Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Dress: Everything We Know So Far!
By Antoinette Bueno
Andrew Parsons - Pool/Getty Images
Are you ready for Meghan Markle's sure-to-be iconic royal wedding dress?
The 36-year-old actress is set to marry Prince Harry on May 19 at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which means we're less than a month away from seeing the most highly anticipated fashion choice of the year. Given Meghan's amazing styles so far, royal fans definitely won't be disappointed.
Not surprisingly, details on the dress have been top secret.
"I expect that Meghan will go to great lengths to keep her wedding dress designer a secret until the moment that she emerges from the bridal car,” ET’s royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET in March. “Let's be honest, this is a girl who knows how to keep a secret. She and Harry kept their romance clandestine for months, so she knows how to stay tight-lipped… There's going to be so much attention on the dress. She's like every other bride in that respect, she wants to keep it a secret up until the last minute.”
But of course, there have been plenty of indicators when it comes to Meghan's fashion tastes. Let's review everything we know so far about the wedding dress that will be seen around the world.
Frontrunners for Meghan's dress include fashion house Erdem, after the label took its U.K. and international PR in-house earlier this month, prompting some to wonder if they were getting ahead of a huge news story.
Interesting to read that @erdem has just taken its PR in house and appointed Kathryn Lo as PR Manager... is it a sign that a big story is coming up? 👰💍#royalwedding#meghanmarkle
Meghan is also no stranger to Erdem. The actress wore a tropical print maxi dress from the label when she and Harry attended a wedding in Jamaica last year. Lead designer Erdem Moralıoğlu is also Canadian-born -- though the label is based in London -- which could be a sweet nod to Meghan's home country prior to her move to the United Kingdom.
Alexander McQueen's name has also been in the mix. Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton, the British designer at the helm of Alexander McQueen.
In February, Harper's Bazaar reported that so many people were betting that the McQueen label will be the designer of Meghan's dress that there was possibly a confidential information leak.
Nicholl offered ET yet another option, which could help endear Meghan to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
“There's a lot of speculation that she might be going for Stewart Parvin, who is one one of the queen's favorite couturiers,” she noted. “It would be fabulous for her to fly the flag for British fashion, but we will have to wait and see. And I think we'll probably have to wait until the day.”
"[Mulroney] loves fashion and she loves cutting-edge fashion, and I think I can see [with] Meghan, that excites her as well," Zunino said. "You know how fashion girls are, you can't let it go, it's a part of who you are! I think Meghan's like that. I think Jessica feeds that."
If her character, Rachel Zane, on Suits is any indication, her wedding dress will certainly be romantic and stunning. Meghan's character wore a princess-line Versailles wedding gown accentuated by a full floor-length tulle skirt by Anne Barge during the season finale of Suits, when she got married to Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams).
"I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style -- wedding or not -- is very pared down and relaxed," Meghan told Glamour. "Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic. Delphine Manivet and Christos Costarellos are faves of mine for their uniqueness and beauty. And I will always be a fan of Elie Saab. J. Mendel is spectacular as well, especially for more structural designs."
Nicholl told ET in March that Meghan will make sure to "tick all the right boxes: traditional, elegant, sophisticated, memorable, and fitting" when it comes to her dress.
“I'm told that she wants something with lace, that she wants something with sleeves,” Nicholl said. “Of course she's dressing for the rather inclement British weather, but more than that she's dressing for a very, very important occasion. So I think you will be probably pleasantly surprised for Meghan the ‘rule breaker’ when it comes to this dress.”
"I think she will definitely kind of push the envelope, but I think she'll be definitely respectful to the royal family and, you know, to the U.K. in general," Zunino also weighed in to ET. "Nothing will be too exposed. I think she might go a little more form-fitted. She'll still make the grandness of something, you know, embellished sleeves or a big flounce or something for the magnitude of the cathedral, but I think she's going to go a little, you know, sexier in not an obvious way. I think she's gonna redefine princess."
Nicholl told ET that Meghan doesn't want to upstage her future sister-in-law Kate's memorable, long-sleeve Alexander McQueen wedding dress, which cost a whopping $434,000.
“There have been reports that [Meghan’s] considering spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a wedding dress. I think that’s incredibly unlikely,” Nicholl mused. “Kate Middleton's dress cost 150,000 pounds. It was her parents, Carol and Michael Middleton, who paid for that bill. I think it was very unlikely that Meghan would spend more than that and in doing so try and upstage a future queen.”
“I think Meghan is very sensible,” she added. “She understands what the perception will be of this gown. I don’t think she's going to want to get royal life off to a start where she's criticized for spending something like 400,000 pounds on a wedding dress. I just dont think it will happen.”
Still, Zunino estimates that the dress will cost "at least $100,000 or more."
"You know, [it will cost] $100,000 to $300,000, because she's going to showcase everyone: herself, her family, his family, the country, our country, Canada. She's representing everything," he explained.
Her First Wedding Dress:
Meghan clearly likes to keep things simple.
The actress married producer Trevor Engelson back in 2011 on a beach in Jamaica wearing a bohemian-style strapless dress. The no-frills choice featured an embellished belt, but no intricate lace or train.
Sources close to the former Suits star reportedly told the outlet that both dresses will be custom-made. The first is "an elaborate yet traditional bridal gown" for the ceremony and reception, and the second is "a glamorous, more sophisticated" gown she'll change into for the evening to "party the night away" with less restriction.
"This wedding will be one of the biggest events of the year, so why not celebrate it with as many fabulous gowns as possible," wedding dress designer Caroline Castigliano told the magazine. "I am fully expecting this wedding to follow the same format as Kate [Middleton]’s, with a wedding gown for the day and an evening gown, too."
Women's Wear Dailytapped designers from all over the to world to sketch what they would create if tasked with designing Meghan's royal wedding dress. Below are a few incredible ideas.
Who's Helping Her:
In January, a sourcetold ET that Meghan had her first fitting for her wedding dress at Kensington Palace with Mulroney, who flew in from Toronto to help her friend with wedding planning. Mulroney is a top stylist, her high-profile clients including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
She also regularly helps brides-to-be say "yes" to the dress (and "#YesToTheJess") as a consultant for the Canadian outpost of Kleinfeld’s, a popular New York-based bridal boutique.
The close friends already worked together when they picked out her Suits character, Rachel's, wedding dress.
"Yes, I do Meghan's hair," Miguel reportedly told The Mail last week. "I do Amal's, and Meghan is friends with her. I also do George [Clooney]'s, I do the whole family. Amal put Meghan and me together when she moved here [to London]. I do her color, her cut and her styling."
Perez said he and Meghan have already discussed her all-important wedding 'do.
"We have talked about it [the wedding] and we have a plan," he said. "I can't say any more, but we know what we're doing."
Though Meghan is a big fan of keeping her hair down or rocking a messy bun, the brunette beauty also looked gorgeous rocking a classic wedding updo as her Suits character, Rachel.
"I don't think she's a person who naturally wants or needs or feels like she has to put on a lot," Barnes said. "She's softly defined, and that's when she shines her brightest and looks her best. When you're seeing freckles, and you're seeing some of the natural qualities of skin, it's a good indicator that there's very little on there!"
"She loves beautiful skin, to start with, and she has the most gorgeous complexion," he added. "It's that soft caramel. Her mixed heritage makes her an exotic beauty of beauties. Her chocolate eyes, the way her eyes light up when she smiles, I love her smile, her teeth and her lips. And then her perfect brows."
In fact, Barnes said it will be Meghan's glowing skin that will most likely be front and center.
"Whenever I'd work with her, she'd like to highlight her fresh, radiant skin," he shared. "We'd do a very glowing, fresh-faced skin. We'd use earthy tones, colors that enhanced her natural beauty, rather than a lot of obvious color choices, like purple, green or blue. We'd stick with earthy tones -- peaches, golds, browns -- a lot of rich, warm tones and that really flattered her. It helped her just look radiant and fresh."
Watch the video below for more on Meghan's wedding dress, and keep up with all of ET's coverage of the royal wedding right here as we count down to May 19.