Here’s your complete Meghan Markle wedding dress guide, from the cost to the length of the veil.
Meghan Markle wedding dress designer
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.’
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.’
Megham Markle wedding dress cost
Although the gown is deceptively simple, with no embellishments or lace, the totally bespoke fabric means it might have cost around £200,000.
The double bonded silk cady was developed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller after ‘extensive research by Ms. Waight Keller in fabric mills throughout Europe,’ the Palace said.
It’s estimated the bespoke fabric cost around £78,000, and fittings about £4,000. Add to that the shoes (a pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin), and the wedding veil (five meters long and made from silk tulle) and the total probably goes up a fair bit too, though we will get a better idea of precise cost later.
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.
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.
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.
Why Meghan Markle’s wedding dress didn’t fit
Harper’s Bazaar writer Mahalia Chang explained in an article that Givenchy designer Claire Waight Keller and bride Meghan Markle chose a cut that would allow the bride to move around without being encumbered by the stiff fabric of the dress.
She wrote that the ‘fabric, as well as the triple silk organza used to make the underskirt, is extremely thick, stiff and does not allow for much stretch. If one were to hazard a guess, you would say that Keller and Markle purposefully chose a more conservative cut along the bodice and sleeves to let the bride move and breathe in the dress more comfortably.
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.
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.