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Fairytale wedding gowns are officially back, thanks to the likes of Lily Collins and Lady Kitty Spencer

We've found the best styles available to shop now...

ballgown wedding dresses
Fiona Ward
Acting Fashion and Beauty Editor
Updated: October 1, 2021
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There was a time when ballgown-style wedding dresses were considered one of the most traditional and classic choices - and it's certainly still the case - but today, modern brides are embracing the fairytale look and adding their own twist, too.

MORE: Celebrity wedding dresses 2021 - all the pictures

For some time, more fitted silhouettes were favoured as the contemporary choice, but the full-skirted, magical, 'Princess' look is firmly back - perhaps as a whimsical reaction to the difficult year so many have had. What's more, creative resource Design Bundles has revealed that 'Princess wedding dress' is currently the most Googled style of wedding dress in the UK. 

Lady Kitty Spencer's show-stopping wedding gown

But being a ballgown bride doesn't have to mean everything fluff and frills - today, a fairytale wedding gown is all about crisp lines and that perfect fit.

Lady Kitty Spencer demonstrated just that with her incredible Dolce & Gabbana Alto Moda wedding dress, while September bride Lily Collins added a fuller look to her Ralph Lauren lace gown with a dramatic cape - a look she later described as her "dream combination of Western Americana and British Victorian".

MORE: 12 chic-yet-casual wedding dresses for a low-key ceremony

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Lily Collins' 'fairytale' wedding dress featured a dramatic cape

Of course, the Duchess of Cambridge was the ultimate modern princess in her perfectly-tailored Alexander McQueen gown, while her sister Pippa Middleton's Giles Deacon wedding dress has also proven to be completely timeless.

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Lucy Watson's stunning wedding gown

Other famous brides to opt for a classically-beautiful full-skirted style include Amal Clooney, Miranda Kerr, Lea Michele and Issa Rae - recently, former Made In Chelsea star Lucy Watson married her long-time love James Dunmore wearing a dramatic Milla Nova gown.

MORE: The best short wedding dresses for 2021 brides

So if you're a bride-to-be and want to make an understated statement (yes, that is a thing), here's a look at some of the most beautiful fairytale wedding gowns available to shop right now...

emilia wickstead

Emilia Wickstead satin gown, £4,270, Net-A-Porter


Now this is worthy of a Duchess! This beautiful full-skirted dress is made by one of Kate Middleton's favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead. Teamed with simple accessories, it would make quite the showstopper...

halfpenny skirt

Halfpenny London satin maxi skirt, £995, Net-A-Porter


We're in love with this voluminous maxi skirt, which you can team with a top of your choice - and with its asymmetric hemline, you can show off a killer pair of shoes, too.

jenny packham

Jenny Packham 'Carole' gown, £2,800, Harrods


Achieve a bold look just like some of Lady Kitty's ultra-embroidered wedding dresses in this colourful number from Jenny Packham.

etsy dress

Made-to-order wedding gown, £718, Yin Bridal at Etsy


Want something unique? Opt for a stunning custom-made dress by this trust-worthy Etsy business, which has rave reviews from a number of happy brides. This waist-cinching dress is a dead-ringer for Miranda Kerr's Christian Dior gown.

elie saab

Elie Saab strapless tulle gown, £8,000, Luisa Via Roma


We're officially swooning over the fitted bodice of this gown - not to mention the endless layers of tulle...

asos dress

Off-shoulder bridal maxi dress, £295, ASOS


You can shop the look for less in this pretty ballgown from ASOS, which has some incredible reviews from shoppers that love its flattering sweetheart neckline and puff sleeves.

matsouri wedding dress

Matsouri wedding dress, £1,813, Wolf & Badger


This beautiful strapless gown features a textured full skirt and flattering belted waist.

chi chi dress

Satin bridal dress, £195, Chi Chi London


You can keep it simple and structured with this pretty gown from Chi Chi. Elevate the look by adding a matching belt, too.

chi chi wedding dress

Woven wedding gown, £195, Chi Chi London at Selfridges


Another affordable option from Chi Chi, this time made in a slightly textured fabric.

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