Chelsea, Ella and Ruby enjoy the celebrations in Windsor, England, on Friday.

‘We wanted to be part of history’

Photographs by Abbie Trayler-Smith for CNN

Chelsea, Ella and Ruby enjoy the celebrations in Windsor, England, on Friday.

It’s the biggest party in Britain, and people came from far and wide to get a glimpse of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day.

The couple rode a horse-drawn carriage through the town of Windsor after being married on Saturday. The two-mile procession lasted about 25 minutes.

Police expected 100,000 people in Windsor on the day of the wedding, but some people arrived several days in advance to make sure they got a chance to see the newlyweds and be a part of the festivities.

Crowds gather in Windsor on the day of the wedding.

The newlyweds wave to the crowd during their procession on Saturday.

Clare Moore came to Windsor from Scotland to be a part of the wedding crowd and soak up the scene. “We've been planning this for months,” she said. “I love pomp and circumstance.”

Claire Kirkpatrick has her face painted on Saturday. "We love the royals, the spectacle, the atmosphere,” she said. “It’s such great fun.”

Susan Hewitt, from Austin, Texas, had her nails painted special for the event. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Hewitt, who blogs about the royals. “I love Harry, and I love that he's marrying an American. It couldn't be better. … I regretted not coming for William and Kate's wedding, so I had to be here for this.”

Sophia Baldor was thrilled to get a shot of Markle on her phone. "I'm just so excited and happy,” said Baldor, who is from Tampa, Florida. “I can't believe I got a picture of her and her mom.”

Sandra Shaw, Lorraine Raines and Trish Hodkinson traveled from England’s Merseyside to attend the wedding festivities in Windsor. "We wanted to be part of history, history in the making,” Hodkinson said. “As soon as they announced the wedding, we booked our hotel.”

Derek Prince works in a Windsor shop and holds its most popular piece of merchandise. “I love the royal family,” he said. “If Princess Diana is looking down from above, she will be thinking, ‘That’s my two boys sorted now.’ ”

Sanaa holds her 2-year-old daughter, Lily, in Windsor on Friday. They live in Ascot, about an hour away. "It is about two people from different backgrounds connecting,” Sanaa said. “It’s about love, not money or titles. Love connects us all.”

People get excited Friday as Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, step outside Windsor Castle to greet visitors.

Prince Harry, left, and Prince William say hello to people in the crowd outside Windsor Castle.

Jenny Dacey moved to Windsor from Liverpool, England. “I love all this buildup with a capital L and lots of exclamation marks,” she said. “The mood here is electric! Meghan Markle has worked so hard to get where she is, and she is such a modern woman. I was never into the royals until Meghan got involved, and now she is inspiring a whole younger generation to be interested."

A dog wears a Union Flag in Windsor on Friday.

Melissa Black came from San Francisco with her three daughters: Sierra, Arnikka and Caroline. "We made a special trip over here for this,” she said Friday. “I didn't want to miss the wedding of a lifetime. This is everybody’s fairy tale; it’s literally a movie.”

Joseph Afrane came from London to be a part of the event. “Harry and Meghan are from multicultural backgrounds and so am I, so I’m a big fan of this event,” he said. “They love each other, and this is promoting togetherness. America and Britain now stand shoulder to shoulder. Everyone is happy. This event is bringing everyone together.”

A storefront in Windsor’s town center.

Niki, a tourist from Marietta, Pennsylvania, timed her trip to London so she could attend the wedding festivities. “I’ve been following the royals since seventh grade,” she said Friday. “I was captured by Charles and Diana’s wedding, and Harry is her youngest. He’s so cool, and he’s marrying an American. … I hope it will be amazing tomorrow.”

Paddy McNeill is an former British Army soldier who used to guard the Queen. He now takes people on tours of Windsor. “This is fantastic,” he said Friday. “The whole world is here. We’ve had big events before, but nothing like this. This is a real crowd puller, bringing together the cultures of the UK and the USA. It will strengthen our special relationship and put Windsor on the map."

Sasima works in a spa on Windsor’s High Street. “All the people here are so excited,” she said. “We are not so busy now, but I think we will be very busy as soon as the wedding is finished!”

Victoria McRae flew in from Australia just for the wedding. “I love Prince Harry, what’s not to love?” she said. She said she met him before and kissed him outside the Sydney Opera House. “I think I’m as excited as the bride,” she joked. “We are on the same wavelength today I would imagine!”

Paul is from Windsor, and he serves as a DJ in a coffee shop. “To be honest, the town is probably too small to host this event and the cost is incredible. There are excessive police out in force. But on balance, it’s good for the town,” he said. “We’ve never seen anything like it, it’s the biggest event in our lifetimes. I think I’m going to set up a little party out back tomorrow and play some classic ’70s tunes.”

Martina and Hardy came to Windsor from Hamburg, Germany. “We've been watching the royals for 40 years, and this will be the last marriage for a long time so we didn't want to miss this opportunity,” Martina said. “They are so cute and so much in love. We came to share the love and join in the celebrations. We have been married for 36 years, and I am dressed for the British and Hardy is dressed for the Americans."

The couple’s photos are all over Windsor, even on snacks.

Sasha works as a concierge at the Macdonald Hotel in Windsor. “It's so great they are having the wedding here in Windsor,” he said on Friday. “The atmosphere is better than ever, the locals are loving it, and it gives us a special insight into the royal family and its history. It’s going to be so crowded tomorrow. It’s the biggest event I've seen since working here.”

A woman gets a photo with the couple — sort of — before the big day.

Abbie Trayler-Smith is a Welsh photographer based in London. She is represented by Panos Pictures. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo editors: Brett Roegiers and Kyle Almond