Top 10 Historical Movie Wedding Dresses

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Wedding dresses. They’re the big ones, the be all and end all — or at least, they should be! — of costumes. Today, yesterday, you name it, it’s all about The Wedding Dress. Inspired by my previous ravings about the wedding dress in The Sound of Music, here are my top 10* historical costume movie wedding dresses.

* I tried to keep it to only five for Top 5 Friday, but I just couldn’t! I also didn’t include The Sound of Music dress, since I already did so much waxing poetic about it.

10. The Borgias (2011-2013)

2011-13 Borgias
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+5 for being Renaissance

-3 for being high-waisted late 1400s

+5 for a great fabric combination

+2 for the beaded embellishment

+5 for kickass sleeves

+3 for no nip-slip

-5 for marrying a drip

+2 for him being a sweet drip

-5 for having your father-in-law watch the consummation

+3 for great hair

TOTAL POINTS: 12

9. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

1995 PP
1995 PP1
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+3 for the square neckline

+3 for the layered overdress and underdress

+1 for the semi-interesting fabric

+1 for a sweet bonnet

+5 for Colin Firth

-5 for being a nightgown Regency

+5 for the look on Caroline Bingley’s face

TOTAL POINTS: 13

8. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

1995 SS
1995 SS1
1995 SS2

+3 for the layered overdress and underdress

+5 for all the gorgeous lace and trim

+5 for Alan Rickman

-5 for not getting to marry Greg Wise

+1 for avoiding Willoughby

-5 for being a nightgown Regency

+10 for making Regency actually interesting

TOTAL POINTS: 14

7. Tristan and Isolde (2006)

2006 Tristan and Isolde
2006 Tristan
2006 Tristan1

+3 for sparkly fabric

+3 for all the embellishments

+1 for the barge

+10 for the amazing headdress

+5 for Rufus Sewell

-3 for James Franco

TOTAL POINTS: 19

6. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

1994 Frank
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+5 for being 18th century

+5 for being a French court style

-1 for randomly wearing a French court style in England

+10 for all that kickass embroidery

+3 for Kenneth Branagh

-1 for Kenneth Branagh’s mullet

-1 for long-term durability

TOTAL POINTS: 20

5. Great Expectations (2012)

2012 GE
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+5 for being 18th century

+5 for mad ruching

+5 for all the distressing

-1 for the exposed boning channels

+5 for NOT GETTING OVER IT

+5 for REVENGE BEING A DISH BEST SERVED ANY WAY I WANT TO

TOTAL POINTS: 24

4. Les Miserables (2000)

2000 Les Mis
2000 Les Mis1

+3 for being 1830s

+5 for the hammered silk

+2 for lovely lace

+5 for a very pretty headdress/veil combo

+10 for getting the hell out of Daddy’s house

TOTAL POINTS: 25

3. Marie Antoinette (1938)

1938 MA
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1938 MA5

+5 for being 18th century

+5 for being a court gown

+5 for being super heavy weight satin

+3 for all the beaded appliques

+2 for all the ruches

-5 for having to marry a loser

+1 for the loser being a sweet loser

+10 for getting to be the QUEEN

+5 for a kickass tiara

TOTAL POINTS: 31

2. The Devil’s Whore (2008)

Devils-Whore_102008 Devil's Whore
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2008 Devils-Whore_15

+5 for being 17th century

+5 for heavy weight satin

+10 for that standing lace ruff

+5 for great hair, including the ribbons and pearls

+3 for all those cartridge pleats

+3 for dancing on tables

-3 for marrying a rando

+5 for later shagging Michael Fassbender

+2 for the pearl embellishment

TOTAL POINTS: 35

1. Young Victoria (2009)

2009 Young Vic
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+1 for being 1840s

+30 for being a stunningly perfect recreation of the real wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria

+3 for beautiful lace

+3 for serious jewelry

+1 for sweet orange blossoms

+5 for marrying the guy you love

-3 for that guy being kind of drippy

-3 for a zzzz hairstyle

+3 for that hairstyle being historically accurate

TOTAL POINTS: 42

13 Responses

  1. Liutgard

    Just to note- Ken Branagh’s Frankenstein wasn’t set in England. It was in Switzerland,so a French wedding dress makes more sense.

    Reply
    • Kendra

      Duh, how did I forget that? Although someone on FB rightly pointed out that the embroidered court dress ISN’T the same as the wedding dress, which is a francaise! So that changes the point scheme entirely!

      Reply
  2. Pina

    Great article! But I’d like your expert opinion on some point regarding wedding dresses pre-Victoria: Aren’t white wedding dresses supposed to be not that popular before Victoria’s wedding? I mean I guess that doesn’t have to mean that they were taboo or extremely rare, but still, older wedding dresses depicted on film and tv so often turn up white/cream/very pale pink/gold/silver or any such colour that would seem conventional in a modern wedding, you’d think this was the standard all the way back to the Romans. So what do you think, shouldn’t this be a concern? A reason to downgrade some of these dresses a couple of points, for example?

    Reply
    • kayelem

      Except maybe in Regency, when white/pale/pastels was the approved scheme for dressing unmarried girls and young women in general, and probably influenced Victoria’s choices.

      Reply
  3. Hillary

    Sounds like someone doesn’t like empire waists! ;)

    That’s ok. We all have our own fashion faves and hates. I’m a massive empire waist fan myself, particularly during the Italian Renaissance. So Lucrezia’s dress is my fave!

    Reply

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