With two blockbuster British royal weddings this year and an enduring fascination with the Brits, American brides craving a regal look with personal twists can find plenty of inspiration.
While royal wedding fashion will have an influence on bridal trends in the United States, American brides are continually looking for ways to personalize their wedding to reflect their own style. The royal brides, the former Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie, did just that.
“Today’s bride really wants to make her wedding her own,” said Lisa Gooder, executive director of Brides. “She doesn’t want something that she’s seen other people do. She wants something that can feel personal to her.”
“The royal weddings gave women examples of how to do that, and also perhaps some of the confidence to go and make this decision,” she said. “These royal trends that we saw from the weddings will be repeated, but today’s bride really wants to look unique and like herself, and the personalization elements are the takeaways she can bring to her own wedding.”
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Shelley Brown, fashion and beauty editor at The Knot, also noted the personal touches these royal brides incorporated into their day — their second gowns for evening that hit a fashion high note, and beauty and accessories choices that spoke to a bride looking like herself.
“Both of these brides infused their classic looks with their own personality, and I think that’s a trend that will be influential,” Brown said, adding that their example shows “you can personalize even a classic wedding-day look.”
Here’s a closer look at their fashion and beauty choices that might prove influential:
Even before nearly 30 million people in the United States tuned in to watch Meghan marry Prince Harry in St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19, she was a fashion force, driving sales and sellouts. Since the former “Suits” actress became the Duchess of Sussex, bridal gowns inspired by her wedding dresses — the Givenchy ceremony gown with three-quarter-length sleeves and bateau neckline, and the custom, high-neck Stella McCartney number she donned for her evening reception — have turned up on the bridal runways in New York.
“There were a few dresses inspired by the Givenchy dress, but the Stella McCartney dress seemed to resonate with bridal designers,” Brown said, adding that its mock turtleneck is a more unique silhouette in bridalwear. “That was a style we saw a version of in pretty much every collection.”
The evening gown is a wearable look, Gooder said, which may appeal to brides jetting off to a destination wedding. “The halter neckline makes it a little bit sexy but still covered up, and that kind of chiffon fabric is always flattering and pretty,” she said.
Both brides wore a second gown on their wedding day. (Eugenie wore a blush Zac Posen dress for evening.)
Gooder said that’s a trend, noting that the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, changed for her evening reception in 2011. “I think that Meghan putting that out there in such a public way really made it something that every bride wants to do,” Gooder said.
For her ceremony on Oct. 12, also at St. George’s, Eugenie wore a long-sleeve Peter Pilotto gown with a deep V neckline in the back, a design feature she requested to reveal her scar from childhood scoliosis surgery.
“Eugenie felt her scar was an important part of her story,” Brown said. “That probably does speak to a lot of brides who don’t want to fit into a certain mould and don’t feel like they have to.”
It’s the idea of being true to yourself, a theme also expressed through accessories. The duchess’ veil had hand-embroidered flowers from the Commonwealth countries, along with the California poppy to represent her home state.
Eugenie made the choice to forgo a veil, possibly to showcase the back of her dress, and wore a diamond-and-emerald tiara, which stood out for the unexpected choice of the brilliant green gems, Brown said.
The duchess wore minimal, natural makeup and unfussy hair on her wedding day.
Said Brown, “That fact that you could see her freckles, her hair wasn’t in a perfect updo — is reflective of trends we’ve seen in bridal beauty and what we’ll see going forward.”
Lisa A. Flam, The Associated Press