The religious wedding ceremony of HSH Prince Albert and Miss Wittstock (she was technically Princess Charlene that day after the civil ceremony the day before) too place on July 2nd, 2011.
Charlene asked Giorgio Armani to design her wedding gown. Armani is both a family friend of the Grimaldi’s and Charlene’s style mentor. Charlene had also been an Armani ambassador since 2007, wearing the latest of his designs and attending his fashion shows in Milan and Paris. And so, unlike Catherine Middleton’s, Armani being the designer of Charlene’s gown was no secret. Mr Giorgio answered a reporter’s question “Yes, I want to declare, I will make the wedding dress” in January 2011.
And so, Mr Giorgio designed a gorgeous off-white column gown in duchess silk satin. The idea was a modern dress with no nostalgia or a sense of revival, probably both to avoid comparisons with Princess Grace and suit Charlene’s taste. The gown itself folds out to a short, slim train in keeping with the silhoutte. But the striking feature is the fully-embroidered, 5-meter long train that cascades from the crossover neckline. The slim silhoutte was no surprise from Charlene who has always liked simple, elegant lines, but the train and the embroidery gave the “simple” dress the grandness it needed for the wedding of the Soverign.
It took 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops, and 30,000 gold stones to do the floral ramage embroidery on the gown which flows like a chandelier from the top to the bottom of the gown to circle the shorter train as well as the trim of the longer train and its central section. The embroidery alone took 700 hours, but it was well worth it as the Princess was shimmering under the afternoon sunlight at the open-air courtyard of the Palais Princier.
In videos of Charlene arriving on the arms of her father, Mr. Michael Wittstock, you can see that she mastered the art of “kick and walk” while walking down the aisle in the heavy dress.
As the ceremony concluded and Prince Albert and Princess Charlene went on to sign their marriage documents, Charlene’s long train was detached and the Princess emerged a lot lighter as she left the palace with her now-husband to head to Sainte Devote where she offered her bouquet. What happened at Sainte Devote is what a lot the press associated the wedding with at the time. “Everything was just so overwhelming and there were all the mixed emotions because of the rumors, and obviously all this tension built up and I burst into tears,” recalled the Princess to The Times two years later. “And then I burst into tears some more because I was thinking, ‘Oh no, now the whole world has seen me cry.'” But now, years later, we all remember how gorgeous the Princess looked and how the couple is now a family of four.
Armani designed the cascade-style bouquet which, when you look closely, was the reversed, real-life version of the embroidery on the dress. It was assembled by the gardeners of the Palais Princier and composed in shades of white with freesias, dendrobium orchids and lilies of the valley (Charlene’s favourite flower).
As the ceremony concluded and Prince Albert and Princess Charlene went on to sign their marriage documents, Charlene’s long train was detached and the Princess emerged a lot lighter as she left the palace with her now-husband to head to Sainte Devote where she offered her bouquet.
2,500 hours of work
40,000 Swarovski crystals
20,000 mother of pearl teardrops
30,000 stones in gold shades
3,000 kilometres of travel for fittings in Montecarlo
700 hours of work for the embroidery
“kilometres” of embroidery thread coated in platinum
50 meters of silk duchesse
80 meters of silk organza
20 meters of silk tulle, 100 hours of work for the embroidery for the veil
Princess Charlene’s Wedding Jewelry
Instead of wearing a tiara, Princess Caroline lent Princess Charlene some diamond hair clips which belonged to her grandmother, Princess Charlotte that the princess wore in her low updo chignon.
Pablo Ardizzone did Princess Charlene’s makeup while Stephane Madinier did her hair for the big day.
The Princess called the dress “Armani’s masterpiece”, do you agree?