A trend I’ve noticed in recent weddings I’ve covered whereby brides often say their wedding dress selection was inspired by what a Disney princess wore in their movie. Now when you hear that statement it sounds fairly childish, but when you sit back and have a think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Disney movies are what we in society are brought up on. Their morals and stories are ingrained in our childhood minds and stay with us right through to adulthood. The Disney variants of the classic fairy tales such as Cinderella and Snow White have even superseded their original storylines. For example, did you know the orginal story of Notre Dame? written in 1831 would not suit a typical Disney movie… Far more death and adult scenes involved there..
ANYWAY, modern brides are more often turning to dresses they have grown up and idolised in Disney movies. The most popular by far from my experience has been Belle’s Ballroom dress she wears when first dancing with Adam aka the Beast.
I haven’t had the privilege yet of photographing a banana-yellow dress design 100% copying the style of the dress seen in the movie, but I have had more than one bride telling me they modelled their design on this disney princess dress. Little wonder why really; Belle featured in Beauty And the Beast, a film released in 1991, when then-7 year old girls would now be turning 28-29, or prime-average age to be married these days. Otherwise Belle also follows a fairly relatable life for girls in modern society (as far as I can make of it anyway); always being called pretty and beautiful while also feeling slightly different on the inside due to her ‘nerdy’ habits of never having her nose in a book. She is romantically pursued by a handsome but arrogant hunter, in whom she shows no interest because of his conceitedness. Luckily she finds her perfect match in the Beast while trying to live for her family (saving her father) and avoiding the clutches of her sexist suitor.
Sounds pretty much like a typical parallel to a modern life of a growing woman. At least from what I’ve heard, I mean I haven’t lived the life of a growing woman… but it seems to me the attractive and intelligent girls out there like the Disney princess Belle out there live a similar life. ie revelling in the popularity their beauty brings, but also feeling like an outcast due to their good grades, always the subject of an annoying or borish guy’s affection and finally finding their ‘Beast’ of a groom to whom they will be married and live happily ever after.
I think? I don’t know, I’m just trying to dissect why Belle is such a popular choice in dress design. I mean here are a couple of brides whom stated they modelled their dress on Belle’s
Cinderella of course is the archetype of Disney princess design, however quite different in personality to Belle’s. For example she is made a servant in her own home and is constantly tormented by her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. Quite different to the free range of lifestyle Belle enjoyed, while Cinderella is also shy and romantic, Belle on the other hand is quite extroverted. One can see a parallel to modern life here, where by a bride could feel like they are made to be a servant at their work, or even family with little time to look for their ‘prince charming’. Suddenly through chance, or their ‘fairy god mother’ are granted a chance to meet someone and live happily ever after, despite making social faux-pas such as leaving their shoes all over the place…
Cinderella is not as popular a Disney princess in choosing her dress to mimic as a bride’s wedding dress. Possibly due to the age of the Disney film; it was released in 1950. I wonder if photographers were telling stories of brides telling them about basing their wedding dress on a Disney princess back in the 1970s? Quite likely I would assume.
Not so much that I’ve had a few brides state that they have based their wedding dress on the Disney princess Rapunzel from the film ‘Tangled‘, I mean the film was only released on 2010. But I’m pretty sure that it’d be highly likely I’ll be hearing stories from future brides, perhaps in the next 10-15 years about how they’ve always wanted to have a dress like their favourite Disney Princess Rapunzel. Particularly with the success it’s enjoyed as the first 3D Disney princess movie. Tangled was the highest grossing DVD of the year, and the 18th highest grossing animated film of all time, which is impressive considering the number of 3D animated films being produced these days. So look out for this type of dress in the near future!
While there are some traditionally conservative designs still in the line up of Disney princess dresses, one would be hard pressed to envision a dress inspired by Pocahontas, Jasmin, Esmerelda, Fa Mulan or Kida except on the most adventurous of brides. That isn’t to say that any bride who grew up idolising these Disney princesses wouldn’t look fantastic in their designs, it’s just that they aren’t traditionally wedding-type dresses.
Others though like Ariel’s from The Little Mermaid could possibly be overlooked as she isn’t often pictured in her wedding dress other than right at the end of the film, promptly followed by giant calamari-making by her prince.. Tiana from ‘The Princess and the Frog‘ wouldn’t have gained much of a following in Australia as the movie wasn’t terribly popular here. Besides her dress has a bit of an eccentric design, it’s nice, but a bit strange when compared to the more traditional shape.Aurora (or Sleeping Beauty) is possibly not overly appealing as a dress design as she is pictured more often than not asleep. Pretty boring eh? Besides, who among you knew that her name was Aurora? I had to google it :/. Finally, Snow White is probably too old fashioned, and Megara isn’t really a princess until she marries Hercules so she doesn’t really fit in this list anyway… Actually, neither is Fa Mulan.. huh. OR BELLE! oh dear there goes this whole article!
I’d live to hear what you think of the idea of modelling a wedding dress on a Disney princess design, or perhaps you already have? Do share in the comments below.
Credit for the Disney Princess images goes to Disney wikia