The Wedding Economy

The surprising wedding industry side hustle that helped Meghan Markle pay the bills

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On May 19, Meghan Markle, 36, will tie the knot with Prince Harry, 33, in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

To many, Markle is known as an American actress who played the role of paralegal Rachel Zane on the popular USA Network series "Suits." But to some, she's also known as a talented calligrapher.

In a 2017 interview with Good Housekeeping UK, the Northwestern University graduate talked about how calligraphy paid the bills while she pursued her acting career.

"I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events – that was my side job while I was auditioning," she said. "I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first [TV] pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special."

Actress and United Nations Women's Advocate, Meghan Markle attends the Dove Self-Esteem Project
George Pimentel | WireImage | Getty Images
Actress and United Nations Women's Advocate, Meghan Markle attends the Dove Self-Esteem Project

In 2013 the actress told Esquire that she used her calligraphy skills to write singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton's wedding invites. She also used her skills to freelance for luxury brands.

"I used to do it for Dolce & Gabbana's celebrity correspondence over the holidays," she said. "I would sit there with a little white tube sock on my hand so no hand oils got on the card, trying to pay my bills while auditioning. I'm glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive."

As a soon-to-be resident of Kensington Palace, Markle no longer has to worry about using her calligraphy skills to make ends meet. And moving forward, she'll be putting her acting career on hold — perhaps permanently.

"I don't see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change. It's a new chapter," she said during a BBC News interview alongside Prince Harry in 2017. "Now it's time to work as a team with you."

Prince Harry tells BBC that he proposed to Markle last November while the couple was roasting chicken.

"It was just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet, and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee," Markle said.

The two met for the first time in London in July 2016 through a mutual friend. They were spotted for the first time together in September 2016 at the Invictus Games with Markle's mother, reports Time. In a Vanity Fair cover story last October, Markle confirmed her relationship with Prince Harry saying, "We're in love."

This an updated version of a post that appeared previously.

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