The royal wedding's most talked about moments

All of us want to believe fairy tales exist, and Meghan Markle's relationship with Prince Harry finally gave us indisputable proof. Needless to say, we pretty much all watched the royal wedding just so we could see magic with our own eyes.

According to Forbes, 29 million Americans tuned in to watch Harry and Meghan tie the knot. That's almost three times as many viewers as the average episode of Game of Thrones attracts, and the whole thing happened in the early hours of the morning. Apparently, things worth watching really do happen before your first cup of coffee (or tea, if you happen to be sticking with the British theme). The wedding was so popular in America that U.K. audiences couldn't hold a candle. Only 18 million Brits tuned in, but that still made it one of the U.K.'s biggest televised events.  

Royal weddings don't come around very often and when they do, they're a massive affair. Harry and Meghan's nuptials cost an estimated $45 million, but was it worth it? Well, we'll still be talking about it for years to come. From the tear-inducing nods to Prince Harry's late mother to the groom's swoon-worthy lip bite to Serena Williams' unbeatable beer pong skills, these are the most talked-about moments of the royal wedding.

The royals had quite the reaction to Reverend Curry's emotional sermon

Meghan and Harry's wedding sermon was anything but traditional, at least for the Church of England. The couple hand-picked Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the first black leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States, to deliver the inspiring, 14-minute speech, which touched upon American slavery and quoted Martin Luther King Jr. Though Curry had some nerves (the event was probably the most-watched thing at 5 a.m. in America), many hailed the sermon as a triumph for mixed race families. It was also pretty clear that the Royal family just didn't get it — like, at all.

The Church of England isn't known for its outpouring of emotion, but that didn't stop Curry from livening things up. Twitter was quick to point out some of the more curious royal reactions. Zara Phillips was seen with a full-on jaw-drop. Elton John, who performed a surprise set at the after-party, looked disgusted. Princess Beatrice's and Princess Eugenie's eyes almost popped out of their heads, and Kate Middleton gave Camilla some major side eye (which we interpreted somewhere between "Can you believe this?" and "Get it together"). Basically, Curry totally stole the show whether the royals liked it or not.

Prince Harry invited his exes

Prince Harry committed a major wedding no-no when he invited his ex-girlfriends to his fairytale wedding. Not only did Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas have to attend the event (who turns down an invite from a prince?), their reactions were inevitably televised. Honestly, how did they keep it together? Well, by showing some serious sass.

Harry ended his relationships with Davy and Bonas on good terms, which could be the sole reason they attended his wedding in the first place. At the ceremony, Davy donned a dark navy blue dress — just about the darkest color you can get away with at a royal wedding. Though she split from her prince years ago because she wanted no part in the media scrutiny, her wide-eyed expression and undeniable frown during the ceremony was caught on camera. Of course, it instantly went viral (even drawing comparisons to the Friends episode with the wedding dresses). She also allegedly failed to curtsy for the new duchess, but did give her a big hug. When it came down to it, Davy was all of us when we see our exes doing well.

Though both Davy and Bonas probably could have used a stiff cocktail after watching their former flame tie the knot, apparently neither was invited to the reception.

The Queen proved she's the only person who can pull off head-to-toe lime green

Queen Elizabeth II is certainly known for her vibrant outfits, but she may have topped even herself with her choice for the royal wedding. Her majesty donned head-to-toe lime-green — from her silk tweed coat to her matching Angela Kelly hat — and accented it with touches of bright purple. She may be the sole person in the world besides the Geico gecko and Nickelodeon slime to slay the harsh color.

As it turns out, the queen's statement-making outfit may have a pretty deep meaning. According to color consultant June McLeod, who spoke to Good Housekeeping, green represents growth and rebirth. "Green is a highly significant color worn as a sign of respect and intention for the future," she said.

The queen also had a prime spot to witness her grandson's nuptials because no one sat in front of her. No, the empty seat wasn't reserved for Princess Diana like originally reported by Harper's Bazaar; it was left empty because the queen must never be blocked by someone's head. Girl knows her worth.

Meghan Markle's insanely gorgeous veil had a very important meaning

Meghan Markle's veil was absolutely stunning. The 16-foot silk tulle headpiece was designed by Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director of Givenchy, and, though it certainly looked regal, it actually had a deeper meaning.

In April 2017, Prince Harry was appointed as youth ambassador to the Commonwealth, which encompasses 53 countries that were once under British rule. This also includes Botswana, where Harry and Meghan first fell in love. Because the couple plans to work extensively with the Commonwealth, Markle wanted to include them in the wedding festivities. Her cathedral-length veil was hand-embroidered with flowers representing each of the 53 countries.

For example, Australia was represented by the golden wattle and Pakistan was represented with jasmine, but the duchess also added a few personal touches. The front of the veil was embroidered with crops of wheat to symbolize love and charity. She added wintersweet, a flower that grows in front of Nottingham Cottage on the Kensington Palace grounds, and the California Poppy, California's state flower.

Though Meghan walked down most of the aisle alone, she wasn't really alone. Keller, who came up with the idea for the extensive embroidery, admitted the Duchess of Sussex loved the idea of "all of those countries walking with her through the ceremony."

Her Givenchy dress took hundreds of hours to make

Let's be real: The royal wedding is all about the dress, and Meghan's certainly didn't disappoint. The Duchess of Sussex opted for a custom design by Givenchy Haute Couture, which cost an estimated $340,000. That's quite an expense compared to Princess Diana's $13,000 gown. Even Queen Elizabeth II paid for her dress with coupons (thanks to World War II rationing).

Meghan's sleek, silk dress was simple and elegant; however, making it was anything but. The gown was created by Givenchy creative director Clare Waight Keller, who passed the designs onto a team that spent hundreds of hours sewing the precious piece of wedding history. To keep the fabric pristine, workers were required to wash their hands every 30 minutes.

"Over a period of time, you build up oils on your hand and when you work on something of such purity — absolute pure white — you need to keep it immaculately clean," Keller told People. "So this was part of the process when you are doing embroidery that you need to keep your hands very fresh."

The bouquet was a tribute to Princess Diana

Meghan's bridal bouquet was a tasteful mix of elegant white flowers, but it was also created with Princess Diana in mind. According to a statement released by Kensington Palace, Meghan opted to include Forget-Me-Nots, Princess Diana's favorite flowers. If that wasn't enough to make all of us reach for a Kleenex, Prince Harry actually hand picked several of the flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace.

The bouquet also included sweet peas, lily of the valley, jasmine, and myrtle. The myrtle is a long-standing tradition that started with Queen Victoria. The sprigs included in Meghan's bouquet came from two places: a garden planted by Queen Victoria and plants grown from the queen's 1947 wedding bouquet. It doesn't get sweeter than that … until you consider what Meghan and Harry did with the flowers after they tied the knot. The couple donated their wedding flowers to hospice patients at St. Joseph's Hospice in London.

Meghan walked herself down the aisle (mostly)

Meghan has always been one to skirt tradition, especially in the name of feminism. Instead of being accompanied by her father, the duchess opted to walk herself down the aisle — at least for the most part.

Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, bailed on the royal wedding at the last minute. Initially, he rescinded his RSVP after getting caught staging paparazzi photos — a major no-no for the royal family. Later, it was confirmed that Thomas was undergoing heart surgery to clear blockages, repair damage, and put in a stent. Though some speculated that the former actress would enlist her mom for the send-off, she decided to walk most of the way alone.

According to CNN, this was always part of the plan. Her father was only going to escort her from the Quire, where main royal guests like the queen are seated. Instead, Meghan asked her father-in-law, Prince Charles, to fill in from there. Unlike a traditional ceremony, Charles was instructed to stop before the altar and let Meghan greet Harry alone because she wanted to give herself away. With this small action, the Duchess of Sussex became the first bride in U.K. royal history to walk unescorted down the aisle and proved to young girls everywhere that you don't need a father figure to have a fairy tale ending.

Her adorable bridesmaids were her best friend's children

The Duchess of Sussex didn't have a girl gang accompanying her on her big day. According to reports, she opted to forgo the maid of honor tradition because she didn't want to choose just one person from her group of close friends (which includes A-listers like Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra).

As for the bridal party, the former actress stuck to the royal tradition of enlisting children. Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who call Kate Middleton and Prince William mom and dad, were part of the festivities. Meghan and Harry also included Harry's godson, Jasper Dryer, and goddaughters, Zalie Warren and Florence van Cutsem.

Meghan didn't just include royalty in her gaggle of mini-bridesmaids and page boys. She enlisted some of her best friend's children: stylist Jessica Mulroney's twin boys, Brian and John, and daughter, Ivy. Ivy was a stand-in maid of honor who got to hold Meghan's bouquet during the nuptials. The duchess' goddaughters Rylan and Remi Litt (daughters of good friend Benita Litt) also served as bridesmaids. The average age of the bridal party was just 4.9 years old.

Harry's lip bite rocked the masses

The moment when a bride and groom first greet each other at the altar is always special, and Prince Harry made hearts melt across the globe when he first saw Meghan. First, Harry completely bashed the British tradition of not looking at the bride as she walks down the aisle. He just couldn't resist. Then, he uttered the "you look amazing" that echoed around the world. Couple that with his nervous lip bite, and the general population had melted into a liquid as runny as the gravy Harry uses to top his Yorkshire pudding.

According to lip-reading experts that spoke to Us Weekly, Harry asked Meghan, "Are you OK?" before complimenting her looks and mouthing, "I love you." His demeanor was so swoon-worthy that it became an instant meme. "That lip bite! Oh Meghan getting pregnant TONIGHT," wrote one Twitter user, while another proclaimed, "I repeat: if he don't bite his lip at you drop him."

Basically, all of us want — and deserve — someone who will look at us like Harry looks at Meghan.

Meghan finally admitted she's living in an IRL fairy tale during her wedding speech

Most of us were kind of wondering when Meghan was eventually going to admit that she was living in a real-life fairy tale. The dress, the horse-drawn carriage — come on! Things pretty much became a literal Disney movie when photos surfaced of a 15-year-old Meghan posing outside of Buckingham Palace while on vacation. None of us could stop thinking about how she had no idea that her prince was sitting inside, just waiting to fall in love. 

Well, Meghan finally sort of admitted that she's a real-life Disney princess in her adorable wedding speech. According to The Sun (via Business Insider), she told her party guests, "I have found my prince." It was a clear nod to Snow White's iconic song "Someday My Prince Will Come." It was also a total break from tradition, considering that brides don't usually pick up the microphone.

Harry's speech was equally as adorable, and he told his bride, "I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you."

Meghan swapped dresses and borrowed Princess Diana's aquamarine ring

Meghan wowed royal wedding-goers with — not one — but two dresses. Before speeding away from the castle in an electronic Jaguar with custom name plates (the plates read 19 May 2018 for their wedding date), Meghan ditched the tiara and changed into a silk, halter neck dress by Stella McCartney. The sleek dress was decidedly sexier that the gown she wore to service and lunch reception. It also had an old Hollywood vibe — the perfect outfit for a raging, whiskey-soaked after party.

While Meghan's second dress was undeniably stunning, her accessories completely stole the show. Before jetting off to their 200-guest after party at the Frogmore House, the duchess waved at onlookers and flashed Princess Diana's emerald-cut aquamarine ring. This piece of jewelry was a rather thoughtful wedding gift from Harry. The memory of his mother accompanied the couple throughout every step of their nuptials.

Meghan Markle's messy hair caused some controversy

Meghan Markle may not cause the same type of scandal as her estranged family. She's not pulling guns on her significant other or slamming her half-sister in the press, but she is causing controversy nonetheless. Meghan's type of scandal is decidedly less interesting (and filled with way less drama unless you consider running out of hairspray a punishable offense).

Meghan scandalized the masses when she opted to wear a messy bun on her wedding day. The style was notably more unkempt than Kate Middleton's sleek wedding updo, and many questioned whether or not the whole thing was an accident. Hair doesn't always do what we want it to do, after all.

But Serge Normant, Markle's wedding day hair stylist, set the record straight, and he had no qualms about shutting down the haters.

"It's a messy bun, we call it. Messy in a controlled way," he told the Daily Mail. "Making sure it doesn't become a whole mess after a few hours! I don't overload the hair with products in general and certainly not on this day."

The effortless style took just 45 minutes — loose tendril and all.

Serena Williams slayed beer pong and wore sneakers under her gown

It was pretty clear the royal wedding wasn't Serena Williams' first rodeo because she opted for comfortable, sensible footwear that would allow her to slay the dance floor. After the lunchtime reception, the tennis star changed into a floral Valentino evening gown and some comfy black sneakers (or trainers, as the Brits call them). These came in handy when she decided to sweep the party guests at a friendly game of beer pong.

There's a reason Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam winner — it's because the tennis player has an unbeatable competitive side. When it came to beer pong, she apparently played with the same determination and competitive edge as a tennis match. As if a Brit could ever beat an American at beer pong, anyway … it's practically our national sport! 

Leave it to Serena Williams to be the life of the after-party — especially if it involves bar sports.

George Clooney and James Corden were dance floor MVPs

George Clooney isn't exactly the type of person you'd want to whisk away your new wife, but alas, such is the life of Prince Harry. The sexiest man on the planet attended the late-night royal wedding reception with his wife, Amal, and tore up the dance floor. He apparently shared a couple of moves with Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, but sadly couldn't win over all the ladies. He was swiftly rejected by Fergie, the scorned Duchess of York. Don't take it too hard, George. She was supposed to be banned from most royal functions after that bizarre toe-sucking scandal.

But Clooney wasn't the only star getting down on the dance floor. James Corden, one of England's most important national treasures, allegedly egged on a dance-off between Prince Charles, Prince William, and Harry. Of course, they had some alcohol to ease their nerves. Guests guzzled rum-ginger cocktails (a nod to Harry's red hair) and munched on "dirty burgers" and candy floss during the black-tie affair.

The whole shindig was such a wild event that even Elton John stopped in for a surprise performance.