For most of us, watching the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was one of the highlights of the year. The newlyweds’ desire to include friends and family in their celebrations made for a memorable moment. And it was truly special to see the couple share such a personal moment with the people who mean the most to them.

But this year has seen a string of relationship and engagement announcements that stand out. From the megastar pairing of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart to the engagement between Priyanka and Nick, here’s a round-up of some of the most memorable engagements and happy couples from the past year.

The Marriage Market

While we’re on the subject of weddings, let’s not forget about the many celebrity weddings that took place this year. From Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling to Jessica Alba and Depeche Mode’s David Gilmour, the trend of tying the knot was prominent. And as the timeslots and deadlines for marriage proposals dwindled, so too did the number of celebrities who said ‘I do’ this year. But while some couples found themselves newlyweds in an instant, others had to wait till their 50s or even later to seal the deal.

According to a recent report from the UK Office for National Statistics, the average age of a first-time bride in 2018 was 27.6 years old. While that’s not old by any means, it still suggests that many celebrities’ dream weddings were delayed. In 2017, the average age of a first-time bride was 26.7 years old, a year earlier it was 25.9 years old and in 2015, the age was 24.8 years.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 rankings for 2019 place the youngest bride on the list at 19 years old, with the oldest being 51. So while some celebrities had to wait until their 30s, others had to put off their dream weddings until later in life. And whilst 2020 might see a rise in the number of starry-eyed lovers tying the knot, it also marks the beginning of the end for some couples who found themselves unexpectedly saddled with massive debt even as they began planning for the happy day.

Priyanka Wali Khan (nee Chopra)

As we’ve established, weddings this year were big news. But it wasn’t just the celebrity news that drew attention. The election of Priyanka or ‘PK’ as she’s often known, as America’s sweetheart and new first lady was a real talking point. For decades, the former film actress has kept a low public profile, preferring to let her acting work do the talking. But given her new status as America’s most fashionable woman and the face of the Democratic Party, it seems that time for Priyanka to step out of the shadows.

According to reports, the former couple were engaged in 2018 but kept their engagement a secret for fear of damaging their careers. Even though there’s been no formal introduction, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Priyanka officially walked down the aisle next year as America’s sweetheart and first lady. Not only is she the epitome of glamour, but the former actress has a powerful presence that would make her a formidable political leader.

As for the cost of this glamourous lifestyle, just check out these luxury wedding dresses, which reportedly cost £200,000 to make and will be worn only once. But the rewards of being married to an A-list celebrity are many as this year has shown.

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West

Another massive event that saw a rise in the number of celebrity weddings was the news that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had secretly wed in a small ceremony in Paris in October 2018. The event was attended by only a few friends and family as legal paperwork was completed behind closed doors. The couple decided to keep the ceremony private as they didn’t want to draw attention to themselves during a time when the world is still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

According to reports, Kim chose a stunning ivory dress with a matching clutch and wore a veil during the ceremony. Onlookers have described the bride’s look as “ethereal” and “like a fairy Princess”. Shortly after the ceremony, Kanye shared a brief video of himself and Kim walking down the aisle as guests cheered them on.

Ahead of their wedding day, Kim posted a video on Instagram of herself brushing her hair and getting ready for the big day. As well as looking flawless, the mother-of-one showed off her rose gold jewelry in a nod to the couple’s autumnal wedding colors. “Sister,” she captioned the video, “I cant wait to dance with you on our wedding day!”

Jessica Alba And Depeche Mode’s David Gilmour

While we’re on the subject of weddings, let’s not forget about the marriage between Jessica Alba and David Gilmour. The former Tiger King star and rock band Depeche Mode’s lead singer tied the knot with the former Fresh Off the Boat star in a glamorous ceremony in March. Guests at the wedding included Alba’s celebrity friends such as Kate Bosworth, Eva Longoria and Halle Berry, as well as musicians who collaborated with Gilmour on his recent album Peaceful Noise.

Alba chose a red dress for the occasion and accessorized with an opulent display of jewels. She wore a diamond-encrusted Louis Vuitton handbag as her wedding gift. After the ceremony, the newly weds shared an emotional vow to love, honor and protect each other as husband and wife. Alba also received a standing ovation from the crowd as she made her entrance to the reception.

Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the reception, which was held at London’s Tobacco Dock. Alba’s friend and stylist Michael Ball offered his congratulations to the newlyweds and shared some of his favorite looks from the wedding. “I love the way she wears her hair in ringlets, which is very different from her usual hair-updo look,” he said. “I think it’s a more youthful look for her. She looks amazing in that dress and with that hair down, she looks like a completely different person. It’s like a whole different look.”

Rachel McAdams And Ryan Gosling

Another wedding to look out for is that of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The Hollywood actors tied the knot in a romantic ceremony in Northern Ireland in August after dating for several years. Guests included McAdams’ friends from film and television, as well as her “Sex and the City” co-star, Sarah Jessica Parker. The ceremony was private and held at a secret location. Even though Gosling is best known for his work in films, he’s no stranger to the spotlight, having grown up in the public eye and launched his acting career at the age of four. But it’s been his work in behind-the-scenes capacities that have elevated his status as an A-list actor.

According to reports, McAdams wore a long, white dress for the occasion and accessorized with diamond earrings and a diamond necklace. She carried a bouquet of white and yellow roses as she made her entrance to the reception.

The Baby Boom Generation

Amongst the new couples tying the knot this year were a few who found themselves marrying for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst there were restrictions on some of the wedding parties, many celebrities made the most of the situation and had extra special weddings that reflected their own style.

Take, for example, the wedding of Priyanka and Nick’s children, Rani and Krishna. Despite the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 being present at the time of their wedding in April, the couple managed to hold a spectacular ceremony at the British Museum even as guests maintained a safe distance. In attendance were celebrities from both sides of the aisle, with Priyanka’s parents paying tribute to their only daughter on her big day. The couple shared an emotional kiss as guests watched on in awe as traditional Hindu symbols were projected on to a screen behind the altar.

Meanwhile, the wedding of Megan and Joel in May was another example of a celebrity wedding that took place during the pandemic. The couple, who have children together, said they wanted to enjoy their day without worrying about the health and safety of their guests. Thus, they held the ceremony outdoors beneath a tented, white canopy with friends and family gathered around. Whilst the wedding didn’t feature any formal speeches, the couple pledged their commitment to each other in letters read out by their guests.