How I Met Your Mother – Robin
Is it obvious to say that Robin’s wedding dress is the best outfit in the whole series? That's a rhetorical question. The wedding kept audiences on the edge of their seats as they waited for this will-they-won’t-they couple to get hitched. No matter how controversial the pairing was to some viewers, you can't deny that Robin slayed the day.
The dress is nothing short of stunning. We're a big fan of minimalism, so this simple mermaid silhouette and the plain, ruched fabric is right up our alley. The dress was from Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2011 bridal collection with the exception of one thing: the sparkly sash. That was all Robin.
Mamma Mia! – Sophie
Who needs a traditional wedding dress, especially when you've invited your three potential fathers to your Greek island wedding? It didn’t make sense for Sophie to get married in a tight dress or a long, poofy gown. Instead, she picked this boho-inspired number, and it encapsulates her character perfectly despite what actually went down at the ceremony.
The dress is flowy, sparkly, and catches the light in the perfect spots. The veil helped accentuate it with the tiny flowers, which let her hair steal the show. Er, well, at least it would have if the conversation about Sophie’s father(s) wasn't the front-and-center concern.
Parks and Rec – Leslie Knope
Not all brides wear a huge, extravagant dress; some choose simple and meaningful, and that’s right up Leslie Knope’s alley. Anyone who watched the show knows how important the skirt was. It was a collage made of Leslie’s greatest hits from the Harvest Festival victory to portraits of her role models.
Every piece was pulled from Parks and Rec achievements – no plain newspaper here! It tied together with her bodice using a black sash. For a pop of color, she wore a red flower and red heels. Knope’s dress shows that you don’t need thousands of dollars, just a little love, patience, and pride.
Friends – Monica
There were plenty of wedding dresses in Friends, so it was hard to pick a favorite. The one that got away was amazing, but she had to give it up to book Chandler’s favorite band, although he had a good reason why it had to be the Swing Kings.
The funny goof about this is that her actual wedding dress wasn’t one she originally picked. The dress the cast picked didn’t fit Monica, so they had to go with one in the WB’s wardrobe stock. This silky number turned out to be a fantastic decision!
New Girl – Cece Parekh
The relationship between Cece and Schmidt was anything but simple (and that's putting it lightly). The on-again off-again relationship finally became permanent when they got married in season five after years of pining and whining for each other. Cece couldn’t have looked better -- no surprise there. Her gold sari made the red flowers pop.
Cece’s veil made the whole outfit flow thanks to red lace edging. It was all up to Schmidt to match the color scheme, which he did in a simple manner. This day was all about the bride! We’ve never seen anything like it since.
Scandal – Olivia Pope
For its 100th episode, Scandal decided to have a huge wedding –- Olivia Pope’s wedding, to be exact. Naturally, it was a massive affair with her marrying President Fitz in a world where she had never rigged his election. If anything, this was certainly the right dress for making a statement.
Olivia’s reputation was supposed to be the focus, but it couldn’t beat the dress. Bridal Designer Anne Barge found this Berkeley ball gown, made of Kalika silk and a chiffon bodice. The off-the-shoulder cap sleeves make it timeless, chic, and perfect for any modern bride, even those with Olivia Pope's complicated life.
Hunger Games – Katniss
Katniss never got to say her nuptials in the movie, but her wedding dress was nothing short of amazing. Considering the other outfits in the films, it was no surprise that her wedding gown was just as spectacular. I hate to say it, but thank you, President Snow, for making her show everyone.
The fictional stylist Cinna designed a dress that burns when Katniss spins and turns her into a beautiful mocking jay, which was the symbol of the revolution. It was everything we expected and more. Too bad brides can’t do something similar in real life.
Runaway Bride – Maggie
Talk about iconic! Maggie’s dress in Runaway Bride has been the envy of brides everywhere for decades. It’s undoubtedly inspired many women to go with a satin, off-the-shoulder ball gown with a scalloped, sweetheart neckline. Hey, there's no shame in taking inspiration for your own wedding day. That stuff is stressful!
All we're saying is that if another bride (fictional or not) has already cracked the code on what will be show-stopping for their wedding day, go for it. The low-cut dress clings to her figure and outlines her shape perfectly. Then, to top it off, the train trails along behind her, sweeping leaves along the way. Every angle of the dress is beautiful.
Downton Abby – Rose
When Rose married Atticus Aldridge, we knew it was going to be beautiful, but no one expected something like this. The moment we first saw the gown, we turned bright green with envy. Apparently, the costume designer said that it was just a “ghost of a dress," but it came across as incredibly powerful.
The beaded, silky tulle gown was literally 100 years old! “A trader I’d made friends with has a little shop in London, and he actually kept it in a box—it had never been worn.” Does he have any other dresses he’d be willing to part with?
Revenge – Emily Thorne
Even if you don’t watch Revenge, you should know about Emily’s wedding dress. The tear-away tulle skirt is ultra-modern, which accompanies the almost-royal veil. In fact, the dress isn't even the envy-inducing part of this look -- it's the veil. Doesn’t it look like something Queen Victoria would have worn?
The dress was actually designed by the show’s costume designer Jill Ohannesson. That means, unfortunately, you’d have a hard time finding something similar on the market. Does Jill take house calls? Perhaps not... but If you're just looking to copycat the veil, there are plenty of similar options out there that you should feel no shame in snatching.
Crazy Rich Asians – Araminta Lee
A wedding in Crazy Rich Asians had to be as over-the-top as the movie itself, and Araminta’s dress accomplished that goal in spades. The whole ceremony was colorful, with Araminta being the highlight of the event. Plus, the entire movie is features overabundance and wealth, so of course the ceremony was the most beautiful thing we've ever seen.
Surprisingly enough, the gown wasn’t even a gown! It was a jumpsuit designed by Mary Vogt, so it surely wasn’t easy to maneuver. The train was 10 feet long and studded with thousands of Swarovski crystals... Not the most practical choice for your wedding day, but certainly appropriate to meet the expectations of the crazy rich people in your life.
Funny Face – Jo Stockton
Who says a wedding dress has to be long? No one! That’s why Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face wedding dress is still one of the most envy-inducing gowns in the biz. It’s retro-looking but classic. The Givenchy tulle and satin gown was merely tea-length, but it became one of Hepburn’s most iconic looks.
This showed brides everywhere that you didn’t have to go with the classic long ball gown with a long trailing train. A dress like this allows a bride to move freely and will show off her glorious shoes. Plus, it means you don't have to decide between wearing your heavy, trailing ballgown at your reception or buying two dresses for the night.
Suits – Donna Paulsen
A bride doesn’t have to wear any form of white – cream can take a backseat. The dress that Donna Paulsen wore for her big day was a solid black gown, studded with floral embellishments. The sleeveless dress looked like something you’d wear to a black-tie event rather than a wedding.
Regardless, the unconventional air of it all suited the couple perfectly. Fans wouldn’t want it any other way... And who knows? Maybe Donna will spur a new movement among modern, business brides and black will become a new tradition. To be fair, it'll definitely make you stand out if that's the vibe you're going for.
Game of Thrones – Margaery Tyrell
The marriage didn’t quite last, but Margaery Tyrell’s wedding dress was everything fans could’ve hoped for and more. The rose was her family’s sigil, and it made a significant appearance on the dress. The bodice was covered in leaves and thorns, signifying that her family wasn’t anything to trifle with.
The back of the dress was dozens of roses that trailed down to the ground into a short but memorable train. The only problem with this wedding was her hair (no points for that one, Margaery) and the groom. Actually, we can forgive the hair because it probably took hours to do, but the groom knocks down the event 100 pegs.
Game of Thrones – Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark had a total of two weddings, and her dress for both was beautiful. The only issue is that the dress didn’t look good on her. It was too large (showing how she was still a very young girl), and the color washed her out. Still, the gold, intricate detail stands as one of the most beautiful dresses on the show.
During her marriage with Ramsay Bolton, she wore a gown that was much more becoming and telling of her character. A wolf-fur mantle and warm, heavy clothing matched her identity. If anything, this dress looked more like a lady’s armor than a wedding dress.
Sex and the City – Carrie Bradshaw
Carrie Bradshaw’s dress in Sex and the City is one of the most famous gowns that has ever graced movie or TV. Her failed wedding to Mr. Big showed us the jaw-dropping Vivienne Westwood gown that became an iconic piece of film and TV history. Any time someone mentions iconic wedding dresses, this one's at the top of the list.
It was comprised of two different colors of materials – a gold-backed ivory silk satin duchess with an ivory silk Radzimir taffeta skirt. Many of Westwood’s 2018 Spring/Summer collection used elements of the gown, which is as close as most of us will get to something this magnificent.
Steel Magnolias – Shelby
A Southern Belle like this deserved a dress that was equally as southern. Shelby came dressed to the nines on her big day with a skirt the size of Texas. It was complete with a massive bow on the rear and flowers to clasp the off-the-shoulder dress together. Not exactly to everyone's taste, but there's nothing Julia Roberts can't pull off.
The only downside to her outfit this day is that her hair was as big as the veil which was hiding the beautiful flowers and tulle that trailed behind her. Still, she was glowing that day, and it’s an outfit we’ll dream about for years to come.
Gilmore Girls – Lorelei Gilmore
Talk about a long time coming! Lorelai Gilmore was presented with ten different wedding dresses –- a feat that would make it nearly impossible to choose the right dress! Still, this mama picked the best one. She decided on the $7,500 Monique Lhuillier gown that fit her character so well it's like Lorelai truly picked it herself.
It hugged her curves perfectly and cinched at the waist with a satin sash. The floral top was intricate and excellent, but the best thing about the dress was that it was on sale. Practical and beautiful – that describes Lorelai to a “T.”
This Is Us – Rebecca Pearson
Rebecca and Jack may not have lasted forever, but they looked like the cutest couple ever on their wedding day. Rebecca wore a simple flower crown instead of a full veil, a great decision for her long, loose waves. The dress was one of the few long-sleeved wedding dresses on television.
What else could you expect from this ‘70s-style fashionista? It perfectly balances a bohemian lifestyle and the traditions you’d expect from a wedding. All I can say is that the costume designers spared no expense on the wardrobe (as they should) so that it could look like the ceremony was actually for Mandy Moore herself rather than the fictional Rebecca.
Sound of Music – Maria Von Trapp
Maria Von Trap was the model image of a blushing bride on her wedding day. Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics on the market, and that’s what her dress was designed with. That makes it all the more surprising considering that it came from a rental wedding shop!
All of the outfits came from Western Costuming and were returned after filming concluded. Jane Withers held onto it for a while before it popped up at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. Someone was lucky enough to win this prize; if it's not preserved behind glass, we don't want to hear about it.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Lisa Wilkes
The wedding never happened, but that doesn’t make the dress any less beautiful. Lisa Wilkes got married in a dress that signifies the ’80s and ’90s like no other can. Well, a few others on this list are certainly in the running, yet hers is distinctly pre-2000s. The off-the-shoulder bodice has fine detail that stood out against the skirt.
Then there were the colossal flower sleeves and the flowery accents. It’s just a shame that the Fresh Prince refused to quit his womanizing ways. At least this floral beauty can work as inspiration for other brides who want to look like they stepped right out of a fairytale wedding.
The Big Bang Theory - Amy Farrah Fowler
It only took eight seasons of romance for Sheldon to finally tie the knot with long-term scientist girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler in episode 22 of Season 11. At last, their time came, and she found the perfect wedding dress for her ceremony! While it's not the most envy-inducing dress of all time, it's definitely iconic.
Actress Mayim Balik, who played Amy for nine years, spoke with Vulture in 2018 regarding the on-screen wedding. "Would I choose that dress? No. For Amy, did I think it was appropriate? Yes. I think it was pretty much right on. I honestly would’ve liked a little bit more of my figure to show. That’s actually like three dresses together... But I think ultimately, it’s a very satisfying dress for the character."
Friends - Rachel
You thought we could only choose one dress from Friends? Well, you thought wrong! Rachel's OG wedding dress from the first episode is beyond iconic for multiple reasons. Not only does it appear in the Pilot episode AKA "The One Where It All Began," but it's so over-the-top "Rachel" that viewers immediately understand the character's motivations.
The sitcom's costume designer Debra McGuire detailed what she remembers about Rachel's runaway bride look to Racked in 2017. "Your main goal on a pilot is just to really communicate who these characters are, and you do it the best way you can. At that time, Rachel was a Jewish princess, and this was kind of a perfect Long Island princess dress, slightly over the top but not too much. It had to be tasteful, since she had good taste."
Four Weddings and a Funeral - Carrie
Andie McDowell was the perfect pick to play Carrie in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Spoiler alert: even though she doesn't actually get married in this dress to the man we were all rooting for, she still managed to pull it off like nobody's business. When you see her in those elegant gloves and poofy veil... No wonder Hugh Grant's character fell in love!
Nobody has quite achieved the same level of success with a headband-to-veil accessory since the film's debut in 1994. Most brides nowadays opt for loose beachy waves, a flower crown, and will even ditch the veil! There's nothing wrong with the minimalist look, but we classic movie lovers can appreciate tasteful tufts of tulle.
Father of the Bride (1950) - Kay Banks
Kay Banks's dress in the 1950s iteration of Father of the Bride is kaw-dropping, even by today's standards. Elizabeth Taylor went on to marry eight times after the release of this film, and we wouldn't have blamed her if she had "borrowed" this for the ceremonies! We certainly want to.
However, this wedding dress was not her first. By the time she got to her seventh husband, she must have been an expert on lace and bodices, but her first stint walking down the aisle was at age sixteen for her role as Susan Packett in Julia Misbehaves, which doubled as her first kiss as well as her first (fictional) marriage. Susan's dress was cute, but we much prefer Kay's choice.
Bride of Frankenstein - The Bride of Frankenstein
Subtracting the multicolored beehive haircut and the undead demeanor, Bride of Frankenstein served some of the best fashion-forward looks in cinematic history. That cape! The silhouette! Replace the touched gloves for something sleek and throw on some Cinderella-worthy heels to be the chicest bride in town -- in the lab, at least.
Vera West, a costume designer, was the secret uncredited genius behind Bride of Frankenstein's iconic wardrobe. Appropriately enough, West puzzled investigators when she died as she was found in her swimming pool, pointing to either intense blackmail or a mysterious murder. We're not trying to pin it on Frankenstein's monster or anything, but...
Gone With The Wind - Scarlett O'Hara
Gone With The Wind, based on the titular 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, featured Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. That's already off to a good start. Sprinkle some sass, Civil War drama, and a wedding dress sent from the gods, and you've got a cult classic film!
During the earliest stages of production for the feature film, costume designer Walter Plunkett was one of the first people to be hired. He's known to have relied on Mitchell's descriptions from the novel as the foundation for his designs, as there was no screenplay or casting team to work from. How about a round of applause for this creative genius?
Full House - Aunt Becky
Close your eyes and imagine the times when you lounged on your living room couch and unapologetically watched Full House before Lori Loughlin got caught up in the elite college admissions bribery scandal in 2019. All that aside, Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse were our #1 couple back in the '80s and 90s, so when their wedding episodes aired in Season 4, it was a national event.
From Uncle Jesse serenading Becky on the piano to her massive headpiece, the ceremony was total to die for, and totally '90s. With the poofy princess shoulder pads, voluminous ballgown, and fluffy veil, every married woman in 1991 suddenly couldn't stand their dress choice for their big day in comparison to Becky's.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Bella
The last thing we expected to see Bella in was a low-cut strapless ball gown at her wedding (which we saw in one of her nightmares, where it thankfully stayed), so imagine our delight when she walked down the aisle to a romantic indie ballad in a long-sleeved, silky gown! And the gasps that erupted in the theater when the camera panned down her back to reveal sheer fabric down to her bum... You had to be there!
The actual wedding dress for the ceremony scene was created by Carolina Herrera with the help of Stephanie Meyer's personal vision. In fact, fans were so rabid about the dress that The New York Times published an article called What Will Bella Wear? in 2011 right before the Breaking Dawn: Part 1 release. According to Herrera, Meyer wanted Bella's dress "to have a period feel without being actually vintage" and take "into consideration the personality and the style of the bride."
Grey's Anatomy - Cristina Yang
Grey's Anatomy serves up plenty of iconic wedding looks seemingly every season, but none of them hit as hard as Cristina Yang's red gown for her Season 7 marriage to controversial lover Owen Hunt. BFF Meredith Grey set up the ceremony in an intimate living room setting, which was perfect for Cristina.
In fact, Cristina planned a traditional venue ceremony with a white dress -- the whole shebang -- seasons earlier for her marriage to Dr. Burke but was left brokenhearted in spite of everything. So her choice to go for a low-key, bridesmaid-chic dress for her second wedding not only makes sense but honestly looks better on her than the first gown.
Boy Meets World - Topanga
After seven seasons of dating and various in-school encounters, Cory and Topanga finally got married and solidified their relationship for life. These childhood sweethearts wormed their way into the hearts of viewers with their shenanigans then made everyone cry at the ceremony when they exchanged heartfelt vows.
The wedding dress was simultaneously quite classy and totally Topanga. We're convinced that she started the cold-shoulder trend with her long-sleeved lace gown and off-the-shoulder, A-line silhouette that perfectly accentuated her frame. Throw on a mid-length veil, a half-up half-down hairdo, and a bouquet of gorgeous red-and-white flowers, then you have the ideal pre-Y2K gown.