Royal weddings are full of surprises. What will the flowers and cake look like? Who will the celebrity guests be? Who isn't invited? Will the bride wear a tiara...and if so, which one? And perhaps the most important of all the unknowns, what will the bride wear?
The guessing game about any royal bride's dress style and designer has never been more fun to play. Meghan Markle kept us guessing until the moment she stepped out of the car at Windsor Castle with her mother Doria Ragland on May 19th. Leading up to the wedding, rumors swirled that every British label – from Erdem, to Ralph & Russo, to Burberry – were behind the design of the Duchess of Sussex's wedding gown. But, Markle chose a French house, Givenchy – led by British creative director Clare Waight Keller – for her walk down the aisle. Her reception gown was designed for her by another it-Brit designer, Stella McCartney.
Similarly, months of speculation have surrounded what Eugenie, Princess of York, will wear for her walk down the aisle in the same venue, St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. In a recent interview, the bride confirmed that the designer is British, and that she knew exactly what type of style she'd opt for the moment she got engaged. "[The dress] is the one thing that I was really decisive about," Eugenie said. "As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I'd be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I've been pretty on top of it." Eugenie and Brooksbank announced their engagement in January, meaning that she had her exact bridal style in mind eight months before her actual wedding. Decisiveness? As a (very public) bride-to-be? #GOALS.
Princess Eugenie wears Erdem in both her engagement photos, and for a 2016 profile in Harper’s BAZAAR
Given Eugenie's assurance about her gown from the moment Jack proposed, it's likely that the designer she's working with is someone she knows well, and has loved wearing in the past. All signs point to Erdem, who was rumored to have been designing Meghan Markle's gown, but could simply have been working on Eugenie's dress (or dresses) the entire time instead. The princess clearly loves the brand; she wore the designer for her engagement photoshoot, and wore the same dress during a previous profile in Harper's BAZAAR US.
Erdem's romantic, Victorian-inspired, poetic style would make for a truly dreamy wedding gown, and the brand is a royal favorite on the whole. Kate Middleton has worn Erdem countless times, and much like Catherine, Eugenie could opt to wear the same designer for both her ceremony and her reception on her wedding day. Kate opted for two looks by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and so it's possible that Eugenie is working with Erdem to create two distinct looks–one more dramatic and regal for the ceremony, and another more streamlined and chic for the reception.
Royal Second Wedding Dresses: Meghan Markle in Stella McCartney and Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton
But there are other designers in the running, including Vivienne Westwood, another British label that no royal bride has worn...yet. Eugenie wore the brand to Will and Kate's nuptials in 2011, and the innovative, creative, and experimental label could speak to Eugenie's willingness to take fashion risks. The princess told Harper’s BAZAAR in 2016: “I love trying new looks. I don't want to be pigeonholed."
While the world expected a streamlined, sleek bridal style from Meghan Markle and a classic look from Kate, Eugenie is known to surprise and risk-take with her fashion choices–and her reception may be just the place to try something new.