My Favourite Wedding Gowns – From History and Film

As the excitement grows for my upcoming nuptials, I’ve spent many hours browsing the internet and soaking in as much vintage wedding prettiness as I possibly can. Planning a vintage style wedding is quite a challenge but the best part is checking out all the wonderful wedding stylings from the past. To share my excitement, I thought today I might share some of my favourite wedding dresses from film and history.

Grace Kelly‘s wedding dress is probably one of the most beautiful and iconic bridal gowns of all time. Designed by Helen Rose, Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco on 19 April 1956, was an opulent event and one author describes the dress as a symbol of “the marital fervor” and furthermore, the dress inspired Kate Middleton’s dress several years later.

Grace Kelly on her wedding day on the 19th April 1956

Audrey Hepburn wearing a Givenchy wedding dress for the film Funny Face. This is probably one of the most iconic vintage wedding dresses of all time and its a perfect reflection of fashion from the 1950’s. It’s also the main inspiration behind Mrs Maisel’s wedding dress.

Audrey Hepburn in the film Funny Face

Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times but my favourite look was when she married Conrad “Nicky” Hilton on May 6, 1950, when she was only 18. For the occasion, Liz wore a gown designed by MGM costume designer Helen Rose (the same designer who would design Grace Kelly’s famous wedding gown six years later). The satin gown featured long sleeves, a silk gauze off-the-shoulder illusion neckline and a full skirt.

Elizabeth Taylor at her first wedding in 1950.

Lucille Ball in the 1952 film The Long Long Trailer. This dress is often cited as Ball’s actual wedding dress from her wedding in 1940 but it is in fact from the film The Long Long Trailer where she and her real life husband Desi Arnaz pose as newly-weds who buy a new trailer home (caravan) and spend a year travelling across the United States. Ball and Arnaz actually eloped after a one day engagement where she married in a fur coat and a ring from Woolworths (it was the only shop open on a Saturday).

Lucille Ball in the film The Long Long Trailer 1952.

Midge Maisel‘s dress from episode one, season one of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is EVERYTHING. Yeah yeah I know, big shocker that this dress made the list but it’s just so adorable. Heavily inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, the Maisel wedding dress designed by Donna Zakowska is sweet, child-like and stunning; perfect for her first stand up comedy moment.

Miriam Maisel on her wedding day from the show, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

Adeline Boman‘s 1931’s wedding dress from the film, Age of Adeline. So this movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure but my jaw drops at this stunning wedding scene at the beginning of the movie every single time. I am unable to find if the dress is true vintage or a reproduction but it’s perfect for the era and is everything a vintage bride should be.
The film, Age of Adeline, is on Netflix right now so go watch it!

Adeline Boman from the film, The Age of Adeline.

Kate Middleton, ah, a true princess and she was absolutely stunning on her wedding day. English designer Sarah Burton, creative director of the luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen, designed the bridal gown worn by Kate at her wedding to Prince William on 29 April 2011. You can see glimpses of Grace Kelly as her style inspiration.

Kate Middleton on her 2011 wedding day to Prince William.

Stylist for the show ‘Downton Abbey’, Robbins found Lady Rose‘s wedding dress, a beaded silk tulle gown originating from the 1920s, on a whim. “It was just a ghost of a dress, and I stumbled upon it. A trader I’d made friends with has a little shop in London and he actually kept it in a box — it had never been worn, and we managed to give it this fairy tale ending, this wedding dress that was a hundred years old and had never been worn,” Robbins said on PBS’s behind the scenes blog.

Lady Rose from Downton Abbey wearing a true vintage 1920’s gown.

Kate Hudson in the film Bride Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love modern wedding dresses and no one is more iconic than designer Vera Wang. I absolutely drooled over this Vera dress worn by Kate Hudson; it’s got lace and tulle and a stunning coloured ribbon belt (not to mention that dreamy train). I’d always loved Vera and wanted to wear Vera for my own wedding (before I fell head over heels for vintage) so my engagement ring is by Vera Wang so I can live out that dream.

Kate Hudson wearing Vera Wang in the film, Bride Wars.

We all knew the second Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big got engaged that the wedding would be a stylish and epic event, but boy of boy was the wedding dress iconic. Designed by Vivien Westwood, the “cloud dress” first popped up in the designer’s Winter 2007/2008 collection. It was then re-designed for Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex and the City character and is worth a whopping $175 000 USD.
Much like her fashionable character, Sarah Jessica Parker also wore a show stopping dress for her real life wedding to actor Mathew Broderick. It was a black Morgane Le Fay dress but Parker has reportedly stated she regrets the decision to wear black.

Carrie Bradshaw on her wedding day wearing Vivien Westwood from the Sex and the City film.

As much as the Twilight saga was a bit of a cringefest, the wedding dress of Bella Swan was simply stunning. If I can be honest, I’ve never actually seen any of the films past the second one but I have seen the wedding scene and fell head over heels for the dress! It’s got lace, sleeves and a train, what’s not to love! Custom designed by Carolina Herrera, it’s made from crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, the dress features 152 buttons on the back and 17 on each sleeve.

Bella Swan from Twilight wearing a custom Carolina Herrera dress.

Created as a replica of Queen Victoria‘s actually wedding dress, the dress made for Emily Blunt for the film ‘Young Victoria’ is simply breathe taking. The original dress from the 1840 wedding is the biggest trend setter in terms of weddings of all time; white wedding dresses became a popular option after the marriage of Queen Victoria to Albert of Saxe-Coburg, when Victoria wore a white gown trimmed with Honiton lace.

Emily Blunt wearing a replica of Queen Victoria’s wedding dress from the 1800’s in the film, Young Victoria.

No body wears a wedding dress like Maria. Yes yes, I know it’s not historically accurate but it’s still so beautiful I had to add Maria Von Trapp‘s dress from The Sound of Music to my list. Designed by Dorothy Jeakins, the dress is made from Shantung silk which is thicker than silk but not as thick as satin, and was paired with a 14 foot veil. In 2013, Maria’s wedding dress went on auction. It fetched $23,040.00.

Maria Von Trapp in her wedding dress designed by Dorothy Jeakins.

Finally, the queen of pinup herself, Dita Von Teese wearing a stunningly unconventional dress designed by Vivien Westwood for her marriage to Marilyn Manson. Besides the dress made of violet silk taffeta, her hat was designed by Stephen Jones, corset by Mr Pearl, shoes by Christian Louboutin, and peignoir by Nina Ricci.

Dita Von Teese wearing Vivien Westwood on her wedding day to Marilyn Manson.

I feel like this blog could go on forever so I’m going to stop there. I love looking at people’s wedding dresses and thinking that each one had a moment of “this is the one”. That amazing feeling when you find a dress so perfect, it truely represents who you are. Although a lot of these dresses are from fictional stories, they are still just as beautiful and magical as a real life wedding.

Have I missed an iconic dress you love? What dress or wedding moment would you add to this list?

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Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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