Weddings

11 Unique and Unforgettable Weddings in History

From dresses, venues, to the overall mood, here are weddings that stand out in their own way.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Weddings these days seem to be getting grander and grander, but such weddings do not necessarily mean they’ve got character—a distinct style that comes with a taste for the invariably unique, and maybe even eccentric. Here, we present 11 classy weddings with their own unique spin, whether it’s cool gowns, breathtaking venues, or unusual circumstances.

1. Loulou de la Falaise and Thadée Klossowski de Rola (1977)

French fashion icon and muse to Yves Saint Laurent Loulou de la Falaise married French writer Balthus Thadée Klossowski de Rola in 1977. Her wedding gown was very characteristic of her signature style: luxe bohemian. She wore a white exotic dress—YSL, of course—accented with red details. 

2. Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea and Alexandre de Betak (2014)

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Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea is a fashion designer and the founder of Chufy. She’s been touted as the “travel queen of Instagram” for her picture-perfect jet setting lifestyle. She married fellow fashion insider Alexandre de Betak, a famed fashion show producer who’s headed shows for Dior, Rodarte, and Victoria’s Secret. The couple’s three-day Patagonia wedding was nothing less than whimsical.

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3. Sabine Ghanem and Joseph Getty (2015) 

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English jewelry designer and socialite Sabine Ghanem raised eyebrows when she married Joseph Getty, hedge fund manager in 2015. The bride wowed her guests in a custom-made silk embroidered Schiaparelli gown with 500,000 dazzling sequins. The 18th century-themed wedding would definitely get Marie Antoinette’s seal of approval.

4. Lauren Bush and David Lauren (2011)

More than just her presidential family name, Lauren Bush worked in fashion as a model and designer, and is currently the founder and CEO of FEEDS, a non-profit organization that provides meals to children around the world. She married David Lauren, son of American fashion designer Ralph Lauren, in 2011. There was something strikingly Americana about their wedding, which would come as no surprise considering the couple’s backgrounds. The result was beautiful Western glamour. 

5. Kate Moss and Jamie Hince (2011)

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Supermodel Kate Moss’ wedding to musician Jamie Hince didn’t have all that extravagant decadence as many a socialite’s wedding, but it did have that vintage allure which was evidently the inspiration behind the bride’s John Galliano dress. The gauzy '20s-inspired gown was made of the lightest tulle which seemed to have trickled down to the little bridesmaids’ dresses as well. The couple married in the picturesque village of Southrop, and there was something very 'English garden' about the scene. Kate’s flower crown might just confirm that theory.

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6. Yoko Ono and John Lennon (1969)

John and Yoko might have been the world’s most famous couple at that time. The couple’s wedding story is quite interesting (and a lot of people are probably familiar with it by now). They married in Gibraltar after they weren't allowed to wed on a ferry from Southampton to Paris, and later on, in Paris itself. There aren’t a lot of photos from the famed wedding but one iconic image shows the enigmatic bride in a mini skirt, wide-brimmed hat, and large sunglasses. John’s in an equally casual outfit: jeans, a blazer, and disheveled hair. They ventured off to Amsterdam afterward where they staged their weeklong bed-in protest for peace. 

7. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1964, 1975)  

Seasoned Hollywood actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton tied the knot (twice). Their love affair which preceded their first marriage outraged the public (and the Vatican!) because both were already married. The first wedding took place in Montreal, and what was so special about it was Taylor’s canary yellow dress by Irene Sharaff and the flowers woven into her hair. Their second wedding, which happened a year after their divorces from their respective spouses, took place on the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana. Taylor looked just as ethereal, but this time, she stunned in a glowing green tie-dye frock, her hair crowned with cascading leaves.   

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8. Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer (1954)

  

The epitome of grace, Audrey Hepburn, married American actor, producer, and director Mel Ferrer in Switzerland. What makes the bride’s first wedding remarkable would be her choice of dress. She looked every bit a Disney princess in a mutton-sleeved dress brandished with a collar and flared with a ball gown skirt. She crowned herself with white roses to top it all off. 

9. Cornelia Vanderbilt and Hon. John Francis Amherst Cecil (1924)

Cornelia Vanderbilt was the only child of George and Edith Vanderbilt. Naturally, once the couple was engaged, the wedding was to be nothing less than decadent. The heiress of the Biltmore Estate got married in All Souls Church and according to the official Biltmore blog, the wedding was meticulously planned. The Biltmore House (where the reception was held) was revamped for the guests’ accommodations (even the house’s wallpaper and paint were redone). Mrs. Vanderbilt’s secretary, William Ashby, must have had superhuman managerial powers and even enlisted the help of the Biltmore Fire Department to “keep the dust down.”

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10. Nancy Beaton and Sir Hugh Houston Smiley (1933) 

English socialite Nancy Beaton was the sister of famed photographer and designer Cecil Beaton (who naturally documented his sister’s wedding). Photos of her wedding to Sir Hugh Houston Smiley show a splendid entourage of women sporting relaxed dresses with frothy butterfly sleeves, laced with flowers. They even wore their own veils. What’s remarkable is the scene’s otherworldly atmosphere—they looked like beautiful nymphs.  

11. The Honorable Lucinda Lambton and Henry Harrod (1965)

This wedding was also graced by the presence of Cecil Beaton, who recounts in his memoirs a few scenes from the moody wedding: A pre-nuptial gaiety in cold dark King’s Cross Station with Lucien Freud and Ann Fleming, Paddy Leigh Fermor and [his wife] Joan, Ali Forbes… Arrival in north before daylight, cold, bleak moor scenery, Cheviot Hills and our goal a turretted black and white Gothic house with light blazing in every window.”

Beaton admired the couple for their originality and eccentricity, qualities which were evident in the bride’s gown: one with a Chinese collar and a column of bows in the front. Notable as well were the glum faces of the entourage sporting ushanka hats. 

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