The princess bride is largely a creation of the cinema, that filmic realm where weddings are designed to have maximum impact. Whether it’s the dramatic Vivienne Westwood gown Carrie Bradshaw wears while getting her heart crushed in the Sex and the City movie or Juliet’s simple, sleek, and delicate number from Romeo & Juliet, a wedding dress is always one of the most unforgettable costumes from a film. Even some of the most classic love stories featured memorable big-day looks, from Julie Andrews’s iconic A-line dress in The Sound of Music, to Audrey Hepburn’s vintage Givenchy number in Funny Face.
One of the most iconic movie wedding dresses of all time was this white ballerina-length wedding gown that Audrey Hepburn wore as Jo Stockton in the 1957 movie. Featuring a full skirt, tight bodice, sabrina neckline, and of course that now infamous tea-length skirt consisting of layer upon layer of tulle, this classic 1950’s style gown was the creation of Hubert de Givenchy, who worked with Audrey on numerous occasions, and truly was the man behind the style we all know and love Audrey for.
Romeo + Juliet
A spur-of-the-moment secret wedding for Claire Danes as Juliet Capulet in the 1996 retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy called for a simple understated sleeveless silk wedding dress with ever-so-delicate button bodice detailing and feminine white gloves to match. It turns out, costume designer Catherine Martin understands the importance of a good button on screen, as in most scenes they are seen close-up, so she went for covered buttons to complement the dress.
When a historical icon like Marie Antoinette is being portrayed the costuming must be on point, as in real life the royal’s silver gown was a truly decadent design covered in diamonds. The dress worn by Kirsten Dunst in the 2006 Sofia Coppola film was designed by Milena Canonero, the winner of four Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, including one for this film. The opulent three-quarter-sleeve gown featuring large panniers was made from a beautiful silver cloth with a creamy tint and decorated with various ribbons and embellishments.
The Sound of Music
Maria Von Trapp’s wedding dress in The Sound of Music, worn by actress Julie Andrews, is so iconic that it went up for auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. The ivory silk high-collared gown features a modest V-neck and buttons up the bodice and sleeves. Created by costume designer Dorothy Jacobs, it was completed with a long and flowing veil.
Bride Wars doubled up in every way, with each leading lady wearing Vera Wang. Liv, played by Kate Hudson wore a voluminous ball gown style with a modified sweetheart neckline and a lavender coloured ribbon at the waist. Although Emma’s dress, which was worn by actress Anne Hathaway, was also designed by Vera Wang, her style was completely different and designed to look like it had been handed down from her mother to reflect her timeless romantic personality.
The Father of the Bride
You can’t get much more iconic than Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding dress in the original 1950’s film, when she played Kay Banks, a daughter on her way down the aisle. It was designed by Helen Rose, who was known for her work in films as well as for creating some of the most famous wedding dresses of the era, including Elizabeth Taylor’s own bridal gown for her first marriage to Conrad Hilton, Jr. in 1950 which was inspired by the one in the film, and Grace Kelly’s when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
When it was time for Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart to wed, series author Stephenie Meyer called upon designer Carolina Herrera. It took Herrera and four seamstresses six months to create the custom crepe satin and French Chantilly gown, which was sleek and simple at the front, yet featured intricate lace and button details on the sleeves and open back.
The long-sleeve, feather-adorned frock worn by Keira Knightley who was playing Juliet in the festive film, could have been very different if director Richard Curtis had his way. Costume designer Joanna Johnston later revealed that he wanted her to be dressed ready for the end of the scene where they are partying so had the idea of a crop top, although in the end a compromise was made by layering sheer fabrics.
Sex and the City
At first, Carrie Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker, only put on this multi-tiered Vivienne Westwood wedding dress for a photo shoot, but one look at herself in the dress is all the convincing she needed. Other brides loved the design just as much, and following the film’s release, a shorter version of the dress sold out within hours on net-a-porter.com. Of course, Carrie’s look was perfectly accessorised, with a silk tulle veil with feather headpiece and Christian Dior Extreme Dior Gladiator Heels embellished with Swarovski crystals.
The Great Gatsby
Even if we only got a glimpse of the gown worn by Daisy Buchanan who was played by Carey Mulligan in a flashback, its 1920’s style inspired a bridal revolution. Costume designer Catherine Martin topped the fringed, beaded frock with a feathered headdress appropriate for the Art Deco period and was awarded her second Oscar for Best Costume Design for the look.