Meghan and Harry: A Love Story Like No Other
“There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Saturday 19th May 2018 was a day that will be remembered in the history books forever. The day when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in front of 600 honoured guests, and millions of more onlookers across the globe. I’m sure most of us still remember when Kate and William wed back in 2011, but, for me, Harry and Meghan’s celebration had something extra special which set it apart from every Royal Wedding prior. And that something special was a true, palpable, undeniable feeling of love.
Sometimes in the wedding industry, I worry that it is all too easy to lose focus on what is really the reason for all of the expenditure and planning. I worry that it’s easy to forget that marriage is at the heart of the celebration, often hidden beneath demands of peonies, prosecco and playlists. It can be disheartening to work with people who have their minds clearly fixed on the material things surrounding the day when really you wish they would realise that how much they love each other is the only detail that actually matters.
With royal weddings, it can be easy to imagine that the focus is placed elsewhere, especially when you hear that the total cost - mainly due to the intense security requirements - is around £32 million. Usually, anything involving that much money is more concerned with the superficial than the sentimental. For most of us, it’s usually a budgetary limit that puts a stop to the crazy whims and ideas free flowing on our Pinterest boards, but for the royal family, the cost is hardly a concern. Which is why debating whether Harry and Meghan’s wedding day would shine a spotlight on the right sentiment was all too tempting.
However, I would be surprised if anyone watching the ceremony unfold on Saturday could call into question the sincerity of the love that Harry and Meghan genuinely have for one another. The look in their eyes when they saw each other at the top of the aisle was proof enough of that (Harry mouthing “I am so lucky” followed by that lip-bite made me weak at the knees), and as everything else unfolded over that precious hour, it was clear to see that every detail had, in fact, been painstakingly chosen with love as the driving force.
I have always admired the way that Meghan paves her own path in life, having refused to compromise her feminist beliefs from a young age, and I delighted at her obvious touches on the wedding day. I mentioned in my last blog post about the omittance of the words “obey” and “serve” from her vows, and the sermon, delivered by Reverend Michael Curry, was another highlight. It was uplifting, honest and immensely encouraging. His words came at an incredibly poignant moment, not just for Harry and Meghan who vowed to love each other for richer for poorer (the irony of the actress saying this to the Prince of England is not lost on me), but for everyone else who needed a reminder that love is the most redemptive force of all.
This, followed by the most moving version of ‘Stand by Me’ I have ever heard, accompanied by the cheers from the crowds outside the chapel restored some faith in me. It showed that after such a violent and heartbreaking time for both the UK and America over the last few months - with knife crime and gun violence at an all-time high - that we are all able to stand together, put aside our differences, and witness a demonstration of true love. That for one hour, we, collectively, were able to be distracted from thoughts of hatred, racism, and discrimination to witness a wonderful celebration of love and happiness. That really does prove everything that the Reverend declared to be true about love.
The fact that this wedding - an event that usually turns couples into angry, stressed-out caricatures of themselves, complete with unnecessary expense and over the top details - had the power to give the world what it really needed for one hour; the transformative power of love, really proves to me that the real motivation for weddings has not been lost amongst all the fuss and frivolity.
Sure, Meghan’s dress was stunning, the chapel looked breathtaking and there were enough famous faces to rival the Met Ball, but those are just things. And for me, weddings have never been about things, they have been about feelings. As beautiful as Saturday was aesthetical, the beauty of the fact they designed their day around feelings really did make Harry and Meghan’s wedding of the decade in my eyes. And to fact-check this, all it takes is a scroll through your Instagram feed to see reposted pictures, not of the flowers or of the tiara, but of the couple looking at each other like there was no-one else in that chapel. Because that is love. And for two people to take the most anticipated wedding day in years and bring it back to what it truly about makes hopeful.
So if you want to read up on the lemon and elderflower cake, savour over the menu choices, or join in the disappointed consensus on Meghan’s Givenchy ensemble then there are plenty of other blog posts dishing the dirt. If you want to delve even deeper into the discussion, there’s an article entitled “Let's cling onto why we first liked Meghan Markle – if only for 'darling old Harry’s' sake” which to my mind certainly proves that our focus is a little off. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to remember all of the times I have loved and been loved, and invite you to do the same, because when do we ever get the chance to do this in our lives? But recognising these moments is how we harness the power of love that Harry and Meghan made centre-stage on Saturday, and with that, we can change the world. It all starts right here, and I will be forever grateful to the pair of them for bringing it back to the forefront of the wedding industry.