Sorry, I’ve been MIA the past two days, I was busy getting old and taking in all the royal wedding coverage. And as fate would have it the royal wedding would be planned on my birthday! I know everyone is just about done with hearing about it but I couldn’t resist. Here are all the details!!
Photo Credit: James Hill for the New York Times
Let me start off by saying, Wow! I was expecting it to be amazing but I was completely blown away. I don’t know if it was my inner child kicking in watching this real life fairytale, or the fact that William and Kate looked so in love, but the wedding absolutely took my breath away!
Photo Credit: Andrew Testa for The New York Times
Stunning!!! I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful gown fit for a Princess! Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen was definitely channeling Grace Kelly when she created this one of a kind gown. Word has it Princess Catherine had a lot of input in the design working along side Sarah during the whole process. Catherine was wanting a dress that was both traditional and modern at the same time, hoping to be respectful to the Royal Family but also make her own statement. Bottom line, the dress is beautiful and I think we are going to see a huge trend shift into more formal wedding gowns and events because of this dress.
All of the lace used for the appliqué for the bodice and skirt (English Cluny lace and Chantilly lace were both used) was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, which is based at Hampton Court Palace.. The technique used originated in Ireland in the 1820s. Lace flowers, that included the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock (the four home nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland), were then cut and sewn onto ivory silk tulle. The dress also featured an 8 foot train!
The dress was made using ivory and white satin gazar and was used to echo an opening flower.
“The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops. The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace (The Official Royal Wedding Website)”.
Photo Credit: AP Television News
Kate’s veil is made of ivory silk tulle and trimmed with hand-embroidered flowers. She also wore a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, created in 1936, which was lent to her by The Queen herself (Queen Elizabeth II). The tiara was a gift from Elizabeth’s father King George VI to her mother Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and then given to her on her 18th birthday. Catherine also wore earrings designed by Robinson Pelham, given to her as a wedding gift from her parents. The earrings are diamond-set oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre, which are all part of the Middleton family’s new coat of arms.
Her shoes were also created by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with hand-embroidered lace.
*While these are not the exact shoes Kate wore, they are extremely similar and also designed by Alexander McQueen.
Photo Credit: PA
Kate’s second dress was a strapless white satin gazar evening dress with a circle skirt and diamante embroidered detail round the waist, which was also created by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.
The lesser thought about groom’s attire is a uniform designed in the Royal Household and created by Kashket and Partners. The collars and cuffs were also created by the Royal School of Needlework. He did look handsome though didn’t he? Straight out of a Disney Princess movie!
William gave Kate the same ring that Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana with. Behold the 18-Carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds. It was created by Garrard, the royal family’s official jeweler for the past three centuries. When Princess Diana was killed, Prince William had asked for her Cartier watch and the ring was given to Prince Harry. When William decided to propose to Kate, he asked Harry if he could have the ring and Prince Harry gladly obliged.
The wedding ring for Kate was designed and made by Wartski. The ring was made from a piece of Welsh gold that was given to Prince William by The Queen after the engagement.
This unbelievable masterpiece consisted of eight detailed tiers and around 900 sugar-paste flowers! The bride requested a lot of intricate piping including scroll work, leaves and flowers. The traditional wedding cake was made of 17 individual fruit cakes, 12 of which form the base alone!
The cake was designed by Fiona Cairns, who has made cakes in the past for Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd! Her factory is based in Leicestershire and employs more than 50 people. She was contacted back in February by the Saint James Palace to create the cake for William and Kate. Cairns and her team worked for 5 weeks creating the masterpiece, and worked in the palace for the two days prior to the ceremony, setting it up. Although the recipe for the cake has been kept secret, it was said to contain a range of dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas to walnuts, cherries grated oranges and lemon. French brandy, free-range eggs and flour were also used.
Kate wanted 17 different flowers and foliage included on the cake, chosen specifically for their meaning. The base has ivy leaves (which symbolize marriage) that run along the bottom edge. The bottom three tiers have intricate piping of daisies (innocence), sweet William ( ), lavender (devotion) and roses, which are a national symbol of England and also symbolize happiness. In between the bottom 12 cakes that make up the first three tiers, orange and apple blossoms, honeysuckle, acorns with oak leaves (part of the Middleton family’s new coat of arms) are used to fill in any gaps. Cairns also wanted to incorporate the room in which the cake would be displayed. She used the architectural details from the room to inspire the fourth and fifth tiers by using intricate garlands, lattice work and piped leaf detail. The sixth tier was covered in sugar-paste Lily of the valley (symbolizes sweetness and humility) which were created by not only the team with Cairns but also by Kathryn Boyden, Buckingham Palace’s royal pastry chef and her colleague, sous chef Jane Fisher. In the center of the sixth tier, is an emblem with the couples initials below an abstract crown. The four home nations were all represented on the top two tiers- the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock. Finishing off the cake was garland of lily of the valley and heather for the topper.
Flowers Used on the Cake and Their Meanings
Rose (white) – national symbol of England
Daffodil - national symbol of Wales, new beginnings
Shamrock - national symbol of Ireland
Thistle - national symbol of Scotland
Acorns, oak leaf - strength, endurance
Myrtle - love
Ivy - wedded love, marriage
Lily of the valley - sweetness, humility
Rose (bridal) - happiness, love
Sweet William - grant me one smile
Honeysuckle - the bond of love
Apple blossom - preference, good fortune
White heather - protection, wishes will come true
Jasmine (white) - amiability
Daisy - innocence, beauty, simplicity
Orange blossom - marriage, eternal love, fruitfulness
Lavender - ardent attachment, devotion, success, and luck.
Photo Credit: The Associated Press / Cake Created by McVities
There was also a chocolate biscuit cake made by McVities Cake Company that Prince William specifically requested. It was made using a Royal Family recipe that William had grown up eating with his mother, Princess Diana.
The Food and Drinks
It took a team of 21 chefs to cater the reception. All ingredients used to create the meal were sourced from Royal Warrant holding companies and British-based ingredients. They were served Pol Roger NV Brut Reserve Champagne among other alcoholic drinks. There were a total of 10,000 canapes that included:
- Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini
- Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
- Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelized Walnuts
- Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws
- Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
- Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
- Poached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping
- Quails’ Eggs with Celery Salt
- Scottish Langoustines Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling
- Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson
- Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb
- Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas
- Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole
- Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse
- Gateau Opera
- Blood Orange Pate de Fruit
- Raspberry Financier
- Rhubarb Creme Brulee Tartlet
- Passion Fruit Praline
- White Chocolate Ganache Truffle
- Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts
- Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle
The Bouquet and Flowers
Kate asked floral designer Shane Connolly to design her bouquet as well as handle the ceremony floral decor of Westminster Abbey, which had eight maple trees added to the interior.
The bouquet had a shield shape to it and was wired with myrtle, lily of the valley and hyacinth, also chosen for their symbolism and significance for the Royal Family and Middleton family, according to a statement released on the Official Royal Wedding Web site. The bouquet also included sweet William, and a stem from a myrtle planted by Queen Victoria in 1845 (a royal tradition).
After the reception is over, it is assumed that Kate will leave her bouquet on the grave of the First World War soldier, which is a tradition the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth) started when she was married in 1923.
During the reception the guests were entertained by Claire Jones, the official Harpist to William’s father Prince Charles.
The Official Photos
Photo Credit: Hugo Burnand
Photo Credit: Hugo Burnand
The bride and groom surrounded by their familes. In the front row are, from left, Grace van Cutsem, Eliza Lopes, the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Louise Windsor and William Lowther-Pinkerton. In the back row are, from left, Tom Pettifer, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, Prince Henry, Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, James Middleton and Philippa Middleton.
The bride and groom with, clockwise from bottom right, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer and William Lowther-Pinkerton.
And they lived happily ever after.
So, the question is… will William and Kate inspire your wedding?
Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk; www.stuff.co.nz; US; The Washington Post; The Official Royal Wedding Web Site