It was the ultimate display of love when the royal bridal party gathered inside Westminster Abbey last Friday. And I’m not talking about the devotion of the beaming newlyweds but of that between Kate Middleton and her younger sister, Pippa.
Despite adhering to tradition during the regal nuptials, the radiant bride parted with convention in happily allowing her maid of honour to cut an equally striking figure.
As many a neurotic bride and long-suffering bridesmaid can attest, it’s not every ceremony where an attendant is granted the opportunity to showcase her curves in a slinky number.
When planning my wedding six years ago, I remember briefing the hair and make-up artist ahead of her getting my bridesmaids ready for the big day. They were wearing black floor-length halter gowns inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s so I had quite specific ideas on an Audrey Hepburn-esque French roll when it came to their hairstyle.
“Glamorous but not too overdone” was the slightly more relaxed vision I had for their make-up. Acutely aware I was in danger of teetering into bridezilla territory at any given moment, my final instructions were “They are beautiful girls wearing a gorgeous dress so basically the goal is simply helping them to look as good as they can.”
It was a pretty unremarkable request, or so I thought until I saw her reaction. “Look as good as they can…” she echoed with a quizzical smile. “You don’t hear that from every bride.”
It was a conversation my two bridesmaids – my sister and a dear friend – later laughed over as we conjured up visions of brides ordering stylists to hijack the appearance of their unsuspecting attendants with lashings of unflattering applied eyeshadow.
Not, I hasten to add, that I’m above such vanity. Like every bride I was preoccupied with my own appearance as I sashayed down the aisle, but I fail to see the wisdom in this particular strategy.