A Century of Weddings

A Century of Weddings: 1920-2020

For the past year, we’ve looked back at 100 years of weddings—from bridal trends and famous gowns to music and fun facts. While traditions have evolved over time, one thing has stayed the same: the love and excitement that goes into every wedding day. Just in time to celebrate BHLDN’s own 10-year anniversary, let’s take a look back at a century of weddings.

Young Mr. Lauren holding one of his early tie designs

1920s:

The Jazz Age roared to life with city hall ceremonies, secret speakeasies, and drop-waisted gowns as couples danced their way through the era. Discover the decade >>

Flapper style icon Zelda Sayre and The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald said ‘I do’ in 1920. Find your own Gatsby-inspired wedding look.

The decade’s most enduring contribution to weddings was the registry, invented by a Chicago department store in 1924!

Mr. Lauren in suit smoking cigar against backdrop of newspaper clippings

1930s:

A difficult era brought turbulent times for couples and families alike. 30s brides opted for budget-friendly gowns and heirloom jewelry along with modern inventions like false eyelashes! Discover the decade >>

As Prohibition came to an end, couples could serve cocktails at their receptions, which inevitably led to vibrant dance floors. Listen to the crackling sounds of the Thirties!

The public’s fascination with royal weddings kicked off thanks to Princess Marina and Prince George’s wedding in 1934, broadcast over the newly-invented FM radio!

Advertisement for Ralph Lauren's Bloomingdale's shop & Mr. Lauren on ladder

1940s:

Wartime ceremonies and raucous receptions were common during the Forties, while engagement rings and wedding bands offered couples a romantic way to stay connected. Discover the decade >>

Pinup girls inspired a wave of glamourous styling, thanks to their voluminous curls and vibrant red lips! Find your perfect wedding day makeup here.

Jazz legends Maria and Nat King Cole married in 1948. The musical duo had five children (including singer Natalie Cole)!

Exterior and interior shots of the Beverly Hills Ralph Lauren store

1950s:

As television and rock ‘n’ roll took over the airwaves, weddings became lavish affairs with regal details (cue the multi-tiered cakes)! Discover the decade >>

Brides flocked to short sleeved gowns with tea-length skirts, coated with frilly details and ruffled tiers. Boleros and detachable sleeves also became popular for a modest aesthetic! Find your dream day cover up.

Picture-perfect makeup looks a la Marilyn Monroe were achieved with the first “kiss-proof” lipstick and early versions of the mascara wand.

Checked shirt with embroidered Polo Pony at cuff

1960s:

A revolutionary era brought some welcome changes as formal weddings faded and backyard weddings rose in popularity! Discover the decade >>

Commercial airlines let couples jet off to exotic honeymoon destinations as relaxed guidelines allowed for easy international travel. Planning your own getaway? Here are our top mini moon destinations!

Before she gave “Jolene” a piece of her mind, Dolly Parton married her longtime love in a private 1966 ceremony wearing an understated knee-length dress.

Mr. Lauren in Polo shirt & photograph of polo match

1970s:

Bohemian brides, rejoice! The era of free-spirited style has provided endless bridal inspo, from discotheque candids and bell-sleeved gowns to feathery fringe and dewy skin. Discover the decade >>

The dreamy sounds of the era came courtesy of groups like Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, while ABBA and Donna Summer created disco staples. Listen to our straight-out-of-Studio-54 playlist.

We’re all about flowy gowns and boho looks, but 70s wedding style wasn’t just for brides—grooms showed off their personal style with fitted white suits and shaggy hair!

Plaid blazer & pinstripe skirt on mannequin & Ricky Lauren

1980s:

Visions of puff sleeves and crimped hair are dancing in our heads…we love to hate some 80s fads, but we could never hate the era’s most iconic look: Princess Diana’s unforgettable gown. Discover the decade >>

The invention of the camcorder meant one thing: wedding videos! Videographers captured hidden moments throughout the ceremony, leading to a sweet (sometimes cringey) memento!

The 80s were all about over-the-top styles, including statement veils! From cathedral-length lace to tulle topped with a tiara, they were the ultimate bridal flourish. Find your perfect veil.

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in RL suiting

1990s:

90s couples often eloped or hosted intimate getaway weddings, complete with disposable cameras and diva-licious songs. (Brb, playing “I Will Always Love You”…) Discover the decade >>

Sleek, sophisticated slip dresses became uber-popular for brides, thanks to Carolyn Bessette’s minimalist wedding gown.

After Cindy Crawford married Rande Gerber in a stunning getaway ceremony circa 1998, couples opted for their own destination weddings. (Need a beach wedding look? We’ve got you covered.)

Mr. Lauren & Ricky in tuxedos at the Coty Awards

2000s:

A new millennium introduced non-traditional venues and cupcake towers as Hollywood weddings captivated our eyes and screens! Discover the decade >>

The Internet and MP3 players gave everyone access to their favorite music, leading to the rise of pop singers, girl groups, and our favorite angsty teen throwbacks! Listen to our top tracks of the 00s.

Jackie and Adam Sandler tied the knot in 2003 and the bride’s look was pure 2000s: a spaghetti strap, A-line gown with loose, highlighted curls!

Diane Keaton in Annie Hall wearing RL menswear-inspired looks

2010s:

Social media gave us a front row seat to everyone’s wedding as couples added tons of reception activities (and personalized hashtags!) to the big day. Discover the decade >>

Bridal white took a backseat as blush, champagne, and even black gowns became popular. Chrissy Teigen combined two trends of the era with a vibrant crimson reception dress in 2013.

Royal weddings dominated the decade, starting with Kate and Will and ending with Meghan and Harry. The ultimate accent piece for royal brides? A swoon-worthy tiara. Find your own regal accessory here.

Action shot of polo player on horseback during match

2020s:

While the first year of the decade brought unexpected challenges for countless couples, we’re starting 2021 on a high note with BHLDN’s 10-year anniversary! To celebrate, we’re thrilled to re-introduce some of our favorite gowns from the past 10 years. From whimsical romance to bohemian glamour, there’s a style for every bride. Here’s to a decade of love—and many more to come!
Shop the Decade Collection >>

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