Every girl dreams of her big day – when she marries the love of her life and lives busily ever after, raising a family and probably balancing her career along with it.

However, a big part of this dream big day centers around yards of silk. Or satin. Or chiffon. With lace. Or tulle. No matter how the marriage turns out, the wedding dress is the icon of the day. I am still one of the fortunate few who have yet to see my very own wedding dress (why fortunate? Because am still enjoying the single life). For the time being, I am quite content to observe and to discuss my favorite wedding dresses:

There are two mother-daughter tandem whose wedding dresses I both adore (as opposed to the wedding dresses of Jacqueline Bouvier and Caroline Kennedy, which I find bordering on nuptial nightmare): the first stylish pair being Princess Margaret (left) in her 1960 marriage and her daughter Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones in her 1993 wedding:

Both Margaret and Sarah opted for none of the embellishment of beads, appliques and brocades. They opted for rich silks, using diamond tiaras to accessorize their wedding day look. Of course, Margaret had her gown cut to suit her rather petite yet curvy figure while Sarah’s dress emphasized her lean silhouette. In a sense these dresses may have influenced my own personal preferences as I keep telling my mother that I refuse to have much bead work.

Another simple stunner was worn in 1996 by Carolyn Bessette when she married Camelot hunk JFK, Jr.

Carolyn could not have chosen a better dress as her debut to being Mrs. Kennedy. It was so chic in its simplicity and it complemented the charming little chapel where she married. The casually-knotted hair, the sheer gloves and the bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley were her accessories and she carried them off with great aplomb.

Quite a change from her mother-in-law’s overdone wedding dress for her first marriage:

Coincidentally, the only other woman who can claim to be more famous than Jackie O also had a rather disastrous wedding dress (as her marriage turned out) all crumpled and frumpy:

My second mother-daughter sartorial wonders are Grace Kelly in her 1956 nuptials and Princess Caroline of Monaco in her 1978 wedding:

Grace and Caroline both used interesting headpieces, with the former wearing a classic Juliet cap and the latter sporting boho-chic flowered ringlets. Lace is their cloth of choice, which they layered over silk. I like how they were able to maximize this potentially fussy fabric and yet it still looked so elegant. Grace might be the classic nuptial chic but I like the scalloped hem of Caroline’s gown and how it grazes the ground so gently.

My final choice is the one dress very few can pull off since it requires being a size zero. Grace’s dress has been modified countless times but this one is associated with one woman and one legend:

Mainbocher’s creation for Wallis Simpson emphasizes her ultra-skinny figure and her most famous motto, “You can’t be too rich or too thin.” The dress, of course, gained attention for the notoriety of its wearer: the woman who stole England’s King Edward VIII. Wallis, who preceded the skinny Twiggy and the equally frail-looking Kate Moss, wears a dress no one else would wear. It seemed cut and stitched for Wallis alone; moreover, the silhouette of the dress is very 1930’s and very unforgiving to anyone who weighs over ninety pounds. However, I chose it for the love story surrounding the dress and its uniqueness.

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