Tag Archives: British Royalty

Royal Wedding Dresses and How they Changed the World

The wedding dress may be the most photographed dress a woman wears in her life, but a look at dresses over the decades show that the classically white gown has changed vastly. The role of the British Royal family in these trends cannot be overstated, as many highly attended and closely watched Royal Weddings received high accolades and chiseled their place into the history of fashion. Here’s a closer look at three of the most iconic royal wedding dresses of all time.

Kate Middleton, 2011

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While Kate Middleton looked beautiful on her wedding day, part of the excitement surrounding her wedding dress was related to the kept mystery of its designer. On the day of, it was revealed to be created by the creative director of Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton. Its nine-foot train and hand-cut flower designs on the bodice added to the intricate detail that was made to mimic the design of a flower opening. Burton also designed Pippa Middleton’s coordinated dress, which received a lot of attention on that day.

As anticipated, the Party Pieces heiress’s dress influenced fashions around the world, influences that are still very much in fashion. “The Kate Middleton effect” as “ladylike gowns with clean, simple lines.” The iconic characteristics of the dress include long, dramatic trains and veils, lace detailing, plunging V-necks, and long sleeves.

After the wedding, the dress was on display for a little over two months at Buckingham Palace, attracting a record number of visitors. During that time, replicas of the dress popped up all over the world.

Lady Diana Spencer, 1981

via en.wikipedia.org
via en.wikipedia.org

After a longstanding trend of more casual dresses with some women even getting married in business suits, Diana brought back the concept of a fairy tale wedding with her dress for her 1981 marriage. In the classic bigness of the ‘80s, the train on Diana’s dress put Kate’s to shame, measuring in at 25 feet. The dress, the design of which was called fashion’s “most closely guarded secret” at the time, featured sensationally poofy sleeves and a (very) full taffeta skirt. The “something old” on the dress was the antique lace detailing; the “something new” was spun silk, and the “something blue” of British tradition was a blue bow around the belt. The dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who had previously designed a blouse for Diana that was a favorite of hers.

Where is Diana’s dress today? After a decade of display in the museum at the Spencer family’s Northampton estate, Althorp, and then a long trip on the road in the charge of Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, it is finally coming home to live with Prince William and Prince Harry, as was stipulated in Diana’s will. (source: People magazine)

Queen Victoria, 1840

via en.wikipedia.org
via en.wikipedia.org

175 years ago, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha wearing white. That statement shouldn’t seem surprising, but at the time, it was essentially an unheard of choice. Even though Mary, Queen of Scots had also worn white, the style didn’t become a trend until Victoria did it. Prior to 1840, brides often wore colored dresses on their wedding days, with red being a particular favorite but other colors being widely accepted as well. One particularly iconic feature of the dress was the appliqued lace, which she described in her journal as “an imitation of an old design.”

Shortly after her wedding, the infamous Godey’s Lady’s Book described white as “custom… from the earliest ages,” while fashion magazines began saying white was the best choice for brides, citing its purity and elegance as fitting for the day and the change from girlhood to womanhood. (source: Wikipedia)

 

Famous Men’s Wedding Bands

Men don’t get much play when it comes to wedding rings in the media, but several style icons are worthy of mention for the expression of themselves and their marriages they wear on their left hands. Here’s a look at some inspiring male celebrity nuptial styles.

David Beckham

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Since Posh Spice’s 13 wedding rings get so much attention, it seems that Beckham’s flair for changing his own gets brushed under the rug. One of his most incredible rings is blazed with four rows of diamonds, and a simpler favorite of his is a simple platinum wedding band. When the Beckhams tied the knot in 1999, David wore a not-so-simple platinum piece that boasted square-cut diamonds. Maybe he gets a new one for himself each time he gets one for Victoria!

Chris Pratt

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Humorous duo Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have been married since 2009, and Pratt is a simple guy too. He wears the same plain gold wedding band he’s been wearing since before he became the adorably normal yet extraordinary Lego hero and an intergalactic thief-turned-superhero. While they’re not superheroes on the big screen, several pop music superheroes wear simple gold wedding bands too, including Justine Timberlake, who went for a thin design, and Kanye West, who got a thick and surprisingly simple band. When Jay-Z and Beyonce renewed their vows a few years ago, HOVA got a simple gold band too.

Johnny Depp

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Not known for following the rules of tradition, Johnny Depp surprised fans and Hollywood aficionados by wearing a delicate women’s ring on his ring finger—but it wasn’t just any girly ring. The ring belonged to his fiancé, Amber Heard. The media wasted no time speculating about its meaning, even though Depp himself said the meaning of it was obvious. The couple were wed in a small ceremony on an island in February 2015.

President Barack Obama

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The Commander-in-Chief’s wedding band became the subject of debate after an article in a right-wing newspaper pointed out that he wore it before his wedding and that it was from Indonesia. The newspaper essentially said the ring indicated he was a “closet Muslim” because they alleged it had an inscription on it, while many other sources simply marveled at its intricate design. The accusation seems to have been deemed ludacris, now having its own page under the “Urban Legend” category on about.com. The ring itself is a gold band with elegantly etched wavy patterns—not inscriptions—around its entirety that was made in an Indonesian town where he lived for three years while he was a boy.

Prince William

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In what Americans thought was a rebellious move, Prince William is going against tradition and joining the ranks of the Duke of Edinburgh, who shirked the wedding band idea altogether. While many people seemed slightly outraged by his choice, spokespeople for the British royals simply explained that it was simply because His Highness “isn’t one for jewelry.”

Jeremy Renner

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Hawkeye of Avengers: Age of Ultron had his eye on privacy when he married Sonni Pachecho last year in a marriage that sadly dissolved pretty quickly. Even though his marriage didn’t last, his style did, with Renner’s thick tungsten band fitting in with a very popular style for modern men.

It seems the market for men’s unusual and original wedding bands is picking up due to closer media attention to the cost of marriage and more advice on how to save big bucks on items that used to be deemed necessary. Necessity has borne originality as well, making room for more sparkle in men’s jewelry. If you have a diamond to sell, you can capitalize on the growing market for prettier men’s jewelry with Diamond Lighthouse.

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