Iconic Celebrity Brides That Paved The Way For Kate

Iconic Celebrity Brides That Paved The Way For Kate
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Ever since last November, when Prince William popped the question, it seems as though I can hardly be in the same room as a computer or television without being bombarded with news on the royal nuptials. All of the buzzing questions and rumors and gossip will finally be put to rest tomorrow, as Kate and William tie the knot at Westminster Abbey for an audience of nearly 2000 guests (Victoria and David Beckham Elton John you know, the usual English figureheads.)

As dashing as Prince William may look in his Royal Navy Uniform, all eyes will be on Miss Middleton and her best-kept-secret-in-Britain wedding gown. Can you say instant icon?

But Kate is not the first to cause a little connubial commotion. So before you wake up at 4 AM on Friday morning to watch her walk down the aisle, take a look through the above images of some of the iconic celebrity brides that preceded her.

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Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles of Wales — July 21, 1981
The original Royal Wedding bride, whose sapphire and diamond engagement ring now adorns the left hand of Kate Middleton, married Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Not only was the guest list a mere 3,500-people long, but 750 million viewers tuned in to watch the televised broadcast. And did I mention Lady Di’s wedding dress had a 25-foot train? Top that, Kate!

Jacqueline Bouvier and John F. Kennedy — September 12, 1953
Known for her pillbox hats and pearls, Jackie Kennedy was undoubtedly the most fashionable of First Ladies. But before her days in the White House was her day in white. In a picture of elegance, the blushing bride married America’s hottest president-to-be at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon — March 20, 1969
Not that there was much of a standard for normalcy in the 60s, but Yoko Ono and her rock star groom were an especially unconventional pair, to say the least. After their speedy ceremony at the British Consulate in Gibraltar, the newlyweds chartered a private jet to Amsterdam where they staged the first of two “bed-ins for world peace” at the Hilton hotel. A week holed up in a hotel bed with your hubby after you’re married? I think that’s called a honeymoon. Except for all the press invading your bedroom, of course. I suppose it’s safe to say that white knee socks weren’t the strangest part of Yoko’s wedding.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres — August 16, 2008
It isn’t just their fame and beauty that make these two stars worthy of the iconic bride label; they said their I-dos just two months after same-sex marriage was legalized in the state of California! But though their wedding represented something monumental, extravagant it was not. Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres opted for a refreshingly simple affair at their home in Beverly Hills, where they exchanged handwritten vows in front of their 19 guests. Zac Posen was the designer du jour, outfitting Portia in a stunning, barely pink gown and Ellen in an appropriately Ellen-esque, white pantsuit.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio — January 14, 1954
In stark contrast to the sex and glamour that characterized her onscreen attire, Marilyn was a bride in brown. She wore a brown suit with fur trim to San Francisco City Hall where she and Joe DiMaggio eloped. However, like any classic love story, their’s was a marriage fraught with tragedy. The couple divorced after less than a year. But what’s worse is the two had grown close again in later years and allegedly had plans to remarry on August 6, 1962, four days after Joe quit his job to be with Marilyn. She was found dead on August 5, 1962 and instead of a wedding, Joe arranged for a funeral.

Priscilla Beaulieu and Elvis Presley — May 1, 1967
Priscilla Beaulieu was a mere 21 years old when she married her hip-thrusting, movie/rock star beau. But it was a much anticipated culmination of over seven years of dating since the couple first met (at which point the future Mrs. Presley was barely a teenager at 14 years old). The couple was wed at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, the ceremony taking all of eight minutes. After waiting for Elvis so long I’d say Priscilla deserved more than eight minutes. Fortunately, they had a second ceremony in Graceland later on for those unable to attend the Vegas nuptials. Talk about living a fantasy! Not every high school student ends up marrying her celebrity crush.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey — October 26, 2002
Whether this bride became an icon by fate or by force is still up for grabs, but either way, Jessica Simpson owes pretty much all of her fame to her marriage to Nick Lachey. After an on and off period of dating, the preacher’s daughter from Texas cited 9/11 as the reason for her certainty about their relationship. The ceremony was held at the Smith Chapel of the Riverbend Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Famous for her very publicized decision to remain a virgin until marriage, Jessica was a traditional bride in white, dressed in a strapless Vera Wang gown. However, all of this matrimonial magic is only a sliver of what made this second-string pop singer into a superstar bridal icon. The real deal came post-wedding when Jessica and Nick milked their marriage for all it’s fame-making worth with a reality show on MTV, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Did anyone else know that she wrote a book too? It’s a guide to getting your celeb-style wedding on a budget. Umm, budget?…Isn’t she worth like a billion dollars?

Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias and Mick Jagger — May 12, 1971
After seducing The Rolling Stones frontman with her French,  Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias married Mick Jagger at the town hall in St. Tropez in a civil ceremony. The service was delayed an hour and a half while arguments and threats to cancel were exchanged between Mick’s reps and the town police over how many members of the press would be permitted entry. Final verdict? 1700 photographers and reporters. Luckily for the couple who wished not to “get married in a goldfish bowl,” a more private religious ceremony was held afterwards at St. Anne’s Chapel where Bianca walked down the aisle to Bach’s Wedding March. How un-rock and roll of you, Mrs. Jagger! Oh wait—the couple arrived in a Rolls Royce, Bianca was already pregnant when they were married and the reception party lasted until the wee hours of the morning—now that sounds about right.

Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra — July 19, 1966
As if she weren’t already youthful enough with her doe eyes and cropped pixie haircut, Mia Farrow was just 21 years old when she married a 50-year-old Frank Sinatra at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He had been around the block a bit more than she, having been married twice before. All age-based weirdness aside though, Mia’s quintessentially 60s shift dress and boxy jacket make her an unforgettable icon. Perhaps that’s why we see so many modern celebrities mimicking her look!

Carolyn Bessette and John F.  Kennedy Jr. — September 21, 1996
Try and keep a wedding a secret and you can pretty much guarantee it will be big news. Especially when your future husband is a Kennedy. Carolyn Bessette and John F. Kennedy Jr. snuck off to Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia with 40 guests to be married by candlelight at the rustic, wooden Brack Chapel of the First African Baptist Church. Embodying a certain understated glamour in keeping with the wedding’s atmosphere of simplicity, Carolyn wore a pearly white, silk crepe, Narcisco Rodriguez dress. Apparently there’s a pattern of elegant women marrying the Kennedy men.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt — July 29, 2000
Long considered Hollywood’s golden couple, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were seemingly untouchable. Who else could mix the extravagance of a $1 million Malibu wedding with the down-to-earth sentiments of personal vows including promises to make his favorite banana split or to compromise with her on where to set the thermostat? Though only one tasteful black and white photo was released of the couple, you know they had to have been the best looking bride and groom ever. Sadly, Jen may be as much of an icon for her fall from bridal bliss as for getting married in the first place. Once on top of the world, poor Miss Aniston has been unlucky in love since she and Brad split in 2005.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco — April 18 & 19, 1956
Grace Kelly was already Hollywood royalty when she met and married Prince Rainier, the tiara and official title of Princess just made it official. At the civil ceremony held on April 18, Grace was demure and chic, staying true to the pale colors that perfected her ice-queen look in a light pink taffeta and lace dress. But of course, the big fuss surrounded the traditional religious service held the next day at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco. As most royal weddings are, Grace and Prince Rainier’s was dubbed “the wedding of the century.” And though Lady Di and Kate Middleton may not bat an eye at Grace’s 600-person guest list and 30 million television viewers, her dress set a standard to be reckoned with. It’s an impressive feat to put on a high-necked, long-sleeved, 125-yard taffeta and tulle wedding gown paired with a 90-yard tulle veil and still look incredible and timeless. But then again, we would never expect anything less from Grace Kelly.

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale — September 14, 2002
There are many, many reasons why everyone loves Gwen Stefani. First, she makes it ok to have a song about bananas stuck in your head. Second, she is the perfect blend of pop star punk and old school chic with her platinum blonde hair and fire-engine red lips. And third to top things off? She wore pink to her wedding and showed up fashionably late. In a silk dress cascading from white to pink and an antique lace veil, both designed by John Galliano for Dior, Gwen arrived for the ceremony at  St. Paul’s Church in London’s Covent Garden in a sleek blue 1970s Rolls-Royce an hour late. At least she arrived in style!

Elizabeth Taylor — Last but definitely not least is the icon of icons, a bride eight times over, Elizabeth Taylor. From home-wrecker to widow, she has done it all.
(1.)Conrad “Nicky” Hilton — May 13, 1950
(2.)Michael Wilding — February 21, 1952
(3.)Mike Todd — February 2, 1957
(4.)Eddie Fisher — May 12, 1959
(5.)Richard Burton (#1) — March 1, 1964
(6.)Richard Burton (#2) — October 10, 1975
(7.)John Warner — December 4, 1976
(8.)Larry Fortensky — October 6, 1991

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