December 19, 2014

The Princess Bride: Part 1

This will be the first of a three-part series, in which we will be discussing Princess Charlene’s wedding – you know, since that happened back when this site didn’t exist, ha! This series will, in all likelihood, be happily interrupted by posts on different subjects, depending on what Charlene, the twins, and the royal family are doing in the next few weeks. But until then, let’s go back in time to re-live the wedding!

We all love a good royal wedding. Even those people who don’t like going to weddings enjoy a good royal wedding. What’s not to like: you get to watch it from the comfort of your own couch, in your jammies, eating whatever leftover cake you have in the fridge, all without having to hold back your honest opinions as they pop into your head. In person, it’s much harder to do any of those things. My husband and I have a code language when we go to weddings, with which we discuss the minutiae of every excruciating detail. It works out fine until we are caught muttering something like, “the cantaloupe really makes her waist look huge.”

The stakes are so impossibly high for a royal bride. Not only does she have to face her family – and any criticism they might be thinking or signaling to each other – but she faces the entire world. That’s a lot of people to please. Kate Middleton certainly hit it out of the park with her Alexander McQueen gown, reminding many viewers of Monaco’s preceding royal lady, Princess Grace. After both of those brides taking similar approaches, the bar was set pretty high. But Charlene did not even try to replicate the look, and while risky, I think we all heaved a secret sigh of relief: something different, hoorah!

Instead of covering up with lace, the soon-to-be Princess donned a jaw-dropping, off-the-shoulders, silk Armani gown to her nuptials which featured two – count ‘em, TWO – trains. I love a good train, so when more than one actually makes an appearance on one dress, color me impressed. Instead of talking cantaloupes or other things from the produce section of the supermarket, I think my exact words were “Dayum!”

The thing I love about this dress is the seeming simplicity of it (even with two trains, yes). On camera, all you see are the lines, and perhaps some faint hint of embroidered detail. But in the photos (and I’m sure in person), you can zoom in and see that the faint embroidery is actually very intricate, filled with sparkly crystals and dripping with mother-of-pearls. Please the crowds around the world with those immaculate lines; dazzle those who attend the wedding (not to mention your new hubby) with the exquisite details. Leave it to Armani: it was a stroke of sheer genius.

I also loved that Charlene wasn’t afraid to 1) show a little skin, and 2) show off her figure (tastefully). Not that all royal brides in recent history haven’t been blessed in the same ways – they certainly have – but let’s be real. As a former Olympic swimmer, Charlene’s figure is dynamite, and I’m so glad she didn’t get swallowed up in a great big skirt. I think it would be classified as A-line with a slight trumpet, quite flattering. And the off-the-shoulder thing, for me, made loads of sense for the season, the setting, and the fact that Charlene had an enviably perfect tan. Look at her, she glowed. My only slight critique would be that the shoulder-line drew attention to her most prominent feature – her broader shoulders, with which many skilled swimmers are blessed – but it was still delicate, feminine, and quite becoming on her. What do you think? Am I way off the mark on that one?

Now for my favorite part: the hair. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a tiara at this royal wedding, but we did see some definite sparkle: the hair ornament was a “something borrowed” from Princess Caroline, a piece that dates way back to the 1800s and is in stunning condition. It looks to be a floral design loaded with diamonds, wrapped around Charlene’s low chignon. I do wish she had chosen a tiara…but this was very tasteful, beautiful, and appropriate for the occasion nontheless.

I once again yipped, “hoorah!” when I saw the cathedral-length veil. People are very particular about the style veils they like: fingertip-length, short, birdcage, blusher or no, embroidered, lace, studded, etc.. For me, as long as it matches the style and tone of the rest of the ensemble, I’m happy. This veil in particular was a cathedral-length silk tulle, lightly embroidered, and the blusher looked quite light on her head/face. A heavier blusher can have a nice effect, too – do we all remember Kate Middleton’s heavier blusher? It was glorious. And while the Duchess of Cambridge’s veil/blusher polished off her entire ensemble and setting perfectly, Charlene’s did the same thing. The double trains commanded a cathedral-length veil; the season commanded a breezy blusher. Each element fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.

But enough of my thoughts – what did you think of Charlene’s bridal ensemble? Feel free to share your thoughts, and spare no details! Part two of the wedding throwback is coming soon, and we’ll be talking about the rumors that surrounded the wedding. Oh, don’t we all love a good scandal? Bring along a snifter of brandy or a Cosmopolitan and join in the gossip for that one!


  1. I agree with your comment about the shoulders. It wasn’t the end of the world, but she is a little broad across there. In the end, it didn’t really detract for me, and I thought this was remarkably elegant and, as you pointed out, different from the other major royal bride of the year. A tough task that Armani accomplished with aplomb.
    Great post! zoo, jane

  2. As you said it was exciting to see something different! I really liked it, classic yet gorgeous. I do wish she had worn a tiara but that is a minor quibble.

  3. Katie Coble says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one to see that, Jane, and still think she looked amazing! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts :)

  4. Katie Coble says:

    Ditto on the tiara, Nikki…I crave tiara sightings. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

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