When it comes to getting inspiration for your wedding day look it can sometimes be helpful to look to brides of the past, those who have been there and done it, who can offer ideas and help you decide what will look best on your special day.
The most iconic wedding dresses in history present a wealth of choice when it comes to silhouette, style and in some cases colour which you can draw upon when it comes to choosing your own wedding gown. From royals to celebrities, traditional to alternative, the most famed wedding dresses throughout history can offer inspiration to brides-to-be to find the perfect wedding dress.
Actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier in a wedding dress that has become a major inspiration for brides-to-be ever since. The dress was designed by Helen Rose, who had previously designed Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding gown. The dress featured a modest high-neck and long skirt with a stylish long billowing skirt. To finish the dress was given an impressive 10-foot-long train. The look has been branded iconic given the timeless elegance of the conservative gown.
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in Lavish celebration at St Paul’s cathedral in 1981. The bride selected David and Elizabeth Emmanuel as her designers and the dress was estimated to be worth £151,000. Decorated with lace, sequins, hand embroidery and 10,000 pearls. Despite the exquisite detail the dress has been famed for its 25-foot train which is the longest in royal wedding history.
The Duchess of Cambridge
Possibly the most famed wedding dress of our generation, Kate Middleton opted for a custom Alexander McQueen lace wedding dress for her televised nuptials to Prince William in April 2011. Designed by Sarah Burton, the traditional A-line, ballgown was complimented with a Victorian-inspired bodice which narrowed at the waist, a particular Alexander McQueen trademark. Intricate lace applique applied to the bodice and skirt included hand-cut flowers including roses, daffodils and shamrocks.
Wed in 2014 to George Clooney, bride Amal selected a custom Oscar de la Renta lace gown for her special day. The dress was an exquisite ivory, tulle, fit and flare gown delicately appliqued with Chantilly lace. The bodice was hand embroidered with beading and crystal to give a touch of sparkle to the look. To finish Amal added a dramatic cathedral decorated with Chantilly lace to match the dress and bead and crystal embroidery that fell down the back of the dress.
Tennis pro Serena Williams married Alex Ohanian in New Orleans in 2017. For the special occasion the bride enlisted the help of royal wedding dress designer Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. The dress adopted a regal feel with a full ballgown skirt and matching cape which gave a touch of drama.
Another royal added to our list of iconic dresses is the show-stopping Givenchy gown worn by Megan Markle during her ceremony to Prince Harry in 2018. The classic, minimalistic yet breath-taking dress was the epitome of timeless elegance that is expected from the iconic House of Givenchy. The open bateau neckline became the focus of the dress, subtly emphasising Megan’s graceful frame and sculpture, while three-quarter length sleeves added a touch of modernity.
Hailey Baldwin Bieber
Hailey Baldwin married Justin Bieber in 2019 in a custom dress designed by the late Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White. The fit and flare lace gown cleverly combined traditional bridal features, the brides personal style and Abloh’s signature streetwear style by stitching the words ‘wedding dress’ on the back of the dress in pearls and ‘Till death do us part’ into the hem of the veil.
Fashion house Oscar De La Renta makes a second appearance on our iconic wedding dresses list with the recent gown designed for Paris Hilton’s nuptials to Carter Reum. Taking inspiration from fellow icon Grace Kelly, Paris’ ceremony dress channelled an elegant princess feel with pressed flowers as an added grand touch. To finish the look, Oscar de la Renta creative director Fernand Garcia surprised Paris with an added veil which he described as ‘angelic’.
We hope this blog has helped to provide you with the inspiration you need to find your perfect wedding dress. If you would like to browse more designer wedding dress styles you can view all our wedding gowns.