Iconic TV Wedding Dresses That Stole the Show
On your search for the perfect wedding dress, it's pretty standard to turn to your favorite celebrity's best red carpet looks (or even their own wedding day styles!). There's another way to get even more celebrity wedding dress inspiration, though—and that's by checking out their fictional characters' bridal looks. We've corralled up the best wedding dresses seen on TV, from your favorite hits like Grey's Anatomy, Jane the Virgin, and Girls.
Some of the following wedding dresses were completely one-of-a-kind, designed by set costumers specifically for the betrothed character. Other TV brides wore greatest hits from some of the industry's biggest names—which means you could ultimately wear your favorite character's wedding dress designer down your own aisle. As you'd expect from these onscreen beauties, their bridal looks were full of fashion moments. With princess-level ball gowns, trendy off-the-shoulder necklines, pretty lace sheaths, and dramatic trumpets, these gowns are sure to inspire any bride of any body shape. And since so many of these fictional weddings were so different—Marni's wedding on Girls was decidedly bohemian, while Leslie's nuptials on Parks and Recreation was casual—there's a wedding dress here to fit any celebration's style.
Ready to see the best wedding dresses to ever grace your TV screen's presence? Click through for a dose of (fictional) wedding dress inspiration, from the onscreen nuptials of the '90s to the present.
"Being Mary Jane"
BET series Being Mary Jane ended its four-season run with the main character Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) marrying her on-and-off again love Justin Talbot (Michael Ealy). The show's final scene featured Paul walking down the aisle in a hand-beaded Randi Rahm sheath dress with a deep V-neckline, embellishments, and tulle overlay. "This elegant gown is encrusted with uniquely-shaped shell-like sequins, giving a mother-of-pearl effect on yards and yards of cloud-like tulle," Rahm told The Knot
of the "Sunshine" gown from his winter 2018 bridal collection, which the show's costume design team specifically requested.
We'll see Meghan Markle officially walk down the aisle this May, but it was a fun preview to see photographs of her fictional Suits character, Rachel Zane, in this Anne Barge A-line. The wedding dress first surfaced in season five, just before her then-cancelled wedding to Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams. Now that the two are (finally!) tying the knot, the gown has reportedly been updated—expect to see less white beading and a skinny black belt when the fictional wedding comes to pass.
Of The Crown's whopping $130 million budget, $37,000 went into actress Claire Foy's on-screen wedding dress—an exact replica of the gown Queen Elizabeth wore to marry Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in 1947. The fictional masterpiece took seven weeks to make, while the real thing, designed by royal couturier Norman Hartnell, was crafted over the course of six months. Given the post-war financial climate of mid-century Britain, Elizbeth's bridal gown had to paid for entirely with ration coupons.
It's been nearly 30 years since Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky tied the knot, but the duo's Valentine's Day wedding remains one of the most iconic TV nuptials to date—especially since Jesse jumps out of a plane, lands himself in jail, and all but misses the ceremony. Lori Loughlin's ultra-'90s wedding dress is just as legendary. Complete with puffed off-the-shoulder-sleeves and a next-level headpiece that might have inspired Celine Dion's, Becky's bridal look is definitely one for the books.
"This Is Us"
This Is Us costumer designer Hala Bahmet looked to Kate and Toby's garden ceremony venue for inspiration when crafting a custom wedding dress for actress Chrissy Metz. French beaded lace, complete with a vine motif, defined much of the dress's fabric. The three-quarter sleeves and asymmetrical skirt added an ethereal quality, which perfectly suited the fictional couple's honest and super-romantic relationship. Metz accessorized Kate's big day look to honor her character's first love—her dad. Kate's bridal manicure was her something blue and featured a gold-lettered "J" (for Jack!) on the pinky.
"Game of Thrones"
Game of Thrones has delivered a few memorable weddings—including a few we'd love to forget—and Prince Geoffrey and Maergery Tyrell's nuptials were no exception. Geoffrey might not have made it out of his reception alive (not a major loss!), but at least the bride, played by Natalie Dormer looked stunning. The future queen's pale-blue wedding dress symbolized her cunning strength, with razor-sharp shoulders and a rose-and-thorn train and is one of the most talked-about articles of clothing on the drama to date.
"This Is Us"
Everyone is talking about NBC's This Is Us thanks to the unique flash-back-flash-forward storyline. In the latest episode, the show flashes back to when Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia's characters, Rebecca and Jack, get married. Moore is wearing a very appropriate '70s-inspired look—a long-sleeved ivory sheath with a flower crown.
"Girl Meets World"
Boy Meets World's teen heartthrob, Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) is finally tying the knot, to his best friend's daughter's best friend's mom (feel free to take a second to sort that one out), in the spinoff show Girl Meets World. Though the ceremony is a spontaneous one, the bride, Katy (Cheryl Texiera), manages to track down a gorgeous ivory gown with white floral embroidery and a ruffled hem. And yes, that is Mr. Feeny officiating.
We're loving the pleated bodice on Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone)'s V-neck bridal gown for her wedding to Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) in the season 12 finale.
Though she didn't go through with the wedding, Laura (Jamila Velazquez) looked lovely in a gown from Pnina Tornai's Wind Upon Water collection in Empire's surprising season 2 finale.
For her wedding to Schmidt (Max Greenfield) in season five, Cece (Hannah Simone) purchased a hideous, over-the-top, light-up wedding dress during a drunken dress-shopping excursion with Winston (Lamorne Morris). Thankfully, best maid of honor ever Jess (Zooey Deschanel) managed to transform the mess into a gorgeous wedding dress. Costume designer Debra McGuire turned the gown inside out, topped with a gold lace overlay, and added a train.
"I felt like the wedding dress should feel maybe not as traditional as her wedding with Shivrang, where she was wearing an Indian wedding sari," show creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether told Entertainment Weekly
. "I wanted it to have Indian elements to it, so that's why we added the gold pattern over the dress, and then gave her the veil." And because it's traditional for Indian brides to wear red, McGuire included the hue in Cece's gold veil, Jess's bridesmaid's dress, and the guys' ties.
"Jane the Virgin"
Jane (Gina Rodriguez), the main character of The CW show, will head down the aisle in the series finale. And, fitting to the title of the television show, she'll wear a white wedding dress—specifically a lacy, off-the-shoulder A-line from Aria. "The neckline is what really did it for me," costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin told EW
. "The proportions are great for Gina's body, and the dress is charming, yet simple. It has sweet details that really fit Jane's personality. And when I showed it to Gina, we felt right away this would be the wedding dress. Luckily, [showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman] agreed!"
Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) finally got her happy ending with the Downton Abbey series finale. "We've done weddings before on the show," said show producer Liz Trubridge, "but we haven't done much of the reception. So we wanted to make it more that we saw Edith happy and married, because we'd had so many moments at the altar. We wanted a takeaway. We wanted to see her in her wedding gown." Fans got just that, as Edith stunned in a lacey white wedding dress and headpiece that looked straight out of the '20s.
After four long seasons, Rayna (Connie Britton) and Deacon (Charles Esten) finally went down the aisle in the episode, "Forever and for Always." Despite her daughter's concerns, Rayna tied the knot with her long-time love wearing a gorgeous cream gown with lace detailing and an off-the-shoulder neckline, designed by show costumer Susie DeSanto.
Costume designer Jill Ohanneson dreamed up the figure-flattering sleeveless wedding dress that Emily (Emily VanCamp) wore down the aisle in the show's series finale.
"Pretty Little Liars"
The PLL gang wore gorgeous gowns for a charity fashion show in the episode "Unbridled": Spencer (Troian Bellisario) in a custom creation, Emily (Shay Mitchell) in Casablanca Bridal, and Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Aria (Lucy Hale) in White by Vera Wang.
"A Very Murray Christmas"
The storm may have ruined her wedding, but the bride (Rashida Jones) still looked chic in a wintery wedding dress and fur stole in the 2015 Netflix holiday special.
In season seven of Friends, Monica (Courteney Cox) stunned in a V-neck, fit-and-flare House of Bianchi gown for her wedding to Chandler (Matthew Perry).
"Sex and the City"
A white silk Badgley Mischka sheath with cap sleeves and a beaded bodice was Charlotte York (Kristin Davis)'s gown of choice for her second wedding to Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler).
When Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) married high school sweetheart Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio) in the final episode of Happy Days, she looked elegant in a long-sleeved wedding gown.
Rayna called off her wedding to Luke, but not before we got a glimpse of her gorgeous embroidered Monique Lhuillier Luella dress.
"Boy Meets World"
Though Cory (Ben Savage)'s mom wanted Topanga (Daniell Fishel) to wear her wedding dress, the bride opted for a long-sleeved lace gown that showed off her famous curves.
"Parks and Recreation"
Deciding to spontaneously marry Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) meant that Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) had to scramble to find a wedding dress at the last minute. Naturally, she turned to her BFF Ann (Rashida Jones) to create a dress that combined the "sensuality of Eleanor Roosevelt combined with the animal magnetism of Leslie Stahl." The result? A lace, A-line dress with a newspaper skirt that was so very Leslie. "It wasn't just a bunch of newspapers I had lying around," costume supervisor Kirston Mann said. "Every single piece was pulled from a Parks episode—even though no one in a million years will be able to see all the details."
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) is anything but traditional, so of course her bridal style had to be just as unique. She married Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) in a burgundy sheath with a plunging neckline.
Costume designer, Caroline McCall created a Swarovski crystal-embellished lacy white wedding dress for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew (Dan Stevens)'s nuptials. The finishing touch on the bridal look (which was, at the time, the show's most expensive costume)? A vintage veil and tiara from Bentley & Skinner, worth a combined $200,000.
Made by costume designer Deb McGuire using a lehenga from Little India, Los Angeles, Cece Parekh (Hannah Simone)'s traditional Indian wedding dress did not disappoint.
"Game of Thrones"
Despite the not-so-pretty plotline, Sansa (Sophie Turner)'s silver brocade dress with a fur caplet was absolutely breathtaking.
For her wedding to Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) in the series finale, Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) wore a glamorous gold-and-white Georges Chakra Couture wedding dress. Because, what else would you expect S to wear on her big day?
The GG series finale had not one, but two weddings. The second, of course, was the long-awaited Blair-Chuck Union. Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) wed Chuck Bass (Charles Bartholomew) in a blue, hand-beaded Elie Saab Couture gown for their romantic (but quick) Central Park nuptials.
We'd expect nothing less than bohemian bridal perfection from free spirit Jessa (Jemima Kirke), even if the marriage to Thomas-John (Chris O'Dowd) didn't last. Fun fact: Costume designer Jenn Rogien found the short, off-the-shoulder dress at Kirke's mother's vintage boutique, Geminola, and custom-made the veil and headpiece.
For her wedding to Luke (Scott Patterson), Lorelai (Lauren Graham) bought "the perfect dress" off the rack, in her size, on sale: a blush-colored silk tulle-bodiced Monique Lhuillier number.
"That '70s Show"
With its high neckline, bishop sleeves, and pleated skirt, the retro wedding dress Jackie (Mila Kunis) wore in this scene beside "bridesmaid" Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) stayed true to the title of the show. The fact that Kunis and Kutcher are now married makes this shot even better. (We have a feeling Kunis wore a very different style of dress for her own wedding, though!)
Who could forget the iconic and so-totally-'90s dresses worn by Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe (Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, and Lisa Kudrow) in the episode "The One With All the Wedding Dresses"?
"How I Met Your Mother"
Monique Lhuillier made the lovely tulle mermaid gown that Robin (Cobie Smulders) wore for her walk down the aisle. "The reason we ended up with the dress that we did was because our director Pam Fryman wanted to reveal that it was Robin in a close-up and so many wedding dresses are strapless," said costume designer Reiko Kurumada. "In the close-up I didn't want it to look like Robin was nude. I really wanted a wedding dress that had beautiful detail on the shoulder, arm area."
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar)'s season-three wedding to Angel (David Boreanaz) was a dream—as was the grand Vera Wang ball gown she wore.
The jaw-dropping dress Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) wore for her walk down the aisle to marry Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy) was a cream-colored satin gown covered in aurora borealis rhinestone studs from Celeste in Beverly Hills. "Ultimately we came up with the concept that we wanted the gown to look like every viewer's most romantic fantasy, something that would put, you know, [Princess] Diana's wedding dress to shame and every other great wedding gown since," Drescher said.
"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons) was wearing her wedding dress when things went south (literally) for her bungee-jumping fiancé Trevor (Brian Stokes Mitchell). Though an ugly ending, her gown was pretty awesome, especially accessorized with a Madonna-esque pearl choker and rosary necklace. Gotta love the '90s.
In the mini-series based on the George Eliot novel, Rosamond Vincy (Trevyn McDowell) wears a deep cream silk gown with net-embroidered flowers and a matching attached belt.
"Pride and Prejudice"
To marry Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) in the 1995 TV series adaptation, Elizabeth Bennett (Jennifer Ehle) wore a long-sleeve deep cream silk gown with an empire-waist and square neckline. Costume designer Dinah Collin was careful to create something appropriate for both her status and the period. "We checked archives and visited museums to find out exactly what a girl would have worn. If their family was short of cash, a bride would often wear her best dress, but if you could afford it you had a white wedding dress specially made.""
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) didn't actually tie the knot with Fitzgerald Grant during the ABC drama's 100th episode, but the alternative-reality scene did show us to the wedding that could have been. During the scene, Pope wore the "Berkeley" ball gown wedding dress designed by Anne Barge. With off-the-shoulder cap sleeves, there couldn't be a more perfect pick of a dress for Pope.
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