The Most Iconic Movie Wedding Dresses of All Time
Do you know which designer created bridal gowns for Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor's weddings, both on-screen and off? Or which movie wedding dress measured a jaw-dropping eight feet in diameter? Not surprisingly, some of our favorite fashion moments in film are the ones at weddings. Just like in real life, brides on the big screen need to stand out. Whether you're about to walk down the aisle or frequent the aisles of the movie theater, enjoy these iconic, scene-stealing wedding dresses that went down in cinematic history, plus fun facts about the designs (and the designers who dreamed them up).
"Frankenstein" Wedding Dress
Two words: That. Veil. It may have been a precarious choice for Elizabeth (Mae Clarke)'s purposes in the 1931 monster movie (read: escaping Frankenstein's monster), but the long-sleeve lace number by Vera West was so very lovely.
"It Happened One Night" Wedding Dress
Sleek and sexy and yet sweet and romantic, socialite Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) captured the look of an ethereal bride in this flower-trimmed silk, body-conscious gown by costume designer Robert Kalloch for the 1934 drama.
"Here Comes the Groom" Wedding Dress
We could see a modern bride wearing this simple satin sheath, which Patricia Ellis wore for the 1934 musical. Off-the-shoulder necklines are making a big comeback in bridal!
"Bride of Frankenstein" Wedding Dress
Who says you can't be scary and chic? For her turn as The Monster's Mate in the 1935 horror flick, Elsa Lanchester rocked this caped column gown by Vera West, which is supposed to be made of surgical sheets and gloves of bandages. Talk about gothic bridal inspo!
"Carefree" Wedding Dress
Sure, a modern bride might lose the big sleeves, but we spy something pretty timeless about the wedding dress costume designers Edward Stevenson and Howard Greer dressed Amanda Cooper (Ginger Rogers) in for the 1938 musical rom-com: pleated stripes of lace are trending in today's bridal gowns—albeit in a slightly subtler way.
"Gone With the Wind" Wedding Dress
It might surprise you to learn that designer Walter Plunkett made Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh)'s iconic wedding dress from the 1939 classic ill-fitting on purpose. The wedding was a hurried one, as her groom, Charles Hamilton, was heading to war, so the bride borrowed her mother's gown. Talk about commitment to the storyline!
"Dark Victory" Wedding Dress
Not only did her portrayal of Judith Traherne in the 1939 movie earn Bette Davis an Oscar nom, but the actress also said was her favorite role to play. The fact that she got to wear this wedding dress with halter neckline and tiered tulle skirt by famous Hollywood costume designer Orry-Kelly couldn't have hurt. A matching cap and simple strand of pearls completed the bridal look.
"Paris Honeymoon" Wedding Dress
Actress Shirley Ross (playing Countess de Remi) wore a wedding dress designed by Edith Head in the 1939 Paramount comedy-musical.
"The Philadelphia Story" Wedding Dress
For the Broadway play-turned-1940-movie, socialite Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn) wore a ruffled, collared organza creation with laces at the waist, by MGM's Adrian, an iconic costume designer known best for his work on The Wizard of Oz.
"The Razor's Edge" Wedding Dress
Famous fashion designer Oleg Cassini made the timeless allover lace wedding gown that his wife at the time, actress Gene Tierney, wore as Isabel in the 1946 film.
"The Father of the Bride" (1950) Wedding Dress
You can't get much more iconic than Elizabeth Taylor's wedding dress in the original 1950 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: Elizabeth Taylor's own bridal gown for her first marriage to Conrad Hilton, Jr. in 1950 (which, fun fact, was inspired by this one and given as a gift from MGM), and Grace Kelly's when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.
"The Long, Long Trailer" Wedding Dress
Film fashion legend Helen Rose designed the over-the-top Lucy Ball gown—er, lacy ball gown—that Tacy Bolton-Collini (Lucille Ball) wears in the 1953 comedy.
"How to Marry a Millionaire" Wedding Dress
William Travilla (AKA Travilla) created the off-the-shoulder fit-and-flare wedding dress Lauren Bacall slipped on as Schatze Page in the 1953 film. Made of embroidered ecru lace, iridescent sequins, and heavy satin lining, the gown was sold in an auction in 2011.
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Wedding Dresses
At the end of the 1953 film, Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) walked down the aisle in matching tea-length, A-line lace Travilla wedding dresses, complete with high necks, bell sleeves, and veiled hats.
"Oklahoma!" Wedding Dress
With a frilly neckline and green ribbon around the waist, the wedding dress Charles Arrico designed for Shirley Jones to wear as Laurie in the 1955 musical was simply sweet.
"And God Created Woman" Wedding Dress
How cute is this short wedding dress worn by Juliette Hardy (Brigitte Bardot) in the 1956 French film? Pierre Balmain made the collared shirtdress with three-quarter-length sleeves and a thick belt at the waist.
"And God Created Woman" Wedding Dress
And once she shed that conservative shirtdress, Bardot was a bombshell in her bridal bustier. OK, so this is technically movie wedding lingerie, but with similarly revealing dresses on the runways right now, we can't help but include the sultry, sheer costume in this list.
"High Society" Wedding Dress
Looking for a little floral wedding dress inspo? Turn to the dress Grace Kelly wore as Tracy Samantha Lord to marry Bing Crosby's character, C.K. Dexter Haven, in the 1956 remake of The Philadelphia Story. And that hat! So very sweet and iconic. The designer behind the bridal look? None other than Helen Rose, who created Kelly's own wedding dress.
"Funny Face" Wedding Dress
Audrey Hepburn was rocking her Givenchy dress way before Bey, as Jo Stockton in this 1957 movie. The super-chic, tea-length wedding gown has become one of the most iconic in the history of film.
"Houseboat" Wedding Dress
After famously falling in love on the set of The Pride and the Passion, Sophia Loren and Cary Grant's chemistry continued in this 1958 movie. And though the actors didn't end up together (Loren wed Carlo Ponti instead), their characters in Houseboat did, with Cinzia Zaccardi (Loren) wearing this wedding dress by Edith Head down the aisle. With its high neck, structured bodice, full skirt, and soutache on net overlay, the ball gown is giving us major Grace Kelly vibes. It was sold in a 2015 auction for $12,500.
"The Black Orchid" Wedding Dress
With its full skirt and sleeves, the wedding dress costumer Edith Head created and Sophia Loren wore as Rose Bianco in the 1958 drama is positively angelic. But it's the floral accents on either side of her veil and Loren's unparalleled beauty that really makes the look an unforgettable one.
"Come Dance With Me!" Wedding Dress
Jacques Esterel made this dreamy lace wedding dress for Brigitte Bardot to wear as young bride Virginie in the 1959 French movie. The regal look was completed with a crown and veil.
"Vice and Virtue" Wedding Dress
Damn, (Catherine) Deneuve! Back at it again with the great legs. The French actress stunned in a short wedding dress when she played Justine Morand in the 1963 French war-time movie.
"Viva Las Vegas" Wedding Dress
To marry Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley) in the 1964 musical, Rusty (Ann-Margret) donned a demure short-sleeve wedding dress perfect for a summery celebration.
"The Sound of Music" Wedding Dress
With its classic shape and modest V-neckline, this ivory satin wedding dress designed by Dorothy Jacobs perfectly suited the woman who wore it, Maria Von Trapp (Julie Andrews) in the 1965 movie. The iconic bridal gown was sold in a 2013 Julien's auction for $23,040.
"Penelope" Wedding Dress
Edith Head was behind the beautiful costuming (totaling $250,000) for the 1966 film, and that included this wonderfully whimsical wedding dress. The wardrobe was such a key part of the 1966 film that the credits feature footage of Penelope (Natalie Wood) showing off even more outfits that didn't make it into the final film.
"Two Weeks in September" Wedding Dress
We're loving the marabou feather-embellished wedding dress Tanine Autré designed for Cecile, Brigitte Bardot's character's wedding in the 1967 French film.
"The Graduate" Wedding Dress
Here's to you, Elaine Robinson (Katharine Ross), and that iconic wedding dress of yours. Thankfully, with its scalloped neck and hemline, Patricia Zipprodt's lovely design for the final wedding scene of the 1967 classic helped soften the blow of such a dark ending.