Fairytale Wedding Dress

A gown as lovely as one made by a Fairy Godmother.

A fancy wedding dress with an old-fashioned style of skirt, usually full length and bell-shaped, and plenty of trimmings such as pearls, flowers, lace, Giant Poofy Sleeves, a Giant Waist Ribbon, a long train, a large veil, etc. After all, what's a Wedding Day without some Costume Porn? And since Tropes Are Flexible, even a Simple Yet Opulent dress can work.

The main reason for such dresses (and perhaps the key to this trope over any other wedding dress) is the notion that many women like to "feel like a Princess" on their wedding (even if she is already royalty), and wearing such a dress is at least one way to carry out that wish. She's probably had this desire ever since she was a small child in her Princess Phase. Back then she probably had everything planned out, except for who the groom was, maybe.

And this kind of dress is Truth in Television, as any Bridal Magazine will show loads of these, at least as much as the modest and sensible dresses.

Sometimes it doesn't even have to be worn at a wedding. It can show up in a bridal Fashion Show, or be one of several dresses a character tries on for her wedding (often a dress that she turns down due to either cost or it genuinely not being the kind of dress she wants).

When it is a wedding, this tends to be worn by younger women. Older women are usually seen as not being so naive about how wedding should go (even if they aren't above romance).

Now as the name indicates, this dress is likely to show up at the end of some Fairy Tales, or at least modern works of them. (Genuine folk fairy tales tend to skip over the satorial details to lavish attention on the villain's horrific death. Illustrated versions may show it, though.)

It isn't immune to being Impossibly Tacky Clothes if either the bride has little taste or she is forced to wear such a dress. It also isn't immune from being Doomed New Clothes or a Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress, unless it's a live action work and the dress is too expensive to wreck.

Name comes from the term "fairytale wedding", which is meant to evoke old-fashioned grandeur and elegance (look for the newlyweds to leave in a horse drawn carriage), which includes the dress, and is quite popular in Weddings in Japan.

It can overlap with Woman in White if the white dress she wears all the time is her wedding dress (often when widowed).

A Sub-Trope of Pimped-Out Dress.

Compare Virgin in a White Dress, Happy Holidays Dress, Elegant Gothic Lolita, Little Black Dress, Pink Means Feminine.

NOTE: Since this involves weddings, some of these entries will be spoilers. You Have Been Warned.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Princess Jellyfish, while watching jellyfish at the aquarium, Tsukimi's mother promised to make her a wedding dress just like that, fit for a princess. Though she then said, "Or is it weird that jellyfish remind me of princesses?"

  • In an untitled Game of Thrones fic, medieval heiress Sansa has a multilayered gown of silk and gossamer, ornamented with crystal beads and sleeves that almost touch the floor.


    Live Action TV 

  • Christine wears a gorgeously ornate wedding dress, complete with a train, floor-length veil, and lace spiralling up the skirt, in the final scene of The Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately for her, though, she's only wearing it because her Stalker with a Crush the Phantom made her do so as part of his Scarpia Ultimatum, so she has rather more pressing matters on her mind than looking like a princess.
  • In The Sound of Music, Maria wears an elaborate wedding dress with a train, and there is a scene where the nuns help her into it and allow her to admire herself in a mirror for the sake of Costume Porn.

    Real Life 
  • Many wealthier Irish Travellers are notorious for having lavish weddings with large, poofy gowns. (See examples here, here, and here.