Royal Wedding Recap: In Our Humble Opinion

What we loved, liked, adored … and are baffled by.

Hello, royal wedding watchers! And, please. You know you are. Deep down we all are, really, but if you’ve got your own sparkly engagement ring on your finger, we’d gamble you were even more ravenous for the Biggest Big Day details than the unbetrothed of the world. And with good reason!

In a nutshell, we loved it. We swooned, wept, awww-ed and smiled ourselves silly in the pre-dawn hours of the morning (after wrestling over whether to set the alarm or the DVR for the event, we embarrassingly went with both) as we watched it all unfold. It’s rare that something lives up to its own hype — an event, person, movie, product — and this did. It was, to use a princess-y word, enchanting.


That said, we're still not sure we'd give it a 100 on the scorecard — so we here at PW have boiled down some of our bridal highlights and lowlights from the extravaganza. (Complete with links to People.com's extensive photographic coverage of all things royal wedding!) And now that you've had a whole weekend to soak and digest, we want to hear from you, too. See what we think — then tell us if you agree ...

The Dress: It's hard to truly say that we had anything overly specific in mind when envisioning what Kate would wear on her Biggest Big Day (and no, we're not calling her Catherine. She doesn't refer to herself that way, William doesn't refer to her that way, and we think it's weird the world has declared "Kate" not fitting of a princess. It's fine.), other than it would probably be somewhat simple and in the non-frou frou-y category, as her style is pretty clean, tailored and chic. And it was seriously unbelievable. Weddings, Oscars, runway shows — it takes a lot to make us audibly gasp, and yet we did Friday morning when Kate finally climbed from the car ride she shared with her father and showed of the Dress in all its glory. The lace was exquisite; the cut of the top perfectly modern and sexy without even heading near scandalous or inappropriate; the definition of her waist above the padded hips, the perfect entrance to the dramatic skirt. And for some reason, if we had known it was being designed by Sarah Burton under the McQueen label beforehand, we're not sure this is what we would have pictured. But it was perfection.

The Jewels: Now, we may get a few brides mad at us for saying this, but we're not down with tiaras. There. We said it. And even though Kate was obviously going to become a princess while wearing an inevitable tiara, we were still worried it would look too, well, princess-y. But what can we say? Cartier is a house that knows what they're doing, and there's nothing lovelier than wearing jewels that mean something on your wedding day. It was beautiful, and somehow, understated, if that's a word that can be used to describe a tiara. And not only were her Robinson Pelham earrings the perfect finishing touch to her look, we just love that they were a gift from her parents. It's so normal, or something, for a girl to wear something gifted to her by Mom and Dad just for her Big Day, and it's kind of cool that not every inch of her was all about the royal significance of the day. You get the feeling those are the earrings they would have given her if she had been marrying any schmoe she'd picked up at St. Andrews.

The Veil: Again, perfect. Not overly dramatic or ridiculous — about as pared-down as a traditional veil can be. Thinking some girls may, after seeing hers, reconsider what they might have already dismissed.

Hair & Makeup: The one thing we felt rather certain of over here was that Kate would wear her hair down. She's a hair-down kind of girl, and many times, hair-down girls tend to stick with that for their wedding. (And also, does she not have the most luxurious hair, like, ever? We've had Kate Middleton hair-envy since she started showing up at Wills' sporting events nearly eight years ago.) Experts always advise that you should basically just look like a glammed-up version of yourself, and she did just that. And while it admittedly makes us very nervous when we hear about brides planning on doing their own makeup — Kate included — we actually think she did great. A makeup artist, we're wondering, may have done with a little less eyeliner (especially on the bottom), and gone for a bit more shading on the lid to create definition, but for the most part, well done, we think. Love the natural lips. Again, made it seem like her.

The Flowers: And now, we come to our first meh of the day. They were pretty, for sure — and you really can't argue with the tradition or meaning of the individual blooms that made up her bouquet — but we just feel like they could have been, well ... more. Grander. More lush. With her whole getup, it ended up looking like a nosegay fit for one of her little peanut-sized flower girls instead of a bouquet fit for a princess. Lily of the Valley is about as charming a base for a spring bouquet as you can get — we're still obsessed with this one that Evantine made us a few years ago — so we just feel like more could have been done with it. It didn't need to be a cascade that extended as long as her nine-foot train, but still. Something about her bouquet just felt like an afterthought.

Shoes: Here's one of our big questions of the day — what were her shoes? We've seen reports they were a white lace McQueen style that matched the lace in her dress, but where are the pictures? Where are the details? Where's the obsessive analyzing about how comfortable they were, whether height was a concern, how she broke them in, how they worked with the Dress, how it was guaranteed they wouldn't cause her to trip over her train? We want to know. If anyone can answer these things for us, please, do tell!

The Second Dress: If the first and main dress elicited a gasp from us, the the Duchess of Cambridge's second dress made us squeal (and wish with all of our might that we knew every last in and out of her pre-wedding diet and workout plan. And again — the hair. Sigh.). We had assumed — or, at least, hoped — that she would change into a second dress after all the pomp and circumstance, but hadn't heard anything to that effect before the Big Day was upon us. And while there will certainly be plenty brides out there coveting her ceremony dress and maybe even hunting down a look-alike for their own, we bet any money that this sleek cut and jeweled waistband is going to be big. Oh, and every bride who gets married in chilly weather should definitely own this shrug.

The Cake: Eh, not our style, but, we realize, could have been even more of a monstrosity. It was sure to be all white and it was sure to be ginormous, and it was. The detailing is actually really, really beautiful. (Word is there was a chocolate-cookie cake for Wills, that we most definitely would have been more interested in.)

The Thing We Just Flat Out Are Not Ok With At All: Dude. Wills. No ring? Come on. Suck it up. No groom likes it — most guys have never worn a piece of jewelry in their lives. It's uncomfortable, perhaps, and takes some getting used to, yes, but this is how life works. You get married. You wear the ring. If he was allergic to all metals and alloys everywhere, we would hear his case, but mostly, it just sounds like he doesn't wanna. We ladies must pick our battles, Kate, we know, but this is one we would have fought, especially since it's doubtful he is going to get some sort of Beyonce-Jay Z "K" tat on his left ring finger in its place. We love and adore you, Will, and think you just seem like the kindest, most darling boy alive — but step it up. Put a ring on it.

So, what do you think? What was your favorite part of the day? What left you saying meh? Brides, anything you loved so much that you're definitely going to try and replicate for your Big Day? Vendors, what do you think should have been done differently? Tell us in the comments, we're dying to compare notes!

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  • Alison

    Great post! I love to hear everyone’s reactions to the day, and this was EVERYTHING I was thinking. Im happy that you guys shared your opinions. I was wondering if I was the only one who thought her bouquet was on the small side!

  • Christine A.

    I want her hair too! So pretty!! I liked William’s tux he changed into after the ceremony. I like those blue shoes you showed. I love when people wear bright shoes with their wedding dress! I wonder what her something blue was. I think I heard there was blue thread in her dress somewhere. Does anyone know?

  • Michelle K.

    I am obsessed with her veil. You are right, it was all perfectly understated, but still fit for a princess. Perfect way to have a royal wedding in these tough economic times.

  • Danielle

    Spot-on for the most part. I was NOT in love with her second dress. I had hoped she’d opt for something a little less full that showed off her long, willowy figure – something more Kate. Agree about the flowers and the cake, and of course, the ring. Although I suppose everyone in the free world was privvy to the nuptials, so they know Will is a taken man!