When Grace Kelly waltzed down the aisle to marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco on April 19, 1956, the actress-turned-royal changed the world of bridal fashion. The 30 million viewers who tuned in to watch the couple trade vows marveled at her gown’s elegant details and timeless silhouette; and today, nearly 70 years later, the ensemble is still one of the most iconic bridal looks of all time. Kelly’s wedding attire has also influenced countless styles, from Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen gown to Paris Hilton’s Oscar de la Renta getup.
The silk faille and antique Brussels lace ensemble, that the Princess of Monaco sported on her big day, is best known for its high neckline, long sleeves, fitted lace bodice, bell-shaped skirt, and three-foot-long train. However, what many may not know is that in order to create the piece, the princess tapped Helen Rose, an Academy Award-winning costume designer. Since the designer had previously worked with Kelly on four of her films, the bride knew her dress was in good hands.
MGM Studios gifted the garment to the bride, and the studio’s wardrobe department worked tirelessly on constructing the special outfit, which used 400 yards of fabric. The team hand-sewed thousands of pearls onto the skirt and re-embroidered the Brussels lace bodice, adding seed pearls for the finishing touch. In the end, the dress required 30 seamstresses and took six weeks to make. What's more, according to Insider, the clothing item is estimated to have cost $65,200 back in 1956, which is equivalent to $623,000 today. That makes it one of the most expensive royal wedding dresses in history.
If you’re looking for a similar style to the former actress’s show-stopping gown, like so many other celebrities and brides, look no further. We’ve rounded up a list of the best wedding dresses that most closely resemble Kelly’s 1956 version. Keep scrolling to find a look you can buy right now.
Peter Langner Etoile Gown
Size: Made to order | Materials: Tulle, Chantilly lace, sequins | Length: Floor-length
If you’re looking for a dress that almost matches the actual one Kelly rocked down the aisle, add this ball gown from Peter Langner to your cart. With a lace-embroidered bodice, graceful sleeves, and a belted waist, this design is just as elegant and timeless as the royal bride’s historic getup.
Lulus Awaken My Love Long Sleeve Lace Maxi Dress
Size: XXS-XL | Materials: Lace, chiffon | Length: Floor-length
For brides who don’t want to break the bank, look no further than this “Awaken My Love” dress, courtesy of Lulus. This style has all of the components that embody Kelly’s famous gown, such as the lace fabric and long sleeves, all for under $100.
Best All-Over Lace
Watters Frances Gown
Size: 0-15 | Materials: Lace | Length: Floor-length
Calling all romantic brides! This polished piece by Watters Designs gives elegance a whole new meaning. It features a high neckline, long sleeves, and pearl appliqués, all of which stay true to Kelly's ceremony look. But, instead of a pronounced A-line silhouette, the fabric in this design drapes gracefully across the body, flattering brides of all silhouettes and sizes.
Dana Harel Tara Gown
Size: Made to order | Materials: Mikado silk, Chantilly lace | Length: Floor-length
If you’re searching for a modern iteration of Kelly's ball gown, consider this gorgeous ensemble designed by Dana Harel. This piece reimagines the princess's gown for minimalist and contemporary brides, and is a look that will surely stand out at any wedding celebration.
Simkhai Signature Joy Mini Dress
Size: 00-16 | Materials: Guipure Lace | Length: Mini
Mini dresses are a beloved style in the bridal fashion space, and we love this Jonathan Simkhai iteration which modernizes Kelly’s 1956 dress. It includes a mock neck and intricate lace, à la the Princess of Monaco, and also a fitted silhouette for a hint of drama.
Best Plunging Neckline
Anne Barge Danbury
Size: 0-22, 16SP-24SP | Materials: Lace, mikado | Length: Floor-length
Anne Barge’s “Danbury” dress is a sultry take on Kelly’s modest look. This lace and mikado ensemble checks all of the boxes, yet swaps the princess’s conservative neckline for a plunging V-neck in a tasteful way. Style with statement earrings and an updo to accentuate the deep cut.
Azazie Cici Wedding Dress
Size: WD0-WD30 | Materials: Lace, crepe | Length: Floor-length
Whether you’re on the hunt for a fashion-forward ceremony look or a fun after-party outfit change, this design recreates Kelly’s regal wedding dress with a jumpsuit style. While the high-neck, long-sleeve lace bodice will still be on display, this chic piece features wide-legged pants instead of a full skirt. Not to mention, puff sleeves and sheer detailing upgrade the top.
David’s Bridal High-Neck Lace Appliqué Tulle Wedding Dress
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Lace, tulle | Length: Floor-length
This David’s Bridal piece captures the essence of Kelly’s getup, but the halter neckline is a flattering and versatile addition. What's more, the alternative top makes for a great option whether you’re tying the knot at a black-tie wedding or a more casual affair.
Alonuko Look 8
Size: Made to order | Materials: Organza, lace | Length: Floor-length
What makes Kelly's dress so beloved is its understated elegance, but if you’re looking to make more of a statement on your big day, this Alonuko number will definitely deliver. The exposed neckline, open back, and larger-than-life silhouette are show-stopping features that will elevate your ensemble in a graceful way.
SecretGardenbyTina Lace Waist Silk Dress
Size: 0-26 | Materials: Silk | Length: Midi
Are you drawn to the Princess of Monaco's wedding dress because you’re a fan of 1950s fashion? To channel the style from that time period, consider this silk ensemble from Etsy. With three-quarter length sleeves, a midi hemline, and lace edges, this sleek and minimalist getup is ideal for vintage-loving brides.