A lot of famous females wouldn’t dream of approaching the red carpet—or even a lunch date—without consulting a stylist. And since professional dressers tend to care more about creating buzz than expressing a client’s sartorial soul, it’s hard to know if a celebrity even has her own fashion sense.
And then comes the wedding.
Suddenly, a woman who’s known best for wearing nothing but a piece of string on a magazine cover appears in lavish yards of Chantilly lace and an athlete who favors fluorescent mesh discovers the magic of tulle. This year’s celebrity brides are split into two camps: Textbook traditional and unfettered free spirits. Click through to see how 2017’s bold-face brides dressed for their biggest romantic moments.
Though anything goes for a backyard wedding—especially in California—Miranda Kerr went full-on formal at her May wedding to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. The model’s custom Dior gown was inspired by Grace Kelly, featuring long sleeves, a jewel neck, a full, flower-embroidered skirt, and an extended train. Add a crown-like headband and veil—which she did—and this would be at home in an Orthodox cathedral.
DJ and fitness guru Hannah Bronfman went through seven eye-popping wardrobe changes during her May nuptials in Morocco, but the wedding ceremony itself was a study in timeless bridal style. She married fellow DJ Brendan Fallis in a custom Vera Wang trumpet gown that was understated and refined, with a classic strapless sweetheart bodice and a macramé lace train.
Serena Williams, the queen of the tennis world, looked downright regal during her November marriage to Reditt co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans. The new mom reveled in the romance of a ball gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, with a perfectly simple strapless bodice and acres of tulle skirting. The finishing touch was a beaded cape that was equal parts princess and superhero.
The world’s most famous bikini body did a total 180 for her Tuscan wedding to the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander in November. Kate Upton, a Sports Illustrated cover girl worked with the team at Valentino to create a timeless A-line gown, using delicate Chantilly lace on the long sleeves, sheer bodice and outstanding cathedral-length veil.
Predictably, Victoria Swarovski, Austrian singer and heir to the Swarovski crystal fortune, cut a sparkling figure during her June wedding to Werner Mürz. Reportedly costing $1 million, the gown by Dubai-based Michael Cinco featured some 500 Swarovski crystals, paillettes, and laser-cut flowers on its voluminous A-line silhouette. The sheer bodice added a touch of sass.
The Free Spirits
When Trudie Styler married Sting in 1992, she could have been headed to a Venetian ball. The couple’s daughter, indie film actress Mickey Sumner, took a similarly romantic route for her July wedding to Chris Kantrowitz. Her poetic Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown with its floral print and off-the-shoulder neckline was the essence of femininity.
Wearing a dress that conjured both Empress Josephine and Elizabeth Bennet, longtime Dolce & Gabbana model Bianca Balti made a graceful statement during her August wedding to Matthew McRae in Laguna Beach. Flat shoes and the year’s most breathtaking bouquet were the perfect foil to Stefano Gabbana’s custom design, with empire waist, short blouson sleeves, and allover white lace.
Pia Toscano played the part of an unabashed diva at her January wedding to Jimmy R.O. Smith. While the form-fitting silhouette and plunging neckline were in keeping with the American Idol alum’s bombshell stage style, the exaggerated silk-and-lace kimono sleeves of her Michael Costello designed dress added a bold dash of drama.
When your day job is walking the runway for some of fashion’s biggest designers, you might be excused for wanting the wedding to be on the quieter side of things. For Arizona Muse’s London vows with Boniface Verney Carron, the cover model chose an elegantly restrained Temperley London slip dress with a long-sleeved overlay that she removed after the ceremony.
Collaborating with your father on a wedding gown sounds like a horrible idea—unless your dad is fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger. Meshing daughter Aly’s bohemian style with a few theatrical flourishes, the result was a simple white silk gown with a plunging neckline and a gossamer hooded cape. The elaborate blue embroidery matched the Caribbean setting for her marriage to Steve Hash.
Rachel Leonard was the Fashion Director of Brides Magazine for 18 years—the first employee at Condé Nast to make the jump from advertising to editorial. Rachel is currently the Editorial Director for The Bridal Council, and can be followed on Instagram @_rachelleonard.
A marketing executive currently living in Arizona, Sally Kilbridge spent more than 20 years as an editor at Brides Magazine. She indulges her love of travel and romance on her website, destinationw.com, a definitive guide to destination weddings.