Meghan Markle is set to become a British royalty – and honestly style royalty – upon her marriage to Prince Harry on May 19th. And of course, the most important of the day has yet to be revealed – what will she wear?! Who will design the wedding dress of the year? Will she have a train? Will she wear an all lace dress? All jokes aside, we can’t help but obsess over what will be the biggest wedding since Princess Kate married Prince William. Whatever Ms. Markle wears will surely have an impact on what brides will wear in the future.
As we all know, there are TONS of rules that the British royal family has to abide by. Nude tights, for example, are required by the Queen – you may have noticed Kate Middleton never goes anywhere without sporting a pair. But when it comes to a wedding dress, the applicable royal guidelines are less about the dress itself, and more about where you’re wearing it.
The venue really predicts what the dress will look like. If you remember, Kate Middleton wore a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen that featured a nine-foot-long train for her wedding at Westminster Abbey. Princess Diana, married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, wore a dress with a 25-foot train! Now, because the church where Meghan and Harry will say I do is much smaller, her train will no doubt match its scale.
No doubt whoever designs the dress will work closely with a representative from Kensington Palace to ensure that etiquette and royal standard were met at each step of the design process. The royal wedding dress needs to be traditional, but should also be a reflection of the bride’s personality. So, tradition and venue are key, but what about sleeves?
There is no royal protocol for whether a bride must wear sleeves, however, in keeping with tradition, and the Queen’s personal preference for modest style, we can probably assume that Ms. Markle will not be going strapless. She could opt for long lace sleeves, or maybe delicately beaded cap sleeves, but we’re guessing as Meghan’s style is decidedly more structured and leans towards an American aesthetic, we’re crossing our fingers for long, crepe sleeves. So while we won’t know till the big day what Ms. Markle will wear, below are our top picks for wedding dresses with sleeves.