kate middleton mcqueen sarah burton royal wedding

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Written by: Michele Laufik of Royal Wedding

Kate Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey on Friday wearing a long-sleeved wedding dress with lace bodice and full silk skirt by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. Her bridal look included a full veil, a Cartier tiara borrowed from the Queen and a small bouquet of white blooms. Her hair was styled half-up, half-down.

From the moment Prince William and Kate announced their engagement, the rumor mill started buzzing about who would be designing the bride's prized gown. Alice Temperley, Sophie Cranston, Bruce Oldfield (who confessed to not being the dressmaker just days before the ceremony) and Burton all took a spin on the dressmaker merry-go-round.

The dress was reportedly made in private at Buckingham Palace. Those with knowledge of the details were sworn to secrecy, including the designer. But a sighting of Burton on Thursday at The Goring Hotel, the same place where the bride and her family were staying before the wedding, seemed to confirm the gossip.

Back in March, Mark Niemierko, a luxury wedding planner based in London, told AOL that Kate's rumored selection of Burton was a bit of a shock. "[The bridal industry] really thought Kate Middleton would choose a lesser known British bridal designer, keeping with tradition and not being too fashion-forward. It also shows Kate is perhaps far more fashion-forward than anyone thought. High fashion at that."

Burton became creative director of the British fashion label in 2010, following the suicide of founder Alexander McQueen. She presented her first womenswear collection without him at Paris Fashion Week. It received rave reviews for combining femininity with McQueen's unique style.

This isn't the first time an Alexander McQueen gown has been worn by a high-society British bride. In 2005, Camilla Parker-Bowles' daughter-in-law, Sarah Buys, had McQueen design her gown for her wedding to Tom Parker-Bowles.

Besides her royal clientele, Burton is also a celebrity favorite. Stars like Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been spotted in her designs.

Meanwhile, make sure to visit our royal wedding site for full coverage of the event.