Meghan Markle's Friend Misha Nonoo on Designing Her Own Wedding Dress: 'I Wanted It to Be Traditional'

Designer Misha Nonoo and Meghan Markle have been close friends since they first met at an event in Miami several years ago

When it came to designing her own wedding dress, Meghan Markle’s designer friend Misha Nonoo faced a big challenge.

“It was really hard,” the New York-based designer recently told PEOPLE. “When I’m designing a piece, I’m usually thinking about every woman. It has to tick a lot of boxes. When you’re thinking about designing something that you’re going to wear for one day and you have to really only think about yourself, it’s different.”

“Obviously, you want your husband to think you look beautiful and you want your respective families to as well, but otherwise you can do whatever you want — you can have short sleeves, long sleeves, high neck, low neck, open back, no back. It makes it much more challenging,” she continued.

Nonoo, who recently opened a new pop-up show in N.Y.C., found the perfect solution: two dresses!

Misha Nonoo

“I like to design with a set of parameters. It took awhile for me to come to what it was going to be in the end. I had some ideas initially. I knew I wanted it to be traditional. So I’ve opted for two dresses, so I can tick both boxes!” said Nonoo, who wed American technology entrepreneur Michael Hess in Rome on Friday.

Misha Nonoo
The wedding dress of Misha Nonoo. CLAUDIO PERI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Nonoo was spotted on her way to her wedding ceremony wearing a simple white short-sleeved dress with a scoop neck. Her hair was pulled back in a low chignon, which showed off diamond drop earrings. A second dress was spotted arriving at the hotel in a bag. A partial view of the dress showed an ivory colored gown with beaded embellishments.

Meghan also went with two dresses for her royal wedding to Prince Harry last May. Her first gown was a more traditional style from Givenchy. The pure white silk dress featured a bateau neckline and slight A-line skirt. Her second dress, designed by Stella McCartney, featured a high halter neck and daring open back.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, <a href="" data-inlink="true">Meghan Markle</a>
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty
<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a> Marries Ms. <a href="" data-inlink="true">Meghan Markle</a> - Windsor Castle
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their way to their evening reception. Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty

Nonoo recently collaborated with Meghan on the launch of the royal’s Smart Works capsule collection on Thursday in London. Nono designed a crisp white shirt for the line, which benefits the royal’s patronage Smart Works, a charity that helps women find employment with coaching tips and professional attire for their job interviews.

“She’s the consummate professional,” Nonoo told PEOPLE. “It was a very easy, collaborative, communicative project.”

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Prince Harry</a>, <a href="" data-inlink="true">Meghan Markle</a>
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Misha Nonoo’s wedding.

Nonoo and Meghan have been close friends since they first met at an event in Miami several years ago. Nonoo also attended Meghan’s royal wedding to Prince Harry last year and her baby shower in N.Y.C. in February. Nonoo has long run in royal circles (Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were also in attendance at her wedding!).

“From the beginning of our relationship we bonded over our shared ethos about supporting other women — it was something that we absolutely felt, and as friends who support each other over the years, you see that,” Nonoo said.

“She is an extraordinarily supportive, kind and loving friend.”

12th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards - Arrivals
Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry arrived in Rome on Thursday for the start of Nonoo’s wedding celebrations. Meghan wore a sheer black dress with crystal embellishments by Valentino for the occasion, while Harry was classic in a black tux. The royal mom wore her hair in an updo, which highlighted her gold feather-style earrings.

The festive weekend comes before the royal couple head to South Africa for the start of their tour — along with four-month-old Archie, who did not make the trip to Italy — on Monday.

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