Modest Wedding Dress Inspiration: Fashion throughout the Ages

Oftentimes in the course of working on a custom, modest wedding dress, a customer will come to us with vintage inspiration. We love working off of vintage styles, so for those of you still designing the dress of your dreams, we thought we’d bring you this decade by decade guide of modest, vintage, wedding dress inspiration!

The 1910’s

1910's Modest Wedding Dress

This gorgeous dress dating from 1910’s is not only stunning, it has a heartwarming story behind it: it has been worn by four successive generations of women in the same family.


The 1920’s

Minnie Heuschele 1920's Modest Wedding Dress

When the roaring 20’s came around, wedding dresses became more decadent and intricate, including this fabulous dress worn by Minnie Heuschele of Queensland, Australia.


The 1930’s

1930's Modest Wedding Dress

With the Great Depression in full swing, wedding dresses became less ostentatious, but still remained elegant as you can clearly see from this gorgeous example!


The 1940’s

1940's War Rationing Modest Wedding Suit

With over half the world at war during World War II, rationing was at an all time high – which meant things like meat were hard to come by, let alone the silk to make a wedding dress from. Many inventive brides, this author’s grandmother included, opted instead to get married in a simple suit. Not only did they do their bit for the war effort, they looked lovely doing it!


The 1950’s

Grace Kelly Iconic Modest Wedding Dress

When it comes to iconic, modest wedding dresses, it’s hard to top the gorgeous wedding dress worn by Grace Kelly when she married Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956. This fabulous gown was made from gorgeous Brussels lace, embellished with thousands of hand-sewn pearls, while the silk taffeta skirt was complimented by a long, elegant train; it’s timeless elegance has influenced countless brides, including Kate Middleton.


The 1960’s

1960's Tea Length Modest Wedding Dress

In tune with the revolutionary decade of the 1960’s, wedding dress hemlines were sometimes raised to just below the knee, finally signifying acceptance of tea length and shorter wedding dresses.


The 1970’s

1970's Modest Wedding Dress

No 1970’s  wedding dress would be complete without a circlet of flowers, just like this gorgeous gown of the same vintage! During this time period, dresses became less form-fitting and more flowing, in keeping with the relaxing social mores of the decade.


The 1980’s

Caroline Kennedy Modest Wedding Dress

When Caroline Kennedy married Edwin Schlossberg in 1986, Caroline wore a white silk organza wedding dress designed by Carolina Herrera. Featured on the bodice were embroidered white shamrocks, in tribute to her father’s Irish ancestry.


The 1990’s

Sophie Rhys-Jones Modest Wedding Dress

When Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward in 1999, her dress did not fail to disappoint. Sophie Rhys-Jones wore an ivory silk organza wedding dress designed by Samantha Shaw, layered with matching silk crepe and a veil with gorgeous crystal beading.


The 2000’s

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson Modest Wedding Gown

When Mary Elizabeth Donaldson married the Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, her wedding dress did not fail to wow. Although Princess Mary is an Australian citizen born to Scottish parents, it’s clear she’s born for her “happily ever after.”


The 2010’s

Kate Middleton Modest Wedding Dress

When Kate Middleton was married to Prince William in 2011, her dress became an instant icon, and it’s not hard to see why! The epitome of simple, yet elegant, this stunning dress is truly fit for a queen.


Are you inspired by any of the gorgeous gowns in this post? Drop us a line at to get started on the dress of your dreams today!