The 10 Most Iconic Wedding Dresses of All Time

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There are wedding dresses that you remember.  And then there are wedding dresses that are iconic. Dresses that both set trends and instantly become classics.  And for the brides who wore them, there simply could have been no other gown.  Each dress was her perfect choice.

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Grace Kelly
With style and elegance that has inspired brides through the decades, Grace Kelly’s immaculate wedding gown is perfectly timeless. This movie starlet wore a gown created by Helen Rose, a costume designer for MGM, featuring a buttoned bodice covered in rose point lace further embellished with seed pearls. Modest long sleeves, a high neck and waist sash gave the gown a sort of severe beauty which eased as the fitted bodice cascaded down into a skirt made of yards of silk taffeta and lace, complete with bows and bustle and a three-foot train. The gown took 36 seamstresses six weeks to create. Certainly a regal wedding gown, well-suited for the royal status she married into. Grace Kelly and Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, were married April 19, 1956, in Monaco.

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Jackie Kennedy
Style icon Jacqueline Bouvier became Jackie Kennedy after marrying into an incredibly powerful political family.  Jackie’s wedding gown consisted of an off-the-shoulder portrait bodice topping off an enormous ballgown skirt made of 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta. The very voluminous skirt also featured pleating and large floral elements. Her veil was her grandmother’s and was worn under a tiara. The dress, designed by Ann Lowe, had to be remade just 10 days ahead of the wedding, when a flood ruined it and the bridesmaids gowns — all 10 of them. Jackie Kennedy and John F. Kennedy were married September 12, 1953 on Rhode Island. Photo: Bachrach/Getty Images

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Princess Diana
This legendary wedding dress with its giant 25-foot train is a standout on this list, even among other royal wedding gowns. Princess Diana’s wedding gown, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, was made of ivory silk taffeta and the super-size puffed sleeves were trimmed with antique handmade Queen Mary lace. Embellished with hand embroidery, sequins and 10,000 pearls, the volume of the dress did not mean the little details were overlooked on this iconic gown. Princess Diana married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981 in London. Photo: Getty Images

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Carolyn Bessette
Wearing a simple sheath designed by Narciso Rodriguez, Carolyn Bessette decided less was more. Going for a refined shape and cut, her gown was a shocker at the time for its minimalism, but now represents a definite ’90s look. Her wedding dress was amazingly fluid thanks to its bias-cut crepe construction, creating an understated glamour that looked incredible on the statuesque woman. Carolyn Bessette and John F. Kennedy Jr. were married October 9, 1996, on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Photo: Denis Reggie

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Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani was perfect in pink, wearing a wedding gown fit for the pop princess (and fashion designer) she is. Complete with a trend-setting ombre fade on the silk-faille gown’s base and train, the playful dip-dye pink is gorgeous. The bodice also features unique touches such as an asymmetrical corset and off-the-shoulder draped neckline, with pocketing at the top of the skirt. The wedding dress was designed by John Galliano for Dior. Gwen said she loved her dress so much, she renewed her vows just two weeks later in Los Angeles, just to wear the “work of art” one more time. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were married September 14, 2002 in London. Photo: UK Press

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Chelsea Clinton
Ever a classic, one-time presidential daughter Chelsea went with Vera Wang for her wedding day. Her aisle look was a strapless silk organza gown with classic Vera ruffles, topped with a bodice of soft pleats and draping, perfected with a silver embroidered belt. An effortless look of chic elegance on her wedding day. Chelsea Clinton married Marc Mezvinsky on July 31, 2010 in Rhinebeck, New York. Photo: Getty/WireImage

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Kate Middleton
The dress that launched a myriad of re-imagined looks — including Barbie and dog-sized versions — Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was the source of much speculation in the weeks ahead of the royal wedding. She decided upon a long-sleeved wedding gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.  It’s no surprise Kate’s gown launched such a flurry of copycats, it’s an incredible look. The modern gown features the influence of Alexander McQueen in the gown’s corset-style bodice. On the back, 58 buttons of made of gazar and organza run up to the neck from a bustle. The gown, covered in lace featuring four floral emblems of each nation in the United Kingdom: roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrock, had a comparatively short train compared to other royal gowns. Kate Middleton and Prince William were married on April 29, 2011, in London. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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Kate Moss
Sheerly there for this chic model. Another John Galliano design, this luxurious, bespoke wedding dress was inspired by the style of the 1930s, with a modern, body skimming silhouette suited for this supermodel. Kate’s ornately embellished wedding dress was a testament to couture and artisanal hand-stitching with golden phoenix feathers sewn onto the sides of the gown that took more than 700 hours to embroider. The veil, not to be outdone by the shimmering dress, was created incorporating 270,000 gold sequins, 120,000 foil paillons and 2,800 pearl beads. Kate Moss and Jamie Hince were married July 1, 2011 in Gloucestershire, England. Photo: Getty Images

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Kim Kardashian
Another matching couple, Kim and Kanye both wore wedding day outfits designed by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy. Kim’s white lace gown with sheer paneling and carefully placed cutouts was surprisingly demure couture for this, her third, wedding. The form-fitted mermaid silhouette was a must-do for this famously curvy bride, but featured a mix of modest touches to complement the more daring details, as seen in the combination of the long lace sleeves with the low open, belted back. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were married May 24, 2014 in Florence, Italy. Photo: E!

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Amal Alamuddin
When it came to her wedding dresses, it was only Oscar for Amal. Her ceremony dress, a glamorous off-the-shoulder look, featured a delicate French lace overlay that was very on-trend. The lace was further embellished with hand sewn pearls and sparkly crystal accents, all leading down into a sweeping train. Amal also wore additional bridal outfits the week of her wedding: a Stella McCartney jumpsuit, a flower-covered Giambattista Valli high-low gown, a vintage 1920s flapper-style dress and a second Oscar de la Renta dress for her reception. Amal Alamuddin married George Clooney on September 27, 2014 in Venice, Italy. Photo: Annie Leibovitz for VOGUE

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Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija | Designer Profile

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It’s not often these days in the wedding world you can say a gown was built specifically for your body. Sure, many gowns are altered and tailored  from ready-to-wear designs, but built just for you from the first measurement to the last button? Rare…very rare!

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Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Claire
(left) | Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Dominica (right)

Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija is truly couture. Each dress begins with the bride’s measurements then an individual pattern is drawn, just for her. The gown’s exclusivity is highly sought after by fashion-savvy brides for this reason, as the experience of having an Ulla Maija wedding dress custom made is said to be like none other.

The name Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija has great heritage and fashion history behind it, but is now directed by Charles Bunstine. He’s the great-grandson of Anna Maier, a tailor who moved to the United States from France in the late 1800s.

Bunstine has continued his fashion lineage, working for many of the great names in American fashion including Ralph Lauren and Barneys New York, where he was president. As director of Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija, he not only designs the dress and signs off on the sketch, but is also said to drape the fabric on each gown and inspect it for quality before the bride takes it home. A minimum of three fittings are required for each handmade wedding dress. And the dresses are made to enhance the bride’s features and curves. Bunstine has said Ulla Maija designs are only limited by imagination, but that their ultimate goal is to complement the bride’s beauty and body.

Anne Maija ~ Ulla Maija Simone for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.comAnne Maier~Ulla Maija Alberta for sale on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com
Anna Maija ~ Ulla Maija Simone
(left) | Anna Maija ~ Ulla Maija Alberta (right)

The hallmark of the Ulla Maija look is the fabulous construction of the gowns, including exquisite draping, pleating and fluting. What material and fabric are able to do on Ulla Maija dresses is absolutely stunning and as close to fashion magic as you can get.

Fabrics used are the very same used on gowns by Valentino and Hermès. Duchess satin, Italian taffeta, Chantilly lace and silk double charmeuse appear in layers, adding luxury. Embellishment is minimal, but striking. Embroidery and lace are more common than rhinestones and beading. One gown even hides pearls deep within the pillowed skirt, like a little secret waiting to be discovered. Nothing about these gowns is left to chance or randomness.

The wedding dress collections are defined by mood, not venue or shape. The grand “Cathedral” line offers drama in the lines and careful draping and pleating. “Chapel” dresses are more refined, and design-focused with touches of embroidery. Finally “Court” gowns bring a more modern look, with splashes of playfulness. All are bespoke, and very romantic and timeless in their elegance.

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Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Felicite
(left) | Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija Cendrillion (right)

The bride who is most likely to be drawn to Ulla Maija gowns is one who seeks the refined, rare and well-designed. These are not gowns that follow standard bridal trends, and are best suited for complex brides who march to the beat of their own fashion drum. An  Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija gown will ensure you look striking yet traditional on your wedding day!

View all Ulla Maija wedding dresses currently listed on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.

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