With less than four months until the May 19 royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the wedding planning clock is ticking—but the couple has yet to send out their royal invites to their nearest and dearest. This may seem last-minute, especially considering the caliber of the event (and potential guests are probably dying to know if they'll make the cut), but royal protocol makes sending said stationary a bit trickier.
Royal rule dictates that both the Queen and the government must approve all wedding guests beforehand (no pressure or anything), so this tedious task means the invitations and guest list might take longer than usual to round up. Markle and Prince Harry have also been advised by the Foreign Office not to invite any political heads or officials in order to keep up neutral diplomatic relations (which sadly means the Obamas probably won't make the guest list cut). However, their chosen venue, St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, can accommodate about 800 guests, which is a lot of invitations to send and RSVPs to keep track of.
While the beloved couple has been bucking royal wedding tradition in many aspects (like tying the knot on a weekend), their wedding invitations will most likely stay true to standard royal style. The sacred stationery will also be sent out under Queen Elizabeth's name, so don't expect any bright floral motifs or modern art-deco designs under this matriarch.
Based on previous royal wedding invitations, Harry and Markle will probably keep things fairly simple, using a script or serif font and minimal colors to announce their wedding to friends and family. Prince William and Kate Middleton chose an extremely traditional invitation suite-style for their 2011 wedding, with a plain white horizontal card, black italicized text, and the Queen's gold stamp top and center.
Similarly, Prince Edward's 1999 wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones featured invitations with calligraphy and the Queen's signature stamp, also directly at the top of the vertical stationery. This royal duo wed in the same spot where Markle and Prince Harry will tie the knot.
Celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss agrees that Markle and Harry will keep things traditional. Weiss chatted with BRIDES on her royal wedding predictions and even made a mockup of the couple's potential invites with The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly. She thinks a design like The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly's Classic Herald wedding invitation would encapsulate the royal wedding mood.
As a little known fact about Markle, she used to freelance as a wedding calligrapher, and Robin Thicke even commissioned her for his nuptials. Will her sought-after penmanship grace her future wedding invitations? Only time will tell.
Speaking of time, William and Kate mailed their invitations in February 2011, just two months before their April nuptials. If this royal wedding is anything like the last, we can hopefully expect Markle and Harry's invites to make their way into mailboxes worldwide by March.
In the meantime, while we all anxiously check our mail daily for invites, stock up on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gear and try to get on the Queen and British government's good side.