Ballgowns are magical, period. Perhaps because we all grew up with the images of Disney princesses, or maybe wearing a ball gown is a symbol of a happily-ever-after fairy tale that gives us hope and aspire. And no matter what kind of ballgown a bride would have on, she can be sure it is a show stopper!
Historically, delicately and exotically trimmed and made of luxurious fabrics, ball gowns are the most formal attire for social occasions for women. Yet, not until the Victorian era that the ballgowns started to have the fluffy skirt. And it probably doesn't come as a surprise for anyone that ballgown is one of the most common wedding dress silhouettes.
A ball gown features a fitted bodice (often with a corset) and a wide, full skirt, most often achieved by using crinolines or layers of tulle. Since the full skirt glides over your lower torso, this silhouette is great for brides who want to cinch in their waist, prioritize bust support, or create the illusion of wider hips. In more recent history, the ball gown is the go-to choice for the regal look - Princess Grace Kelly, Jackie O, and Princess Diana all wore ball gowns for their weddings.
As with its huge impression in fashion history, ballgowns inevitably appear in movies and TV shows, and some of them even become trends for wedding dress fashion around the world. Today, we'll go over some of the iconic ball gowns in movies as inspirations for your own wedding gowns.
9 iconic ball gowns in movies
Coming to America (1988)
What would you wear if you were unexpectedly transformed into a princess? Lisa McDowell, played by Shari Headley, looked stunning in a light pink strapless sparkle tulle ball gown with a gold crown for her wedding to Prince Akeem. A pink wedding gown? This dress was way ahead of the fashion trends, and we can't help but fall in love with it. The dress gives off the romantic and airy vibes that are totally on-trend today!
Via Martha Stewart
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Playing Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, Julia Roberts looked stunning in a pale pink satin ballgown. With light pink flowers on the bodice and the elaborate veil with a big hairdo, the outfit portrayed the 1980s wedding dress trend.
Via Martha Stewart
Father of the Bride (1991)
In Father of the Bride, George Banks (Steve Martin) may not have been able to let go of his little daughter, but bride Annie (Kimberly Williams) definitely looked ready in her picture-perfect lace-and-satin ball gown. As white is the popular wedding dress color in this period, this dress also features delicate lace throughout the neckline, sleeves, and at the bottom of the skirt. Perhaps, not surprisingly, a modified version of this dress is one of the trends for wedding gowns today.
Runaway Bride (1999)
Perhaps, Julia Roberts is the queen of iconic dresses. She has worn many wedding dresses in her movie roles and appears twice on this list!
While Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) ran away from many dresses (and grooms) in Runaway Bride, this photo of her in an off-the-shoulder lace-embroidered ballgown has become one of the most recognizable moments in movies.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Staying true to her roots, Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) made it down the aisle in a "frosted cupcake" ballgown to marry Ian Miller (John Corbett) in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Even though the movie was made at the beginning of the 21st century, the dress reminded us of the 1980s trend with the white color and many details mixed together.
In Monster-In-Law, Charlie Cantilini's (played by Jennifer Lopez) wedding dress gave off a classic yet modern vibe featuring a satin ivory ball gown with matching color elbow-high gloves and a plunging neckline. This dress is timeless and is still one of the popular options for brides almost 20 years later.
Perhaps we all chuckle to see the image of a princess's dress we all grow up with when Giselle (play by Amy Adams) appears in a Disney self-parody movie, Enchanted. The movie begins with a wedding gown — and what a gown that is! In the puffed-sleeve, over the top, ball gown, Giselle was on her way to her wedding. And, of course, as with many fairy tales, the evil queen interferes and derailed the princess's happily ever after. Since the movie pokes at Disney's princesses storyline, the dress was created with huge sleeves, a tiny cinch waist, and over-the-top ruffles/petticoats.
Sex and the City (2008)
Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah Jessica Parker) Vivien Westwood gown has taken the fashion world by storm that it was sold out hours after the movie was released in 2008. Unconventional, fashionable, and a statement piece for bold brides, it is not hard to see why it has become one of the most iconic wedding dresses in movies.
Via Martha Stewart
Bride Wars (2009)
Last but not least, Liv's (Kate Hudson) Vera Wang ball gown in Bride Wars has come up on many lists. In this comedy, Liv was dressed in a sweetheart tulle ballgown with lavender sash. At first look, the gown is simple, yet a closer look shows the lace on the bodice and the airy skirt to be a timeless option for brides who prefer a light and everlasting ball gown.
If ball gown is your choice, don't forget to check out these stunning dress we carry!