It’s been a little over a year since New York-based designer Misha Nonoo attended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding, and now Meghan is swapping roles by being a guest at her good friend’s nuptials.
Nonoo tied the knot to American energy entrepreneur Michael Hess in a star-studded ceremony on Friday at Villa Aurelia — a picturesque 17th century property in Rome.
Meghan wore a tulle evening dress with sheer, puff sleeves and crystal embellishments from 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.
Meghan and Harry arrived in Rome on Thursday via a commercial airline, sources confirm.
The wedding is a VIP affair, with Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Ivanka trump and Jared Kushner, Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner, and Harry’s cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie among the guests.
When it came to her wedding dress, Nonoo told PEOPLE that she designed it herself (two of them, in fact!).
“It was really hard actually,” she says. “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. 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!
Nonoo has been a close friend of Meghan’s for several years, and it has been speculated that she helped introduce Meghan and Harry. The Bahrain-born business woman, who was raised in London, has long run in royal circles. Until 2016, she was married to Paddle8 founder Alexander Gilkes, who is one of Harry’s closest friends. Shortly after Meghan met Harry, she and Nonoo took a trip to Spain together.
Nonoo also attended Meghan’s royal wedding to Prince Harry last year and her baby shower in N.Y.C. in February. (Princess Eugenie was even in attendance at her pop-up launch event last week!).
Meghan turned to Misha Nonoo to design a crisp white shirt for her capsule collection on behalf of the Smart Works charity. At the launch, Nonoo told PEOPLE the project “aligned so closely with my values of empowering women and dressing women for their professional pursuits, so there was no way I’d say no to it. I was asked specially to do the white shirt because that’s our signature. It was actually a very, very easy process. The Duchess is a consummate professional. It’s been a real pleasure to work with everyone on the team.”
Supporting other women is something the two women immediately bonded over when they met in Miami years ago.
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“She is an extraordinarily supportive, kind and loving friend,” Nonoo told PEOPLE after the launch of the capsule collection last week. “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.”