Incredible lace wedding dresses to make you feel like a Royal

We promise they'll make you swoon

lace wedding dresses
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

We promise they'll make you swoon

Despite the rise of alternative wedding dresses and high-street wedding dresses, there's no denying there's one wedding dress design that never, ever goes out of style, and that's lace wedding dresses, whether you're into vintage dresses or not.

Why? Because nothing says bridal elegance quite as much as lace. Let's take a look back in time, shall we?

History of lace wedding dresses

Although lace has been part of fashion for centuries (hello Elizabethan ruffs), its first use in wedding dresses is widely attributed to Queen Victoria, when she married Prince Albert in 1840. She was a bit of a trendsetter, old Queen Vic. Not only did she choose to wear white (brides would usually get married in any colours, even black), she chose to have it entirely covered in hand-stitched lace, at a time when machine-made lace was taking over. Oh we do love a rebel.

Royal lace wedding dresses

Again, let's blame Queen Vic for this one, because it's become a bit of a tradition to opt for lace wedding dresses in the Royal family. Although Queen Elizabeth II's and Princess Margaret's wedding dresses were made of silk, as was trendy at the time, the younger generations of Royals opted to go back to traditions with their gowns.

Princess Diana's wedding dress featured lace embroidery, as did Fergie's, and who can forget Kate Middleton's Alexander McQueen dress, which spurned hundreds of copies, and probably even inspired Pippa Middleton's Giles Deacon wedding dress. Long-sleeved lace gowns are timeless and always perfect for the more traditional cathedral ceremonies.

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Celebrity lace wedding dresses

Royals aren't the only ones to favour lace wedding dresses, as it's a big trend in the celebrity world too. Kim Kardashian walked down the aisle to Kanye in an impossibly elegant lace fishtail by Givenchy, Nicky Hilton looked regal in a high-neck lace Valentino gown and Amal Clooney's Oscar de la Renta wedding dress was adorned with French lace.

The Wedding of Kim And Kanye West

The beauty of lace is that it suits a plethora of different designs, from sexy fishtail wedding dresses to more ballgowns and 50s midi dresses. For a traditional take, opt for lace sleeves and a full skirt, for a vintage twist, try tea-length dresses, and for a more contemporary look, go for a more fitted design with cut-out or illusion details.

Scroll down for our pick of the most Instagram-worthy high-street and designer wedding dresses.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.