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The Royal Influence on Wedding Fashion

The “Meghan Effect” on Wedding Attire.

Story and photos by Arden Ward Upton. Shot on location at Architectural Heritage.

2019 Miss Alabama USA Hannah Mcmurphy modeling a Sareh Nouri “Meghan” gown and a hair piece by Jennifer Behr, both from Carriage House Weddings


We saw it happen with Princess Diana’s “revenge” dress, an off-the-shoulder black dress by Christina Stambolian, that cemented the concept of the LBD as a staple in practically every woman’s closet. We saw it happen with Kate Middleton’s iconic sapphire-blue wrap dress, by Issa Londona, that she wore to her engagement announcement to Prince William; and now, we’re seeing it with Meghan Markle’s tasteful decision on her wedding gown amongst this year’s bright-eyed, fashion-forward brides.

With her dress created in collaboration with Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director of the fashion house of Givenchy, Markle wanted to exude a “relaxed demeanor” and “timeless minimal elegance” and no doubt, timeless, minimal, and elegant is what we are all taking notice of in this year’s wedding themes.

Compared to Kate’s lace, long-sleeve ballgown that caused expectant bridal fashion hysteria, Meghan’s wedding dress was in complete style contrast but with comparable uproar. No embroidery or rhinestones were needed to make Meghan the sun in the fashion solar system. Her gown was form-fitted to the waist with a wide neck that accented her d├ęcolletage and three-quarter length sleeves. Paired with a tiara and her veil embroidered with wintersweet and California poppy, Meghan was a sight to behold and a fashion force to be reckoned with.

Following Harry and Meghan’s marriage, Keller’s brand searches increased by 61 percent; and according to global fashion search platform, Lyst, on average, a brand will see a 200 percent search increase if Meghan wears a designer.

These statistics and the undeniable trend in wedding dresses chosen by the brides that I have loved getting to photograph this year make me confident in this: the gaudy, camp, and over-the-top is out, and simple, classic, and timeless is in this wedding season.

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