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What American traditions might be included in Harry and Meghan’s wedding?

As more information has been revealed about the 19 May wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, anticipation continues to grow.

As Meghan was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and lived for years in Toronto, Canada, it would be natural for her to want to include a few North American traditions in her wedding as a nod to the country that raised her (US) and she made her home (CA), while also adhering to the traditions of her adopted country of the UK. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the traditions Meghan could choose to include from the other side of the pond.

Bridesmaids:

In the United States, bridesmaids, for the most part, do not wear the same or similar coloured dresses as the bride. Meghan could choose, as then Autumn Kelly (who was born and raised in Canada) did during her wedding to Peter Phillips, to have her bridesmaids wear more colourful dresses. Autumn married Peter at St George’s Chapel on 17 May 2008 and had her bridesmaids in muted green dresses following a North American tradition.
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Additionally, she could also follow Autumn’s example by having adults as her bridesmaids instead of the more common children and teens in Great Britain. Meghan could have younger children, like soon-to-be niece Princess Charlotte, as flower girls instead.

Wedding Cake:

While the United Kingdom has a tradition of using fruitcakes as wedding cakes, you would be hard-pressed to find someone select this type of cake for their wedding in the United States or Canada. It is, as a whole, a relatively unpopular cake in general. Meghan and Harry could potentially choose to follow the American tradition by having a cake with the favourite flavours of vanilla or chocolate.
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Bridal Shower:

A pre-wedding event ahead of a couple’s big day, a wedding shower is hosted by the friends or family of the bride and groom. Gifts are brought for the couple, wedding games played and often a brunch or finger foods are served. While extremely popular in North America, they are less popular on the other side of the Atlantic. Meghan’s friends from the US and Canada may choose to throw them a bridal shower as a way to celebrate her upcoming wedding and recent move across the pond.

Wedding Bouquet: 

In North America, brides typically throw their wedding bouquet over their shoulder to their female friends and family behind them. Tradition states that the person who catches the bouquet is the next to be married. While this is the least likely American tradition Meghan might follow, it is still a slim (very slim) possibility. Royal brides traditionally lay their bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey, so it is more likely that she will choose to follow the Royal Family’s tradition on this. Or, she could elect to have a second bouquet at the reception to make it to where she can observe both traditions.

A bride throwing her bouquet during the reception. Photo: Torsten Mangner (CC BY-SA 2.0)/Flickr

Unity Candle:

Uniquely popular in the United States are unity candles. There are three candles in the church with two lit at the beginning of the wedding ceremony – one representing the bride and the other the groom. These are usually lit by the mothers of the bride and groom before the vows. The third ‘unity’ candle is lit by both after saying their vows as a symbol of uniting into one family. This is one small tradition Harry and Meghan could include as a nod back to her roots in the US.

A unity candle. Photo: Christopher Barnette (CC BY 2.0)/Flickr

We won’t know what American traditions Meghan chooses, if any, to add in her May nuptials; however, these are just some of the options that she has to honour both the United States and the United Kingdom.

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