10 iconic brides from the 1950s to 2011…

Our selection of 10 of the world's most iconic brides from the 1950s through 2011.

Ten women who wowed the world on their wedding day, including one fictional bride, who was jilted...

See our articles on royal and celebrity brides... and royal and celebrity wedding dolls...

1953: Jacqueline Bouvier and John F Kennedy

When future First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier married America’s most eligible bachelor Senator Jack Kennedy on September 12, 1953, she wore a gown created for her by Ann Lowe, an African American dressmaker who made gowns for wealthy and socially prominent families like the Rockefellers and Roosevelts.

The gown took two months to make and used 45 meters of the finest silk. The dress was created using a complicated construction of interwoven ribbons, with a portrait neckline and short sleeves, balanced by a nipped in waist that flared out dramatically into a ballerina skirt. Jackie wore a lace veil that had belonged to her grandmother, accompanied by a Tudor cap.

1956: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco

Hollywood actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 19, 1956. Still tied into a 7-year contract with movie giant MGM, she agreed for her wedding to be filmed in return for a get-out clause.

Legendary MGM wardrobe designer Helen Rose designed her gown, made from 22 meters of silk taffeta and 90 meters of tulle. It was fitted at the waist to show off the bride’s perfect figure but her arms, swan-like neck and torso were swathed in antique Valenciennes rose point lace, making her gown appropriate for her devout Catholic wedding. Grace's sheer veil, embroidered with lace doves and seed pearls, enhanced her legendary beauty.

1966: Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra

Sinatra and Mia met in 1964 on the set of Peyton Place, a racy soap opera gripping America. Mia's looks, gamine proportions and cool off-screen 'model' style were perfect for the era. Aged 21, Mia caused a sensation when she wed twice-married 50 year-old Sinatra on July 19, 1966 at The Sands hotel in Las Vegas. Her ivory Mod-look wedding dress was attributed to West Hollywood fashion icon Pat Woolley, and her long blond hair had been cropped short by Vidal Sassoon. At 5'4, two inches shorter than her husband, she wore trendy flats.

The marriage ended two years later (some blame that brutally short haircut…).

1967: Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis Presley

Priscilla Beaulieu married Elvis Presley, the King, on May 1, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Vegas at the age of 21, having met when she was just 14. (Elvis was 32 when he wed.) Priscilla epitomized Sixties glamour with a floor length white silk chiffon gown that she had designed herself with sheer beaded yolk neckline and sleeves twinkling with seed pearls, accessorized with eyeliner, false eyelashes, pale lipstick and bouffant hairpiece topped with a three foot long cloudlike tulle veil secured in place by a mighty rhinestone crown.

The couple later repeated the ceremony at Graceland for family wearing exactly the same clothes, make- up and hairstyle. Exactly nine months later their daughter Lisa Marie was born.

1971: Bianca Macias and Mick Jagger

When Nicaraguan beauty Bianca Macias wed Rolling Stone rocker Mick Jagger in St Tropez on May 12, 1971, she eschewed a bridal gown for a white jacket and maxi skirt created by Saville Row tailor Tommy Nutter, popular with rock stars of the time such as the Beatles. The outfit also included a shirt and vest, but Bianca, 4 months pregnant with daughter Jade, wore nothing underneath, revealing her cleavage, to the embarrassment of the priest at the religious ceremony.

The bride finished off the look with a huge white floppy hat trimmed with fabric flowers and sheer veil to shield her from the sunshine and the paparazzi, and tied a floral corsage around her wrist which almost obscured her sparkling diamond bracelet.


1981: Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles

When 20 year-old Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, her wedding gown was viewed by over 750 million people worldwide, influencing bridal fashion for years to come. Designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, recent graduates of London’s Royal College of Art, the romantic silk taffeta dress had a fitted bodice, a modest V neckline, huge puffed sleeves, and a 25-foot cathedral train. Small silk bows adorned the dress, and a small 18 carat-gold lucky horseshoe was tucked into the petticoats, which were made of over 100 meters of net. Diana’s veil, sparkling with 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins, was held in place by the Spencer family’s diamond tiara.

This iconic dress, like the Princess who wore it, has proved unforgettable.

1996: Carolyn Bessette and John F Kennedy Jr

When Carolyn Bessette wed John F Kennedy Jr in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia on September 21, 1996, Narciso Rodriguez, head designer of Calvin Klein, designed her $40,000 pearl-colored silk crepe bias cut floor-length gown and silk gloves. The dress was teamed with a tulle silk veil and held in place by a diamond clip belonging to her late mother-in-law, Jackie Kennedy. The bride carried a bouquet of lily-of-the-valley. Carolyn’s bridal style still appears on the best dressed bride lists.

Tragic struck when the light aircraft piloted by John F Kennedy Jr crashed on July 16, 1999, killing all aboard including Carolyn and her sister, Lauren.

1999: Victoria Adams and David Beckham

When 25 year-old former Spice Girl Victoria Adams married football legend, David, in a private ceremony in Ireland in July 1999, her wedding dress was perhaps the biggest story of a fairytale day. The champagne silk dress, designed by Vera Wang, had a 20-foot train and a boned corset that gave Victoria a 20 inch waist just four months after giving birth to her first child, Brooklyn.

The bride wore a Queen Titania-style 18-carat gold and diamond tiara created by Slim Barrett on her pixie haircut. Husband David wore top-to-toe ivory with matching highlights. The couple sat on gilded thrones, perhaps confirming their status as celebrity royalty and style icons. The couple now have four children and appear to be living happily ever after.

2008: Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big (in the Sex and the City movie)

After six series of Sex and the City, fictional bride Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) plans her wedding to commitment-phobe Mr Big in the first SATC movie. The movie was a great advert for bridalwear designers, with Carrie trying on a whole range of gowns by Vera Wang, Carolina Herrera, Christian Dior complete with hat by Stephen Jones, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin and, finally, Vivienne Westwood.

Wearing her champagne silk-satin Westwood gown, a blue bird headpiece, pearl stud earrings and carrying a bouquet of white roses, she is jilted by Mr Big. They eventually do wed in a low-key ceremony at New York City Hall where her outfit is a nipped in vintage jacket and skirt suit worn with blue satin buckled Manolos.


2011: Kate Middleton and Prince William

When Prince William of England announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton, the speculation immediately began as to who would design her bridal gown. The secret remained just that until the moment the future Duchess of Cambridge stepped out of her wedding car outside Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 to reveal that the prestigious designer was Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

The ivory and white satin gazar dress, on display in Buckingham Palace during summer 2011, has a bodice and long sleeves in English and French Chantilly lace, and a 9-foot train. The skirt echoes an opening flower, and the back is finished with 58 gazar and organza buttons. The bride’s veil was held in place by the Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Kate by The Queen. The dress has guaranteed its place in the history books and is already setting bridal trends worldwide.

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