Wedding Dress


Grace Kelly Wedding Attire

Grace Kelly Wedding Attire


Grace Kelly wedding ensemble consisted of a combination headpiece/veil, shoes (with secret),  and a  lace- and pearl-encrusted prayer book which she held while walking down the aisle.  The elegant lace-and-taffeta ensemble was designed by Helen Rose, the head costume designer from MGM who had previously made so many of Grace Kelly’s wardrobes in her films.  Grace Kelly was still with MGM at the time of her wedding, so the studio opted to provide their Oscar-winning actress with her wedding dress – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also had the rights to film the wedding as a completion to her contract.


Grace Kelly Wedding Dress Sketch - Helen Rose

Bringing Grace Kelly Wedding Dress From concept to reality

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Handbook describes the wedding dress as follows:

From the crownlike wreath topping the headpiece to the bows down the back of the graceful train, Grace Kelly’s wedding ensemble is simple but exquisitely detailed. Delicate rose point lace, a type of nineteenth-century Brussels needle lace that features elaborate floral motifs, forms the bodice, which appears seamless because the lace motifs were detached from their original ground and pieced together to follow the shaping of the dress. Touches of the lace, accented with lustrous seed pearls, unify the gown and accessories. The dress itself is constructed in four complex parts: the lace bodice with an attached underbodice, skirt support, and slip; a heavily pleated silk faille skirt that incorporates a smoothing petticoat, ruffled petticoat, and foundation petticoat; a triangular tulle and lace train insert; and a pleated silk faille cummerbund.

In style and detail the dress was conceived to complement the bride’s fairy-princess image. The bell-shaped skirt of ivory faille, supported by three attached petticoats, fans out into a graceful lace train; the high-necked bodice of antique Brussels lace was re-embroidered to render the seams invisible and then accented with seed pearls. Lace embellished with pearls covers the accompanying prayer book, shoes, and cap, which is surmounted by a wreath of orange blossoms. The circular veil was designed specially so as not to obscure the bride’s famous face. 


grace kelly wedding ensemble


Six weeks with three dozen seamstresses later (and a then estimated cost of $7200 – which would be about $63,000 in 2016 – see this replica) , Grace Kelly would turn it into an iconic wedding dress still considered as one of the most beautiful ever.  The dress used twenty-five yards of silk taffeta, one hundred yards of silk netting, tulle, peau de soie and antique Brussels lace that was over 125 years old.


Grace Kelly Wedding Head Dress


Grace Kelly Wedding Headpiece Veil


Seamstresses working on Grace Kelly wedding dress - 1956

Instead of wearing a jewelled tiara, Princess Grace opted for a classic beaded Juliet cap with an attached veil. A layer of lace covered in tiny pearls along with flowers crowned the headpiece. While not a tiara per se, the headpiece did have a regal crown-like appearance with the arrangement of pearls and flowers on top.

Grace Kelly Bridal Head dress




 Grace Kelly Wedding Shoes

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue—or in this case, a penny for good luck!  An X-ray taken in 2005 of Grace Kelly’s wedding shoe reveals the keeping of this tradition with a coin hidden deep inside the shoes. In the X-ray, the penny is clearly outlined against the shank of her right shoe; the tacks and screws at the heels and decorative beaded rosettes on the vamps are also visible. 

Grace Kelly Wedding Shoe x-ray


David Evins of New York, a leading American shoe maker that Grace Kelly had previously worked with, custom made the 2.5-inch heeled shoes to complement Grace’s wedding dress.  It was Grace’s request that a copper penny be built into the right shoe for good luck.

Grace Kelly Wedding Shoes



Grace Kelly Wedding Prayer Bible


Prince Rainier was a Catholic sovereign who embraced the role of the Catholic Church. Grace Kelly’s Irish Catholic upbringing meant that their shared faith played a significant role in both their personal and public lives.

Grace carried Rev. J.M. Lelen’s Bride’s Manual: A Manual of Catholic Devotion with Mass for the Marriage Ceremony and the Nuptial Blessing during her wedding to Prince Rainier. The book was a gift from a family friend and was decorated by MGM’s wardrobe department.


Grace Kelly Wedding Prayer Bible 


Final touch to Grace Kelly Wedding Dress

Wedding flowers and wedding bouquets may last only a few days, but will be remembered forever in images and if it is done right it can inspire for generations. Even today a simple hand-tied posy with one or two flower varieties is a popular choice because it complements almost every wedding style.

“Delicate in design, classic and timeless, rather like Grace Kelly herself, Lily of the Valley are still one of the most asked-for wedding flowers,” reveals one UK Florist. “They work with everything and can fit everywhere, even nestled amongst other flowers.”

From royal weddings like Kate Middleton  2011 wedding to Prince William  (UK) to celebrities and everyday brides, the Grace Kelly Wedding dress continues to inspire.

1956 Grace Kelly Wedding Dress & Flowers inspiration for Kate Middleton 2011


Grace Kelly Wedding Dress on Exhibit

Princess Grace’s wedding gown was presented to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it has become one of the collection’s most popular and beloved objects, and continues to serve as the ultimate example of bridal elegance. Today people can still admire the Grace Kelly Wedding dress when it is included in Grace Kelly Exhibitions around the world –  and at its home at Philadelphia Museum of Art to commemorate Grace Kelly Wedding Anniversary.

Grace Kelly Wedding Dress Exhibit



More on Princess Grace Wedding

The Marriage of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier

The Wedding in Monaco – Official Grace Kelly Wedding Video

Exclusive look at behind the scenes of the Grace Kelly wedding with Prince Rainier on April 19, 1956 in Monaco

See rare footage of Princess Grace Wedding Video

Princess Grace & Prince Rainier Wedding Anniversary



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