Wedding bells are ringing! Ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding on Saturday, May 19, Stylish sat down with CNN Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter to get the details on everything you should and shouldn’t wear to the royal fete. With guests like Priyanka Chopra , Jessica Mulroney, Duchess Kate and Serena Williams expected to attend, the celebration is bound to have some serious #outfitgoals. But, as with all things royal, there are a certain set of rules one must follow when dressing for such a regal affair. That’s why we turned to Arbiter to help James News figure out which styles and accessories get the royal stamp of approval and which are definite fashion faux-pas before the big day. Between fascinators, hats, nude stockings and colorful dresses, we got all the details on what we can expect our favorite stars (and of course Harry and Meghan) to be wearing on their special day.
What’s Appropriate for a Daytime Wedding
“British weddings in general all follow all kind of the same rules when it comes to weddings and it’s very much a brightly colored, garden party type of event, so day dresses with shoulders covered in the chapel is the way to go,” Arbiter explains. “I think you’ll see the ladies in lots of floral prints, lots of bright colors and men in a morning suit [a formal set of clothes including a long black or grey coat, striped trousers, and a top hat] if they’re not in the military,” she reveals. “And if a man is in the military or has been a serving officer, they will be in uniform,” she adds.
The Colors That Are a No-Go
While Arbiter explains that it’s okay to wear a dress that has a white base, it must have flowers, stripes, dots or some sort of pattern to be just right. “We steer clear of white because that’s considered to be stealing the bride’s thunder,” she notes. Black is another color they avoid unless it’s a jacket over a bright dress. “Black is considered a funeral color, so you wouldn’t wear all black. Victoria Beckham wore navy to Prince William and Kate’s wedding and it looked very elegant and sophisticated, that was fine since she wasn’t in black,” the royal expert reveals.
Long or Short Dresses?
When it comes to the length of a dress, anything goes as long as it’s considered tasteful. “There are a lot of maxi dresses and sun dresses that are long and are very in this year, so we might see some of that,” she explains. When it comes to long dresses, Arbiter says that guests should avoid formal evening attire or they will risk feeling awkward. “It’s just not appropriate for a daytime wedding,” she adds. As for shorter dresses, Arbiter reveals that it’s okay to show some leg, but notes that ladies in the Queen’s presence will be donning nude stockings. “There will be ladies of a certain generation that will wear nude stockings, but it’s not something that the youngsters adhere to and bare legs are not, not expected,” she dishes. Too short isn’t fitting either saying, “Anything that would be too short to where you’re flashing your underwear is where it sort of starts to get inappropriate.”
The Protocol for Hats, Fascinators and Tiaras
Besides making the wedding exceptional, hats and fascinators also make an outfit stand out more. “It just makes the outfit that much more special and it’s respectful for the occasion and an opportunity for ladies to really express themselves, have some fun and wear something that on a normal day they don’t have an opportunity to wear,” she notes. When it comes to other headgear like tiaras, Arbiter says it wouldn’t be appropriate. “You wouldn’t wear a tiara to a daytime British wedding unless you were the bride,” she explains. Does she think Markle will be rocking one herself? “Meghan may choose to forgo that tradition since it’s not a hard and fast rule, but chances are the Queen will offer to loan her a tiara and if the Queen is offering to loan you something, it’s rare that somebody would say no.”
The Looks She Expects to See On Harry and Meghan
“There’s been speculation that Harry won’t be in a military uniform since he’s no longer a serving officer, but Harry is very proud of his military ties and holds a number of honorary roles, so it’s entirely possible he will be in uniform,” she explains. If he chooses not to, Arbiter notes that he will be sporting a morning suit like he wore to Pippa Middleton’s wedding. As for Markle’s dress, the royal commentator predicts she will wear a British designer. “Since she’s marrying into the British royal family in Britain, it’s an opportunity to celebrate all that is British.”