There’s nothing quite as special as the perfect wedding gown. One that encapsulates everything you’ve ever dreamt of – and, the same goes for our favourite on-screen women as well. Designers have long been tasked with crafting the dresses of our favourite characters, ones that still draw inspiration for our real-life events today.
When Carrie Bradshaw was gifted her dream Vivienne Westwood gown we watched in awe, same goes with the perfection of her ‘labelless’ suit paired with iconic Manolo Blahnik’s which, in the end, encapsulated Sarah Jessica Parker’s decade-long journey. Annie Banks (Kimberly Williams) stole the hearts of daughters around the world when she walked down the aisle alongside father George (Steve Martin) in a traditional gown paired with sneakers, while Jo Stockton’s Givenchy tea-length dress still sits on bridal boards to this day.
Basically, a character’s wedding gown ends up staying with us long after they leave our screens. In honour of that, we’ve rounded up our favourites of all time, and the stories of how they came to be. Scroll down to see some of the most iconic film wedding gowns of all time.
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City
The iconic Vivienne Westwood gown first appeared in the designer’s Winter 2007/2008 collection and was re-designed for Sarah Jessica Parker’s SATC character. Since its appearance on the show (and despite its unhappy ending thanks to Mr Big), the dress is still one of the most sought-after wedding gowns in history – earning its place in TV fashion royalty.
Anastasia Steel, Fifty Shades Of Grey
Bridal and eveningwear maven Monique Lhuillier was tasked by costume designer Shay Cunliffe to create Dakota Johnson’s wedding gown for her role as Anastasia Steel in the 50 Shades franchise. The designer, who is best known for crafting bridalwear that is both traditional and trendsetting, also dressed Reese Witherspoon, Lauren Conrad, Savannah Guthrie, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears and Pink for their wedding days – just to name a few.
Jo Stockton, Funny Face
Audrey Hepburn’s wedding gown as Jo Stockton in Funny Face is as endearing and spellbinding as when it was released in 1957. The Givenchy tea-length gown has (rightfully so) become one of the most iconic in the history of film, thanks to its classic and minimalist approach.
Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With The Wind
It might surprise you to learn that designer Walter Plunkett made Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh)’s iconic wedding dress from the 1939 classic ill-fitting on purpose. The wedding was a hurried one, as her groom, Charles Hamilton, was heading to war, so the bride borrowed her mother’s gown.
Lucy Ball, The Long, Long Trailer
Film fashion icon Helen Rose was tasked with designing Lucy Ball’s over-the-top wedding gown that was worn in the 1953 comedy.
Shirley MacLaine, Steel Magnolias
Julia Roberts is no stranger to a wedding gown, having worn many in her long career. For her role as Southern belle Shelby, Julie Weiss created a feminine pale pink ball gown, which featured pink flowers on the bodice and pink sashes in the skirt.
Mary Fiore, The Wedding Planner
Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) looked elegant in a simple, boat-neck top and pencil skirt that Pamela Withers designed for The Wedding Planner. The gown would prove so iconic, that Meghan Markle’s 2019 royal wedding gown by Givenchy’s Claire Waight Keller would feature the same chic neckline and elegance.
Liv and Emma, Bride Wars
Who else but Vera Wang to dress best-friends-turned enemies Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) in 2009 comedy Bride Wars.
Satine, Moulin Rouge
Nicole Kidman looks stunning in everything she wears, but especially so as Satine in Moulin Rouge. Costume designers Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie designed the Hindi-style wedding dress with silver metallic embroidery and beading. Their work in the film earned them a 2002 Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Fanny Brice, Funny Girl
While Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand) didn’t wear this flower-trimmed gown for an actual wedding, but rather a performance of ‘His Love Makes Me Beautiful’, it’s as memorable as if it were. Academy Award and Tony Award-winning costume designer Irene Sharaff did the fashion for the 1968 musical.
Karen Blixen, Out Of Africa
Some serious research went into costume designer Milena Canonero’s designs for this 1985 film and the re-imagination of Karen Blixen’s (Meryl Streep) wedding outfit proves it. In Blixen’s writings: “she makes reference to clothes she had shipped from Paris,” Canonero told the Los Angeles Times. “She said in one letter she wore a white suit to her wedding. I’m sure she had a very simple suit, but I wanted to make a little more of it. I decided to make it very French, a la mode.” Of course, it was the white silk hat with antique embroidery that took the look to the next level.”
Annie Banks, Father Of The Bride
Annie Banks (Kimberly Williams) stole the hearts of dads everywhere in her wedding dress by costumer Susan Becker in the 1991 remake. And of course, the character kept comfortable with sneakers underneath – an idea that Williams apparently borrowed for her own wedding to country singer Brad Paisley.
Emma Woodhouse, Emma
For the ending scene of the 1996 film, Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) wore a silk crepe creation with embroidered sleeves and train and an empire waist that would become hugely popular in the late 90s. “It’s an honour to launch a trend,” costume designer Ruth Myers, who made it, once told the Los Angeles Daily News.
Juliet, Love Actually
Ah, Love Actually. Juliet (Keira Knightley) wore a seriously unique gown, with long-sleeves and feathered details.
Charlie Cantilini, Monsters In Law
For this 2005 rom-com, bride Charlie Cantilini (Jennifer Lopez) wore a chic, ivory ball gown with a plunging neckline by Saeyoung Vu Couture and accessorised with elbow-high gloves (which, incidentally have become hugely popular with red carpet looks of late). Hilariously, her future mother-in-law, Viola (Jane Fonda), shows up in a look that’s, let’s say, not fitting for a mother of the bride: a white dress and matching white gloves. Kym Barrett was the costume designer behind this iconic look.
Margaret “Clover” Russell, The Good Sheperd
Costume designer Ann Roth dressed Angelina Jolie in an art deco-inspired wedding dress for her role as Margaret “Clover” Russell in the 2006 film. The cream satin dress, vintage curls, and of course, bold lip, were all fitting for the film set in the 1930s.
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & The City
Carrie has already gotten an honourable mention for her Vivienne Westwood, but in the end her labelless vintage suit proved the winning bridal look. And, Carrie wouldn’t be Carrie without a killer pair of satin Manolo Blahnik pumps, which played a role in the proposal and fittingly served as her “something blue.”
Queen Victoria, Young Victoria
Designer Sandy Powell wanted to keep Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt)’s fashion authentic for the 2009 period drama. To do so, she studied Victoria’s dresses, including the bridal gown, at Kensington Palace. “It was fascinating to see the workmanship and the fineness of the fabrics. Victoria was tiny, under five feet tall, and her dresses looked child-size.” And, of course, like the queen, Blunt wore a flower crown atop her head.
Bella Swan, Twilight
When Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) wed Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in the 2011 instalment of Twilight, author Stephanie Meyer called upon legendary bridal designer Carolina Herrera. The gown took Herrera and four seamstresses six months to create and features crepe satin and French Chantilly.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
While Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) may have been wearing her wedding gown as a ploy, that doesn’t make it any less iconic. Designed by Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) in the movie, Tex Saverio in real life, it featured an “organza corset under a metal cage” and a tiered organza and chiffon ruffle skirt.
Muriel, Muriel’s Wedding
For her wedding in the 1994 classic, the socially awkward, ABBA-loving Muriel (Toni Collete) wears an extravagant gown with an embellished bodice. Costume designer Terry Ryan received one of five of his Awards for Best Costume Design from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA).
This article originally appeared on InStyle Australia.