Iconic Wedding Dresses : Marilyn Monroe
Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe had her fair share of lovers. The infamous blonde bombshell married not once but three times in her short-lived life.
The term sex symbol was basically invented to describe the model-turned-actress. Unfortunately none of her marriages lasted long and she was three times divorced before she died in 1962 at the age of 36.
High School Sweetheart
Marilyn Monroe (then Norma Jean) married her first husband in 1942 when she was 16.
The Los Angeles Police officer, James Dougherty, announced in an interview that they were getting married to prevent her from going into a foster home but that they were also very much in love.
Marilyn was an unknown brunette who wore a traditional girl-next-door floor length gown. The A-line dress featured long sleeves and lace detailing on the skirt.
The modest wedding dress was coupled with a short veil and half-up curled hairstyle that was very typical of the 40s.
The couple apparently had an idyllic marriage and Marilyn was an endearing housewife until James (also known as Jimmie) enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1943.
Marilyn began to score some successful modelling gigs and after four years of marriage she decided to file for divorce in 1946.
With a twelve year gap in between, on January 14th 1954 Monroe married her second husband and baseball player Joe Dimaggio. They held an informal wedding ceremony in San Francisco.
The couple first met after Dimaggio saw a photo of Monroe, and asked the photographer to set the two up on a date. Marilyn wasn’t too keen on meeting Joe, as she expected him to be the typical baseball-playing ‘jock’.
However, Joe exceeded her expectations and the two quickly fell in love.
In contrast to her glamorous onscreen image (and first wedding dress) Marilyn opted for a low-key chocolate brown skirt suit. The demure outfit featured a cute white fur peter-pan collar and button down detail.
She carried with her a small bunch of orchids. Her understated appearance was perfect for their informal elopement at San Francisco City Hall. Marilyn looked absolutely radiant. It’s clear to see that she was bursting with excitement on her wedding day.
During their honeymoon in Japan, Monroe was asked to perform ten shows in just four days for over 100,000 servicemen – which conquered her fear of performing in front of large audiences.
Monroe and DiMaggio famously divorced 274 days later. She allegedly cited ‘mental cruelty’ as her reasoning.
Despite going on to marry author Arthur Miller, it was rumoured that Monroe and Dimaggio never really fell out of love. It was said they had planned to remarry in August 1962, sadly the month of Monroe’s death.
The Yankee never stopped trying to win her back. Apparently he had fresh roses delivered to her grave twice a week until his death in 1999.
Monroe’s wedding outfit was sold at auction in 1998, fetching $33,350. Her wedding ring was also sold. The 35-diamond band was missing a diamond, to symbolise the unfilled promise of the couple’s love.
Third and Final
Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller on June 29 1956. The couple hosted an intimate at-home Jewish ceremony that lasted four minutes.
The rings were inscribed with ‘Now Is forever’ and Marilyn was given away by her acting teacher Lee Strasberg.
Monroe adorned a mid-length gown oozing effortless glamour and sophistication. The dress was figure-hugging and nipped in at the waist to accentuate the stars feminine figure.
It featured sheer, gathered sleeves and a low scooped neck. She also wore white wrist length gloves to compliment.
The blonde bombshell’s hair was pinned into curls and her veil was playful and short, just covering her hair and face.
Her bridal look was full of understated charm, perfect for their intimate nuptials. Her natural beauty shined through and she was clearly ecstatic during the celebrations from the images that we have.
The newlyweds hosted a 25 guest wedding reception at the Westchester home of Millers’ Hollywood agent, Kay Brown. The house was a beautiful French country style. The couple hosted their celebrations on the lawn outside.
We hope you’ve gained some inspiration from these iconic bridal looks from the infamous Hollywood movie star, Marilyn Monroe. Take a look at the bridal boutiques on our website to have a go at replicating any of these outfits.