Royal Treatment

April 2019 View more

From the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, to Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, royal weddings have always been cause for celebration. Not one, but two royal weddings in 2018 are influencing this year’s everything—from rings and florals to gowns and getaways. We scoured the suburbs for all things regal, so every local groom and bride can tap into that royal British vibe.


There have been 66 monarchs of England and Britain over the last 1,500 years, and there are no less than 58 living descendants of Queen Elizabeth II, including three generations of princes, dukes, and princesses in the country’s current line of succession.

Much less complicated is the lineage involved in Don and Donna Wolsfelt’s family business—daughters Dawn and Vicki Wolsfelt now own and manage the expansive bridal and prom salon in Aurora.

Wolsfelt’s has evolved from a floral business to a full-service bridal salon with 10,000 square feet of wedding and bridal party dresses, tuxes, and accessories. Four decades in the business have given Dawn and Vicki a broad look at 2019 wedding dress styles.

“Long sleeves are definitely a trend right now,” says Donna, including off-the-shoulder styles. Both sisters agree that the streamlined looks that all royal brides choose are trending in 2019.

“Simple, classic, and understated are all very strong,” says Vicki. Brides who want a touch of individual style can look for an underlying color, or accessories like veils.

“Cathedral veils are making a huge comeback,” says Vicki. “It adds a lot of drama to the look of a gown.” Although veils come in a variety of lengths—from 20-inch modern veils that just cover the face, to dramatic cathedral-length veils like Meghan Markle’s—Vicki recommends adding a long, coordinating veil to any dress with a soft-flowing skirt. “It looks very romantic and whimsical,” she adds.

The elegant Olyssia gown from Maggie Sottero (The Crystal Bride, Geneva, $900 to $2,100) features a bateau neckline similar to Meghan Markle’s, with lace illusion sleeves and a detachable overskirt.

Sue Cerelli, who owns Bri’Zan Couture in Naperville, agrees. “Cathedral-length veils that are very embellished are absolutely on trend right now.” Bri’Zan specializes in custom-designed dresses and veils, so brides can add sleeves or embellishments to create any style. “We can customize veils to match the dress exactly. Not many stores do that.”

Although she agrees that the clean, classic looks of the royal weddings have influenced today’s styles, a lot of Cerelli’s brides are adding three-dimensional elements to their gowns, such as encrusted crystals and pearls. “It adds the perfect, elegant touch to any gown and silhouette shape. All-over sparkle is very daring and sophisticated. You want it to be classic, but on-trend as well, with some modernization.”


While uncommon in American weddings, it’s British tradition to have children serve as bridesmaids and pageboys. Both 2018 royal weddings included 10 children in the bridal party; Prince Harry’s included his nephew Prince George and niece Princess Charlotte (Prince Louis, all of 3 weeks old, did not attend).

Attendants in British royal weddings tend to be children—relatives or kids of the bride and groom’s inner circle.

Although white flower girl dresses are pretty common at any David’s Bridal (, we came up short finding a local vendor for the British Blues and Royals frock coats for the juvenile gents in your ceremony. But if suburban malls don’t have it, you don’t need it… Head to Wave Kids at Stratford Square Mall (Bloomingdale) or Kidco at Yorktown (Lombard) to find formal attire for the smallest members of the your wedding party.


Floral trends in 2019 are all about a neutral, white and green palette, says Jason Williquette, who is the lead wedding designer at Flowers for Dreams. “That lush green gardeny type of vibe is definitely different than a stuffy floral-forward look,” he says. “Adding blooming branches with delicate organic texture is a newer way of looking at floral pieces.”

Every royal wedding bouquet since Queen Victoria’s ceremony in 1840 has included a sprig of myrtle, which symbolizes hope and love.

Floral designs for royal weddings are heavily influenced by meaningful gestures. Williquette recently worked with a bride who grew up in the South, so magnolia branches and gardenia meant a lot to her family. “We’ve also seen a slight trend in the use of delicate blossoms,” he says, “like stephanotis, which is a very classic floral choice that the previous generation carried.”


Whether in a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, or horse-drawn carriage, royals always ride to or from Windsor Castle in swanky style, while commoners struggle to get a glimpse of the royal wedding procession along the Royal Borough of Windsor. Reception ride or getaway car? Live out the latter—and your 007 fantasies—cruising away in a rented Aston Martin Vantage from Exotic Car Collection (


Kate Middleton’s 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring originally belonged to Harry, not William. After Princess Diana’s death in 1997, Prince Charles encouraged his sons to choose mementos from her possessions. Harry chose the engagement ring and William chose a Cartier watch, but the brothers made a royal swap when William decided to propose to Kate.

While it’s not likely that locals would enlist Garrard’s of London—the Crown Jeweller—to create their engagement masterpiece, local companies carry similar nontraditional rings adorned with colored stones. This white gold 4.20-total-carat-weight ring by Vanna K can be ordered with any shape and size of diamond or gemstone in the center (Rogers & Hollands, Aurora, $24,000).

Photos Courtesy Justin Alexander, The Crystal Bride, ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI/KENSINGTON PALACE/AP, Courtesy David’s Bridal, Jill Tiongco Photograpy, Steve Parsons/Getty, Christopher Furlong/Getty, courtesy Vanna K