October 13, 2014

{Attending the Bride}

Bridesmaids of Victoria, the Princess Royal, circa 1858

Dear Bride-to-Be
The way brides choose their bridesmaids changes just like the fashion for selecting bouquet styles or gown necklines. Brides invite friends and family members to be part of their wedding party for all sorts of reasons—and it’s not always about being “attended to.” Sometimes it’s to “out do” the last wedding in town or copy-cat a celebrity ceremony in the news; or perhaps some brides choose attendants out of a sense of obligation or just whatever it takes to feel like a princess!

Princess Elizabeth and her attendants, circa 1947
British historian Dulcie Ashdown described Queen Victoria’s 1840 wedding: “Behind her came a dozen bridesmaids, the daughters of peers dressed in white with white-rose wreaths and carrying her long train.” However, some attendants were heard to comment that if the train was longer they could be more graceful and not have to “bunch up” as they did! Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, had eight bridesmaids in attendance for her 1947 wedding, including her sister Margaret, but it was her page-boys sporting kilts in the Royal tartan who carried her long, heavily beaded silk tulle court train.

Kate Middleton with her sister attending, circa 2011
Over sixty years later, when a poised Kate Middleton wed the Queen’s grandson William, the future Duchess was blessed to have a close relationship with her sister who, as the only adult bridesmaid, was the one to carry the bride’s heavy train as well as attend her sister in other ways. Dressed for the wedding in cream silk by the bride's couturier, Pippa had also been available to help with tasks during the busy months of wedding planning, be good company and offer womanly encouragement—something every bride needs, royal or otherwise!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[This is an excerpt from my upcoming book The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding. Stay tuned for publishing news!]

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