BBC Lifestyle together with expert wedding planner Precious Thamaga of Precious Celebrations offer tips on how to channel a royal wedding in true South African style.
The bridal party
Picking your bridal party is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Flashback to the 2011 royal wedding between William & Catherine, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which provides amemorable example of why you may want to rethink sticking your model-esque maid of honour in an attention-stealing form-fitting gown (no shade, Pippa Middleton). Picking a maid of honour later in the game may ruffle some feathers and put a damper on the festivities. Be firm about your choice, but give each bridesmaid special responsibilities to ensure that each feels like a vital part of your bridal gang.
The venue and theme
While the royal duo have chosen St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for their “I do’s”, there’s no reason why you can’t host your own royal wedding watching party with a South African spin at home. For those planning their own royal-styled wedding, Precious had this advice to add, “Your chosen venue provides the canvas for your big day, so pick wisely. As per tradition, most local royal weddings take place at the bride and groom’s home. Transform your home with a marquee structure that will give you a modern royal feel with an intimate touch. If you’re looking outside your home, historic venues with architectural high ceilings, which add dramatic effect, and details are a must.”
“A wedding gown should be designed to fit you like a glove. For some local flavour adding intricate African details like beading and patterns is always a great idea. Add a bit of lace to soften your look and an elegant, long train is also a perfect detail to complete the look. While fascinators and hats are ideal for British wedding guests, an African queen cannot go without a beautiful traditional hat,” continues Precious.
Catch All Hail the Veil on BBC Lifestyle (16-18 May 2018) at 2:00pm where three Bridal experts go head-to-head and dress-to-dress, to find one lucky bride the wedding dress of her dreams. Don’t forget British Royal grooms, they are traditionally resplendent in military uniform, the perfect accompaniment to their Princess brides.
Royal Weddings closer to home may include a different set of splendor and tradition. While Prince Harry won’t need to pay traditional lobola for his bride, if based on the rumored 300 cow minimum asked by eSwatini (Swazi) King Mswati III for the hand of his eldest daughter Princess Sikhanyiso, Royal lobola isn’t cheap!
There are quite a few royal wedding traditions and it will be interesting to see if Meghan puts her own twist to any of them. For example most royal brides wear tiaras and the question is which tiara, from the exquisite royal collection, will Meghan pick? They carry myrtle in their bouquets to symbolise love and good fortune, and lay the bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior once the ceremony is complete. For a proudly South African wedding add a hint of indigenous flowers to the bridal bouquet and what better way to do this than by adding the Protea, South Africa’s national flower.