Where to start?
Loved the trees, loved the flowers (or lack thereof - very minimal and environmentally sound), loved some of the guests (more later). Thought the ceremony was understated and the pomp and circumstance was muted, as appropriate for a family wedding. Thought Kate Middleton's dress was very pretty.
The really good bits: The dress looked superb on her - it fit her like a glove and the style very much suited her. It emphasised her tiny waist and spectacular shoulders. I loved the lace bodice and the simplicity. It was the perfect dress for her. The fact she wore a tiara - The Cartier Halo tiara (one given to the Queen Mother by her husband King George V) - was fabulous. We are all in agreement it can't be a Royal Wedding without a tiara, no?
Having said all that, I was a little disappointed. For me, she met expectations rather than exceeded them. I thought the dress was derivative and interpretive rather than original. That specific style had been worn by not only 50,000 brides before her but arguably THE most beautiful princess of all time, Princess Grace of Monaco. Right down to the bouquet of lily of the valley and the lace edged veil. No comparison. When you compare her to princesses who have gone before her (Princess Diana, Princess Mary, The Duchess of York even), the dress was sweet and pretty rather than regal and original. Perfect for an upmarket country wedding perhaps (which is apparently the look and feel the couple were going for) but Westminster Abbey? My personal opinion is not so much.
I know others will disagree with me, but I think the choice of Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen was perhaps a waste of that designer's extraordinary talent. The dress was so plain it really could have been designed by any one of a number of designers. There was definitely nothing particularly McQueen about the dress which for me was disappointing.
The other part I though was disappointing was the veil. The very fine silk tulle clung to her body, altering the shape of the silhouette. By the end of the ceremony, the weight of the silk tulle veil had flattened her hair and pulled the beautiful curl out of her tresses. That, combined with friction silk tulle has gave her hair a slightly static-y appearance by the time they got into the coach for the trip back to Buckingham Palace. The same thing happened to Sophie, Countess of Wessex on her wedding day. A net tulle veil may have been more appropriate, as would something cathedral length rather than waist length. It certainly would have been more elegant.
There had been a lot of debate about the fact she wanted to wear her hair down because it was "more her". I think with a dress like this an up-do would have been more appropriate. More polished and less flat, giving her a better silhouette overall. It would have worked better with the tiara and veil and made her look more regal. Just my opinion.
I wasn't going to mention the train fact but in for a penny, in for a pound. I did think a slightly longer train would have worked well in the space of the abbey. I was disappointed that the embroidery was so subtle that it couldn't actually be seen (which begs the question, what is the point?). When I got married, my train was 2m long, Kate's was 2.7m long. I didn't get married in the or an Abbey. Nuff said on that front.
The other teeny complaint was the fact she did her own makeup. The Duchess of Cambridge has a bit of an unhealthy relationship with eyeliner and blush it would seem. A professional would have been a better option for such a big occasion, given the TV lights and cameras. Lining under the eyes with a heavy black liner ages anyone terribly. All I can remember is how fresh and gorgeous Diana looked on her wedding day. No comparison for me.
More on the best and worst of the guests later!
Images sourced from smh.com.au, AFP, AP and news.com.au