Meghan Markle is truly living her best life. Not only is she marrying a literal prince in less than four months, but she’s also an accomplished actor who may be able to continue working after she gets hitched to Prince Harry. The wedding will almost certainly be a star-studded extravaganza that’ll fill viewers with jealousy, but there may be some downsides to marrying a royal. Markle will miss out on some American wedding traditions that she’d be able to incorporate if she was having a normal wedding (although she may have had a chance to do some of these at her first wedding in 2011). I’m guessing that she doesn’t have any regrets, but it’s fascinating to think about how different royal British weddings are when compared to American affairs.
I’m a sucker for wedding traditions, so I’m not exactly jealous of Markle. Before my wedding, I scrambled to find something old, new, borrowed and blue — I wanted to incorporate the same traditions as my mother and grandmother when they got married. Of course, we don’t know what Markle is actuallyplanning until the wedding day is here. She’ll be the first biracial royal, along with the first American to be engaged to a British royal, per TIME. Her relationship is already bucking stereotypes, so she could incorporate some of these American traditions as well. But if she decides to follow the precedent of fellow royals, these are some of the traditions she could miss out on.
1Making A Mess With The Cake
Smearing cake on your partner’s face is a ton of fun, but from what I can tell, royal cake cuttings are a bit more dignified, per The Sun. I doubt that Markle and Harry are too upset, though — if their cake is anything like Prince William and Duchess Kate’s, it’ll be a complete masterpiece, even if they aren’t able to have fun with it. (Rumor has it that it’ll be banana-flavored, too.)
2The Bouquet Toss
Instead of tossing her bouquet to her single friends, a royal bride lays it on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. The royal tradition is rich in history — it dates back to the Queen Mother — but it also guarantees that Markle won’t be inviting her friends to the dance floor for a bouquet toss.
3Making A Wedding Registry
It’s not exactly forbidden for our favorite couple to ask for gifts, but Prince William and Duchess Kate set an impressive precedent when they asked for donations to charitable organizations instead of physical gifts, according to Glamour. Let’s be real: The prince and Markle probably have everything they could ever ask for, anyway.
4A Garter Toss
You already know that royal weddings are regal beyond belief, so it shouldn’t surprise you that a garter toss is out of the question. Per The Huffington Post, royal couples don’t indulge in taking off garter belts and throwing them. We should probably all take a hint from the royals, because most garter tosses are unbearable, anyway.
5First Look Pictures
First looks are a relatively new wedding tradition, per WeddingWire, but they’ve gained popularity for a reason — it gives the couple a chance to relax and spend time together before the ceremony. Unfortunately, the prince and Markle won’t have that option — the first time she sees her groom will be as she walks down the aisle (a walk that took Duchess Kate three-and-a-half minutes, according to E! News.)
Markle is reportedly breaking royal tradition by having a maid of honor (most British weddings opt for a chief bridesmaid instead, who’s usually under the age of 18), but she won’t be able to have a full American-style bridal party. As someone who had 10 bridesmaids, I think she’s actually getting lucky here.
7Bragging On Social Media
Is there anything more sacred than letting your Facebook friends and Instagram followers know you’re officially married? Both the prince and Markle are millennials, but neither are allowed to have personal social media accounts — all wedding news is communicated through official royal channels. While Markle won’t have a traditional American wedding, she’ll still have one of the most memorable weddings of the decade. That’s pretty hard to beat.