Wedding dresses are often inspired by the movies, movie stars and on screen moments of our history. We pick 10 of the most iconic dresses worn by style icons on and off films that have inspired anyone who ever dreamed of wearing a wedding gown…

The Icons

Grace Kelly (1956)

The most iconic wedding dress of all time came with a real life fairy tale. Hollywood actress Grace Kelly had often played royal parts in movies. A trip to the South of France’s Cannes Film Festival led her to meet Prince Rainier III of Monaco and a year later they were married. She subsequently ended her film career to become a full time Princess. MGM costume designer Helen Rose who had won two academy awards for her work was asked to make the royal gown. A bell shaped skirt made from taffeta with a beautiful embroidered lace bodice with a high neckline, long sleeves and a graceful train, the dress was the epitome of elegance with exquisite detailing. Princess Grace Kelly’s wedding dress continues to inspire women and I believe it will do so forever. Recently wed Ivanka Trump and Nicole Richie are both said to have been inspired by the dress for their fairytale weddings.

Jacqueline Onais (1953)

A fashion icon just like Grace Kelly, the future first lady’s wedding gown was a voluminous ivory silk taffeta gown made by designer Ann Lowe.  A portrait neckline and wide, embellished skirt emphasized Jackie’s small waist. Her lace veil was an heirloom that originally belonged to her grandmother and added the finishing touch to the super-romantic ensemble.

Princess Diana (1981)

Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Diana Spencer’s wedding dress was made with the idea of ‘Wild Romance.’ One of the most fairytale wedding dresses in history, it was made from silk taffeta with a tiny waist and a huge skirt. There were big puffy sleeves, a frilly neckline and the dress was decorated with antique lace, hand embroidered with hundreds of sequins and 10,000 pearls.  The most memorable and mesmerizing part of the dress was the 25ft train that covered the aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Gwen Stefani (2002)

When Gwen Stefani wed Gavin Rosdale she made a statement by wearing a dip dyed white and pink gown designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior. The princess of pop with her rock and roll image managed to look absolutely stunning whilst remaining the trendsetter she was known for being. The custom-made pink and white silk faille wedding dress was worn with an antique lace veil that was also designed by John Galliano.

Audrey Hepburn (1954 & 1969)

As iconic off screen as she was on, Audrey Hepburn’s first marriage to Mel Ferrer was a most magical moment in fashion history. The dress designed and made by the fashion house Balmain was a sweet tea-length skirt, with a tiny waist and wide chiffon shoulders that complemented her petite frame beautifully.  The romantic and utterly feminine look was completed with a crown like wreath of fresh flowers in place of a veil or tiara. A timeless look for a timeless icon.

For her second wedding to Andrea Dotti she wore a short and simple light pink woolen short dress. The dress was designed by her close friend Hubert de Givenchy and was made with a matching scarf that transformed the outfit into another iconic look.

The Movies

Bride Wars (2009)

Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) are two best friends who are getting married on the same day but with very different tastes. Both brides wore dresses chosen by the film’s costume designer Karen Patch and designed by THE wedding dress designer of wedding dresses that is Vera Wang.  Emma’s dress was meant to look like she inherited it from her mother, an elegant and classy ivory, asymmetrical off the shoulder, fishtail gown. Liv’s dress was a custom-made strapless gown with a big princess tulle skirt. The film sent brides-to-be in search of all the gowns that were seen in the film, especially those designed by Vera Wang.

Sex and The City The Movie (2008)

Sex and The City The Movie was one of the most anticipated films of the decade, and what Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) was going to wear for her wedding to Mr Big was one of the most talked about things across the media. From the moment pictures of the dress were seen it was clear that Dame Vivienne Westwood had put together the incredible champagne silk satin gown. The dress on its own was actually very simple and beautiful with a built in corset, sweetheart neckline and voluminous puffball skirt with an asymmetric hemline that is so very Westwood. Costume designer Patricia Field gave it the Carrie treatment accessorizing it to the max with a green-feathered bird in the hair and an encrusted brooch on the neckline of the dress, teamed with bright red lipstick. It was a stunning moment of film and allowed brides to be more daring in accessorizing with colour.

Cinderella (1950)

We well couldn’t miss the fairytale of all time that is Disney’s Cinderella. Whilst Cinderella wears a stunning white off the shoulder long sleeved gown with a low-waisted bodice and an accentuated skirt, it is the dress her Fairy God-mother “Bibbidi-bobbidy-boos” Cinderella in to that most little girls and lots of grown women fall in love with. A light blue dress with puffball sleeves, a bodice that nips tightly in to the waist and a full skirt, it really is the dress that epitomizes when films inspires weddings.

Funny Face (1957)

In the movie Funny Face Audrey Hepburn plays a model that has to wear a bridal gown. Classical beauty and very pretty was the dress she wore that was made by Givenchy. With a Sabrina neckline (inspired by Hepburn’s role in the title film Sabrina), a tight bodice and a tea length balloon skirt with a light layer of tulle, the look was that of a ballerina and a very elegant lady. Whilst the simplicity of this dress and Givenchy’s work was stunning, it was also the perfect shape for Hepburn’s dancing in the film, and is one of the reasons modern Brides are choosing tea length skirts for their big day.

The Black Swan (2010)

Natalie Portman’s role in The Black Swan, and most notably her costumes designed (our favourites designed by Rodarte) have inspired the catwalk for and especially wedding gowns this year. The array of tulle skirts and tutus, feathers, layers and ruffles in the film, and of course the striking white pieces have been translated by Vera Wang, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Jenny Packham and many of the designers this season with entire bridal shoots being dedicated to a ballerina theme.

By Sabina Emrit

Images: Getty, Rex, Time, Disney.

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