For decades people all over the world have celebrated the nuptials of British royals. Popularity of royal couples like Diana & Charles, William & Kate, and Meghan & Harry has created worldwide allure for many years.
I found myself curious about the fascinating (and fascinators!), unique, and deep-rooted traditions surrounding British royal weddings and how these traditions can be authentically incorporated into your wedding day or celebration.
Incorporate interesting herbs & flowers
One of my favorite of the royal family’s traditions is the sprig of myrtle carried in the bridal bouquets. Myrtle is an herb known to possess love, fertility, and innocence.
Queen Victoria first carried myrtle when she wed Prince Albert in 1840. She planted a myrtle bush in her garden on the Isle of Wright and all royal brides have carried a sprig of myrtle from that very bush in their bouquets ever since.
Find ways to add herbs, greenery, and florals that hold personal, spiritual, or religious significance into your bouquet, centerpieces, and decor.
Switch up the Bridal Party
I love the trend of including a grandparent in the role of ring bearer or flower girl. For those of us lucky to have grandparents when we get married, it is such a sweet way to include a beloved family member in the ceremony.
In the royal family, instead of cousins, siblings, and friends comprising the bridal party it is typically children. Meghan and Harry’s bridesmaids and pageboys were all under eight-years-old! These cute kids included their godchildren and of course their nephew and niece, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Honoring Those We've Lost
Queen Elizabeth, then known as Lady Elizabeth, created a tradition over 100 years ago on her wedding day when she placed her wedding bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as she entered Westminster Abbey before walking down the aisle. The gesture was done in honor of her brother, Fergus, who was lost in in the Battle of Loos and in tribute of soldiers injured and killed in WWI. Even though Meghan and Harry were married at Windsor Castle, Meghan kept up the royal tradition and sent her bouquet to be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
There are so many beautiful and special ways to honor those who who can only be there in spirit on your wedding day. Whether you wear a piece of their jewelry, display meaningful photos, dedicate a song to them, or have a moment of silence - it is about honoring our loved ones. And there’s no wrong way to do that.
When I think royal wedding attire, I think fascinators! Not quite sure exactly what a fascinator is (don't worry, I wasn't sure either)? Fascinators are hats for women that come in all colors, shapes, and sizes and are attached via a headband, comb, or an elastic back. Fascinators gained popularity with British royals and celebrities in the 1980s and 90s. At the most recent royal wedding women were expected to wear fascinators and men were to dress in military uniforms, business suits, or coats with tails.
At With These Rings, I have the honor and privilege of hearing about so many different types of love stories, weddings, and wedding traditions. Meet My Phoung and Chris. Chris was born in South Africa and My Phoung was born in Vietnam and they met while living in Portland, Oregon. These two chose to have a small ceremony and then a larger ceremony in Vietnam. My Phoung is wearing the traditional áo dài (or Vietnamese Wedding Dress). It is an iconic symbol of Vietnamese wedding tradition. The áo dài consists of a top made of floor length panels and accompanying pants. A variation is worn by both the bride and groom. It is typically worn with a circular headdress called a khan dong.
Official royal wedding photographs became a tradition when King Edward VII married Queen Alexandra in 1863. Photography was still a relatively new medium at the time and it was a great way for the royal wedding to share the excitement of the celebration with the public. Traditionally these photographs have been taken in-between the ceremony and the reception.
One of the best decisions I made was to take wedding portraits with my husband in-between the ceremony and the reception. We were (and are!) so happy and so wildly and deeply in love and our photos are a reflection of those feelings and emotions. As our guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we stole kisses on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound.
Gold Wedding Rings
Dating back to the wedding of Queen Elizabeth to George VI in 1923, it has been customary to use Welsh gold in the royal wedding bands. Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, and Duchess Meghan have carried on the tradition.
Needless to say, we’re big fans of gold wedding rings! And while the gold at With These Rings might not be Welsh, it is always recycled and sourced from a conscious refinery.