he luxury and grandeur of the Gold Coast befit a royal — say, Meghan Markle. The American-born actress — this year’s most-buzzed-about bride-to-be — will exchange vows with Prince Harry on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
And while Windsor is a ways away from Long Island, we couldn’t help but wonder what the celebration would look like if the pair received the royal treatment on our turf. So we asked local event planners to design a royal celebration, Long Island style.
Newsday suggested fitting venues: Oheka Castle or Old Westbury Gardens — and asked each planner to style the entire affair, from dress to cake to flowers. Here’s what they had to say:
Styled by Shoreham-based planner Deborah Minarik
Minarik envisions Markle in a hand-sewn wedding dress created by Solotu Custom Gowns in St. James. Raffaella Galeotafiore, the creator and designer behind the St. James design house, would create a crisp, Italian silk Mikado dress covered in hundreds of tiny, three-dimensional organza flowers, each embedded with a clear crystal to sparkle under the ballroom light. The gown would have pockets and a 3-foot-long train (that’s 7 feet less than Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen dress, and much less than the 25-foot train on Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding gown). The look would be completed with a customized cathedral veil also covered in clear crystals.
If Markle were to wed at Old Westbury Gardens, the obvious design choice is English Garden theme. “I envision her carrying a bouquet of whimsical flowers with lots of greenery — white peonies, Vendela roses, white astilbes and seeded eucalyptus,” Minarik says. The couple’s reception centerpieces would be high and low arrangements, made up of white peonies, light pink astilbes, blue thistle (which have a distinctive snowflake-shaped bloom), pink Mondial roses (ideal for romantic events), assorted eucalyptus and British ivy flowers, all styled by Marion Terwilliger, owner of Something Blue Floral Events in Sayville.
Minarik favors an over-the-top, six-tier wedding cake from Leanne’s Specialty Cakes in Stony Brook. It would be decorated decadently with hundreds of handmade sugar roses, white fondant with gold detailing and leaves dusted in gold. To satisfy the appetites of the couple’s many guests, the layers would vary from vanilla with caramel buttercream and salted caramel to vanilla with chocolate ganache and raspberry jam. And, in true New York fashion, there would be a sheet of vanilla cake with cannoli filling.
Styled by Khadejah Bhutta, of Events by Khadejah in East Meadow
Bhutta fancies the Corina, a long-sleeved princess ballgown from Galia Lahav’s Royal Collection. It is made of silk, satin tulle and French Chantilly lace and has a tiny sweetheart corset and delicate appliques adorning the train of its voluminous skirt. The gown is decorated with clear crystals.
When she thinks of Markle, orchids and peonies come to mind. She’d incorporate both in the flowers and cake. The bouquet would, of course, be cascading, Bhutta says, and created by Stylish Events NY in Hicksville. The centerpieces would be a mix of tall and low floral arrangements. “I imagine Meghan to be simple and classy, but still wanting a beautiful affair,” Bhutta says.
Bhutta gives the nod to an extravagant, multi-tiered creation from The Sweet Peace in Lynbrook.
Celebrity event planner Michael Russo, who designed the nuptials of Kevin and Danielle Jonas, as well as Joey Fatone and Kelly Baldwin. Both couples wed at Oheka Castle.
There’s got to be some sparkle for Markle, Russo says. He sees her in an “ultrachic gown” with a touch of glam such as the Wings of Desire sleeveless wedding dress with a ruched bodice from the Reem Acra spring 2019 wedding collection. It can be found at The Wedding Salon of Manhasset.
“I would think the couple would select flowers that are pretty simplistic, clean and elegant,” Russo says of the arrangements he’d have made by Pedestals Floral Decorators in Garden City Park. “Like garden roses and hydrangeas with a touch of natural greenery.” Russo says he sees candelabras at the reception with a modern/younger twist: chunkier pillar candles instead of tapers.
A five-tier cake with a clean and modern design, natural greenery, fresh flowers and a touch of golden accents. For an Oheka couple, this cake would be made by the castle’s in-house pastry chef, Daniel Andreotti — or at The Sweet Duchess bakery in East Meadow.