Boho beauty to glamour queen: Looking back at bridal trends through the decades

Sep 26, 2020
Here are some of our favourite wedding dress trends on display at Queensland Museum as part of its new wedding exhibition. Source: Queensland Museum.

It’s fair to say wedding dresses have changed a lot throughout the years — but some of our favourites are the classics. And if you love flicking through old wedding magazines or your mother’s wedding album, then get ready to be swept off your feet as Queensland Museum has launched a new wedding exhibition, titled ‘I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland’, showcasing a number of old school, one-of-a-kind wedding dresses.

The exhibition, which opened earlier this month, will run until February 21, 2021, in South Brisbane. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect.


We love that this bride, Marie Gehde, has bucked tradition and gone for a modern spin on the usual white wedding dress. She appears to be wearing a slinky white number underneath but has added a lace overgarment with a hood, replacing a traditional wedding veil. We’re also a big fan of her small stylish bouquet.

Marie and Mike Gehde. Source: Queensland Museum.

Winter chic

Now, this is what you call a one-of-a-kind wedding dress! Clare Rogers nailed winter chic in this floaty long-sleeve wedding dress, with a statement fur muff (also known as a handwarmer) and a matching fur hood. Fur trims were a big fashion trend in the 1940s and ’50s.

Clare Rogers. Source: Queensland Museum.

Glamour queen

Short and puffy veils were all the rage in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Here’s a beautiful picture of blushing bride Helen Belton in 1957. We’re a big fan of the tiara, white long gloves, big bouquet, and, of course, her stunning dress, which appears to gather nicely around her waist before falling elegantly to the ground — ball gowns were a big wedding dress trend in the ’50s.

Helen Belton on her wedding day in 1957. Source: Queensland Museum.

Short and sweet

What’s not to love about this short and sweet style worn by Janet Hogan?! The bride’s elaborate beaded headpiece works great with her short wedding dress, simple hairdo and low heels. The ’60s was the era for short wedding dresses thanks to the arrival of the controversial mini skirt.

Janet Hogan. Source: Queensland Museum.

Princess bride

There’s something princess-like and classic about the beautiful gown Pat George wore on her wedding day. If it isn’t the big tulle skirt, or beautiful lace detailing that captures your attention, it’s the simplicity of her headpiece that really makes an impression. The long white gloves, lower-positioned veil and elegant bouquet really finish off the classic look without being too over the top.

Pat George. Source: Queensland Museum.

Timeless elegance

Without the elaborate headpiece, this wedding gown could probably pass as a dress from now with its simple silk skirt and lace long-sleeve overlay — now that’s a bride ahead of her time! Here’s a stunning picture of modern bride Jill in 1963.

Jill on her wedding day in 1963. Source: Queensland Museum.

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Which one is your favourite? What was your wedding dress like?

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