Julia Louis-Dreyfus opens up about the making of her Princess Diana-inspired wedding dress

Julia Louis-Dreyfus  wore a wedding dress inspired by Princess Diana’s  (Getty Images)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore a wedding dress inspired by Princess Diana’s (Getty Images)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has opened up about the making of her wedding dress, inspired by the gown Princess Diana wore to her wedding to now-King Charles III in 1981.

The 63-year-old comedian discussed her 1987 wedding to husband Brad Hall during an episode of her podcast, Wiser Than Me, which aired on 23 May. Her remarks came a year after she first revealed that Diana’s wedding attire inspired her gown, as the Seinfeld star originally wore a white dress with a flowing ball gown skirt and quintessential 1980s puff sleeves adorned with ruffles to her nuptials. 

During the podcast episode, she confessed that while she wasn’t a major Princess Diana fan, she still thought the late royal’s “wedding dress kicked a**”. She pointed out how the princess’ dress was similar to the wardrobe in the movie A Room with a View (1985), before describing how that outfit inspired her.

“Lady Di’s dress had these poofy sleeves with two layers of lace that came off the cuff,” she explained. “And I totally stole that from my dress, which was a sort of study of everything awful in the Eighties. Well, I mean, that’s not fair. It was fine, but it was so Eighties.”

However, she also acknowledged that “one of the great things about clothes” is that they “identify with an era”. She further clarified that she felt like “Cinderella at the ball” in her wedding dress.

Louis-Dreyfus continued to describe how so many elements of the look were the best fit for her wedding to Hall, who she now shares two sons – Henry, 31, and Charlie, 26, – with.

“Maybe I’m a tiny bit embarrassed when I look at that dress now, but it was a statement of a particular moment,” she added. “The huge sleeves, the sweetheart neckline, the fabric flowered wreath in my hair. I’m pretty sure Brad wore a suit. Anyways, man, it was romantic, and I was getting married. And for that, okay, I admit it. It was perfect.”

She then shared that when the dress was made, she had something special sewn in on the inside of it, which she said meant so much to her.

“I had this tiny little dolphin that was hand carved out of stone, sort of a charm, like a little talisman,” she explained. “And I had them sew it into my dress because I thought it was a good symbol of joy. You know, dolphins are so joyful.”

However, according to the Veep star, she told her designer not to tell her where inside the dress the dolphin charm was sewn in.

“And I still don’t know where it is in the dress, which I think is kind of fabulous,” she confessed. “It’s in there somewhere. Fortunes whisper sewn in with lucky threads of grace.”

Louis-Dreyfus went on to admit that “clothes-wise” her entire wedding day was “a hell of a production”. She also recalled how her five bridesmaids wore dresses that were “fantastic”.

“They were drop-waisted, and they were heavy linen in a very particular green, a celadon green,” she said about the gowns, noting they had a “sailor collar,” which the actor also had on the “going away dress” that she wore after the wedding.

After describing the “cream-colored” dress she wore following the nuptials, she acknowledged how meaningful clothes can be on such momentous events.

“I kinda got carried away, but that’s what fashion is for, to just carry us away. We dress up for our rituals,” she said. “The clothes we wear convey import, and they’re a huge part of what makes an event special.”

Louis-Dreyfus’ wedding gown wasn’t a far cry from Diana’s look, as the princess wore a voluminous bridal gown to her nuptials, as her dress has become one of the most recognizable dresses of all time. Her wedding dress was designed by former husband-and-wife duo David and Elizabeth Emanuel, while the silk-taffeta gown featured a fitted bodice overlaid with panels of antique Carrickmacross lace that originally belonged to Queen Mary. The outfit also included a sequin-encrusted train measuring 25 feet, which remains the longest in royal wedding history.

There was so much secrecy surrounding the gown that the Emmanuels were required to create an alternate gown in case the dress was revealed preemptively to the public.

In 2021, Princess Diana’s wedding dress was displayed at Kensington Palace as part of a temporary exhibition exploring royal style. This marked the first time the gown – privately owned by her sons Prince William and Prince Harry – had gone on display in 25 years.