The ceremonies and parties might have been smaller thanks to Covid-19 restrictions still in place across the globe, but that didn’t mean brides in 2021 had to forgo their dream dresses.
This year, out was the small pool of trends which usually dominate wedding season, to be replaced by brides choosing the dresses they wanted, irrespective of changing styles and fashions.
British actress Lily Collins of Emily in Paris fame opted for a gorgeous hooded lace cape when she tied the knot with writer and director Charlie McDowell, perfectly complementing the woodland setting they chose in Colorado. And Insecure’s Issa Rae went all out in a voluminous gown for her July wedding in the south of France to fiance Louis Diame.
While the weddings were a little more low-key than celebrity celebrations pre-Covid, the likes of Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer, and singer Gwen Stefani were still on hand to bring the drama, with several designer dress changes throughout their special days.
Here are 12 celebrity wedding dresses from 2021 …
The supermodel, 30, followed in the footsteps of Miranda Kerr and Serena Williams by marrying into the tech world when she tied the knot with Snapchat’s director of international markets, and the son of the Vice President of Ecuador, Juan David Borrero, 31. Marrying in Borrero’s native Ecuador on September 4, Tookes wore a hand-embellished floral lace gown by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, which featured a detachable skirt.
“I sent him my inspiration,” she told Vogue of working with Murad, “and he drew up the most beautiful and timeless dress that I have ever seen.”
The actress daughter of British singer-songwriter Phil Collins opted for Ralph Lauren for her big day. Marrying Charlie McDowell, the son of A Clockwork Orange actor Malcolm McDowell and Grace and Frankie actress Mary Steenburgen, Collins, 32, settled on a traditional look wearing a long-sleeved, embroidered high-neck dress and adding a lace veil.
“I’ve never wanted to be someone’s someone more than I do yours, and now I get to be your wife,” The Blind Side actress wrote on Instagram, celebrating their September 4 nuptials.
Lady Kitty Spencer
Bringing all the glamour one would expect when a member of the upper class and a billionaire entrepreneur wed, Princess Diana’s niece Lady Kitty Spencer’s wedding to British fashion mogul Michael Lewis, 60, was rumoured to cost £1 million ($1.38m), and featured an array of dresses throughout the four-day celebrations. For the actual wedding ceremony, which took place in Florence, Spencer, 30, wore a high-necked, Victorian-inspired lace gown by Italian design duo Dolce & Gabbana.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart Domenico & Stefano for creating a gown beyond my wildest dreams for the most important day of my life,” Spencer wrote on Instagram. “There are no words that could ever express my gratitude.”
Issa Rae opted for a classic look for her July wedding in the South of France to Louis Diame. The Insecure actress turned to celebrity favourite wedding dress designer Vera Wang to create a custom gown for her Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat nuptials, wearing a strapless ballgown-style dress with a long veil for a play on the traditional fairy tale aesthetic.
Although she’s known for being au courant when it comes to her on-stage looks and much-emulated street style, for her May 15 wedding, Ariana Grande turned to old Hollywood for inspiration.
Tying the knot at home with real estate agent Dalton Gomez in front of a handful of friends and family, Grande wore a slinky gown by Vera Wang inspired by the dress Audrey Hepburn wore in the film Funny Face. Grande has admitted to being a fan of the actress’s timeless style, but added her own touch with a signature hair bow atop her short veil.
The Glee alumna, 35, married David Stanley in a summer wedding in Hollywood on July 24. Choosing a strapless dress by Netta BenShabu and Kinsley James Couture Bridal, the actress and singer’s full-length number featured delicate floral embellishment and a three-quarter-length hem, perfect for an outdoor wedding in front of 100 close family and friends.
For a celebrity as celebrated for her style as she is for her singing prowess, of course Gwen Stefani was going to add a little something extra for her July 3 wedding to country star Blake Shelton. The pair tied the knot in the grounds of their Oklahoma estate, with Stefani wearing not one but two dresses by Vera Wang.
For the ceremony, Stefani, 51, wore a white silk georgette gown with a tulle skirt. Later, for the reception, the What You Waiting For? singer changed into another white gown, this time an Italian silk crepe and tulle strapless minidress with plenty of crystal and sequin embroidery.
The stylist and co-host of The Real broke with traditional white for her big day, opting for a voluminous dress in a delicate nude blush. The strapless gown by Galia Lahav featured a floral embellishment from bodice to hem, and perfectly complemented her Grammy-nominated artist groom Jeezy, who wore a pale pink suit.
“The finished product was everything I envisioned,” Mai told Vogue of the dress she had a hand in creating.
Opting to set a good example when she married the British Prime Minister in the middle of the pandemic, Carrie Symonds, 33, chose to rent her wedding dress rather than buy. Tying the knot with Boris Johnson, 57, at London’s Westminster Cathedral, Symonds chose a boho-style dress by Greek-German designer Christos Costarellos. The environmental advisor added a Coachella-style flower crown for the May 29 wedding.
Taking time out from being terrorised by Penn Badgley in Netflix hit You, actress Elizabeth Lail married dentist Nieku Manshadi in May in a dress she helped design. Teaming up with designer Andrea Hawkes over Zoom, the actress collaborated on a gown with a V-shaped neck with delicate buttons down the middle of its bodice and a slit in the skirt.
“Andrea would also send over British tea so I could pretend like I was in London at her shop,” the actress told Brides about the experience of designing a dress during lockdown. “Trying on gowns at home did present one logistical issue. I did have to lock my fiance out of the bedroom so he wouldn't see any of the dresses!”
The star of Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia, 32, married her fiance, Matt Ziering, in a simple garden ceremony in California on July 24. The actress opted for simplicity, choosing a classic dress by A LA Robe from Loho Bride which evoked the slip dress trend of the 1990s. Marrying in front of 100 guests, the train on Howey’s dress clipped up to allow for dancing later on.
Baby Spice stayed true to her Spice Girls roots when she tied the knot in July to her man of 21 years. Bunton wed former boy band member Jade Jones in a secret ceremony, wearing a short wedding dress reminiscent of the styles she wore as her Baby Spice alter-ego. The Miu Miu dress featured long mesh sleeves and the addition of a white lace garter.