Royal wedding florist Shane Connolly shared a few days before the wedding that Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, wanted her wedding flowers to be natural, seasonal, British and to have meaning.
Following the language of flowers from the Victorian era, the blooms in her bridal bouquet were each chosen because of their meaning:
Lily-of-the-valley: Return of happiness
Sweet William: Gallantry
Hyacinth: Constancy of love
Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.
To find flowers with special meanings visit victorianbazaar.com and talk to your florist about creating bouquets, boutonnieres and floral arrangements that incorporate blooms that “speak” to you and your groom.
2. The Couple Share a Special Moment at the Altar
When Kate finally reached the altar Prince William leaned over to tell his bride, “You’re beautiful.” Throughout the ceremony the couple shared loving glances, smiles and a few sweet words.
Don’t forget to steal a few moments throughout your wedding day with your groom after the ceremony and during the reception to share a quick kiss and chat about the wonderful day you’re having.
3. Family Heirlooms
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring and the use of family details didn’t stop there. The Queen lent the bride her Halo tiara, a gift from her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on her 18th birthday. Kate’s parents gifted a pair of diamond earrings to their daughter. The design reflected the family’s new crest with oak leaves and dangling acorns.
Keeping with Windsor family tradition, the bridal bouquet contained sprigs of myrtle grown from both a plant Queen Victoria planted in 1845 and from a plant grown from Myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.
Talk to your parents and grandparents about any jewelry they may have that you can borrow for your wedding. And find out what details they had at their weddings and incorporate some of them in the wedding — flowers, menu, location, stationery.
4. The Wedding Dress
The “commoner bride” looked like a princess in her Alexander McQueen gown. The wedding dress was made of lace and satin gazar and featured hand-cut lace flowers embroidered on tulle, a narrow-waisted bodice and padded hips. The full skirt had a train that was just short of seven feet.
Lucky for bride’s who want to mimic Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, a number of designers — Romona Keveza, Priscilla of Boston, Carolina Herrera and White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal — all have wedding gowns available with lace sleeves. Check out our story on Kate Middleton Wedding Dress Look-a-Likes to see some of the similar gowns in salons now.
5. Children in the Bridal Party
In addition to the head bridesmaid (MOH) and supporter (best man) the royal couple had four bridesmaids and two pages, all aged 10 and under. The children’s attire mimicked the style of the bride’s dress and the groom’s dress uniform.
For couples who have a number of nieces, nephews and godchildren, or friends with kids, they can easily recreate this very British wedding tradition.
And as Kate and William did, have an adult mind the really little ones as Pippa did.
6. Bridesmaids in White
When Pippa Middleton walked out of the Goring Hotel in an ivory dress the faux-pas of wearing white to a wedding officially went out the window. The head bridesmaid looked beautiful and didn’t upstage the bride in her Alexander McQueen ivory satin crepe floor-length gown with cowl front, button detail down the back and lace trim that resembled the bride’s wedding dress.
Most bridesmaid dress designers will offer their designs in white or ivory, and if the don’t they will definitely start doing so starting this weekend.
When choosing a white or ivory colored bridesmaid dress remember to pick something that isn’t as grand as your wedding dress, but rather a design with similar details to complement your dress.
7. The Getaway
Just like any newlywed couple Prince William and Kate Middleton left their wedding reception (the first one hosted by The Queen) in a car with decorations and a “Ju5t Wed” sign. Granted the Prince was driving his father’s vintage Aston Martin and they had a police escort to go the short ride to Clarence house, but any couple can jump in a car and make a quick getaway.
Bridal parties can surprise the happy couple and decorate the car with balloons, streamers and signs and the newlyweds can drive off into the sunset!
8. The Cakes, yes there were 2!
Like many American couples, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had two wedding cakes: a traditional fruit cake decorated in white and a chocolate cake, a favorite of the groom.
The bride’s cake was 8-tiers high, covered in cream and white icing and decorated with up to 900 sugar paste flowers. The piped details on the cake reflected the architectural details of the room it was displayed in as well as elements of nature — acorns, apple blossoms, bridal rose, ivy leaves and roses — and three dimensional scroll work.
The groom who has a “soft spot” for a chocolate biscuit cake by McVities asked to have a groom’s cake of his favorite childhood treat.
Brides and grooms who can’t decided between two cake flavors may want to go the two cake route.
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9. Going Green: Eco-Wedding Details
There several eco-friendly details at the royal wedding. The couple requested that the flowers be sourced from locally gardens and that they be seasonal as well. The trees decorating the aisle as guests enter were going to be re-planted at Prince Charles’ Highgrove estate after the wedding.
Couples looking to add green details to their wedding should ask that their flowers are locally grown as well as seasonal. They can also ask that the caterer and baker use ingredients from locally grown farms.
10. Charitable Registry
Prince William and Kate Middleton are truly the couple who have everything, or at least can buy anything, so in lieu of a gift registry they created the Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund where guests and the public can make a donation to a selection of charities.
If you and your fiance want to add a charity to your traditional gift registry visit the I Do Foundation, which allows couples to create a charitable registry from a list of over 50 organizations.
Anne Chertoff | Wedding Blogger
Anne Chertoff has earned her reputation as a wedding authority over the course of her 10 years in the bridal industry.