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What does one wear to a British wedding? More importantly, what does one wear to high-society nuptials with royals in attendance? Meghan Markleand Prince Harry‘s fete is only mere days away, after all.
There is certain etiquette when it comes to dressing for such a traditional affair; however, let’s keep in mind that the former Suits actress is not a royal, and some of her personal traditions and preferences could be factored into the ceremony. Even though it may be a less public celebration that the Duchess of Cambridge‘s wedding to Prince William, there will be some dos and don’ts that the couple’s 600 guests should abide by.
For style inspiration, one must only look to the outfits current royals and British socialites have worn to other high-profile, British nuptials. Going through their wedding wardrobe gives us a style guide of what you should do…instead of the not-so-stellar things we’ve seen other VIPs wear. Keep scrolling for the dos and don’ts of British wedding attire, according to the royal family.
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Don’t wear all white or black
It’s a classic etiquette rule that spans multiple cultures. You don’t want to wear white to upstage the bride, and you don’t want to wear black to mourn such a happy occasion. Lady Sarah Chatto didn’t get the memo at Zara Phillips‘ wedding.
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Do wear off-white
Want to be a rule-breaker? Wear an off-white color. Mix in colorful or even black accessories and you’re neither stealing the show nor mourning a loss.
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Don’t let your hat take over
If you’re at a fancy, British wedding, you’re almost always expected to wear a fashionable, sometimes over-the-top hat. Don’t let the hat overcome your look though. Katherine Kelly looks perfectly put together at Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall‘s wedding, but the hat is a little extra.
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Do wear a proper fascinator
When in doubt, a manageable fascinator is all you need—and you’ll actually be able to see what’s going on.
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Don’t wear too many colors
While we applaud Kirsty Gallacher for her bold choice, the multi-color print is a bit distracting and looks kind of like confetti on a dress.
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Do play with prints
While Pippa’s peplum silhouette is very on-trend for English nuptials, her splatter print dress is rather edgy, modern and wonderfully unexpected.
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Don’t be too matchy-matchy
It’s a very common trend among high society to wear head to toe of just one color. While the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden looks lovely, the constant hue washes her out.
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Do go monochrome
Like we said, the monochrome thing is very popular at British weddings. However, style veterans like the queen like to mix things up with different textures in like colors.
Don’t outshine royalty
Listen: There’s an apparent hierarchy across the pond. When Queen Elizabeth wears a pastel yellow, you bet Camilia, Duchess of Cornwall is going to wear a more muted pastel. Typically, high-society stylists will ask brands or designers if similar looks were bought from others for the same event.
Do whatever you want
When it’s your wedding, do whatever the heck you want. Wear a Beyoncé-worthy satin coat to shine a little brighter than Kate Middleton if you have to!
Don’t show too much skin
We say embrace your sexy, but at traditional British nuptials, dressing conservatively is typically the default, which means hemlines are usually never higher than a few inches above the knee and low necklines are almost never seen.
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Do show off your best assets
If you got it, flaunt it. Find a silhouette that’s both appropriate for the occasion but will get people noticing, like how Pippa caught everyone’s attention at Kate’s wedding with a super-toned backside.
We may not be attending Meghan’s nuptials, but at least we’ll have an unofficial fashion guide come the next big British soiree…should there be an opportunity for wedding crashing, of course.
What other dos and don’ts did we miss?