The Royal Wedding may be over (say it ain’t so!) but here at SEG, we’re still riding the wave of this historic event. You saw our guesses for what we hoped Meghan Markle would wear for the big day, and if you’re anything like us, you also found yourself waking at the crack of dawn to tune into what is being called “the wedding of the century.” It’s estimated that two billion people worldwide watched the broadcast of Harry & Meghan’s nuptials on Saturday, May 19, 2018, in addition to the 100,000 people who gathered along the procession route, and more than 2,000 members of the public that were invited to the Windsor Castle grounds.
However, there was one very special person that traveled all the way to the U.K. for the occasion: Tara, one of our very own brides who will be tying the knot with us this month at Saphire Estate! Here, she shares her personal account of what it was like to witness one of the biggest events in history (a mere eight days before her own wedding!). Take it away, Tara!
Tara: My heart will always be with William and Kate, but I couldn’t get to their wedding in 2011. Going to a Royal Wedding has always been on my bucket list. I knew if I didn’t go to this one, I would be in my seventies when George, Charlotte, and now Louis would get married. I vowed if it wasn’t on my wedding weekend, I would find a way to go!
It’s kind of cool because my fiancé is also a redhead, so we have a lot of fun with that. I held my breath that Harry and Meghan wouldn’t get married the same weekend as me. When the date was set, my best friend and I booked our flight literally the next day to London.
SEG: What were people’s reactions when you told them that you were going to travel to the Royal Wedding right before your own?
Tara: It wan’t a huge surprise, as most people know of my love for the Royal Family. There is even a picture of Kate Middleton in my office with two teacups that someone who met her gave to me! Most people couldn’t believe that I was coming back only five days before my own wedding. Everyone was asking me, “what if they cancel your flight?!” It was magical though, and truly it was nice to take a break from my own planning and just take a deep breath, enjoy a pint, enjoy the city and the people, and attend a truly historic wedding.
SEG: What is it about the Royal Family?
Tara: I love fairy tales. It is not just the princesses. It’s the horses, the carriages, the garments, the guards, the music, the tradition, even the drama a little bit. I was six the first time I saw a picture of Prince William (who is my age). I told my mom I was going to marry him. Diana looked a lot like my mom, and I think that both of them are two of the most beautiful women in the world.
When I got older I remember reading how Diana tried to have her boys have the most normal life possible. I think in her short time with them, she was really warm and caring, maybe because Charles wasn’t really brought up that way and she didn’t want that for William and Harry. That took a lot of courage, but I think from what the public can see, it worked. She has two really great guys who seem to adore their wives and children. I also love history, so as I got older I read about the traditions, their family, and how the queen came into the throne.
SEG: Describe the scene in Windsor that day. What was it like?
Tara: Everyone was so incredibly happy and joyful. Everyone was in good spirits, probably because it’s not like a sports competition – there are no sides. Everyone left there feeling happy. We met so many amazing people from all over England and around the world. The people of Windsor (and London) were amazingly warm and excited. They had little girls with cute white dresses on and hats everywhere. There were decorations with cutouts of Harry and Meghan. People who lived there passed out water and lemonade as visitors waited in lines. It was just a really happy and joyous event!
It was an incredibly well-organized event and never got too chaotic. From the security, to the transportation, to the lines, it’s one well-oiled machine. They did very well with the crowd control, so everyone had an amazing time. What was also awesome was no one seemed to have too much to drink, there were no fights. People were just talking to each other and reminiscing. After the wedding, some people did open bottles of champagne to cheers! The weather was gorgeous too. A lot of people were sitting on the lawn in Windsor afterwards to soak in the day.
SEG: What was your favorite part of the experience?
Tara: Besides being so close to Meghan and Harry as their carriage went by, my favorite part was just being part of their day. Meeting so many people who were wondering what she would be wearing, talking about how happy they were for Harry and how much they loved Diana – it truly was a special day in history. We got to listen to the whole ceremony on speakers. While we didn’t see anything, we really felt like we were there with them. The trumpets at the end of the ceremony gave me goosebumps. They decorated the pubs with Harry and Meghan memorabilia, and lots of guys in their twenties were dressed in prince costumes and dyed their hair red! Everyone was celebrating well into the night.
SEG: Are you working in any royal elements into your own upcoming nuptials at Saphire Estate?
Tara: I did wear a replica of Kate’s engagement ring during my engagement photo session (although my actual engagement ring is one of the most beautiful and meaningful things I own). I am very lucky to have met my own redheaded prince! Brendon treats me like a princess – he opens doors for me, and he always gives up his seat to elderly women on the train. I asked if it would be okay to go to London a week before our wedding and he said, “as long as you make it back, because I can’t wait to marry you.” I can’t wait to have our day at Saphire Estate and celebrate with all of our family and friends!
SEG: Was it worth the trip?
Tara: I am still on cloud nine! It really was so nice to take a breath and escape a little from my own planning and recharge. I got to ask lots of people from all different countries if they had any marriage advice and I got some amazing tips. I am so glad I went, but also couldn’t wait to come home and see Brendon.
Thank you so much Tara, for sharing your experience with us. We can’t wait for your own “royal wedding” this Memorial Day weekend!