Whilst going against royal wedding traditions means that we will be missing out on an extra bank holiday and the traditional kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, we still can't wait to see what Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding has in store! The British public loves to see the splendour and extravagance of a Royal wedding, and Prince Harry and Meghan have even invited more than 1000 members of the public to watch the comings and goings of their wedding inside Windsor Castle! Even though they have already broken some of the British royal wedding traditions, there is still a list of wedding traditions and unwritten rules that the world expects them to abide by, so here are a few things to look out for on the day.
Royal wedding traditions to look out for
The royal wedding dress code: As per all royal weddings since that of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, we expect to see the bride in a flowing white gown made of lace, and the groom in his military regalia. Meghan will also be expected to sport an ornate tiara, (perhaps borrowed from the Queen), whilst all other ladies attending the wedding are obliged to wear a hat!
The wedding ring: The royal bride’s wedding band is normally made from gold sourced from a mine in North Wales. Let’s see what type of wedding band Meghan has chosen to match her 14-karat gold engagement ring.
The bridal bouquet: Stems from the royal myrtle plant, given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert’s grandmother, have been used in royal bouquets since the marriage of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria. Eagle-eyed spectators can see if Meghan is carrying her own stem of myrtle in her bouquet.
The fairytale horse-drawn carriage: Prince Harry and Meghan have carefully selected the open-top horse-drawn carriage that will parade them around the streets of Windsor following their wedding. The streets will be lined with thousands of people trying to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds. Fingers crossed that it stays dry!
The wedding cake: Prince Harry and Meghan have already bucked the trend of having a traditional fruit cake at their wedding, having chosen a lemon and elderflower cake, to be decorated with fresh flowers. Perhaps they will have a second fruit cake, that will be sent out as a “thank you” to all guests following the wedding, as per royal tradition. A piece of Prince William and Kate’s cake sold for almost £8000 back in 2014 so a slice of the royal wedding cake is definitely a gift worth having!
European wedding traditions you won't see at the royal wedding
Whilst Prince Harry and Meghan may be pushing the limits of the established traditions for a royal wedding, we are sure that they won't quite stretch to some of the wacky traditions that other happy couples in our neighbouring European countries may honour on the 19th of May. We asked our French and German teams here at Rosemood for some of the strangest wedding traditions in their countries.
French wedding traditions
In France, it’s all about the dancing when it comes to local wedding traditions!
In Vendée, newlyweds treat their guests to a brioche dance. They will dance, whilst holding up a large round brioche until all of their guests have passed underneath this local delicacy. Brides take note, as you may need to work on those arm muscles before the wedding ready to hold up that brioche! You will be rewarded with a piece at the end though.
Meanwhile, in Brittany and Pays de la Loire, the happy couple may dance under an umbrella at their wedding reception. And before you ask, it isn’t because it always rains in these two regions! It is a tradition that is thought to bring good luck. The newlyweds slow-dance under the umbrella whilst the guests throw streamers at them. Any paper streamers left hanging on the umbrella at the end of the dance, are supposed to represent each year of happiness that awaits the happy couple.
German wedding traditions
German weddings traditionally span the course of a few days and involve some fun and quirky traditions. A few days before the wedding, the happy couple may have an informal get-together with friends and family, for what is referred to as a polterabend.
This involves smashing china dishes to make noise in an attempt to scare off evil spirits, traditionally thought to be drawn to brides. Whilst nowadays we may not all believe in evil spirits, the polterabend is still thought to bring luck to the happy couple, with the china that does not break representing the strength of their upcoming union. The fact that the bride and groom-to-be have to clean up the mess together, also shows how well they will work together as a team during their marriage.
As for on the day, the wedding reception does not end in an ordinary manner, with the bride and groom leaving in their wedding car together. Instead, the best man and groomsmen traditionally kidnap the bride and drag her from bar to bar, until the groom comes to retrieve her. Once the groom has managed to find the bride, he is then expected to the foot the bar bill!
Whilst we think that an umbrella dance would be a sure way to liven up Prince Harry and Meghan’s reception, or that the population of Windsor would be delighted to join Meghan and the groomsmen on a pub crawl, it is still more likely that the royal wedding will remain relatively traditional, much to the delight of the British public! If you are watching the royal wedding this Saturday then keep your eyes peeled for the British royal wedding traditions and see if they give you any inspiration for your special day!