Wearing white on your wedding day is not a new concept. Ever since Queen Victoria wore a white frock on her wedding day in 1840, the trend stuck.
The concept (originally a pure fashion choice that confirmed rand) had changed to connote purity or virginity. Today, in the West at least, it’s just a thing women do.
Watch the wedding gown evolve from the early 1900s to present day in this gallery. Actresses, royals, models and singers show off their versions of the perfect wedding dress in their respective decades.
Dorothea Baird was a stage and film actress, and this photo was taken on her wedding day in the 1900s. Despite her absent veil, the bride hits the traditional wedding quota with her long train and overflowing bouquet.
Mademoiselle Loewenstein captures the trends of the roaring ’20s. From the flapper-styled headpiece, which covers the forehead, to the shapeless cut, this bride has ’20s written all over her.
Actress Ann Todd shows off her Helene Galin wedding gown. Notice that the new decade has unique style, including puffed sleeves, a cinched waste and a long train and veil.
Does this bride look familiar? If so, it’s probably because her family is kind of a big deal. Princess Elizabeth—or Queen Elizabeth II as we know her, is seen here on her wedding day to Prince Phillip in 1947.
Known as one of the most iconic and beautiful women of the century, actress Grace Kelly is photographed on her wedding day to the Prince of Monaco. Special to the ’50s are the headpieces supporting a cropped veil, a cinched waste and high necklines. It looks as if Kate Middleton was royally inspired by the neckline, as she sported a similar version when she married Prince William.
The ’60s brought a drastic change to the fashion world. Besides the typical 60s makeup and flowery hair, notice how actress Sharon Tate’s dress is cropped to reveal those long legs. Viva la glam!
Musicians Cher and Gregg Allman pose with the bridal party on their wedding day. Cher’s gown flatters her tall figure, and her ensemble resembles a peasant or bohemian wanderer (the desired aesthetic of 70s fashion). While the top of her dress resembles a corset, the gown flows passed her feet.
Our favourite material girl didn’t hold back on her wedding to actor Sean Penn. Looking glamorous and slightly ruffled, Madonna stays true to the “go big or go home” mentality of the 80s. With a puffed-out veil and skirt, she’s like a beautiful bubble bath on legs.
Similar to Madonna, Princess Diana’s wedding dress has enough volume to go around. As Prince Charles escorts her from Westminster Abbey, we’re given a chance to admire her puffy sleeves, the voluminous skirt, and her overflowing bouquet.
With the 90s came fringed bangs and natural makeup, but also a return to higher necklines. Meg Ryan looks proud to be wedged between new hubby Dennis Quaid and friend Martin Short. Talk about a star-studded wedding!
What happens when a Spice Girl marries a famous soccer player? You get a fabulous Beckham wedding. True to her alias, Victoria Beckham (‘Posh Spice’) got married in full glam, including a mini crown (not to be mistaken with a tiara) and a bouquet of…apples?
Actress and model Michelle Hunziker reminds us of the skin-peeking look of the 90s. Remember when bra-less tops, belly shirts, knee-high socks and short skirts, were a thing? Apparently high-slit wedding gowns that slipped off the shoulders were also “in”. But no matter the trend or decade, it would be hard for Michelle to look anything but fabulous.
Actress Courteney Cox marries fellow Scream actor David Arquette. We love the simple elegance of Courteney’s dress: a low neckline, simple jewellery and long gown, matched with a flowing veil.
Musician Avril Lavigne married her favourite “sk8r boi”, Deryck Whibley of Sum41. Despite her tomboy-grunge look, Avril looks feminine and elegant—almost demure, on her wedding day. While trains and veils remained long in the 2000s, long sleeves are beginning to disappear in the wedding dress trend.
In the most famous wedding of the decade, Kate Middleton married Prince William. This, of course, calls for a decadent wedding celebration, and a wedding gown that both captures the conservative nature of the family and shows the bride off as a desirable leading lady. Kate was a dream!
We’ve been waiting for this wedding since Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and the Jolie-Pitt wedding did not disappoint. Angelina Jolie brought her originality to the table, wearing a wedding gown that pulled all focus to her children and the intimacy of her family.
We know Kim Kardashian for so many things, but right now we just want to pause and appreciate her (third) wedding dress. The glorious train of her gown takes up half a room. This goes without saying, but her veil and the style of her dress beautifully matches her hourglass figure. Two thumbs up Mrs. Kardashian-West.