15 Antique Wedding Dresses: A Walk Down Memory Lane

Take a look at some of the most classic wedding dresses from years past.

Who doesn’t love some timeless wedding dress inspiration? Of course, you could be married for fifty years and still browse other couples’ wedding photos and assess the bride’s dress. One thing’s for sure: antique wedding dresses were not shielded from the powerful influence of trends. Each era had different design styles, which you can see demonstrated as you scroll through this gallery. So whether you’re looking for antique dress designs for your wedding or just love a bit of nostalgia, this collection shouldn’t disappoint.

Timeline

Before we get into the antique wedding gowns, here is a quick timeline of some key (political and aesthetic) eras. Each period had specific trends and characteristics that influenced its bridal designs.

August 1, 1714

Georgian Era

Started with the death of Queen Anne and lasted from 1714 to 1830

August 1, 1714
June 20, 1837

Victorian Era

This period highlights the reign of Queen Victoria, which lasted between 1837 and 1901.

June 20, 1837
April 8, 1865

Gilded Age

The end of the Victorian Era in the United States following the Civil War and through the end of the 19th century, the 1860s – 1890s.

April 8, 1865
May 6, 1889

Art Nouveau Era

A transitional movement brought to life at the Paris Exhibition Universelle took place between 1890 and 1910.

May 6, 1889
July 2, 1890

Progressive Era

This period of reform took place roughly between 1890 and 1920.

July 2, 1890
April 28, 1925

Art Deco Era

A modern era was first highlighted at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes and lasted between 1920 to 1939.

April 28, 1925

Antique Bridal Gowns

Of all these antique wedding dresses, which is your favorite? Could you see yourself wearing a purple corseted gown at your wedding? If so, you’d be in good company.

cotton antique wedding dress from the georgian era

1812

North American cotton wedding dress

Metropolitan Museum of Art

antique wedding dress from the 19th century

1837

French silk wedding dress

Metropolitan Museum of Art

antique wedding gown from the early Victorian era

1851

American silk wedding dress

Metropolitan Museum of Art

blue antique wedding dress from the Victorian era

1868

American blue silk wedding dress

Metropolitan Museum of Art

European lace antique wedding dress

1869

European lace wedding dress

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alice Pike Barney, in antique Victorian Wedding Gown

1876

Alice Pike Barney (American, 1857 – 1931)

Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection

french silk colored victorian antique wedding dress

1881

Colorful French silk wedding gown

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Antique wedding gown painted by Abbott Handerson Thayer, born Boston, MA 1849-died Dublin, NH 1921

1895

Alice Maude Allen Atwater (American, Unknown)

Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection

antique wedding gown painted by Anders Leonard Zorn, 18 Feb 1860 - 1920

1899

Frances Folsom Cleveland (American, 1864 – 1947)

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Antique wedding gown painted by Gari Melchers, born Detroit MI 1860-died Falmouth, VA 1932

1907

Unknown Sitter, Artist Gari Melchers (American, 1860 – 1932)

Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection

antique wedding dress on a magazine cover

1909

McCall’s Magazine, June 1909 Edition

antique wedding photo

1914

Mare “Mary” Labaš (Croatian, 1887 – 1924)

vintage bridal gown on cover of a magazine

1928

The Saturday Evening Post, October 1928 Edition

vintage wedding gown from magazine

1931

The Country Gentleman Magazine, June 1931 Edition

antique wedding dress from National Museum of African American History and Culture

1939

Lollaretta Pemberton Allen (American, 1895 – 1979)

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Related Articles

© 2022 HEIRLOOMS AT HOME & AGELESS HEIRLOOMS. ALL RIGHT RESERVED.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By clicking “Accept“, you agree to our website's cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. Accept Read More