03/11/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sam Branson, Isabella Calthorpe Wedding Features Royal Guests & A Monique Lhuillier Dress (PHOTO)

We get pretty excited about royal weddings -- seriously. But what about those long lulls in which not a single noble ties the knot? Thankfully, we have society weddings to hold us over.

Sir Richard Branson's son Sam Branson wed Isabella Calthorpe last week in South Africa during a five-day fᅢᆰte chock full of royals and celebs. The extravagant activity roster -- which included costume parties, safaris and bongo lessons -- earned the event the nickname "the nearly royal wedding."

Unlike a royal wedding, however, Hello! magazine was on the guest lists to report on all of the aforementioned celebrations. In case you're not so familiar with British society circles, the bride is an actress, daughter to a *real* Lady Mary and half sister to Prince Harry's latest flame Cressida Bonas. Oh, and she's that infamous girl who got away from Prince William (he courted her during the on-again-off-again phase of his relationship with Kate Middleton).

But we digress. The wildlife-themed nuptials featured the 33-year-old bride in a lace Monique Lhullier confection and lots of white rose petals. Guests, including Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Natalie Imbruglia and Cressida (without Harry), watched the actual ceremony take place under a "sacred" tree in Ulusaba, Sir Richard's private animal reserve. Hello! even reports that Cressida sang a romantic song afterwards. Very cute.

"The ceremony was so emotional and beautiful," Princess Beatrice told Hello!. "Sam did so well not crying, but none of the rest of us can say the same. There was hardly any point in wearing make-up." Awww. Think she donned a fascinator as perplexing as the Philip Treacy number she wore to Kate and Will's wedding?

While this might just be the most unique society wedding we've ever seen, how do you think it stacks up against last year's royal Luxembourg and Austrian nuptials? Or, dare we say it, that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?

And hey, if the Branson wedding was't quite your cup of tea, there's always the Swedish royal wedding in June to satisfy your cravings.

See Hello! magazine's full coverage of the Branson wedding here.


sam branson wedding

How did this one compare to the last Brit royal wedding?


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