Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress: Who Made It, Who Paid for It, and Just How Much Did It Cost?

It’s been nearly three years since Meghan, Duchess of Sussex married Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. On May 19, 2018, the former actor walked down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and officially joined the British royal family. Up to that point, people all over the world had speculated on Meghan’s royal wedding dress. The now-39-year-old surprised almost everyone with her choice. 

Clare Waight Keller designed the wedding dress

Meghan Markle smiles at her and Prince Harry's 2018 royal wedding
Meghan Markle at her royal wedding to Prince Harry | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Leading up to the royal wedding, fashion experts and royal watchers speculated on who Meghan would tap to create her wedding dress. The frontrunners were Ralph and Russo — the designer of Meghan’s engagement dress — Erdem, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney. 

Ultimately, the Duchess of Sussex wore a wedding dress designed by Givenchy’s then-creative director, Clare Waight Keller. Some also speculated that part of the reason Meghan may have chosen Keller is because of her position as the brand’s first female creative director. 

Meghan stuck to her personal style in one of the simplest and laidback royal wedding dresses to date. Structured with clean lines and three-quarter length sleeves, she accented the look with a 16-foot cathedral veil and the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau tiara. She later revealed in the royal family documentary, Queen of the World, a piece of the dress she wore on her first date with Harry was sewn into her wedding dress as her “something blue.” 

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Meghan Markle’s wedding dress cost an estimated $265,000

No expense was spared on the making of the dress. Reports put the cost of Meghan’s Givenchy dress at around $265,000, according to Vanity Fair. However, the cost estimates vary. Some say the dress might’ve cost closer to $400,000 or even $500,000. 

Why did Meghan’s wedding dress cost so much? There are a few reasons. First, the fabric used to create the dress was of the highest quality. The underskirt made of triple silk organza drove up the price. That, in addition to the fact it was custom-made and featured lots of hand-embroidery, increased the price even more. 

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Meghan Markle paid for her wedding dress

Meghan covered the cost of her wedding dress. A successful actor before joining the royal family, she certainly had the funds in her bank account to pay it.

The bride paying for her dress is pretty standard when it comes to royal weddings. Meghan’s sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, also paid for her wedding dress. She married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge wearing a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress. Estimated to have a price tag of $434,000, Catherine paid for it herself

The dress was the only thing Meghan — and Catherine — paid for. The tiara Meghan wore came from Queen Elizabeth II’s vault. As for the flowers, food, and security, that was also paid for by the royal family.

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