Everything you need to know about Meghan Markle’s wedding dress

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • All the pics here

    After months of speculation about Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer, the wait is finally over. The actress has just arrived to marry Prince Harry at Windsor Castle, and the Palace has released the wedding dress info. Here’s everything we know so far, and we’ll update you as soon as more details come in…

    Meghan Markle wedding dress designer

    For months there have been rumours going around about Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer, with the hot favourites being Erdem and Ralph & Russo. But you know what? We were all wrong! She picked Givenchy.

    The Palace revealed in a statement: ‘Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding dress has been designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.’

    Photo: Rex

    Photo: Rex

    And just like that, Meghan follows in Kate’s footsteps in empowering women by picking one of the few female designers.

    Meghan Markle wedding dress style

    Meghan opted for a traditional wedding gown in the end, very reminiscent to Audrey Hepburn’s. It is slightly off the shoulder, made of pure white silk cady, and a full skirt.

    Givenchy explained, ‘True to the heritage of the house, the pure lines of the dress are achieved using six meticulously placed seams. The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity.’

    Photo: Rex

    Meghan Markle wedding veil

    The veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. Meghan wanted to have all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony.

    As such, Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition. This was also Meghan’s way to show her gratitude at being able to support the work of the Commonwealth.

    Photo: Rex

    As well as the Commonwealth blooms, Meghan wanted to add two personal favourites: Wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, the State flower from her place of birth, California.

    The veil took workers  hundreds of hours to sew, and they had to wash their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.

    Meghan Markle wedding tiara

    The bride kept her cathedral length veil in place with Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent to her by The Queen. The diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893.

    Photo: Rex

    Kensington Palace announced, ‘The bandeau, which is made of diamonds and platinum, is formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds.  The centre is set with a detachable brooch of ten brilliant diamonds.’

    The centre brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York.  The bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to The Queen in 1953.

    The bride’s earrings and bracelet made by Cartier.

    Meghan Markle wedding shoes

    Meghan also chose Givenchy for her shoes, opting for a pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin.

    Why did Meghan Markle pick Givenchy?

    After meeting Claire Waight Keller earlier this year, Meghan ‘chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour.’

    Keller previously worked at Pringle of Scotland and Chloé, before heading up Givenchy.

    Meghan Markle wedding dress cost

    Kate Middleton’s dress cost around £250,000, and according to Royal experts, Meghan’s wasn’t likely to cost as much as she wouldn’t want to upstage the future Queen. As it turns out, Meghan Markle’s wedding dress cost was only slightly cheaper, estimated at roughly £200,000, including £78,000 for custom-made fabric and £4,000 for fittings.

    Meghan Markle evening wedding dress

    Kate Middleton change into an evening gown after the wedding breakfast. The strapless ballgown, also designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, featured a jewell-encrusted belt, and the Duchess covered up with a cashmere cardigan.

    meghan second dress

    Photo: Getty

    For her second wedding dress, Meghan opted for a bespoke Stella McCartney gown, a lily white high neck affair made of silk crepe. She accessorised with shoes from Aquazurra made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue.

    Meghan Markle wedding dress replica

    As with Kate Middleton’s dress, there will no doubt be plenty of replicas of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress to buy on the high street. While we wait for those to hit the rails, here are very similar styles you can buy now.

    Shop now: DANIELLE FRANKEL Off-the-shoulder pearl-embellished silk-crepe gown for £7,505 from Net-A-Porter

    Shop now: GABRIELA HEARST Tituba off-the-shoulder silk and wool-blend gown for £2,695 from Net-A-Porter

    Shop now: ALEXIS Off-the-shoulder split-front stretch-jersey maxi dress for £125 from The Outset

    Reading now