Kate, in collaboration with Sarah Burton of British designer Andrew McQueen's fashion house, designed a gown reminiscent of actress Grace Kelly's wedding dress when she married the Prince of Monaco.
The duchess of Cambridge "made her own strong personal statement as to who she is," U.S. fashion designer Vera Wang said on CNN. "She's really her own person [with a] sense of her own elegance and what is appropriate."
The dress' design, Wang said, speaks "volumes about who she is and task ahead of her."
The lace applique for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, the official royal wedding Web site posted. Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create the design that incorporated a rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.
The dress was made with ivory and white satin gazar, with the skirt echoing "an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats," the Web site description said. The train measured more than 8 feet.
When she entered the vehicle to go to the abbey, well-wishers caught a fleeting glimpse of Middleton's gown, one of the best-guarded secrets of the wedding. The stylish gown featured Chantilly lace sleeves and bodice with the V-neck neckline she favors that flowed into a full skirt and train. Simple teardrop diamond earrings, a present from her parents, graced her earlobes. She wore no necklace.
The fabrics included French Chantilly lace combined with English Cluny lace hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition, the Web site said. All other fabrics used were sourced from and supplied by British companies.
Kate's blusher veil of ivory silk tulle trimmed with hand-embroidered flowers created the right mix of mystery and elegance, Wang said.
The veil, once the blusher was lifted, framed her face behind the Cartier-designed tiara the queen provided.
The halo tiara was designed in 1936 and was purchased by the duke of York before he became King George VI as a gift for his wife. The tiara was presented to Princess-now-Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday by her mother.