29 June 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Civil Wedding Dresses

You know, I wouldn't mind being a bride in one of those countries that requires a civil ceremony in addition to a religious one. Why? Two wedding dresses. (Did you even have to ask?)

In advance of Charlene Wittstock's upcoming two wedding dress affair, we're taking a look back at the other brides that have done the same: a separate wedding dress for a separate civil wedding. (Note: I'm excluding those that had the civil wedding in their religious wedding outfit, and those that had only a civil wedding.)

Left to Right: Sibilla Weiller weds Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg; Tessy Antony weds Prince Louis of Luxembourg
We'll kick things off with a few of the lovely ladies of Luxembourg that meet our requirements. Sibilla took an unexpectedly casual turn in 1994, while Tessy and Louis looked like a couple of 12-year-olds in 2006. I mean, they were a couple of 12-year-olds, basically (they were married at the age of 20 after becoming parents earlier that year), but those shoes on Tessy aren't helping. The rest of it is lovely, though!

L to R: Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz weds Prince Michael of Kent; Camilla Parker Bowles weds the Prince of Wales
The Brits don't usually do the civil wedding thing, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. Prince and Princess Michael had a civil wedding first in Austria, and a religious wedding a few years later. Camilla and Charles married at the Windsor Guildhall before heading for a religious blessing, which is enough cause for me to post another picture of her amazing wedding ensemble. Another Windsor with a double wedding under his belt is Lord Nicholas Windsor, who married Paola Doimi de Frankopan in London with a religious ceremony following in the Vatican. (Lord Nicholas, of course, is one of the Kent members of the family that has converted to Catholicism.)

Participants in our most recent religious royal wedding, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Alexander Johannsmann, were civilly married last year with Nathalie pregnant with their first child. (Many many thanks to reader Caroline for sending this one in!) Nathalie wore the same pink outfit she wore earlier in the year to her aunt Queen Margrethe's birthday celebrations: elegant and classy maternity wear!

L to R: Grace Kelly weds Prince Rainier of Monaco, and a close up of her wedding outfit; Princess Caroline of Monaco weds Philippe Junot
Nobody does ladylike better than Grace, and this is pink perfection. Her daughter Caroline tried to recreate the demure magic later on, but the infiltration of the 1970s styles didn't result in quite as timeless a result. Tremendously unflattering hat there.

L to R: Marilène van den Broek weds Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau; Annette Sekrève weds Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau; Anita van Eijk weds Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau; Aimee Söhngen weds Prince Floris of Orange Nassau; Laurentien Brinkhorst weds Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands
If you want something done with some flair, get yourself a Dutch princess, I always say! Though some of our Dutch friends opted to have their civil ceremonies on the same day as their religious ones and in the same dress (Máxima and Mabel, for example), those that separated the two made up for the overly white nature of their religious gowns with waves of color. From Jackie O. imitations to hats that float about as if unattached to the head, no one holds a candle to dear Princess Anita. WOW. That is some...outfit. Sea life in coat form, with coral reef embellishments. And matching yellow print shoes. That's one way to keep the attention on the bride without the big white gown!

Who did civil wedding the best?

Photos: Corbis/Wort/ANP