She may be most often remembered clad in a black gown and diamond tiara for Breakfast at Tiffany's, but Audrey Hepburn's classic style wasn't just reserved for the movies. Though her wedding dresses in Funny Face and Roman Holiday are basically fairy tale wedding worthy, Hepburn also translated her much sought-after fashion sense to her own wedding day looks—all three of them. Hepburn had two turns as a bride (she was married to Mel Ferrer and Andrea Dotti), and one wedding dress that never made it down the aisle. The three wedding dresses are classic Audrey: minimal, elegant, and a little bit playful.
The Wedding Dress That Never Was
Before stepping into the spotlight, Audrey Hepburn was engaged to British businessman James Hanson. The couple was engaged for one year before calling off the wedding. However, Hepburn had already been fitted for a mid-length, boatneck silk dress, designed by the Rome-based Fontana sisters (the actress had been filming Roman Holiday at the time). Hepburn asked the Fontana sisters to donate the dress, telling them, "I want my dress to be worn by another girl for her wedding, perhaps someone who couldn't ever afford a dress like mine, the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find." The dress was worn by Amiable Altobella, who wore it to her farm wedding.
In 2009, Audrey Hepburn's first wedding gown was sold at an auction in London for $23,000, according to Vogue UK. "I have had a happy marriage, so the dress brought me luck," Altobella was quoted saying in the Kerry Taylor Auctions's catalog.
Mel Ferrer, September 25, 1954
For her first walk down the aisle, Hepburn chose a tea-length, flared dress with a satin sash, ballgown sleeves, and a high neck, paired with elbow-length gloves. The Pierre Balmain-designed dress (yes, the same Balmain now famous for leather pants, rock star vests, and dressing Kim Kardashian for her bachelorette party) was the perfect-for-an-ingenue choice for the doe-eyed Hepburn, who was riding that young, innocent fame post-Roman Holiday.
Though the wedding in Burgenstock, Switzerland, was positively magical, the couple was plagued by infidelity rumors, miscarriages, and a fight for the spotlight. Happily, after many attempts, Hepburn gave birth to her first son, Sean Ferrer, in July 1960. The couple would divorce after 14 years in 1968.
Andrea Dotti, January 18, 1969
Though she played a Givenchy-clad, ballerina-esque bride in Funny Face, Audrey's second time as a bride was far more demure, though still beautiful and still under Givenchy's eye.
To marry Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti in a town hall ceremony in Switzerland, Hepburn chose a Hubert de Givenchy–designed long-sleeve, funnel-necked minidress in a pale ballet pink, which she paired with white tights and white ballet flats (gloves were also still paramount for Hepburn's wedding day look). She topped it off with a matching headscarf.
The union brought Hepburn her second son, Luca Dotti, when she was 39. After 14 years together, the couple divorced in 1982.
Hepburn's final love affair didn't end in marriage. After her divorce from Dotti, Hepburn lived with Dutch actor Robert Wolders. She told Barbara Walters in a 1989 interview that the time she spent with Wolders marked the happiest years of her life. As Hepburn said to Walters: "Took me long enough."