Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding is officially over, and the bride's custom dress didn't disappoint. On Saturday, Meghan stepped out of a burgundy Rolls Royce wearing a simple three-quarter-sleeved bridal gown created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, who is the newly appointed creative director of French fashion house Givenchy.
Sketches of The Duchess of Sussex’s #RoyalWedding dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller, have been released.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2018
The Duchess and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design, epitomising a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy. pic.twitter.com/A9ZFKVZmUz
The gown's beauty was all in the details. With a boat neck and lengthy train, the wedding dress was the definition of classic with a twist (royal brides typically cover their shoulders entirely!)—which is exactly what we expected from Meghan. According to a statement from Kensington Palace, the bride chose Keller for her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour," all of which were translated into this silk cady gown. The fabric was of the utmost importance—Keller scoured Europe for the perfect textile to find the "pure white colour" she and Meghan envisioned. Obviously, it was worth the effort. In fact, the groom himself congratulated the designer. People shares that Keller told reporters, "He came straight up to me and said, 'Oh my God, thank you. She looks absolutely stunning.'"
For all its intricate sourcing, the gown was clean and straightforward. This came as no surprise, since Meghan previously cited Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's wedding dress (a body-hugging silk sheath) as her ultimate bridal inspiration. While her gown was undeniably subtle, her accessories were not. Meghan wanted to find a way to include all 53 countries of the Commonwealth in her attire, so Keller embroidered a popular flower from each nation into the silk tulle five-meter-long veil. "There was a conversation early on about the story that we were going to tell through this wedding," Keller said, according to People. "We both loved the story of that." The veil was so important to the duo that its creation was super involved. "The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine," Kensington Palace shared, which Keller later confirmed.
Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries united in one spectacular floral composition.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 20, 2018
Find out more about the design, the fabric and the veil of the #RoyalWedding dress: https://t.co/flDwgm4LUp pic.twitter.com/0t7MWZ3BpF
Additionally, Meghan wore the Queen Mary tiara (on loan from the Queen!) underneath and chose to style her hair in a slightly-messy (but still classy) bun. People shares that her hairdresser, Serge Normant, "really wanted it to be loose." "I wanted her to be able to tuck it behind her ears if she wanted to do, because that is what she normally does," he told reporters.
Wedding dress designers were initially rumored to be Stella McCartney, Ralph & Russo, Erdem, Burberry, Stewart Parvin, and Roland Mouret. Also in the running was Alexander McQueen (head designer Sarah Burton created Kate Middleton's classic gown for her 2011 ceremony). The bride surprised everyone by stepping out in the Givenchy gown. Later, she did wear Stella McCartney, though. She switched into a new dress for the reception.
While eyes were (obviously!) all on the bride, her groom was incredibly dapper. Before the bride and her mother (a vision in pale green) entered Windsor Castle, Prince Harry arrived with Prince William in full miltary regalia. He'd previously been speculated to wear Morning Dress (formal British attire), but chose to honor his service background instead.