering after all the guests rather than mingling as they arrive, throwing the bouquet, sitting at a separate bridal table etc. There is beauty in tradition but just make sure it serves you, or ditch it. Even new age traditions like the bridesmaids in custom dressing gowns and Cartel flowers, ask yourself, are these serving me or am I simply ticking a box for Insta posting?
4) Be true to your personal style.
As shocked as I was with the ‘relaxed’ fit of Meghan’s gown and the minimalist design, I shouldn’t have been. She was very true to her style. So many followers commented furiously on my ridiculing post ‘You should’ve dressed her’ and I initially agreed. With the benefit of hindsight though, I now realize that the gown was perfect for Meghan, and in fact, I would not be able to design for her. Our aesthetics would have struggled to come together. She was true to her style and her gown and a gown like my sister’s or Diana’s can’t and shouldn’t be compared. Each had their own muse, their own vision and their own purpose. A follower who found my post offensive rightfully commented ‘Meghan was the statement, she didn’t need a statement gown’ and rightfully so. There was enough controversy and broken barriers without the statement Diana-esque gown. I’ll leave the statement gowns to my girls, who may not have a royal title but they are certainly my princesses.
Thank you for reading if you’ve made it this far, and hopefully it won’t be so long before my next blog post.