wedding gown with bridal bouquet

The Best Celebrity Wedding Dresses: The Evolution of the Wedding Gown

Jan 2, 2024
By Wedding Spot

One thing every generation has in common: its collective obsession with celebrity wedding dresses. We love to know what our favorite celebrities will wear for their big day. And why wouldn’t we? These dresses have the biggest budgets, designed by the best designers, with the richest fabric, and accessorized with expensive jewels

Many celebrity wedding dresses remain iconic — some for their classic vintage styles, while others are more avante-garde. We’re bringing you a compilation of the best celebrity wedding dresses from Mary Queen of Scotts to Kim Kardashian.

33 Best Celebrity Wedding Dresses Throughout History

An element that consistently stands out in numerous celebrity wedding dresses is the profound level of detail and symbolism woven into the dress. Whether it’s, a special meaning to the flowers in the bouquet, a subtle incorporation of a family heirloom, or initials stitched to the veil, unique details elevate the dress to a cherished piece of art for decades to come. 

From custom-made empire waist gowns to figure-hugging modern dresses, let’s explore some timeless celebrity wedding dresses.

1. Queen Isabella I of Castile (1469)

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Queen Isabella likely wore a wedding dress, similar to this one, with luxurious silk or satin fabrics in bright orange or brown shades to her wedding to Ferdinand of Castile. As was common in the wardrobes of the 15th-century nobility, the gown featured voluminous skirts, a fitted bodice, and long sleeves. The Queen likely wore gold jewelry to show off her wealth and status. 

2. Anne Boleyn (1533)

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Here’s an early pink wedding dress that you’ll love. The infamous Anne Boleyn had a sumptuous pink wedding gown with gold brocade when she married King Henry VIII in 1533. 

The elaborate sleeves and decorative details at the cuff were the trending fashion of the time. This style would be seen throughout the fashionable elite of Europe for the next couple of centuries. She also wore a headdress called a French hood, a hood-shaped piece that framed the face, accompanied by a long veil with lace borders.

3. Mary, Queen of Scots (1558)

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Paintings don’t do justice to this royal celebrity dress. The white wedding dress became popular with Victorian-era elites but, three hundred years earlier, the infamous Marie Stuart had insisted on wearing white for her marriage to Francis II of France. It is documented that her gown was “a robe whiter than the lily, but so glorious in its fashion and decorations that it would be difficult, nay, impossible, for any pen to do justice to its details.”

Her train was twelve yards long and abundant jewels were sewn to it. She also wore a golden crown and a matching pendant studded with precious gemstones. 

4. Isabella of Parma (1740)

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Silver and gold dresses were often worn by royal brides during the early 17th and 18th centuries. Isabella of Parma wore an opulent silver gown with rich brocade and lace when she married Archduke Joseph of Austria. She has a white bow around her neck and styled her hair in two plaits.

5. Marie Antoinette (1770) 

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Known as an extravagant Queen, Marie Antoinette married the future King Louis XVI of France in a lavish wide-hooped gown with silver embroidery and covered in many diamonds. The wedding dress also featured large hip pads which added a significant amount of horizontal width to Marie Antoinette’s silhouette from the waist down.

6. Josephine Bonaparte (1796)

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If you're a fan of Jane Austen-style wedding dresses, you’ll love this wedding dress worn by Josephine Bonaparte. Josephine married Napoleon in a simple, Empire-waisted Neoclassical white muslin gown. This style would later define early 19th-century fashion in Europe. For a few hundred years, the royals really did set the trends in European fashion.

7. Marie-Thérèse of France (1799)

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Marie-Thérèse, the only child of Marie Antoinette's that survived into adulthood, married her cousin (those crazy old royals, right?) Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, in a classic Empire-style gown, similar to this one. It was silver-brocaded satin with a veil of white tulle.

8. Queen Victoria (1840)

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When Queen Victoria decided to walk down the aisle in a white wedding dress to marry Prince Albert, little did she know that her unconventional move would alter the course of Western bridal traditions for the next few hundred years. 

The cream silk satin wedding gown of Queen Victoria was made of English Spitalfields silk, a boned bodice lined with silk, elbow-length gathered sleeves, deep lace flounces at the neck and a pleated skirt. She was adorned with a Turkish diamond necklace and earrings, and a beautiful sapphire brooch gifted by her future husband. Rather than wear a tiara, the Queen opted for a simple wreath of orange blossoms and myrtle.

9. Empress Eugénie of France (1853)

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As an Empress of France, we can’t expect anything less than jewel-studded and extravagant from Eugénie’s wedding dress. She donned an exquisite basque-waisted white gown made with terry velvet, with a very long train studded with diamonds and sapphires. Her crinoline skirt was filled with intricate lace details. She also wore a wedding veil measuring four and a half yards in length.

10. Princess Alexandra of Denmark (1863)

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Princess Alexandra married Edward, Prince of Wales in a dress made of white silk satin trimmed with orange blossoms, myrtle, puffs of tulle, and Honiton lace. It had a  21-foot train which was reportedly carried by eight young ladies. She accessorized with a pearl necklace, earrings, a brooch, an opal-diamond bracelet from Queen Victoria.

11. Sarah Bernhardt (1882)

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The famous actress wore a unique dress featuring a sculpted bustle and elaborate lace detailing for her wedding to Aristides Damala. She’s also the first actress on our list, marking a shift in popular culture and trendsetters in Europe and the United States.

12. Consuelo Vanderbilt (1895)

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The famous actress and great-granddaughter of American railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt wore a one-of-a-kind white dress featuring an opulent sculpted bustle and lace detailing for her wedding to Charles Spencer-Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. Everything about it was elaborate — the sleeves, the pleated and ruffled skirt, the nine-foot long train, the dramatic cape, and the high headdress. This masterpiece was designed by Charles Frederick Worth, the first on our list to seek out a noted designer for her gown.

13. Queen Maud of Norway (1896)

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Maud, daughter of King Edward VII, wore a white satin gown designed by Rosalie Whyte of the Royal Female School of Art. The dress featured a high-collar, with flowers at the skirt hem, and a long train bordered with orange blossoms. The bodice was embroidered with silver and diamonds. She wore minimal jewelry, with a choker on her neck and some bracelets and flowers instead of a tiara.

14. Wallis Simpson (1937)

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One of the most famous brides of the 20th century, American actress Wallis Simpson married British King Edward VIII in a Mainbocher-designed, powder blue dress that was nipped at the waist. More specifically, the designer created the frock in her signature color of "Wallis blue." She had a matching blue halo-shaped straw hat. Her bridal gloves were specifically designed to accommodate her emerald and diamond engagement ring. But of course, her marriage is most remembered for her husband’s subsequent abdication of the British throne.

15. Elizabeth Taylor (1950, first marriage)

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The American actress, known for many of her roles, like those in the original Father of the Bride movie and Cleopatra, infamously walked down the aisle eight times, to seven husbands. We particularly love her first wedding dress, worn for her marriage to Conrad Hilton — a traditional white satin dress with a sweetheart neckline.

Designed by Helen Rose, this satin gown featured long sleeves, and an elaborate full A-line skirt with pearl embellishments. The gown had the illusion of an off-shoulder sweetheart neckline. Liz’s pearl tiara and veil topped off this classic wedding look.

16. Princess Soraya of Iran (1951)

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One of the most popular royal celebrities of her time, Princess Soraya of Iran wore an elegant Dior gown when she married Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. This wedding outfit was dramatic in every way — an off-shoulder tulle ball gown, a long train, dramatic tulle details in the skirt. The dress was so heavy that Soraya had difficulty bearing the weight of it! The princess accessorized with emerald and diamond jewels, satin gloves, and a Juliet cap embellished with gems.

17. Jacqueline Kennedy (1953, first marriage)

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This gown worn by Jacqueline Bouvier for her wedding to John F. Kennedy still remains an all-time favorite. Created by fashion designer Ann Lowe, this ivory silk taffeta wedding dress was made with a fitted bodice, finished with a portrait neckline, and a bouffant skirt, which featured tiny wax flowers. The ornaments Jacqueline wore were of personal significance — a lace veil that belonged to her grandmother, a pearl necklace, a diamond pin from her parents, and a diamond bracelet from her groom. The lace-and-orange-blossom tiara completed the bridal outfit.

18. Marilyn Monroe (1954, first marriage)

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Marilyn Monroe was an enigmatic icon whose outfits continue to inspire many to this day. Her wedding dress was a simple dark brown suit with a furry Peter Pan collar when she married the New York Yankee's Joe DiMaggio. Despite the simplicity of her choice, it became an iconic symbol of her elegant beauty and famous silhouette. 

19. Audrey Hepburn

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Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer in a tea-length, ballerina-style, white tulle dress designed by Pierre Balmain, epitomizing her signature style. It had puff sleeves, a sprightly collar, and an oversized bow in the back. Hepburn also wore elbow-length gloves and a flower crown.

20. Princess Grace of Monaco (1956)

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Princess Grace’s wedding dress is a masterpiece creation that would continue to inspire bridal dresses seven decades later. For her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace wore a rose-point lace gown with a fitted bodice, created by costume designer Helen Rose. The dress was constructed in four complex parts: the bodice with intricate lace details and pearl embellishments, a heavily pleated silk faille skirt with petticoat, a triangular tulle and lace train insert, and a pleated silk faille.

21. Priscilla Presley (1967)

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Priscilla Presley wore a classic floor-length wedding gown made from silk chiffon, designed by Bill Belew. It had a beaded neckline and seed pearl-embellished sleeves. The bride also wore a classic short veil and a tiara.

22. Bianca Jagger (1971)

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While a skirt suit wedding outfit wouldn’t be too unconventional today, this wasn’t the case when Bianca Jagger married rocker Mick Jagger in 1971. This white, off-the-shoulder tailored jacket with a bias-cut skirt captured interest as an avant-garde wedding look. The veiled wide-brimmed hat and platform sandals gave the look a more dramatic effect. The 20th century saw a diversification in bridal fashion trends, along with the widening variety of styles available for everyday wear.

23. Diana, Princess of Wales (1981)

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Lady Diana’s voluminous wedding gown, worn at her wedding to Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, is perhaps the most recognizable celebrity wedding dress in history—and her wedding was certainly the most famous of the 1900s. Her wedding outfit had the most elaborate and elegant details: a 25-foot-long sequin encrusted train, romantic style full skirt, thousands of hand-embroidered pearls, ivory silk tulle veil with mother-of-pearl sequins, and very puffy sleeves. She also wore a family heirloom, the diamond Spencer tiara. 

24. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (1986)

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Sarah Ferguson wore a gorgeous ivory silk gown designed by Linda Cierach when she married Prince Andrew. Inspired by Lady Diana’s wedding gown a few years before (and an ill-fated marriage, much like Diana’s), this dress has a 17-foot-long train and an elaborate skirt. The noteworthy element of Ferguson’s wedding dress was its symbolic embroideries and beadwork — hearts representing romance, anchors and waves representing Prince Andrew's sailing background, and bumblebees and thistles, which were taken from the bride's family heraldry, and the intertwined initials A and S sewn in silver beads. She wore minimal jewelry and adorned the York Diamond Tiara.

25. Julia Roberts (2002)

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Calling all brides looking to add a bit of color to your wedding dress: this pale pink cotton halter dress worn by actress Julia Roberts will definitely inspire you. The elegant rustic dress designed by Stella McCartney reflects Julia’s effortless chic style. Although she wore minimal jewelry, the headdress was enough to complement her dress — a delicate wire crown adorned with antique buttons, pearls, and cut glass.  

26. Gwen Stefani (2002, first marriage)

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American singer and songwriter Gwen Stefani's wedding ensemble was a breathtaking fusion of tradition. She opted for a stunning Dior dress amplified by a masterful pink dip-dyed effect at the hem of the skirt, perfectly encapsulating her funky and offbeat style. The rest of her outfit complemented this statement gown — an antique lace veil a pink bow on one shoulder and a scraped-back hairstyle.

27. Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge (2011)

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Kate Middleton’s wedding gown, designed by Sarah Burton, combined both traditional and modern elements. One of the most highly-anticipated weddings, her marriage to Princess Diana’s elder son William, was watched live around the world. This dress features a nine-foot-long train and a white satin pleated skirt. The back of Kate’s bodice was dotted with gazar and organza-covered buttons. The hand-embroidered motifs of her veil were of different flowers. Kate wore the famous Cartier Halo tiara and diamond earrings. Her wedding bouquet had five different kinds of flowers, each symbolizing a virtue.

As a “commoner” marrying into the British royal family, her style (and the maid of honor gown worn by her sister Pippa) went viral in the wedding industry, with many brands creating similar options in the following years.

28. Amal Clooney (2014)

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Lawyer Amal Alamuddin, now known as Amal Clooney, married actor George Clooney in a custom Oscar de la Renta lace gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline. The gown is made of silk tulle, lace, silk organza, and silk taffeta, and is embellished with rhinestones and caviar beads. This dreamy wedding dress looks like something right out of a fairytale. The long tulle veil with laced edges makes this outfit even more stunning. 

29. Kim Kardashian (2014, third marriage)

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The Kardashians were already fashion and social media icons, and Kim Kardashian’s 2014 dress, worn for her marriage to rapper Kanye West, did not disappoint. Designed by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, it featured a lace bodice and a mermaid-style silhouette, reflecting Kim’s signature style.
The illusion necklines, the long lace sleeves, a partly see-through diamond-shaped cut-out bodice, and the very, very big veil all made for an ensemble that was fashion-forward.

30. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex (2018, second marriage)

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If Kate Middleton’s wedding to Will was a cultural phenomenon, her sister-in-law Meghan Markle’s marriage to Diana’s youngest son Harry was just as sensational. Her minimalist boat-necked dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, featuring three-quarter sleeves and a fitted bodice that flows into a sculpted waist. The plain design of the dress was complemented by a dramatic long veil, made with five meters of silk tulle and featuring delicate hand-embroidered flowers representing the 53 Commonwealth countries. Talk about detailing!

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She even donned a second dress later in the day for the reception. In the same effortless and simple style, the halter neck embodies the celebratory event.

31. Priyanka Chopra (2018)

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When Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra married singer Nick Jonas, fans expected nothing less than outfits with a fusion of Indo-Western wedding styles. The couple did not disappoint as they graced various events, including a traditional Indian ceremony and a Western celebration, adorned in stunning ensembles that reflected both cultures. Chopra donned this wedding gown for the Christian ceremony. It was a fitted A-line Ralph Lauren gown with long-sleeves studded with more than two million sequins. However, the real spectacle of the event was a 75-foot veil.

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The gown worn for her Indian ceremony was a traditional lehenga in a stunning red dye, studded with handmade organza and silk detailing and crystals. It was rumored to have taken over 100 embroiderers to complete.

32. Hailey Baldwin Bieber (2019)

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This celebrity’s wedding dress is one of the most adored ones worldwide. Hailey Bieber wore a form-fitting off-white, off-shoulder dress, designed by Virgil Abloh. The highlight of this wedding outfit was the trailing veil with the words “Till Death Do Us Part” stitched along the bottom.

Celebrity wedding dresses celebrate timeless elegance

These wedding dresses, each iconic in their own way, reflect the fashion, culture, and status of their respective eras—and in many cases, set those trends. But some of them not only influenced bridal fashions in their time, but also continue to inspire brides and designers today.

Up next, budget for your dream wedding dress with the help of our ultimate wedding budget template!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.