Even two hours before the ceremony's scheduled start, messages of congratulations and celebration streamed in from royal fans worldwide.
As the royal motorcade made its way toward the church, Twitter users steadily picked up the pace of their online conversation, ultimately peaking at a rate of 15,000 tweets per minute. By the time Middleton made her way down the aisle, Twitter users had generated about 1.5 million tweets since midnight.
In the hour leading up to Kate's entrance, "royal wedding" was trending online in the U.S., U.K., South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina. Later, it started trending in Japan, Nigeria and Turkey.
In the U.K., Twitter revealed that many British revelers were enjoying the festivities with an early morning cocktail. About two hours before the ceremony started, "Pimm's," the name of a popular British drink, nearly broke into the top 10 U.K. trends.
"Pimms surprisingly refreshing for breakfast," tweeted one partygoer in England.
As the female guests entered the Abbey in their eye-catching, high-fashion headpieces, "hats" began popping in tweets worldwide. And just minutes before Middleton entered the church on her father's arm, #proudtobebritish surfaced as the third top trend in England.
After the public caught its first glimpse of her dress, "Grace Kelly" started trending, as viewers commented on the style of her long-sleeved, lace dress.
Even television host Kelly Ripa chimed in with the tweet: "Modern day Grace Kelly! Looooove it!"
"Can you imagine now nervous and excited Kate Middleton must be right about now??!! #royalwedding," Ivanka Trump, mogul Donald Trump's daughter, posted.
Online Outpouring From All Over the World
On Facebook, fans around the world posted early-bird status updates congratulating the royal couple and letting friends know that they had crawled out of bed for the big event.
In the past 24 hours, more than 1 million people in the U.K. referenced the wedding in their status updates, Facebook said. In just four hours Friday morning, 684,399 status updates mentioned the royal wedding, for an average of 47 mentions every second.
Kate Middleton was the top mention in the U.K., but star performer Elton John won 12,000 mentions and Princess Beatrice's unusual hat earned a Facebook fan page ('Princess Beatrice's Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat') that already has 4,000 fans.
In the hours leading up to the moment William and Kate exchanged their vows, posts poured in from all over the globe -- from Argentina and Mexico to the Philippines and Thailand to Nigeria and Zambia.
"Can't wait to see the bride's dress=S it's almost 3a.m. In Mexico but i can't miss the royal wedding," posted one Facebook user.
Another Facebook member said, "This freakin awesome cnt wait to wat da prince iz wearin!my eyez r glued to tha screen wachn it al da way from zambia."
For many admirers of the royal family, watching Prince William's nuptials served as a reminder of his beloved mother.
"watching from Worcester Ma I remember watching his moms wedding Congratulation!!!!!!! I wish u the best in the future," said one woman, reminiscing on Facebook.
A proud Brit posted, "here i am wathing the tv in Leeds with my two girls just like i did with my mum when diana got married x."