How sustainable was Harry and Meghan’s wedding? | Mindful Royal Wedding

How sustainable was Harry and Meghan’s wedding? | Mindful Royal Wedding
May 22, 2018 Sandra Henri

Image by Dominic Lipinski:AFP:Getty Images

Weddings can give our humanity a voice.


On their first date, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bonded over their passion for social causes and vision for a better world. On their wedding day, 19th May 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan gave us an insight into what this means for them. Their wedding showcased tradition merged with modern-day, thoughtfulness with style, and centred their day not only on their love for each other, but their love for people and the planet. It was a wedding celebration that can only be described as ‘Mindfully Wed’.

Never before have we seen our message of letting your wedding speak for a better world, embodied on such a profound scale. The humble, genuine and relatable couple have used the voice given to them; their wedding. Layers and layers of meaning were woven into each element of their day, from inclusivity, to feminism, in honour of Princess Diana, as well as personal touches that reflect Prince Harry and Meghan as a couple. Traditions broken were done so with class and respect, and the modern twists of the day were tasteful and genuine.


Image source: PA.


Some may say, how can we at Less Stuff – More Meaning endorse such an extravagant wedding? Yet realistically, a Royal Wedding will never be cheap and cheerful, or even minimalist (backyard barbie Megs?).

Who are we to say what an appropriate budget is for a wedding of this calibre? Further still, would we really want Prince Harry and Meghan to have had a simple, private affair? Their public wedding was a gift to us globally, uniting two billion people in a message of social change and shared humanity. We would argue that no social impact campaign would be able to achieve what was created through the simple gesture of allowing us to witness two people in love, starting their life together.

As the Rev Curry so charismatically said;

“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power – power in love”.

As we re-live the royal couple’s historic moment, it is apparent that they have thought of it all. Theirs was a truly mindful wedding, on a grand scale. Perhaps they read our Mindfully Wed E-Guide??

More likely, it is who Meghan and Harry are as people.


Remember When | Meghan Markle on Nick News

Long before she was royalty, Meghan Markle was on Nick News helping enact change ?

Posted by Nickelodeon on Saturday, 19 May 2018


Let’s take a look at the meaningful inclusions, as well as the environmental footprint of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding as a whole.

The Ceremony:

Powerful message from Bishop Michael Bruce Curry

Bishop Curry is the first African-American to serve as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Amongst the heart of the British crown, he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., read from an iPad, and talked to the philanthropic work the newly weds are involved in. If that doesn’t scream revolutionary, modernism, and a warm embrace of inclusivity, then we don’t know what does!


Image source: PA.


Inclusivity of the community

Prince Harry and Meghan invited over 2,600 members of the public to enter the Windsor Castle grounds and witness the chapel arrivals and carriage departure. They wanted to share their wedding nuptials with others, especially those also doing good in the community. To top it off, the bunting lining the path of the royal wedding procession, was made by children, homeless, and retirement village residents from the local area.

Meghan wasn’t given away (hooray!)

Giving away the bride on her wedding day, is a tradition stemming from the previous idea that the bride was her father’s property. When married, she was given away and became her husband’s property. Although this tradition is now seen as more of an honour to the bride’s parents, Meghan’s statement to walk on her own, with Charles lovingly walking her down half of the aisle, did not go amiss. Diana would have been proud.


Image source: PA.


The Outfits:

Meghan’s ceremony dress

Her gown was made by a British designer, Clare Waight Keller, of Givenchy, chosen for her feminist achievements. The minimalism of the gown will inspire brides for years to come, and shows you do not have to have all the frills and trims to be the most beautiful bride. Meghan’s dress was made from European silk, a timeless natural fibre produced from the silk worm that feeds on Mulberry leaves. We expect her dress to become a museum piece, for generations to enjoy forever, the ultimate in zero-waste.

Meghan’s reception dress

Stella McCartney, an ethical fashion activist, made Meghan’s dress for the reception. Meghan has always been an advocate for ethical fashion, and her decision to wear a sustainably made garment is music to so many ears.

Meghan’s natural makeup

Meghan’s desire to be seen for who she is as a person and what she says, rather than what she wears, explains her stunning minimalist style. Her natural makeup showed off her freckles, eyes, and her beautiful everyday self; a powerful statement of its own.

Harry’s suit

Harry wore an existing suit, the uniform of his favourite regiment, even though he has higher ranking uniforms he could have chosen from.

Kate’s outfit recycling

Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, made a statement by re-wearing an outfit to the wedding which she had worn to over four other high profile events.


Image source: PA.


The Florals:

Meghan’s bouquet

Prince Harry picked Meghan’s flowers the day before the ceremony, from Diana’s garden in an understated bouquet. He included forget-me-nots (Diana’s favourite), and myrtle (a royal tradition).

Sustainable floristry

Philippa Craddock, Florist, worked with locally grown and bee-friendly blooms, and the flowers were also re-made and donated after the event. Notably Philippa and her team created those amazing floral structures without floral foam, using timeless and sustainable techniques instead. Philippa will be offering workshops to florists to share her knowledge of floral foam free designs, supporting an industry awakening to kinder flowers.


Image source: PA.


The Reception:

Eco-friendly menu

The lunchtime reception included a beef free menu, with a focus on seasonal, local produce. We can also assume that the food waste was composted back into their own gardens … Prince Charles would have been all over it.


Prince Harry drove Meghan to the reception, in an electric car. The car was a classic from 1968, that has been converted to electric power. The union of modern and classic has so many examples!

The Guest List

Government dignitaries were not invited as they weren’t formally required, thus Meghan and Prince Harry kept their guest list to the minimum possible. This meant less waste, money, and a smaller ‘food footprint’.


Image source: PA.

Everything else:

Gift giving

Instead of wedding gifts, the couple chose seven charities they are most passionate about supporting, and directed guests to donate to them if they wished. These included charities promoting sport for change, women’s empowerment, and the environment.


Vegan photographer Alexi Lubomirski was chosen to capture the royal wedding. Alexi is a strong advocate for sustainability and diversity, and also shares the same love of Botswana as the royal couple, particularly Prince Harry.


Image by Alexi Lubomirksi.


How could they have gone further?

Reduce carbon footprint

Even though we don’t know how specific the couple were with guests in regards to reducing their environmental footprint, we assume the message was conveyed through their previous actions and environmental activism. Or perhaps a note on their invites? We can imagine…

“Harry and Meghan would like their wedding to care for people and the planet, and we’d love to work together with you to achieve the smallest footprint possible. We’d appreciate if you carbon offset your transport to the wedding”.

… Oprah and James Cordon could have totally car pooled in their private jets.

Prince Harry and Meghan have delayed their honeymoon for later in the year, and have not released any details. To reduce their air miles, the royal couple may choose to combine their honeymoon with travel planned later in the year. Less flights, less petrol, and less time wasted on a plane for them too.

Carry on the ethical fashion theme

Prince Harry and Meghan would have gone a step too far if they dressed their guests, but setting the dress code as vintage or ethically made, wouldn’t have been too difficult for the prestigious guests. This would then increase the potential social impact by another 600. Think of the trend setters!

Re-wear and repurpose

Whilst we would never want to rain on Meghan’s parade, especially as her gown was so divine, however perhaps her gown could have included vintage fabrics? Stay tuned … maybe we will see Meghan wear her reception gown again?


Image source: PA.


Give more than you take

As a whole, the humanitarian focused couple gave back more than they took, to charity, the British economy, and joy to all that watched. Regardless of it’s lavishness, we are going to claim Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding as Mindfully Wed. If we all lived with our values on our sleeves like Harry and Meghan did, and so thoughtfully gave back in more ways than one, the world would indeed be a better place. They have shown us that any size or style of wedding can make a positive impact, providing a joyful way to demonstrate our people power.

If we ever have the chance to meet Meghan and Harry, we’d give them a big squeezy hug for using their voice in such a powerful and graceful way. They have certainly set the standard for mindful weddings from here on in.


By Sandra Henri and Kate Hall,

Eco-Ethical wedding consultants/Authors of the Mindfully Wed E-book.


A big thanks to 1 Million Women for featuring this article! You can see the feature HERE.




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