27 June 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Princess Sibilla's Gown

 HRH Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and Sibilla Weiller
September 24, 1994
Versailles, France

In October this year, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg will marry his Belgian countess fiancé, Stéphanie de Lannoy. Today’s much requested gown comes from a wedding which has a few things in common with our upcoming one, apart from the grand ducal family ties. Both brides come from a privileged background: Sibilla Weiller’s father, Paul-Annik Weiller, was a successful international businessman; her mother, Olimpia Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi, is the daughter of Infanta Beatriz of Spain (these are the same Torlonias now in possession of Ena’s Aquamarine Tiara, if you recall). And obviously, both this groom and our upcoming one are named Guillaume: this Prince Guillaume is the youngest son of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg (and he is an uncle of the Hereditary Grand Duke).
The civil wedding
They were married civilly first, on September 8, 1994. Sibilla went surprisingly casual for the occasion in her simple dress, but she did it up in Valentino for the big wedding itself. The religious wedding was held on September 24 at the Saint Louis Cathedral in Versailles in France. It was presided over by the Archbishop of Luxembourg and witnessed by 1,200 guests, including many fellow royals.
Sibilla’s Valentino gown has several fine details, including a beautiful lace top with a wide neck and long sleeves. The lace tucks into a corset-like bodice which is accentuated by twin rows of silk-covered buttons on the bride’s waist. A white silk skirt billows out from under the bodice.
The skirt ends with the overpowering design feature of the dress: the large balloon of a ruffle traveling all around the base of the skirt, from the front to the end of the train and back again. This dust ruffle feature is my main qualm with this dress, as between the visual distraction at the bottom of the skirt and the bride’s large bouquet, you lose much of the rest of the dress’s details.
Thankfully, no ruffle is strong enough to overpower the beautiful lace veil which matches the lace on the top of the dress and floats on top of that ruffled train. Sibilla opted not to wear a tiara, but attached her veil with a simple headband which she left on after the veil was discarded for the reception.
In the years following their wedding, Guillaume and Sibilla have led a quiet royal life; these days even their royal engagements are hardly reported on. The couple were involved in a very serious car accident in France in September 2000. Both were injured, Guillaume critically; thankfully, he has since recovered. They have four children together.

Do you say yay or nay to Sibilla's giant ruffle?

Many thanks to Sydney from the Luxarazzi blog for helping with some info for this entry.

Photos: Hola/Corbis/Time