For centuries, the public has looked upon royal weddings to gather style inspiration for their own special ceremonies. When it comes to royal wedding gowns, long sleeves, lace and trains are some of the recurring details that may come to mind. These dresses are certainly in a league of their own, worn by strong, influential women who consistently set the bar for elegant bridal fashion.
We sat down with JJsHouse designer, Jessica, to discuss the various attributes of royal wedding dress styles. From Queen Victoria to Grace Kelly, we’ll walk you through the details that helped put these iconic ensembles on the map.
Queen Victoria is arguably the most profound bridal fashion trendsetter in royal history. It was 1840 when she made a bold decision to wear a white lace dress to wed Prince Albert. In those days, white was actually an unpopular color choice for wedding gowns. Her choice was both stylistic and political and sparked the age-old trend of wearing a white dress for marriage.
Grace Kelly was perhaps the most impactful bridal trendsetter after Queen Victoria. The Oscar-winning actress wed Prince Rainer III of Monaco in 1956 and her gown is still influencing bridal fashion today. Her iconic wedding gown was created by Helen Rose, an Academy-Award winning costume designer with MGM. With a bodice made of highly embellished antique Brussels lace and hundreds of pearls, a flower crown Juliet cap to hold her unique circular veil in place and a gown that used over 400 yards of fabric and broke down into 10 parts, it’s no wonder that Grace Kelly made a lasting impression on her wedding day.
Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales in 1981 wearing an intricate ivory taffeta gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. It featured details that no bride since has ever come close to replicating, including stunning embellishments of 10,000 pearls, elaborate embroidery details, and a train that trailed a breathtaking 25 feet behind her. In fact, her gown barely fit in the carriage she rode to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Kate Middleton is the first royal lady to set some modern-day wedding dress style trends. Her gown left a lasting impression in the bridal fashion industry, and almost a decade later it’s still impossible to forget. Her iconic bridal gown was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The princess did draw inspiration from her royal predecessors, using a lace collar and long sleeves. She combined this timeless design with modern details like padding on the hips a bottom designed to resemble an opening flower.
Unlike the royal women of the past who followed the rule ‘bigger is better’, Meghan Markle recently made a fashion statement at her wedding to Prince Harry with her sophisticated style philosophy, less is more. She was wed in 2018 wearing a minimalist gown designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy Couture. She did, however, choose to keep the signature royal long sleeves and wore a train that extended from her veil a whopping 16 feet behind her.
Although they can never be replicated, these Royal wedding dress styles should help inspire some of your own elegant ideas for a gown. Take some tips from JJsHouse designer, Jessica, and the royal ladies above and dress like royalty on your big day.