Movie wedding dresses are a great source of inspiration for brides everywhere. Here’s fifteen of the best and the wedding dress designers.
The Best Movie Wedding Dresses
(Image from E! Online)
Beginning this list is a case of cold feet with a happy ending in romantic comedy, Runaway Bride (1999). The film starring Julia Roberts sees her wear this stunning couture wedding gown.
The wedding dress was created by Ethiopian-born, American designer, Amsale Aberra. Her dresses have been seen in a slew of television programmes but this silk, embroidered number will be remembered as one of the greats.
Romeo + Juliet
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The Baz Luhrmann adaptation, Romeo + Juliet (1996), delivers on so many levels not least in its juxtaposition between modern fashion and Shakespearean drama. Luckily, costume designer Kym Barrett (The Matrix Trilogy) was more than up to the challenge.
The film saw many nods to high fashion as The Capulets costumes were inspired by Dolce and Gabbana. Whereas Romeo Montague aka. Leonardo DiCaprio was wed in a Prada suit.
Juliet Capulet played by Claire Danes, however, was seen in a very 90s waistcoat dress. Yet, the youthful simplicity and elegance is undeniable.
The Great Gatsby
(Image from Brides)
Baz Luhrmann’s second epic adaptation to make this list is The Great Gatsby (2013). The film that launched a revival of 20s fashion in the 21st century.
This time the director’s wife, Catherine Martin (Moulin Rouge) took the role of costume designer. Whilst the auteur’s relationship with Miuccia Prada saw a host of Prada and Miu Miu dresses used in the film.
Again, this movie references both the period and current fashion trends making for the perfect vintage-inspired wedding look.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
(Image from Cinema Blend)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), on the other hand, is set in a futuristic world which allowed for aesthetic risks. Costume designer, Trish Summerville (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) collaborated with Jakarta designer, Tex Saverio for this particular piece.
This is another film which makes use of and references high fashion whilst also pushing it forward. Not to mention what happens next to this dress.
(Gif from Vanity Fair)
(Image from Styleite)
The wedding dress to wear to the end of the world is seen in Melancholia (2011) and what a dress it is. The aim of director Lars von Trier and costume designer Manon Rasmussen was a traditional one.
Kirsten Dunst who plays the lead role, Justine, spoke to About about the dress. She said, “We wanted it to be a very Barbie wedding dress. Like a very traditional, out-of-the-magazine bride dress. He wanted to make it American-looking.”
(Image from Listal)
It’s no surprise that The Duchess (2008) based on the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire has extravagant garments. Yet, the bridal gown was actually considered toned down.
Costume designer, Michael O'Connor (The Last King of Scotland) told Amanda Foreman about the approach and choices. He said, “It's the second costume you see in the film – a creamy silk with lots of decoration.
“It's a way of being flamboyant, but not as ostentatious as if she were married in the presence of the king and queen. It's a grown-up dress; it says she's apprehensive about her future.”
This can be seen in the tight corset, the separation of the couple due to the width of the dress and their feigned happiness.
(Image from Amanda Seyfried)
Historical musical Les Misérables (2012) enlisted costume designer Paco Delgado (The Skin I Live In). The film had its own challenges, not least the relatively vast time span (1815-48).
The dramatic plot, however, did offer a moment of respite in the life and palette of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). She contrasts the patriotic blues and powerful reds of other main characters.
According to Indiewire Paco Delgado said, “We wanted to show her blossoming throughout the movie into a beautiful woman. And we had to be made aware that the only romantic side of the movie is Cosette's love story.”
The pastel tone, buoyant sleeves and lace show young romance and femininity.
(Image from Stylist)
A more gothic take on the wedding dress is seen in Great Expectations (2012) and Miss Havisham played by Helena Bonham Carter. Costume designer, Beatrix Aruna Pasztor (Good Will Hunting) spoke to Stylist about the challenges and inspirations.
She said, “Miss Havisham is such an iconic, intriguing character and I really wanted to do a young, fresh version of her.”
“I was very much influenced by Alexander McQueen’s SS13 oyster dress. It’s simple but beautiful and a wonderful example of how material can be used and layered to create a dramatic silhouette.”
The Phantom of the Opera
(Image from Wedding Stylings)
A show inside a show comes in the form of The Phantom of the Opera (2004). Whereas, the wedding dress is a symbol of virtue in antithesis with the darkness of The Phantom. He chooses it for her so she can act out his fantasy.
The din of the setting accentuates the light layers of this off-the-shoulder bridal gown and the drama does the rest.
The Sound of Music
(Image from Cosmopolitan)
The transformation of Maria (Julie Andrews) in The Sound of Music (1965) is an unusual one. Her journey goes from a convent to governess to beautiful bride.
This iconic silk wedding dress seems simple but the cut, neckline and train make it exquisite and unforgettable.
Gone With The Wind
(Image from Vogue)
Gone With The Wind (1939) has an ambitious plot and production. Costume designer Walter Plunkett (Singin' in the Rain) was meticulous in research and attention to detail.
In total 5,500 wardrobe items were created for the film not least the wedding dress. The silk, puff shoulders and leaf details match the grand scale of the movie, moment and relationship.
The Young Victoria
(Image from Of Wedding)
The Young Victoria (2009) movie wedding dress is, like the film, based on a real royal marriage. The movie matches Queen Victoria’s wedding dress in the pleats and lace detailing. Yet, the subtle floral pattern is more vivid.
Costume designer Sandy Powell (Cinderella) won the Oscar for this film. See her speaking about the challenges she faced and what she learned.
(Image from The Dreamstress)
Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy created the wedding dress worn in Funny Face (1957). The beautiful gown matches Audrey Hepburn’s history and frame. as a ballet dancer.
The capped sleeves and fitted top fountains into tulle over the skirt. A simple but striking style choice.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
(Image from Bridal)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) may not be the first thought when thinking of enviable fashion but this is a Carolina Herrera wedding dress.
The detail in the back of the wedding gown is on trend of this decade. It avoids being backless, however, with the use of sheer fabric. Plus, the trail of buttons disclose that this is a demure dress.
The front of the bridal gown also remains classic whilst the train adds pure romance.
Sex and the City
(Image from NY Daily News)
Finally, it’s arguably the best known designer movie wedding dress, Sex and the City (2008). The film sees Vivienne Westwood gift Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) this show-stopping bridal gown.
The plot also sees the wedding day dictated by the size of the dress and though it doesn’t make it down the aisle, the heartbreak is almost worth it.
(Main image from Anna Elyse)