The Meghan Markle Sparkle bridal inspiration blog post by indie bridal designer Edith Élan
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Bridal Inspiration: The Meghan Markle Sparkle

May 21, 2018
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How to emulate the Duchess of Sussex’s bridal look on your wedding.

The Meghan Markle Sparkle bridal inspiration blog post by indie bridal designer Edith Élan
Danny Lawson/Getty Images
This post was updated as of August 18, 2021.

While the love story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is the kind of story that inspires fairy tales, as a bridal designer, we know her wedding gown is the kind that will inspire designers for years. However, the biggest impact will be the “Markle Sparkle” which will surely spark countless future brides to find a bridal look that emulates that of the Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exit the church after the royal wedding holding hands
Ben Birchall/PA Wire

What is the “Markle Sparkle?”

The “Meghan Markle Effect” or the “Markle Sparkle” is the phenomenon that happens when the Duchess of Sussex wears a certain designer. Because people around the world are inspired by her confidence and style, that designer sees an influx of sales. But, the Markle Sparkle is more than just a business trend. The Markle Sparkle is a certain je ne sais quoi that women feel when they wear looks inspired by the Duchess’s style. And while not every bride can afford a custom Givenchy wedding dress, there are other ways in which you can add a little Markle Sparkle to your bridal look.

Meghan Markle royal wedding dress prediction sketch by indie bridal designer Edith Elan

The Royal Wedding Dress: Prediction vs. Reality

If you followed our Instagram stories the morning of the wedding, you know our excitement to see the dress was through the roof. By that point, we had already put our prediction out into the world on what we thought Meghan Markle would wear. We weren’t all wrong. We got the bateau neckline, the ¾ length sleeves, and the a-line skirt. What we weren’t counting on was minimalism.

Catching glimpses of Meghan in the car ride from Cliveden House Hotel to St. George’s Chapel we knew a few things for sure: the dress had sleeves, it had no visible lace along the bateau neckline, her hair was up, she wasn’t wearing the Spencer diadem as we’d hoped, but she was wearing a veil. You could also see the excitement on her face. She was beaming as all brides should! You could even say it was some of that Markle Sparkle we were seeing.

The Royal Wedding Dress Reveal

​Fast forward to her arrival at St. George’s Chapel: she steps out of the car and… well, we felt underwhelmed. Don’t get us wrong, it was a beautiful dress designed by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy! In fact, we’d love the chance to see the couture construction up close, but our first reaction was not, “Wow!”

​If we’d known Keller was the designer, we would’ve expected this minimalist design. But, where’s the fun in knowing beforehand! That said, the Duchess did say in an interview last year that her favorite celebrity wedding dress of all time was the Narciso Rodriguez creation for Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Talk about a major hint.

​All in all, the bridal styling was perfection: the natural makeup, the updo, the minimalist bandeau tiara to compliment the dress, and the veil. Oh the veil! The dramatic, statement-making veil that (for us) was the perfect balance to the simple and understated dress.

Btw, did you catch Prince Harry telling her she looked amazing when she finally got to his side? Talk about a heart-melting moment!

The Markle Sparkle is More Than a Wedding Dress

Truth Bomb: It doesn’t matter that we didn’t love the royal wedding dress!

Us along with many others out there wanted more, but Meghan’s wedding dress was exactly that. Her dress. It was her élan. It was her style. Not ours. Not the world’s.  Erin Szymanski (a bridal boutique owner in Pittsburgh, PA) said it best:

Kudos to Meghan for staying true to her personal style while honoring both UK and US traditions of her choosing and not trying to fulfill the expectations of the world. Celebrate your individuality!!

Erin isn’t the only one that thinks so either.  Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times said this about the dress:

It was not a Cinderella choice, not one that spoke of fantasy or old-fashioned fairy tales, but one that placed the woman proudly front and center. It underscored Ms. Markle’s own independence by divesting her of frippery, while also respecting tradition and keeping her covered up. It celebrated female strength in the rigorous nature of its [silhouette]… the substance of its fabric… and the choice of designer: a British woman who… had “served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses — Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy.”

How to find your wedding day Markle Sparkle

To wrap it up, while we were found wanting a more ornate dress, it wasn’t about us that day. It was about a woman marrying the love of her life in a bridal look she loved. A look that embodied who she is as a person. A look that confidently celebrated her personal style.

So, how do brides add some Markle Sparkle to their wedding day look? Sure they can shell out lots of money to have a custom wedding dress made to look like Meghan’s. But in our opinion, the Markle Sparkle is about finding a bridal look that speaks their style, a look they love, and a look they wear confidently and with élan.

Love this bridal inspiration?

We’d love to have you follow us on Pinterest and pin it for later using the pin below!

The Meghan Markle Sparkle bridal inspiration blog post by indie bridal designer Edith Élan

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