There are many exciting aspects to a celebrity wedding. The guest list, the venue, the cake… and, of course, the dress. Fashionistas love nothing more than picking over the finer details of wedding dresses worn by the rich and famous. And, when it comes to bridal gowns for the great and the good, it is usually a case of the more expensive, creative and outrageous the better – as we shall see. Over the years, there have been some absolutely gorgeous examples that have stood the test of time. Alas, not all of the actual marriages wore so well – but the beautiful dresses will be remembered forever. Here is a look at more than 60 years’ worth of head-turning and history-making bridal outfits…
20. Chrissy Teigen, 2013
Supermodel Chrissy Teigen does not do things by halves. When she married the famous singer-songwriter – and aptly named – John Legend in 2013, she wore not one, but three dresses. On social media she shared a picture of herself wearing arguably the prettiest, a Vera Wang strapless gown featuring petals which had been cut out by hand. And, as a veteran of catwalks worldwide, Teigen certainly knew how to work it.
19. Kate Middleton, 2011
The dress that Kate Middleton wore to tie the knot with Prince William was deemed so important that it actually has its own Wikipedia page! The 2011 outfit was created by top English fashion designer Sarah Burton, a fact veiled in secrecy until the bride alighted from her wedding car at Westminster Abbey on the big day. The garment’s exact price remains unknown – but there can be little doubt it was high! The dress was critically acclaimed – those in the know were impressed with its elegant mix of traditional and modern elements.
18. Katie Holmes, 2006
The marriage between actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise raised eyebrows from the beginning. And not least because the groom was one of the most famous Scientologists in Hollywood. Indeed, the 2006 marriage only lasted a scant six years. Nevertheless, at least the dress was nice! Holmes wore a spectacular custom Giorgio Armani gown decorated with Swarovski gems, and it cost a reported $50,000.
17. Kim Kardashian, 2014
Obviously, reality star Kim Kardashian was always going to go all-out on her wedding dress. When she married rapper Kanye West in 2014, she wore a white Givenchy gown with a price tag some sources put as high as $500,000. But then again, the whole wedding was spectacularly over-the-top. According to U.K. tabloid the Daily Mail, the event cost $12 million. Perhaps some of this expense was clawed back when – naturally – the whole episode was featured in a Keeping Up With the Kardashians TV special.
16. Jackie Kennedy, 1953
The tale of Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress reads almost like a terrible omen. Ten days before her 1953 wedding to JFK, her gown was destroyed in a flood, and designer Ann Lowe had to create a new version double-quick. The dress became iconic, but nevertheless, Lowe – the first African-American fashion designer to achieve widespread recognition – still died in poverty. A decade after the wedding, of course, Jackie was widowed in the most notorious of circumstances.
15. Camilla Parker Bowles, 2005
Camilla Parker Bowles married Prince Charles in an understated royal wedding – after all, it was a second marriage for both. The bride chose not to wear white for the blessing in 2005, but a blue-and-gold outfit created by designer Robinson Valentine. There was a little hint of sparkle, but not enough to be ostentatious. The British tabloid media, habitually hard on Camilla Parker Bowles, were uncharacteristically impressed with her move.
14. Victoria Beckham, 1999
Spice Girl Victoria Beckham went on to become a fashion designer herself, so naturally the gown she wore to wed soccer star David Beckham was gorgeous. When she tied the knot with the famous soccer player in 1999, her iconic Vera Wang creation cost $100,000. And Posh Spice has kept the dress in pristine condition – not because of the price tag, but to pass on to her daughter, Harper, one day.
13. Priscilla Presley, 1967
When she wedded the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Priscilla Presley wore a gown she dreamt up herself. She said, “I do” to Elvis in 1967 in a white-silk chiffon creation decorated with pearls and beads. Although the design was fairly simple it still looked great on Mrs. Presley. And it turned out to be timeless into the bargain. Brides of today can buy replicas of Priscilla’s wedding dress if they so wish.
12. Michelle Obama, 1992
The former First Lady married Barack Obama in 1992, many years before her husband became President. The then Michelle Robinson wore a wedding dress which was very much of its time, with an off-the-shoulder style and a big veil. And in the years to come, Mrs. Obama’s fashion sense remained right on-trend. Indeed, during her time in the White House, she was thought of as one of the most stylish women in America.
11. Bianca Jagger, 1971
It is fair to say that the 1971 wedding between Mick Jagger and model Bianca Perez-Mora Macias was a chaotic affair. Paparazzi mobbed the venue in Saint-Tropez, France, to the extent that the church doors were closed in panic and the world-famous groom had to knock to be let in. But Bianca’s outfit achieved near-instant fame – or notoriety – in its own right. She wore a white Yves Saint Laurent smoking jacket with, reportedly, nothing underneath.
10. Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 2013
Royal weddings usually tend to deliver when it comes to big high-fashion statements. And this was certainly true when Princess Madeleine of Sweden married American Christopher O’Neill in June 2013. The bride wore an elegant gown from Italian designer Valentino Garavani. And the pleated-silk organza creation was as beautiful as it was big. In fact, the veil, adorned with Chantilly-lace orange blossom, trailed for virtually 16 feet.
9. Elizabeth Taylor, 1964
Legendary Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor just loved a sequel. Indeed, she married no less than eight times in the course of her life, twice to Welsh actor Richard Burton. For her first wedding to Burton in 1964 – her fifth such ceremony – the star dressed in a yellow “baby-doll” dress created by Irene Sharaff, the costume designer of Taylor’s then-current hit film Cleopatra. Flowers were weaved into the bride’s tresses to top off the look.
8. Audrey Hepburn, 1969
The world forever associates Audrey Hepburn with the iconic little black dress she wore in 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Nevertheless, when the actress wed her second husband, Andrea Dotti, eight years later, she went with something totally different. Hepburn sported a short pale-pink dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy, along with a headscarf, gloves, and flat shoes.
7. Lorna Luft, 1977
Jake Hooker was lead guitarist with The Arrows, and co-wrote their 1975 hit “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll.” With this in mind, he must have adored what his bride, Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft, chose to wear at their 1977 wedding. Luft said “I do” in a snazzy satin pantsuit designed by Dee Harrington, the ex-girlfriend of Rod Stewart. “It was the ultimate rock-and-roll wedding,” Luft wistfully reminisced in her 1999 autobiography, Me and My Shadows.
6. Jane Seymour, 1971
English actress Jane Seymour has been married four times. But her first wedding took place in 1971, to U.K. theatre director Michael Attenborough. The then 20-year-old Seymour shined in a beautiful patterned wedding dress which she ended up using again. More than 40 years later, the garment featured prominently in her role in the 2015 movie Bereave… the story of a broken marriage.
5. Princess Anne, 1973
Princess Anne’s wedding to Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 was a lavish affair laden with tradition. Indeed, the bride’s gown, by fashion designer Maureen Baker, was based on the look of Tudor court dresses. The princess’ ensemble had trumpet sleeves and a high collar, partly for modesty and partly to keep her highness warm in the middle of a bitter English winter. And her tiara? A gift from her mother, the Queen.
4. Mia Farrow, 1966
The relationship between Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra – one with an age gap of 30 years – was by no means smooth. Reportedly, the actress’ hair was so short at her 1966 wedding not because Farrow liked it that way, but because the groom didn’t like it that way. The bride wore a white silk dress that looked great on her, but perhaps a little too casual for such a high-profile wedding. Whatever, the couple split up just two years later.
3. Pippa Middleton, 2017
Pippa Middleton dazzled as a bridesmaid at her famous big sister’s wedding to Prince William in 2011. So five years later, when she wed racing driver James Matthews, many were curious to see what she would wear for her own big day. And she did not disappoint – she wore a lace wedding dress like Kate had done, but one created by couturier Giles Deacon that was slightly less traditional and modest. And eagle-eyed Pippa fans noticed that she wore the same earrings she had worn to Kate’s wedding, which made for a sweet “something old” callback.
2. Grace Kelly, 1956
Grace Kelly was a famous Hollywood actress who became an equally famous royal when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Quite rightly, Kelly’s high-collar lace wedding dress, created by Hollywood costume designer Helen Rose, became one of the most iconic in history. The princess’ outfit was praised by the media then and it is still praised now. When the regal dress went on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2006 it proved extremely popular with patrons.
1. Princess Diana, 1981
When Diana Spencer married Prince Charles in 1981, her wedding dress set the standard for all British royal weddings to come. The bridal wear, famously designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was beautiful and carefully made. The ensemble featured many luxurious details, such as the inlaying of no less than 10,000 pearls. But the outfit – replete with its iconic 25-foot train – could barely fit in the wedding coach and was crushed in the process. Perhaps this was a portent of things to come. Diana and Charles divorced in 1996, and Diana died in a car smash the following year.