Get the Queen's permission
Engagements are short
When it comes to putting together a royal wedding, time is of the essence. In fact, Elle Australia explains that royal engagements are brief, lasting only a few months. No surprise then that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are looking toward a May 2018 wedding following their November 2017 engagement, reports The Sun.
Here in the U.S., we know it as the bachelor or bachelorette party, but the Brits call it the stag do or hen party. As you probably surmised, a stag do is for the guys, while the ladies are the hens. Perhaps not the most politically correct nomenclature, but these parties have been around a long time. In fact, the stag party originated way back in ancient Sparta where, according to Time Magazine, soldiers partook in a huge feast and toasted the groom-to-be be. It seems many modern British groomsmen have extended this one-night celebration into an entire weekend. Prince William's affair took place about a month before his wedding and was hosted by brother Harry at a country estate. Brides.com notes that it wasn't until 1960 that British brides got their turn to whoop it up like the men. The Duchess of Cambridge and, more recently, her sister Pippa both had weekend affairs, with skiing in the French Alps for Pippa and her hens. Check out these awesome ideas for your own girls weekend getaway.
Location, location, location
The wedding party is made up of children
According to Brides.com, royal bridesmaids have historically been younger girls between the ages of ten and 12. Kate Middleton's bridal party included Lady Louise Windsor, a young cousin of Prince William, and other littles. But Kate did enlist her sister Pippa to be her Maid of Honor, who was 27 years old when she walked down the aisle for the royal nuptials. However, Kate wasn't the Matron of Honor at Pippa's wedding. "It's unbecoming for a member of the royal family to walk behind a commoner—which, as painful as that sounds and despite being directly related to Catherine, is what Pippa is," explained Willaim Hanson, noted British etiquette expert, to Cosmopolitan. Whether Meghan has a Maid of Honor or not remains to be seen, but it's likely that she will have Princess Charlotte as a bridesmaid, and Prince George as a pageboy. We're already anticipating passing out from the cuteness! Find out why bridesmaids all wear the same color.
What not to wear
Lucky enough to snag an invitation to the royal shindig? Well, you better be ready to put on your Sunday best as U.K. weddings are traditionally far more formal than ours, according to Cosmopolitan. Brides.com recommends men dress in military uniform, a single-breasted coat with tails, or a lounge suit—that's business suit for Yanks. Cosmopolitan stresses hats in the church for women (seriously, it's the one rule that Kate Middleton must follow at Prince Harry's wedding), unless it's a night affair. Myka Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette school also told Cosmo that bare shoulders should be avoided for formal day weddings, while a floor-length gown might be expected at an evening affair. Still confused? You can follow the 22-page list of dos and don'ts that was distributed by Buckingham Palace for the April 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, reports Etiquipedia.blogspot.com. Here's how to understand the dress code for the next wedding you're invited to.
Take a seat
The wedding bouquet goes to the Unknown Warrior
In 1840, Queen Victoria tied the knot with Prince Albert while carrying a sprig of myrtle in her wedding bouquet that she commemorated by planting a myrtle shrub at her home in Osborn. That started a royal trend that would last until today, with every British royal bride carrying flowers that include a sprig from that very same myrtle shrub. But they'll be no tossing the bouquet to all the single ladies (a tradition started because it was deemed good luck). The late Queen Mum started another tradition, leaving the bouquet in Westminster Abbey at the grave of the Unknown Warrior, to honor those in military service.