The Breathtaking Bridal Gowns of Early 1920’s Aristocracy and Royalty


The early 20’s bridal attire of the British aristocracy was heavily influential, and set the universal tone for the wedding garments of brides-to-be in Europe and America, extending even to designs of floral bouquets. Needless to say, these beautiful wedding gowns and accessories spared no expense, resulting in a feast for the eyes, even as the fads and trends have changed almost 100 years later.

As for bridal trends of the era, veils remained longer than floor-length, and skirt lengths got shorter, typically ending around the ankles. Satins were in style, with lace trims and exquisite beading.


One of the most famous dresses from the era is that of the Queen Mother. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married Prince Albert, Duke of York, in 1923. Her gown was created by Madame Handley Seymour and featured a drop waist silhouette. The hem just barely touched the floor. The gown was made of crepe and featured extensive silver embroidery and pearl embellishments.


Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk married Charles, Lord Carnegie in 1923. This stunning gown, along with the veil and headdress, features heavy amounts of beading.


Princess Mary, daughter of George V, married in 1922, and wore an exquisitely detailed dress of ivory silk with handwoven metallic silver netting. The enormous diamond and pearl pendant she is wearing was a wedding gift from the groom, Viscount Lascelles.


The bridal attire of Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma might seem simple compared to the other gowns listed above, however the 1922 gown and accessories are breathtakingly beautiful nonetheless. The silk satin and simple drop waist silhouette are very on-trend for the early 20’s, and you’ll notice that the hem here is slightly shorter than the other gowns, being several inches above the floor at ankle length. The lace train adds extra feminine detail, and the simple sheath bouquet (this type of bouquet being very common in the early 20’s) compliments the ensemble perfectly.

Personally speaking, I’d love to see a resurgence in this bridal style. The silhouette allows the full front of the gown to be like a blank canvas for a wide variety of ornate embellishments, and I can’t get enough of the headdresses, vastly different from the simple one or two-tiered veils fastened with a comb popular with today’s brides. Something about these early 20’s bridal ensembles just oozes luxury without being distasteful in the least.

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