Planning even the smallest wedding can be a massive undertaking, but marrying into the royal family is a whole other challenge. British royal wedding traditions follow a vast set of ancient rules, encompassing everything from where you can hold the ceremony to the flavor of the wedding cake. When high-profile royals get married, the ceremony becomes part of history. Millions of people watch the carriage ride to the church and scrutinize the bridal dress, hair, and overall appearance of the bride. No wonder the rules of a royal wedding are so strictly followed.
The monarchy exists because of tradition, so there's huge pressure to carry on ancient rituals. But modern royalty seems to care a (tiny) bit less about how they're wed, or about bygone marriage standards like lavish dowries. A handful of titled couples, like Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have either updated traditions or broken down barriers that held others back from the altar. Like everything else, royal weddings must move with the times – even if that movement is at a glacial pace.