WED­DING JOY AND DRAMA

From hon­or­ing their moms to choos­ing the cake, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their dream day ul­tra-per­sonal The venue

Life & Style Weekly - - Contents -

All the ro­man­tic de­tails — and last-minute sna­fus — of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s amaz­ing nup­tials.

Even fu­ture princesses get pre-wed­ding jit­ters. In the days be­fore she was set to ex­change vows with Prince Harry at St. Ge­orge’s Chapel at Wind­sor Cas­tle on May 19, Meghan Markle was feel­ing anx­ious. “She’s ner­vous,” a roy­als in­sider told Life & Style be­fore the wed­ding. “But she’s more ex­cited than any­thing else. Meghan can’t wait to marry Harry.”

As she and her groom put the fin­ish­ing touches on their his­tory-mak­ing day, they shared more de­tails with a thrilled Bri­tish pub­lic. From the lo­cally grown flow­ers, nearly 500-year- old venue and non­tra­di­tional cake to the spe­cial roles cre­ated to honor their moth­ers, Meghan, 36, and Harry, 33, thought of ev­ery­thing to make the day 100 per­cent their own. “Meghan was ob­vi­ously con­cerned about any last­minute hic­cups, but Harry helped to ease her mind, telling her she has noth­ing to worry about,” says the in­sider. “He kept re­it­er­at­ing that the most im­por­tant thing is that they have fun and en­joy them­selves!”

FAM­ILY DRAMA

It wasn’t easy for Meghan to stop stress­ing. The week be­fore the wed­ding, her di­vorced par­ents, Thomas Markle and Do­ria Ragland, were sched­uled to ar­rive in Wind­sor, Eng­land, and spend time get­ting to know Queen El­iz­a­beth II and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Wil­liam and Kate Mid­dle­ton, and more royal fam­ily mem­bers. But Meghan’s re­la­tion­ship with her dad is so rocky, the in­sider says she was afraid he wouldn’t even show up — or that a fam­ily fight could get so in­tense, it would wind up de­rail­ing the en­tire cer­e­mony.

When she wasn’t wor­ry­ing, Meghan spent the days be­fore the nup­tials at­tend­ing to a ton of de­tails, like mak­ing sure her hand­made de­signer dress — widely re­ported to be a $135,000 Ralph & Russo gown — fit flaw­lessly. “She had a fi­nal fit­ting right be­fore she walked down the aisle,” says the in­sider. “Be­ing a per­fec­tion­ist, she wanted to look ab­so­lutely stun­ning on her big day.”

Though Harry picked Wil­liam as his best man, Meghan didn’t want to fol­low Amer­i­can tra­di­tion and choose one of her close friends as a maid of honor. In­stead, she’s fol­low­ing Bri­tish pro­to­col: Her bri­dal party is made up of child brides­maids and page boys ex­pected to in­clude Harry’s niece, Princess Char­lotte, 3, nephew Prince Ge­orge, 4, and cousin Mia Tin­dall, 4, the daugh­ter of cousin Zara Phillips.

But Meghan did buck tra­di­tion by in­sist­ing that her mom, a so­cial worker and yoga teacher, have a ma­jor role. So when the palace an­nounced that her dad would walk her down the aisle of the church — dec­o­rated with branches of beech, birch and horn­beam along with white gar­den roses, pe­onies and fox­glove — it also re­vealed that Do­ria would for­mally ac­com­pany Meghan on her car ride down the city’s Long Walk to St. Ge­orge’s Chapel. “In a wed­ding, the mother doesn’t have a role,” notes

The car­riage

Harry and Meghan chose to ride through Wind­sor streets af­ter the cer­e­mony in an Ascot Lan­dau car­riage pulled by Wind­sor Grey horses.

Dickie Ar­biter, a former spokesman for the queen. “Meghan is mak­ing sure her mother does.” And to honor his late mother, Princess Diana, Harry in­sisted on invit­ing all three of her sib­lings, in­clud­ing Lady Jane Fel­lowes, who was asked to give a read­ing dur­ing the hour-long cer­e­mony.

To re­as­sure un­easy Meghan, lit­tle was left to chance. Lon­don florist Philippa Crad­dock made sure to have a backup bou­quet on hand, and Claire Ptak of Lon­don’s Violet bak­ery made two ver­sions of the lemon-and- el­der­flower-fla­vored sponge cake dec­o­rated with but­ter­cream ic­ing and flow­ers for the re­cep­tion at St. Ge­orge’s Hall. Un­like Meghan, Harry “wasn’t the slight­est bit ner­vous” be­fore the wed­ding, the in­sider says. “He was count­ing down the days. Harry’s friends are thrilled he’s met the woman of his dreams and have never seen him hap­pier!”

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