The Most Iconic Wedding Dresses Of All Time

The Most Iconic Wedding Dresses Of All Time

By Katie Rosseinsky Posted on 11 May 2016

Whether it’s a royal wedding or the nuptials of the Insta-famous, nothing captures our sartorial imagination like a bridal gown.

While pouring over acres of organza and vintage lace isn’t exactly the edgiest of fashion pursuits, even the most stone-hearted of cynics will admit that there’s still something captivating about the idea of the big white dress - particularly when the dress in question is worn by a Hollywood A-lister or a real life princess.

From traditional styles like Audrey Hepburn’s demure Balmain and Grace Kelly’s high-necked lace to Solange’s rule-breaking white jumpsuit and Bianca Jagger’s nonchalant YSL skirt-suit, the best wedding outfits are unforgettable, influencing our own bridal get-ups for years to come.

Call us hopeless romantics, but we’ve delved through the archives to bring you some of the most iconic wedding dresses of all time. And yes, Kate Middleton gets a mention…

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For her first wedding to Conrad Hilton, Elizabeth Taylor wore a traditional off-the-shoulder gown designed by MGM costumier Helen Rose - the designer responsible for Grace Kelly’s wedding dress.

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Gwen Stefani’s pink and white ombré-effect bridal gown (worn for her 2002 wedding to Gavin Rossdale) was designed by John Galliano. She later donated it to London’s Victoria and Albert museum, describing it as ‘a piece of art.’

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Silver screen star Mary Pickford gives a lesson in 1920s bridal glamour.

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Mia Farrow opted for the clean lines and simple silhouette of a skirt suit for her 1966 wedding to Frank Sinatra, perfectly complimenting her iconic Sixties pixie crop.

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Yoko Ono chose a simple tiered mini dress, a wide-brimmed hat and white pumps for her wedding to John Lennon. Oh, and massive sunglasses. Only in the Sixties…

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We couldn’t not include Mariah’s characteristically dramatic bridal gown (complete with tiara), worn for her first wedding in 1993. Designed by Vera Wang, the $25,00 style was reportedly inspired by Princess Diana’s wedding dress.

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Keira Knightley wore a knee-skimming tulle dress by Chanel couture for her low-key wedding to musician James Righton in 2013. Knightley chose to wear a dress she already owned (from the fashion house’s S/S’06 collection) - and has since re-worn it for red carpet appearances. Well, if the dress fits…

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Princess Margaret chose a silk organza gown by Norman Hartnell - the designer behind the wedding and coronation dresses of her sister, Queen Elizabeth - for her wedding in 1960. The tailored shape and lack of embellishment (a striking departure from previous royal wedding styles) lead Life magazine to crown it ‘the simplest royal wedding gown in history.’

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Queen Elizabeth II had to save up ration coupons to exchange for the duchesse satin used in her wedding dress, which was designed by Norman Hartnell and decorated in 10,000 imported pearls.

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Jacky Kennedy’s traditional wedding dress was designed by Ann Lowe, a designer favoured by American high society, and was made from nearly 50 ft of ivory silk taffeta.

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Was there ever a more perfect wedding dress than Kate Moss’s bias-cut, Thirties-inspired slip of a gown, custom made by her friend John Galliano? The designer later described the process of making Kate’s dress as his ‘creative rehab.’

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The original ‘it’ girl Bianca Jagger broke the rules for her 1971 wedding to Mick Jagger, choosing a slim-fitting skirt suit designed by Yves Saint Laurent.

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Hepburn chose a pale pink mini dress and matching headscarf, designed by her lifelong friend Hubert de Givenchy, for her second wedding to Andrea Dotti in 1969.

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For her first wedding to Mel Ferrer in 1954, Audrey Hepburn wore a high necked, puff-sleeved gown designed by Pierre Balmain (whose fashion house is now best known for high octane glamour and dressing the Kardashian-Jenners…)

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Kim Kardashian called on close friend Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to design a dress for her wedding to Kanye West. The result was an Instagram-breaking creation featuring cut out panels and long lace sleeves.

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For her wedding to Alan Ferguson in 2014, Solange Knowles side-stepped bridal traditions by opting for a structured cream jumpsuit by Stéphane Rolland.

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It was the most talked about wedding dress of the century: Kate Middleton wore a long-sleeved Alexander McQueen gown, designed by creative director Sarah Burton, for her wedding to Prince William in 2011.

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Designed by MGM costume designer Helen Rose, Grace Kelly’s high-necked, long-sleeved gown was a clear inspiration for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Worn for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainer of Monaco, it was fashioned from 25 yards of silk taffeta, one hundred yards of silk net, and Brussels rose point lace.

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Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding dress is still one of the most famous bridal styles of all time. The fairytale gown, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was fashioned from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace, which had belonged to Queen Mary. The 25 foot train posed something of a problem, barely fitting into Diana’s wedding carriage.

READ MORE: 48 Beautiful Wedding Dresses From Bridal Fashion Week

READ MORE: What To Wear To A Wedding: The Fashion Rules

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