There are a LOT of rules when it comes to being a part of the royal family. And because royal weddings are such a huge—and widely televised—event, there are even more specific traditions and guidelines that brides follow leading up to their nuptials and the wedding day. Scroll on for a look at the surprising, and not-so-surprising, rules.
1. The Queen must sign off on the final version of the wedding dress.
While the bride chooses her wedding gown and works with a designer on the style, it's the Queen who has the last say. The Queen approved Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton gown, and she did the same for Meghan Markle's yet-to-be-announced dress.
She basically gets a private sneak peek of the dress to approve it before it's seen by billions(!!!) on the big day.
2. Brides tend to choose a conservative neckline.
Although Kate Middleton's gown had a low-cut but still very elegant neckline, royals usually opt for ones that provide more coverage. Royal weddings are ceremonies built on centuries of tradition, and well, because the nuptials take place in a church, you won't see a lot of revealing silhouettes.
Here, then-Princess Elizabeth wore a silk Norman Hartnell dress with pearls to her wedding at Westminster Abbey in 1947.
3. The dresses usually have sleeves.
You won’t find many strapless or sleeveless royal gowns, and that's because the brides usually choose dresses with sleeves for modesty. And, looking at previous royal weddings, it's a bit of a tradition. Queen Elizabeth's, Princess Diana's, and Kate Middleton's dresses all had sleeves of some kind, so it's likely that Meghan's will have the same.
4. A British designer usually creates the dress.
British designer duo Elizabeth and David Emanuel , British designer Norman Hartnell made Queen Elizabeth's, and English designer Sarah Burton brought Kate Middleton's iconic Alexander McQueen number to life.
Rumored designers for Meghan Markle's big day include Ralph & Russo (widely considered the front-runner), Erdem, and Burberry—all British designers as well.
5. The dress has to be white.
This one seems obvious, but it goes to show that the monarchy sticks to tradition. You won't see any blush, cream, or millennial pink wedding gowns at a royal wedding. Even an off-white color would be considered boundary-pushing.
Here, the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, wore a white silk and organza gown, also designed by Norman Hartnell, to her wedding to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
6. The bride usually wears a tiara.
The wedding day is typically the first time a new royal wears a tiara. It's a privilege reserved for married women, who borrow the sparkling heirlooms from their family, their in-laws, or make a new one. Princess Diana wore the Spencer tiara that her family owned, while Kate Middleton borrowed the Cartier Halo tiara from the Queen for her wedding.
It's still unknown whether Meghan Markle will wear a tiara, or, in an unexpected break in tradition, whether she'll even wear one at all.
7. The bouquet must contain myrtle and be left at Westminster Abbey.
Yet another royal wedding tradition is that the bride's bouquet must contain myrtle— whether it's a sprig or makes up the whole bouquet. Queen Victoria, who was given a myrtle plant by Prince Albert's grandmother, started the tradition.
After the wedding, the bride's bouquet is left at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. The late Queen Elizabeth I, known as the Queen Mother, was the first to do this after her wedding to King at the Abbey in 1923. Here, Camilla Parker Bowles' multicolored bouquet is pictured with myrtle flowers.
8. The wedding band always contains a specific kind of gold.
The gold royal wedding bands specifically use Welsh gold and come from a mine in North Wales. Clogau St. David's mine has provided three generations of royal wedding bands, and the reason is that the 24-carat Welsh gold has a higher percentage of pure gold than the usual 18-carat gold, giving the jewelry its rich color.
If the longstanding tradition is any indication, it's likely that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding bands will feature this specific metal. Here, the gold band and the engagement ring of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.