Meghan's first wedding a relaxed affair

The royal nuptials will be a complete contrast to Meghan Markle's first wedding, held in Jamaica.
The royal nuptials will be a complete contrast to Meghan Markle's first wedding, held in Jamaica.

Staged on a Jamaican beach, with guests dancing the night away barefoot, Meghan Markle's first wedding could not have been more different from her impending royal nuptials.

After dating for more than five years, Ms Markle and American producer Trevor Engelson tied the knot in front of dozens of guests in 2011 at the tourist hotspot of Ocho Rios on the island's north coast.

The venue is a far cry from Windsor Castle's medieval St George's Chapel, where the actor will marry Prince Harry on May 19 with the world watching.

The Jamaican celebrations were relaxed, with those invited dining on barbecue food before enjoying themselves on a small dance floor dusted with sand from the shore.

By contrast, the imposing setting of Windsor Castle's St George's Hall will be the venue for an afternoon wedding reception hosted by the Queen and attended by hundreds of guests.

Around 200 of the couple's family and close friends will enjoy dinner and celebrations staged by the Prince of Wales at Frogmore House, a favourite of Queen Victoria and other royals for centuries.

For her first wedding dress, the actor wore a white strapless, floor-length outfit probably bought at a department store or a women's boutique.

But for her royal nuptials, Ms Markle is thought to have asked for a specially-created gown from a well-known designer that will cost thousands of pounds.

Ms Markle and her first husband are said to have split amicably a few years after they married as her career took off following a move to Toronto to work on the TV series Suits.

Australian Associated Press