Why Meghan Markle Chose an Understated Wedding Dress


Meghan Markle kept it chic and simple when it came to her elegant Givenchy wedding dress.

Meghan Markle kept it chic and simple when it came to her elegant Givenchy wedding dress.

The 36-year-old former Suits star looked gorgeous in minimal makeup and a dress custom designed by Givenchy Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller. The two closely collaborated on the design, which features sleek lines and sharp cuts.

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The markedly conservative dress choice came as a surprise to some, especially given Meghan's show-stopping sheer Ralph & Russo dress she chose to wear for her engagement photos to Prince Harry. Though it should be noted that Meghan's dress followed the tradition of royal brides wearing long sleeves, such as Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen lace look in her 2011 wedding to Prince William. British dress codes also call for no bare shoulders in church.

The dress also appears to very much follow Meghan's personal taste. In a 2016 interview with Glamour, Meghan said her favorite celebrity wedding dress of all time was the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's iconic Narciso Rodriguez design when she married John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1996, which she described as "everything goals." 

Bessette Kennedy's slip dress set the bar for understated, minimalist style, and it certainly appears Meghan achieved this with her Givenchy choice. 

"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 the magazine. "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."

In January, a source told ET that Meghan had her first fitting for her wedding dress at Kensington Palace with her close friend, stylist Jessica Mulroney. According to the source, Meghan's goal for the dress was for it to be "simple and elegant."

In March, royal expert Katie Nicholl also told ET that Meghan didn't want to upstage her sister-in-law, Kate, when it came to her dress.

“There have been reports that [Meghan’s] considering spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a wedding dress. I think that’s incredibly unlikely,” the author noted. “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,” Nicholl 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.”

More clues to Meghan picking an understated dress is her style leading up to her wedding to Harry on Saturday. Meghan looked chic in a navy blue Roland Mouret dress on Friday when she arrived to the Cliveden House Hotel accompanied by her mother, Doria Ragland. The style was very much in keeping with Meghan's royal style, meaning it was tailored perfectly, with no embellishment.

For more on Meghan's amazing wedding look, watch the video below: