With the exception of, say, your own mom, nobody ever walked down the aisle looking more lovely than Grace Kelly. Her gown was a gift from MGM studios, and was created for her by MGM costume designer Helen Rose.
(Ladies, here’s a tip: I know the big fantasy is to have a wedding dress created for you by a fashion designer, but if you have the chance to get a dress made by a costume designer, jump at it. A fashion designer knows how to make the dress look good. A costume designer knows how to make you look good.)
Since Kelly’s movie-star status was a bit of an embarrassment to the Royal Family of Monaco, her dress was deliberately designed to be as demure and fit for a princess as possible, with a high bodice, antique lace, and hundreds of feet of tulle.
It’s a gorgeous way to go… But what if your tastes are a little less traditional? Fortunately, there are plenty of other role models – good and bad – for your ripped-from-the-stars fantasy wedding gown.
Elizabeth Hurley got to reduce the anxiety over choosing a gown by having two different wedding dresses in two separate ceremonies. For her English wedding, she wore a traditional flowing white chiffon dress, and then wore a pink sari with gold highlights for her second ceremony in India.
Gwen Stefani also wore pink – with a twist. Her gorgeous floor-length wedding gown was white at the shoulder, then gradually shaded in to a rich mauve at the hem. It was a beautiful look, and a great way to blend the old and the new.
Jada Pinkett Smith also showed that a wedding dress doesn’t need to be white to be stunning. She wore a curve-hugging silk and velvet gown in a gorgeous soft champagne color.
Lisa Ling went with traditional red in an “Asian chic” floor-length sheath. Though red has racy connotations in the West, in many Asian cultures it’s considered a lucky color that helps bring prosperity to a couple – not a bad argument to run by your groom if you feel like going down the aisle in scarlet.
Dita Von Teese married Marilyn Manson in a luxurious gown of shimmering purple. If you’ve got pale skin and dark hair – not to mention a bold streak – like hers, you’ll look amazing.
On the other hand, Sarah Jessica Parker may have performed the scenes in Sex & the City in which she tries on wedding dresses with such gusto because she spent her real wedding day in a black dress. At the time she wanted a low-key choice, but she’s since said in interviews that she wishes she’d gone for a big white dress.
You can, of course, go white without going big or traditional. Cindy Crawford got married in the Bahamas and chose a light white slip dress to suit the weather.
Pamela Anderson also got married in white… Once in a tiny, cleavage boosting gown with a plunging neckline, and once in a string bikini. Sometimes it is best to listen to Mom’s advice and rein it in a little.
The one thing that these celebrity brides have in common is that they all – for better or worse – had strong senses of personal style and the confidence to follow their own minds.
If you do the same, you might just manage to outshine Grace.