Lessons from the Royal Wedding for Bridechillas
Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or trying the “unplugged” trend (more power to you), you’ll know that it’s finally Royal Wedding week! Prince Harry is about to marry his American sweetheart Meghan Markle.
Some of us might’ve been counting down the days a little too carefully, but I think we can all agree that this has been a whirlwind engagement for the books. Other than overanalyzing the significance of foxgloves and wondering what the heck lemon elderflower actually tastes like, we’ve learned quite a bit from watching how Prince Harry and Meghan are handling the spotlight throughout their wedding planning process. However, emulating some Royal Wedding vibes is more than just pinning ideas to your Pinterest board.
What’s particularly interesting about this celebration is that it’s the first to really push the envelope with modern elements. While the wedding will still be heavily sprinkled with tradition, there are some extremely useful lessons for Bridechillas here, so start taking notes.
Listen to episode 320 of Bridechilla
Handling Wedding Input
Prince Harry and Meghan might not have it so easy in this department as the rest of us, but would it really be a wedding without filtering opinions from your family? Joan Wyndrum from Blooms By The Box says, “As well-meaning as they might be, you can expect an influx of suggestions throughout your planning process. It can be difficult to assert yourself (politely, of course), but just remember that this is your big day and you should be feeling confident in your choices.” Taking family criticisms to heart will only add to your wedding stress, so head into the conversation with the understanding that they want to help.
“In this instance, Queen Elizabeth had a few recommendations (including how to handle flowers), but Prince Harry and Meghan decided to respectfully go a different route. The point is that if they can turn down a recommendation from the Queen of England, it’s absolutely okay for you to let your mom down gently if she wants you to go with a photographer that just isn’t your style,” Wyndrum continues.
Photo by Taylor Harding
Blending Old and New
The Royal Wedding traditions are undoubtedly a little stricter than any family traditions us commoners have, but the struggle of upholding them while still putting a personal touch to your big day remains the same. “The Royal Wedding is deeply rooted with tradition, but Prince Harry and Meghan are adding in modern elements to the mix, including a deviation from fruit cake,” notes Paulette Alkire of Chalet View Lodge. “Take a page from their book. Embracing some norms while also adding in some of your own quirks is a great balance, and your guests will be happy to see a showcase of your personality in the wedding details.”
Meghan and Harry are probably not serving donuts at their wedding but you can!
Photo by Anita Klasanova
Honoring Lost Loved Ones
No question about it – incorporating a nod to those you’ve lost is always a beautiful, thoughtful idea for your wedding day. Audrey Isaac of 100 Candles advises to follow in the footsteps of the Royal couple. “We’re seeing plans to honor late Princess Diana by having one of her sisters doing a reading at the ceremony. This is a wonderful reminder that you can pay homage to your loved ones during your wedding day,” she says.
The size of your gesture isn’t important, either. “Whether you want to keep it subtle with a table of arranged pictures and candles or go with a heartfelt reading as we’ll see in the Royal Wedding ceremony, adding that sentimental touch will make your day feel even more special.”
Prioritizing Your Style
The Royal engagement started off as no surprise that Harry and Meghan were going to put their own twist on things, evidenced by their engagement photos. “Prince Harry and Meghan began straight away with an engagement shoot that screamed ‘we’re going to do what we want to do.’ From the style of the shoot and the clothes they selected, it was a big sign that they were not going to be afraid to put their modern touches on the celebration,” Keith Phillips from Classic Photographers chimes in. “I hope this is an inspiration to other Bridechillas that it’s ok to go in a different direction with what decidedly feels like ‘you.’”
If that means the entrée for your reception is burgers, or that your groomsmen are opting for khakis instead of suits – we’re behind you!
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography
Mediating Family Conflict
It can be tough to be in the middle of family disputes the other 364 days of the year, let alone trying to smooth things over for your ceremony. As Kim Sayatovic of Belladeux Event Design tells us, “If one thing is for sure, it’s that even the royal wedding has complicated family issues. Internal family conflict is hard to navigate, especially concerning your wedding. It’s best to have an open discussion before you begin wedding planning, that way you can adjust the seating chart or guest list accordingly.”
This may involve a little necessary peacekeeping on your part, Sayatovic adds. “Keep in mind that you’ll want your day to go as smoothly as possible, and communicate that to your family. Managing divorced couples (like Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew) takes a little extra care, but it’s worth it in the end to have both parties at your wedding for support.”
Even though we’re anxiously awaiting the reveal of how Harry & Meghan will pull off the happy balance of traditional and modern, these obstacles are somewhat evergreen for all of you Bridechilla-to-bes out there. In the end, your wedding day is just that – yours. While it’s thoughtful to keep others in mind and recognize their role in your impending marriage, they’ll be happiest to see that you’re happy.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR agency OFD Consulting, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. Her love for all things Windsor is only matched by her complete devotion to podcasts and cats (not typically both at the same time).