Today, it’s considered “traditional” for a bride to wear a long, white dress for her wedding day; anything different is bold or rebellious. And yet, in the past brides dressed far more unconventionally than those today, many didn’t even stick to the white dress code, making these “rules” loose at best. If you are considering choosing a shorter hemline for your upcoming wedding, we suggest you look to these lovey ladies for a dose of inspiration and a confidence boost.
In 1969, Hepburn’s second wedding was to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti. The ceremony took place in Switzerland , and the bride wore a Hubert de Givenchy pale pink, long-sleeve, funnel-neck minidress with white tights and white ballet flats. She finished the look with gloves and a headscarf.
Not only had Knightley already worn her wedding dress before, she wore it once again after her 2013 wedding to a charity event in London later that year. The white tulle Chanel strapless dress was first worn by the actress in 2008 to a BAFTA Awards party. When she wed musician James Righton, she brought out the short number again and paired it with a Chanel bouclé jacket, blush flats, and a flower crown. The ceremony was at town hall in the hilltop village of Mazan in the south of France.
Late-20th century American actress Raquel Welch married Hollywood producer Patrick Curtis in 1967 at Paris’s City Hall. Unlike most brides today, she showed off her legs in a white, crocheted minidress, a white fur coat, and white heels.
In 1966, 21-year-old Mia Farrow married 50-year-old Frank Sinatra at The Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She wore a two-piece, white set: a skirt with a bow at the waist and three-quarter-sleeve, double breasted jacket. The pair flew to Palm Springs after the ceremony for their reception which was attended by Katherine Hepburn and Dean Martin.
After meeting on the set of Cleopatra, Taylor and Richard Burton wed (for the first time) in Montreal in 1964. The screen legend wore a yellow babydoll dress designed by Cleopatra costume designer Irene Schaff. In her hair, she had hyacinths and lilies of the valley woven into her updo, and in her brooch were diamonds and emeralds. Burton once said of Taylor, “The only word Elizabeth knows in Italian is Bulgari.”
Last year, Crawford celebrated her 20th anniversary with Rande Gerber by posting a #tbt photo on Instagram of their beachy wedding. The two wed on Paradise Island in the Bahamas in 1998 and the bride wore a John Galliano lace minidress. As any self-respecting beach bride, Crawo walked barefoot down the aisle.
Even though it was the summer of love in 1969, artist Yoko Ono did not wear a flowy bohemian dress to her Gibraltar wedding to John Lennon. Never one to keep things traditional, Ono instead opted for quite the modish look, pairing a white miniskirt set with a wide-brimmed hat, knee-high socks, plimsolls, and round sunglasses.
Yes, technically Whitney Port’s wedding gown isn’t entirely short—just in the front—but still, her custom Ashi Studio wedding dress was an unconventional bridal choice. Plus, what better way to show off those floral appliqué Paul Andrew shoes?
The notoriously private movie star married dancer (and Black Swan co-star) Benjamin Millepied in a small ceremony in Big Sur. For her wedding gown, the actress chose to keep things intimate as well, and enlisted her designer friends Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte to create a simple tea-length dress with sheer long sleeves and floral appliqués in the back.