21 Facts About Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Wedding You Didn't Know

Like that time Harry hand-picked flowers for Meghan's bouquet.
royal wedding prince harry meghan markle
Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
by
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated Dec 08, 2022

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was unforgettable in so many ways, but you may have since forgotten smaller details from the nuptials, all still rather thoughtful and relevant. Harry and Meghan's 2018 royal wedding, held at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, was witnessed by an estimated 2 billion people minimum worldwide. On a beautifully sunny day, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex exchanged vows in a storybook, fairytale wedding, complete with a gospel choir, numerous twists on royal wedding tradition (particularly the cake), and a day that ended with a star-studded evening reception where Idris Elba served as a DJ. Here, The Knot rounds up all the details from Harry and Meghan's wedding day, including a few sweet facts you might not know.

How Did Harry and Meghan Meet?

Harry and Meghan's royal love story began the modern way: through Instagram. In the couple's Netflix documentary Harry and Meghan, which was released on December 8, 2022, Harry revealed for the first time that he saw Meghan in a mutual friend's Instagram photo. That friend connected the couple, and they had their first date at Soho House London in 2016.

When Did Prince Harry and Meghan Get Married?

After the couple announced their engagement on November 27, 2017, they quickly began wedding planning. Harry and Meghan's wedding date was May 19, 2018. That wasn't their first vow swap, though—the to-be-weds also had a private vow ceremony days before their official nuptials.

Where Did Prince Harry and Meghan Get Married?

meghan markle royal wedding aisle
Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Over a dozen weddings have taken place at this royal venue, including the nuptials of Prince Harry's cousin, Princess Eugenie, and Jack Brooksbank.

Who Walked Meghan Markle Down the Aisle?

Days before Harry and Meghan's wedding, the bride dealt with a fallout with her father, Thomas Markle, who was supposed to walk her down the aisle. Due to a rather heartbreaking situation, she made the call ultimately to begin her wedding procession solo. Clad in her custom Givenchy gown by Clare Waight Keller, Markle radiated confidence as the world witnessed her walk down the aisle. Halfway to Prince Harry, the bride was joined by Prince Charles.

At the altar, viewers cried as the groom turned and whispered to his father, "Thank you, Pa."

Who Did Meghan Markle's Wedding Makeup?

Meghan Markle wedding makeup
Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle's wedding makeup was reminiscent of her everyday style: simple and effortless. The former Suits actress hired makeup artist Daniel Martin to pull off her look, but with busy schedules, the pair wasn't able to meet for a customary makeup trial before the wedding day. "I was in New York and she was in London and there was no time because of my crazy schedule to be able to go there," he told Harper's Bazaar. "I knew exactly what she wanted and the day of the wedding was just us getting together and doing her makeup like usual. I knew she just wanted to be radiant, glowy, and polished with nothing too done."

"If you look at pictures sequentially from her riding in the car with her mother, getting to the church, to outside in the precession, her makeup looks completely different because of several different lighting situations, which is something I had to think about," Martin added. "I also had to think about precise pictures and it being televised. You get to a point where you have to create makeup that fits in those lighting situations without compromising one or the other. If I started heavier and she got into the church, her makeup would've looked a lot darker than when you see her in natural light. It was also noon, when the light is at its highest."

Meghan Markle's Wedding Morning

Despite a rather dramatic week leading up to her nuptials, Prince Harry's wife was as cool as a cucumber the morning of her wedding. "We had breakfast," Martin told Good Morning America. "Guy, her dog, was with us. We were playing around with him."

"It was a very chill morning," he added. "Her mom was there, which was amazing."

Prince Harry and Meghan's Wedding Ceremony

Luckily for fans and royal watchers around the world, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding ceremony was televised. Here are some of our favorite moments.

A Page Boy Grinned for This Cute Reason

Meghan Markle entering wedding reception with page boys
Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Upon Meghan Markle's wedding arrival, both Kate Middleton and Jessica Mulroney helped usher the junior bridesmaids and page boys (including Princess Charlotte and Prince George) up the steps into St. George's Chapel to join the rest of the British Royal Family.

When one of the Mulroney twins, who both served as page boys in Markle's wedding party, walked into St. George's Chapel, his wide grin lit up the internet. Later, his father Ben Mulroney revealed his child's adorable reaction at the wedding. "I asked him and he said he'd never heard a trumpet before," the talk show host said of his son's gap-toothed grin. "And I think when he walked in, I think he saw all the people there and the flowers—none of that was there during the rehearsal."

Meghan's Mom Soaked in the Moment

Meghan Markle with mom Doria Ragland on wedding day
Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Doria Ragland quickly became one of the standout faces present at Harry and Meghan's royal wedding. While she has yet to go on the record about her experience, one insider revealed her favorite parts of the wedding weekend.

"Doria is saying the biggest highlight of the wedding, of course after watching her daughter say 'I do' to the man she loves, was meeting the queen," a source told Us Weekly. "It would have been extremely intimidating for anyone, but Meghan and Harry really did a marvelous job of preparing her [with] what to expect."

The Couple Swapped Vows Prior to the Royal Ceremony

If you ask, "When did Harry and Meghan get married?" most would say May 19, 2018. But, believe it or not, the couple actually got married on May 16. Nearly three years after their big day, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle joined Oprah Winfrey for a groundbreaking tell-all interview on March 7, 2021, where they dropped a number of bombshell revelations—one of the biggest, though, was that they actually had a private vow ceremony before the royal wedding.

"Three days before the wedding, we got married," Markle told Winfrey. "The vows that we had… [were] with the Archbishop of Canterbury." Prince Harry added that the private ceremony, which took place in the backyard of Nottingham Cottage, their home on the grounds of Kensington Palace, was limited to just the three of them.

Prince Harry and Meghan's Wedding Flowers

Fresh flowers were an integral part of Harry and Meghan's wedding decor. As such, each stem was picked carefully and intentionally.

meghan markle bouquet
VICTORIA JONES/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry Hand-Picked Flowers for Meghan's Bouquet

Meghan Markle's wedding bouquet was a mix of traditional with the modern. Her cocktail included sprigs of myrtle, a royal bridal bouquet tradition that dates back to the wedding of Victoria. Harry personally handpicked flowers from Kensington Palace's private garden, for a bespoke cocktail that included Forget-Me-Nots, scented sweet peas, astilbe, jasmine, lily of the valley, astrantia, and the myrtle (which represents love and hope) of course. The completed bouquet was tied together by a silk ribbon by royal wedding florist Philippa Craddock. The morning after the nuptials, Meghan's bouquet was laid on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The Couple Donated Their Wedding Flowers

The patients of St. Joseph's Hospice, a facility based in London, received a plethora of flowers as Harry and Meghan's wedding day floral designs and arrangements were donated the following day. The florals were, as recalled, designed by high fashion florist Craddock, who procured flora from various royal estates.

Harry and Meghan's Wedding Rings

Harry and Meghan putting on rings during wedding ceremony
JONATHAN BRADY/AFP via Getty Images

Every detail of Harry and Meghan's wedding had significant meaning—including their wedding rings.

Meghan Markle Upgraded Her Wedding Ring Stack

On her wedding day, Meghan paired her three-stone engagement ring with a simple gold band. Since then, her engagement ring has been redesigned, and she's been photographed wearing additional bands as part of a curated wedding ring stack.

Prince Harry Went With a Unique Wedding Ring

The groom broke tradition and chose to wear his wedding ring, unlike his brother Prince William. Rather than opting for a piece comprised of Welsh gold, Harry's band was made of platinum. Both Meghan and Harry's wedding rings were made by Cleave and Company.

Prince Harry and Meghan's Wedding Cake

cake meghan markle prince harry
Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Did you know that Harry and Meghan's wedding cake broke tradition? Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes, an American-born pastry chef, was the designated name tapped to craft the couple's wedding cake. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle differed in that they chose to forego the usual fruit cake served at previous royal weddings. Instead, they requested a lemon elderflower cake topped by fresh buttercream and flowers all to "incorporate the bright flavors of spring."

"Knowing that they really share the same values as I do about food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and most importantly flavor, makes this the most exciting event to be a part of," Ptak said at the time.

Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress

Meghan Markle's wedding dresses
CARL DE SOUZA,BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images,Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The world waited in anticipation to see what style and silhouette the royal bride would wear. She ultimately donned a boat-neck three-quarter-length sleeve silk dress, designed by Givenchy's then-creative director Claire Waight Keller. As a nod to her husband's heritage, the bride paired her Givenchy wedding dress with a 16-foot-long veil embroidered with 53 flowers, which represented the Commonwealth and its 53 countries. And since no royal wedding dress is complete without a sparkling headpiece, the bride topped off her look with the Queen Mary Bandeau Tiara: a diamond crown made in 1932 with a center brooch dating back to 1893.

For the reception, she changed into a slinky high-neck gown by Stella McCartney, which she accessorized with a turquoise ring from Princess Diana's jewelry collection.

The Royal Wedding Reception: Prince Harry and Meghan

After the televised ceremony, Prince Harry and Meghan hosted a few private events for their guests, including a luncheon and a late-night reception.

Elton John Performed at the Reception

Elton John at Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding
CARL DE SOUZA,BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images,Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The chosen performer for Harry and Meghan's wedding reception was none other than Sir Elton John himself, who performed during the couple's wider luncheon. As recalled, John was very close friends with the late Princess Diana, and had performed "Candle in the Wind" at her funeral.

"Prince Harry asked Sir Elton to perform at the reception, which was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at St George's Hall, Windsor Castle," the official Palace statement read. "Sir Elton performed for the newly married couple in recognition of the close connection he has with Prince Harry and his family."

James Corden Performed at the Evening Reception

Despite suffering from seasonal allergies at the event, James Corden thankfully made it through the day to the evening reception, which was held for the couple's closest friends at Frogmore House. "In the evening, there was… a smaller dinner, close friends and family," Corden told People of the event. "And Harry asked if I would do, like, a performance of some kind. And so I did it, yeah. I wasn't really dressed as Henry VIII, it was just dressed in a kind of Tudor outfit. But I guess I look a bit like Henry VIII, so that's probably why."

Idris Elba DJ'd at the Event

Idris Elba at Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding
GARETH FULLER/AFP via Getty Images

Prior to the royal wedding, actor Idris Elba had gotten to know Prince Harry and Prince Charles through a charity known as The Prince's Trust. (The organization helped the actor out when he was new to the industry.) Along with leading roles in films, Elba also developed quite the knack for taking over the music at events.

"Harry came to a couple of parties that I DJ'ed, and he was like, 'Hey man, what are you doing on the date [May 19],' and I was like, 'Nothing,'" he recalled in an interview. "He goes, 'Hmm, would you DJ at my wedding?' I was like, 'Is this a joke? Are you joking?' And he's like, 'Serious.'"

Those who enjoyed Corden and Elba's contributions (aside from the newlyweds) included fellow stars like George Clooney, the Beckhams, Serena Williams and more.

The Reception Was a Huge Dance Party

Prince Harry and Meghan dancing at wdding reception
Netflix

Beyond the entertainment, fans never got more details about Meghan and Harry's royal wedding reception. That is, until, December 2022. In a teaser trailer for Harry and Meghan, the couple revealed a never-before-seen photo from their postwedding party. In the black-and-white snapshot, Harry and Meghan can be seen holding hands while dancing in a sea of guests at their wedding reception.

Harry and Meghan's Charitable Wedding Donations

In addition to donating their wedding flowers, Meghan and Harry used their wedding to give back in a multitude of ways.

The Pair Donated Money From the Broadcast

With $112,000 remaining profits (90,000 pounds to be exact) from the BBC broadcast of their royal wedding, Meghan and Harry decided to donate the money specifically to Feeding Britain, which is focused on eliminating hunger in the U.K. The organization has been especially focused on feeding families during COVID-19, as schools remain closed.

They Had a Charity Registry

wedding prince harry and meghan markle
Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

In lieu of physical gifts for their 2018 wedding registry, the couple arranged a charitable component for their wedding registry, asking all fans and loved ones to direct donations to seven chosen charities.

While their charitable contributions continue, the couple's lives have changed dramatically since their royal wedding day. The spouses, who went from full-time members of the British Royal Family, stepped down officially from the Commonwealth in March 2020 from their royal duties in support of a more private life with their son, Archie, and daugher, Lilibet, in North America.

They are now living in Los Angeles, where Markle's mother also resides. The couple's Netflix 2022 documentary Harry and Meghan is set to premiere in two parts on December 8 and December 15. Then, in January 2023, Prince Harry will release his autobiography Spare.

Up Next
  • Scottie Scheffler and wife Meredith Scheffler
    All About Scottie and Meredith Scheffer's Love Story