Before there was Meghan Markle, before there was Kate Middleton, before there was even Princess Diana…there was Grace Kelly:
A Philadelphia born movie starlet, this American superstar became a European princess when, in 1956, she wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Deemed by the press ‘The Wedding of the Century’, their nuptials were an international sensation. Demand for coverage was so high in fact that MGM studios broadcast the wedding live to more than 30 million European households… in 1956! To say her wedding style influenced an entire generation of brides would be, well, the understatement of the century.
Monochromatic, tailored, natural – these were the signature elements of Grace Kelly’s iconic style. Some sixty years later, as the world watched another American actress join the ranks of European royalty, we saw a return to these elements. From their fashion choices to their floral style, both Grace Kelly and Meghan Markle showed the world that minimalism can be every bit as elegant and beautiful as opulence.
So, what influence might the royal wedding(s) have on this season’s bridal trends? Here are Petal’s Lane’s 4 predictions:
1. Less is More: Delicate Bouquets
Despite the enormous popularity of cascading bouquets in the mid 20th century, Kelly, chose to carry a delicate bouquet of lilies the valley. Markle also chose to carry a very understated bouquet; hers included not only lily of the valley but also also sweet peas, astilbe, astrantia, and Diana’s favorite flower, the Forget-Me-Not. Markle’s bouquet also incorporated a sprig of myrtle, a royal tradition which dates back to the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Victoria. Myrtle is known as a symbol of love and of hope, and it has been included in every British monarch’s wedding since the 19th century.
2 Bringing the Outside In: Foliage
Rather than wanting perfectly symmetrical bouquets and arrangements, Markle opted for a more casual look that favored seasonal and natural elements – vines, leaves, branches, etc. London-based florist Philippa Craddock worked with both Harry and Meghan on all the flowers for their wedding celebration, and according to Town and Country, she used “branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, along with white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves,” in her arrangements. We predict more brides will be less interested in perfect symmetry and more interested in capturing a plant or flower’s natural shape and form.
3 The Arch
Steeped in tradition, the wedding arch symbolizes the future home of the bride and groom. As if we didn’t already know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will share a pretty incredible abode (The two will reside at Kensington Palace), the archway at Saint George’s chapel would have been a great hint! The incredible archway atop the doors of Saint George’s was made using pollinator friendly plants and were harvested from the monarchy’s royal parks. We expect these round archways to make big headway this season.
4 All White Wedding Decor
In the words of Billy Idol, it’s a nice day for a white wedding. While royal tradition dictates that flowers should be white, bold colors and multi-hued flowers have long been a popular choice for American brides. As with any pendulum, we are seeing a swing in the other direction. According to The Knot, even Baby’s Breath, that inexpensive stem of tiny white flowers, is making a return in big and small ways. It pairs perfectly with on-trend greenery and works well for flower crowns and other small hairpieces. It seems bouquets, centerpieces, even dance floors are getting a new look.