The most influential wedding gowns of all time

In 1840, Queen Victoria broke royal wedding tradition when she walked down the aisle in a William Dyce ivory silk dress.

Until then, members of the British aristocracy wore gowns woven with gold and silver threads, layered with velvet and ermine robes.

The young, trail-blazing queen is credited with starting the custom of brides donning white or ivory dresses that is still in place today.

Eleanor Thompson – a former curator at the Brighton Museum in England – charts the course of bridal couture over the decades in her new book The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs That Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion.

From Audrey Hepburn’s Balmain ballerina-style dress she wore to wed Mel Ferrer in 1954 to the John Galliano one-shouldered, ombré pink gown Gwen Stefani opted for in 2002 to marry Gavin Rossdale you’ll be sure to find some bridal gown inspiration of your own.

We provide a selection of some of the most iconic wedding looks.

Prince Rainier Of Monaco and Grace Kelly, 1955

Dress by Helen Rose

Blog 42 Image x 1

Jackie Kennedy, 1953

Dress by Ann Lowe

Blog 42 Image x 2 copy

Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer, 1954

Dress by Balmain

Blog 42 Image x 3 copy

Ed Schlossberg And Caroline Kennedy, 1986

Dress by Carolina Herrera

Blog 42 Image x 4 copy

Kate And Pippa Middleton, 2011

Dress by Sarah Burton

Blog 42 Image x 5

Lady Diana Spencer And Prince Charles, 1981

Dress by David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Blog 42 Image x 6

Princess Elizabeth And Phillip Mountbatten, 1947

Dress by Norman Hartnell

Blog 42 Image x 7

Scroll to Top

We hope you like our shiny new website!

Please bear with us while we work through any bugs. You can report bugs by contacting us.