Birmingham’s Royal Wedding

In honor of the nuptials of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, local wedding photographer Arden Ward Upton invites you into her vision of what the royal wedding might have looked like here in Birmingham.

With every royal wedding there is a renewed belief in happily ever after. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot May 19, 2018, their wedding capturing attention around the world. A new American Princess is made and the notion of real life fairy tales is fresh on our minds.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s engagement inspired us to create Birmingham’s Royal Wedding. Styling the shoot we looked for ways to infuse Southern traditions with a royal touch.

St. George’s Chapel is a perfect fit for royal nuptials—beginning with King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1863—but Birmingham has no shortage of its own beautiful churches and cathedrals. For this wedding we selected the historic Independent Presbyterian Church.

Our first of two weddings dresses is from Carriage House Weddings. A Sareh Nouri ball gown with a deep-v neckline and Sophie Hallette lace, the silk faille ball gown dress features box pleats and a cathedral-length train. The groom showed dapper Southern class with a traditional cut-away tux for the ceremony and a polished ivory dinner jacket for the reception. The ring bearers and flower girls wore traditional Southern attire from Christine’s Across the Street in Mountain Brook, with our bridesmaid styled by Bella Bridesmaids in Homewood. The jewelry is from Diamonds Direct and features a three-stoned diamond engagement ring in yellow gold—cut just like Meghan’s ring.


We chose Windwood Equestrian as a reception venue for its European estate feel. Here, our bride changed into her second dress, made by Daalarna and provided by Carriage House Weddings. HotHouse Designs created bouquets for the ceremony that expanded into lush arraignments of creams and greens abundantly filling the reception courtyard, balancing beautifully against the lounge seating by PropHouse. Vintage place settings of old Englishchina by Tea and Roses set the scene for brunch cuisine by Kathy G & Company. Our wedding cake featured three layers of vanilla cake with buttercream filling and edible sugar paste flowers, reminiscent of the cake from Prince William and Princess Catherine’s wedding.

And while Prince Harry and Meghan chose the Ascot Landau carriage pulled by Windsor Grey horses to take them on their first newlywed journey through the streets of Windsor, our Birmingham couple traveled in style with even more horsepower in a 1959 Jaguar in English White by Coats Classic Cars—exiting the picturesque Windwood Equestrian and following along the rolling hills, having planted seeds in the minds of future brides and grooms-to-be that romance and moments of extraordinary celebration are traditions alive and well on both sides of the pond.






Arden Photography, Arden Upton

Shoot Assistant:

Mo Davis

Planning & Design:

Windwood Weddings

Ceremony Location:

Independent Presbyterian Church

Reception Venue:

Windwood Equestrian


HotHouse Design


PropHouse Birmingham


Kathy G & Co.

Vintage Tableware:

Tea and Roses


Cakes by Kim


Empress Stationery

Classic Car:

Coats Classic Cars

Hair and Make-up:

Madeline Hulsey


I Do Linens


Bride: Carriage House Weddings

Gown One: Sareh Nouri long sleeve ball

gown featuring box pleats and a cathedral length train.

Gown Two: Daalarna full lace gown with

plunging v back and chapel length train

Children: Christine’s Across the Street

Bridesmaid: Bella Bridesmaid

Groom: Mr. Burch

Jewelry: Diamonds Direct


Bride: Hannah McMurphy

Groom: Tucker Horn

Bridesmaid: Marissa Luna

Children:  Rhodes and Florie McClellan,

Rhodes Michael Hand, Taya and

Miguel Martinez.

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