The countdown is on as the day of the royal wedding creeps closer. While many hearts are maybe slightly broken now that Prince Harry is off the market (and in response to the end of Rachel Zane on Suits), it's still exciting to see the historic moment when an American (divorced, no less — formerly very controversial for the royal family) is warmly welcomed into a position of the British monarchy.
We all stayed up late in our pajamas seven years ago, sipping on Champagne and wearing plastic tiaras, as Kate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot (You didn't? It was just me, then?), so we know there is going to be grandeur for these nuptials. However, we are not going to see the same magnitude of an event for Harry as we did for William.
There are a couple of reasons for this. William is the future monarch, which gives his position a little more pressure as far as traditions go, whereas Harry, now that he is an uncle, has slid down the line of succession. (Thanks to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and royal baby number three.)
Also, Harry and Meghan's wedding will not be an official day off for the United Kingdom. Kate and William's wedding was because, again, they will reign the throne one day. Harry and Meghan will wed in a bit more of a low-key, yet beautiful, spot: Windsor Castle, which is west of London.
So, since this wedding has a bit less protocol to follow and the bride is American — unlike Kate, who grew up with English traditions — we are sure to see (or read about later) some inclusions to their special day that are more common in the States.
Although Meghan is surely a Brit in some ways now, her roots will always be American, and given the wedding industry here, there are pretty fantastic inclusions that will likely be integrated . . . and a few that are a lot less royal-worthy.
Father and Mother Walking Her Down the Aisle
In many ways, Americans are far less traditional than the English. Many weddings these days have started new trends, one of which is that the father is not the only escort for the bride; the mother is included in it, too. Meghan is notoriously close to her mother, Doria Ragland, and has a good relationship with her father as well, even though he lives in Mexico and she doesn't get to see him as often. Given the dynamic of her parents, their divorce, and their ability to have jointly raised her, I think we could be safe to assume that both parents will walk her down the aisle. Not to mention, Meghan is a feminist, and this sort of nod to the females and mothers taking stronger roles seems like it would be up her alley!
It is tradition in many high-society or royal weddings in England for the bridal party (other than the best man and maid of honor) to be children. Whether that's nieces or nephews, cousins, godchildren, or friends' kids, they usually don't have the array of best friends parading down the aisle alongside them. However, the idea of bridesmaids seems to be a pretty sacred concept in female friendships in America, and as we learned from her formal social media/Tig days, Meghan was a maid of honor in her college best friend's wedding (Lindsay Roth), so I believe we can expect to see the favor and tradition returned.
What's more, she has a few other close female friends, like Jessica Mulroney, Priyanka Chopra, Serena Williams, and Misha Nonoo. Again, since she is all about female empowerment, I believe she would nod to the special women in her life who have supported her in such a way and perhaps toss out that part of British royal wedding traditions.
Saying Their Own Vows
Though it will be a fairly formal ceremony with the Archbishop of Canterbury marrying them, I can see former blogger Meghan and bend-the-rules Harry finding a way to implement their own special words into the ceremony. Whether it's small or a full array of words, I believe there will be some personal contribution to the exchange. After all, they have been fairly more open than other royal couples, and that comes as no surprise. We have already had more of a glimpse of Meghan (since she was an actress) compared to others who have married into the royal family, and cheeky Harry has nestled himself into a soft spot in the world's heart for his goofy sense of humor.
Since Meghan is a self-proclaimed foodie, it's safe to assume that the menu will probably have some more American inclusions. These days at weddings, the pizza bites or fried mac-and-cheese balls with various extra ingredients and sauces have become delectable gourmet bites. However, since we aren't invited to the reception, we might have to read insider information on this later.
A Big Bridal Bouquet
Meghan's favorite flower is a peony, and she's in luck: they are in season in May! However, looking at Kate's and other royal brides' bouquets, they seem to be a bit more demure than the big, extravagant ones American brides hold. The ones I've seen are basic, smaller white flowers. I wouldn't be surprised either if Meghan popped some color in there, though she has admitted her style is a bit "monochromatic." Either way, I think we'll see something fancier from her.
A Big Reception Introduction
Meghan is an entertainer . . . and in a lot of ways, Harry is too. We've seen more than our fair share of Harry partying (Vegas scandal à la 2012, anyone?), and Meghan's first wedding events had plenty of pictures of her playing drinking games in a bikini on the beach. I can assume these two will know how to throw it back and have a good time.
And on the flip side, for fun, we can probably safely say certain American traditions will not be included. My guess is the garter toss (come on, let's not make Her Majesty blush!) or any sort of speeches where there is plenty of roasting (though Harry has given plenty of material to his friends over the years) might not make the cut as appropriate. But who knows? We have the very best mix of American and British traditions!