Meghan Markle married into the British royal family when she tied the knot with Prince Harry on Saturday, but she broke a few traditions.
The former Suits star is a new type of royal. She's bi-racial, she's been married before, and she's not afraid to speak her mind -- and that's exactly what she did on her wedding day.
One sign that Meghan was going to do things her way came when her father, Thomas Markle, revealed he needed to undergo surgery, and would be unable to make it to her wedding. She chose Harry's dad, Prince Charles, to walk her through the Quire aisle -- but not the entire aisle. Read more below.
Walking Herself Down the Aisle
Meghan chose to walk unescorted through St. George's Chapel's Nave, before meeting Prince Charles at the Quire, and even then, she walked the final few feet to meet her groom alone. The move is unprecedented in the British royal family, and Meghan became the first royal bride to walk down (part of) the aisle herself. Meghan also chose not to have a maid of honor or bridesmaids, while her groom chose his brother, Prince William, as his best man.
Meghan strayed from the norm by choosing Curry of Chicago, Illinois, to give an address at her ceremony, and judging by the reactions from the crowd, it was one they weren't used to hearing. Curry delivered a passionate sermon in which he quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. It symbolized just one of the ways Markle decided to incorporate her background into her big day.
In addition to Curry, Meghan chose a predominately black choir, Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, to perform Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" during the ceremony. She also selected 19-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason to play the cello.
The bride broke the mold with her veil, designed with subtle symbolism by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy (the same designer of her gown). Every hand-embroidered flower on the trim of Meghan's five-meter-long veil was unique, representing all 53 members of the Commonwealth family of nations. The flowers also include two of Markle's favorites: one is wintersweet, a modest shrub that grows on the Kensington Palace grounds, and the other is the California Poppy, the state flower of California, where she was born.
Meghan and Harry chose an elderflower cake for their reception -- making them the first royal couple not to go with a traditional fruit cake. The newlywed's cake is instead made of a lemon sponge with an elderflower syrup drizzle and Amalfi lemon curd and a Swiss meringue buttercream with elderflower.
A speech from the father of the bride at the reception is traditional, but given that her father couldn't make the days' festivities, Meghan will be addressing her wedding guests herself. Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William will also make speeches to celebrate the occasion.