Prince Harry-Meghan Markle royal wedding: Rules, dress codes guests must follow

By @chelean on
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
One of two official engagement photos released by Kensington Palace of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at Frogmore House in Windsor, Britain December 21, 2017. Picture taken in the week commencing December 17, 2017. Alexi Lubomirski/Courtesy Of Kensington Palace/Handout via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married on Saturday, and there are relatively a few people invited to the church. For those fortunate enough to receive an invite, they must abide by the strict rules.

A British Royal wedding isn’t like a commoner’s in that it’s a lot more spectacular and high-profile. The guests themselves are some of high society’s most famous members. But while Harry and Meghan have kept the guestlist to a minimum and their wedding a little lower key than Prince William and Kate Middleton’s, their guests still need to follow rules.

According to the Marie Claire, the rules are quite specific and strict. Here are some of them:

Dress code

According to a report earlier this month, Meghan’s “Suits” co-stars, who are invited to her big day, have turned to the show’s wardrobe department for help on what to wear for the wedding. If that seems a bit of an overreaction, it’s actually a smart move as dress codes for royal weddings are exacting and unbending.

Guests were reportedly sent a dress code along with their invitations. All must wear dress uniform, which means for women, it’s a day dress and a hat, and for men, it’s lounge suit or morning coat. Day dress, according to the Globe and Mail, means there should be no cleavage or bare arms shown. It is also not a minidress. For the members of the military, they could wear their uniforms.

Guests sit in the pews at Westminster Abbey before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in central London April 29, 2011. Guests sit in the pews at Westminster Abbey before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in central London April 29, 2011.  Reuters/Anthony Devlin/Pool

It’s imperative for women to wear hats if it is a day wedding, as Harry and Meghan’s is, but some may opt for fascinators instead. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s attention-grabbing fascinators at William and Kate’s 2011 wedding may be a bit too much for non-royal guests, though.

Britain's Princess Eugenie (L) and Princess Beatrice Britain's Princess Eugenie (L) and Princess Beatrice arrive at Westminster Abbey before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in central London April 29, 2011.  Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Open-toed shoes are also not allowed, Metro reports. Queen Elizabeth is reportedly not fond of wedge shoes, and so it’s just smart not to wear wedge shoes. Skyscraper heels are also not in good form. Nude tights or stockings are said to be required as well.

No cameras or phones

There’s a reason why the general public don’t see candid shots of the royals at official formal engagements. It’s because cameras and phones are asked to be surrendered before guests are allowed to enter the reception.

Don’t approach the Queen, don’t leave before her

No one must approach Her Majesty. They must wait for her to approach them instead. And if she does, everyone must curtsy to her.

Queen Elizabeth, as the highest-ranking person in the country, is the marker for stopping and starting everything at events, including royal weddings. Therefore, no one must leave the church until she does.

Queen Elizabeth Britain's Queen Elizabeth (R) and Prince Philip travel to Buckingham Palace in a Semi-State Landau, along the Procession Route, after the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey in central London April 29, 2011.  Reuters/Kieran Doherty

Bride’s bouquet for an unknown warrior

Unlike most weddings, there will be no catching of the bride’s bouquet at any time at the reception. Royal brides apparently have two bouquets, in case one gets lost. And in a tradition started by the Queen Mother, they will always leave one bouquet at the grave of an unknown warrior in London’s Westminster Abbey. Meghan will be marrying at Windsor Castle’s St George Chapel, but it is still expected that she will be following this tradition.

A recreation of the wedding bouquet of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge A recreation of the wedding bouquet of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen as it is prepared for display at Buckingham Palace in London July 20, 2011.  Reuters/Lewis Whyld/Pool

Where to sit

The royal family, according to Reader’s Digest, usually sits on the right side of the church. However, if the groom is not royal, they will then sit on the left. Harry is the royal one in his relationship with Meghan, and so his famous family will sit on the right.

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk up the aisle after their wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk up the aisle after their wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011.  Reuters/Dominic Lipinski

Take toilet trips before going to the venue

With around 600 people invited to the service and another 1,900 at the castle’s grounds, the facilities would surely have long lines. Therefore, it’s only prudent if guests would refrain from going to the toilets during the celebration.

And according to Metro, the guests were issued a handbook that says they are advised to go to the toilet before they get to the venue. For reference, the wedding will begin at noon local time.

Don’t bring gifts

Harry and Meghan have previously asked well-wishers to donate to their chosen charities instead of bringing gifts for them. Nevertheless, those who still want to give the couple present must send it to the family home and not bring it to the day itself.