Despite the ongoing pandemic, many major celebrities went forward with their weddings this year, holding intimate gatherings with friends and family across the globe.
The likes of Ariana Grande, Gwen Stefani, Issa Rae, Lily Collins and Lena Dunham were among the many celebrities that had weddings in 2021, gathering fellow celebrities, family and friends to celebrate their marriages.
Much of the attention of each wedding fell on the celebrities’ wedding dresses, usually custom-made by a design house or fashion designer. Vera Wang, long known as the go-to wedding dress designer for celebrities and other fashion-forward brides, was tasked with creating many of this year’s wedding dresses for celebrities, including Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani.
It’s become the norm in recent years that the wedding dresses of celebrities and other prominent figures have gone on to influence the styles presented during New York Bridal Week, which begins today for the fall 2022 season. Most notably, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, have influenced bridal trends after their respective weddings in 2011 and 2018, with Middleton sparking a rise in long-sleeve lace dresses similar to her Alexander McQueen dress and Markle inspiring more off-the-shoulder gowns like her Givenchy dress.
As New York Bridal Week commences, WWD is taking a closer look at some of the celebrity wedding dresses of 2021 that could inspire upcoming bridal trends. Read on for more.
Ariana Grande had one of the first celebrity weddings of 2021, marrying real estate developer Dalton Gomez in an intimate ceremony with 20 guests at her home in Montecito, Calif., on May 15.
Grande looked to Vera Wang for her wedding dress. The designer created a custom lily white, silk charmeuse strapless dress with an Empire waist and sculpted neckline for the Grammy-winning singer.
Wang wrote about designing the wedding gown on her Instagram, posting a photo of Grande with the caption: “@ArianaGrande, to a truly magical muse, what an incredible journey this has been for all us at Vera Wang. A joy and an honor! Wishing you and Dalton a lifetime of happiness.”
Grande paired the Vera Wang wedding dress with a handmade, shoulder-length veil accented with a satin bow that sat atop her signature high ponytail.
In a seemingly unprecedented move, Carrie Symonds — the now-wife of British prime minister, Boris Johnson — rented a dress for her May 29 wedding at London’s Westminster Cathedral.
Symonds looked to fashion platform My Wardrobe HQ to rent a dress from Greek designer Christos Costarellos for her wedding. The tulle and silk dress is inspired by “the spirit of ancient philosophy,” according to the brand’s website. The dress costs 2,870 pounds to buy and 45 pounds per day to rent. Symonds paired the dress with a flower crown instead of a veil.
While Symonds’ choice to rent a wedding dress instead of buying one is unique, it wasn’t surprising given her professional career. Symonds is the head of communications for animal rights charity, The Aspinall Foundation, and she previously worked with the ocean conservation NGO Oceana, where she focused on plastic pollution.
Paola Fendi, the great-granddaughter of the fashion house’s founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi and the vice president of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s, married fiancé Aram Ahmed on June 18 in Ibiza.
Fendi worked with her aunt, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Fendi’s new women’s designer Kim Jones, for her wedding dress, wearing a green dress with floral embroidery from Fendi’s spring 2021 couture collection for the first night of the wedding festivities.
She also wanted to honor her grandmother Paola’s time as a designer for her wedding, looking to her grandmother’s design partnership with Pierpaolo Piccioli in particular. Piccioli was tasked with creating a custom gown for Fendi, which was inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The dress was designed with a pattern of various antique laces and a rectangular Renaissance neckline, according to Vogue.
Another celebrity that chose Vera Wang for their wedding was Gwen Stefani, who married longtime partner and fellow musician, Blake Shelton, over the Fourth of July weekend.
Stefani wore two Vera Wang wedding dresses for the occasion, first a sculptural strapless silk georgette gown with a sweeping embroidered veil. She later changed into a custom lily white silk crepe and hand-tumbled tulle minidress, which she wore with stiletto cowboy boots.
In a statement to WWD, Wang said: “Gwen Stefani is an iconic artist who also happens to embrace fashion. The creation of her wedding gowns was such a joy, given her love of family, her passion for style, and her incredible romance with Blake! We were all so thrilled to be a part of that energy. After such a year of fear, confusion and sadness, it has been so restorative to experience true happiness, something that we as a company are so privileged to witness.”
Issa Rae was the next celebrity to look to Vera Wang for her wedding. The “Insecure” creator and actress married banking professional Louis Diame in the South of France on July 25.
Rae wore a custom Vera Wang light ivory sweetheart neckline ballroom-style wedding dress designed with hand-placed Chantilly lace and hand-sewn crystal beading. She paired the dress with a matching ivory, chapel length veil.
The actress later changed into another custom Vera Wang dress for the reception. Her second dress was a lily white Italian silk crepe A-line gown with a plunging V-neck, tulle skirt and front slit.
“Emily in Paris” actress Lily Collins married director Charlie McDowell in a custom Ralph Lauren wedding dress, one of the few bridal gowns the brand has designed. The wedding took place on Sept. 4 at the Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado.
Collins wore a custom Calais-Caudry lace form-fitting Ralph Lauren wedding gown for the occasion. The dress was designed with allover lace and a turtleneck paired with a hood and cape, which took almost 200 hours to craft, according to the brand.
The dress was created at a Leavers lace weaving loom, which produces meters of delicate cotton lace. Collins’ cape was also embellished with Swarovski-beaded micro flowers and silk organza petals that followed the design of the Calais-Caudry lace.
Model Jasmine Tookes and Snapchat director of international markets Juan David Borrero got married over Labor Day weekend in Quito, Ecuador, with the model wearing a custom Zuhair Murad wedding gown.
“I wanted him to make my dress from the moment I walked in his first couture show,” Tookes told Vogue about her wedding dress. “I sent him my inspiration, and he drew up the most beautiful and timeless dress that I have ever seen.”
Tookes’ wedding dress featured lace long sleeves, an oversize skirt and a 15-foot-long train that she later detached from the dress for the reception. She paired the look with a matching lace veil, diamond earrings by Ritani and custom white satin heels by Sarah Flint.
Princess Victoria Romanova Romanoff
The first Russian Imperial wedding in more than a century took place on Sept. 24 between the newly crowned Princess Victoria Romanova Romanoff and the Grand Duke George Mikhailovich at Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Unlike other royal brides, the princess purchased her own wedding gown instead of opting for a custom creation. She chose a Reem Acra silk duchess Mikado ballgown covered with buttons on the sleeves and an embroidered cathedral-length train. The dress is called “Captivating” and was purchased at a store in Russia.
“This dress is a classic that is made to give a nod to the purity of the symbolism of marriage.” A spokesperson for the designer said. “It is made and assembled in New York City with European fabrics, a combination of two worlds.”
The princess later changed into another Reem Acra dress for the wedding reception, this time an embroidered gown called “Mesmerized” with beads and crystals. The spokesperson declined to comment on the prices of the gowns as the company is unsure which store they were purchased from.
“Girls” creator and actress Lena Dunham married musician Luis Felber at London’s Union Club on Sept. 25. Dunham wore three custom Christopher Kane wedding dresses for the occasion.
She started off the wedding in a ‘60s-inspired satin and lace minidress that gave a nod to figures like June Carter Cash and Priscilla Presely, Dunham told Vogue. She later changed into a long satin gown with a high neck, split sleeves and jewel detailing paired with a similarly jeweled headpiece. Dunham’s last dress was a white column dress that featured a large hand-painting done by Kane.
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