Bella Swan’s Anne of Green Gables Inspired Wedding Gown with White Satin and Rose Lace from Breaking Dawn

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In the final book of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, Bella and Edward get married. Bella, whose parents are divorced, has never really seen marriage as a desirable life goal, doesn’t want people to think she’s pregnant and she worries about branding herself a desperate, vapid girl insistent on getting married right out of high school. Certainly nothing says “commitment” like forsaking humanity and spending eternity with someone, so what’s the point of a wedding? Old-fashioned Edward, however, wants to be married, and Bella comes around to his point of view, starting to consider it natural and happy for two people in love to be married, and to heck with the gossips and disapproval of society and her family. She keeps thinking of Anne of Green Gables, of the simpler time she associates with when Edward would have been young, of the high-necked blouse and long skirt she would wear.

Bella guesses that the inspiration was from 1918 when she sees her dress, Alice replies more or less and Liana tears her hair out. Here I thought we were using an Anne-centric timeline, but only in the miniseries did Anne get married during the First World War — in the books, Anne got married in 1890, according to this page, and WWI was her daughter Rilla’s turn as a heroine. So what does Bella’s dress look like? Victorian-style clothes play a large role in her fantasy of simple romance, and she says, looking at the dress, that it’s just what she imagined. Yet, a dress from 1918 probably wouldn’t have that Victorian high neck, or maybe not even the long skirt. It must also be noted that 1918 is when Edward was transformed into a vampire at the age of 17, so a dress from this age would probably appeal to him more than something his mom would have worn. 1918 would also be about right, if Bella’s mother, who thought the gown looked like something from a Jane Austen novel, was a hundred years off. Then Alice was stage-managing the whole thing, and I have a really hard time seeing her send Bella out in an unfashionable wedding dress. No one does high necks anymore, not even LDS members going for modesty, and long sleeves seem to be relegated to the Éowyn look. So what exactly do we have here? An Anne-style 1890 gown with puffed sleeves? A streamlined, more fashionable but still modest 1918 gown? A modern dress with vintage touches? I’ve been trying to decide for the last week.

So yeah, at this point I think I may have pondered the dress — possibly overthought the dress — more than the author, and it’s been maddening. Maybe it’s like the prom dress: however you see it is right. (Witness the range of Twilight wedding dresses on deviantart.) That means I’m going to stop trying to come up with something perfect and just go with a pseudo-1890s gown, taking Bella at her word that she wanted to dress like Anne and got her wish. But you could just as easily assume that Bella only saw the miniseries, so maybe I’ll draw a 1918 gown too, another day. Trying to combine the two — yeah, I got some pretty funny sketches out of the idea, but I think I’ll pass. In my sketches of this dress, she has her hair down and even though it’s old-fashioned, it’s still romantic and sweet.

22 thoughts on “Bella Swan’s Anne of Green Gables Inspired Wedding Gown with White Satin and Rose Lace from Breaking Dawn

  1. I admit, I don’t like the Twilight series for a number of reasons, but I think this dress is beautiful. Old-fashioned, elegant, with that girly swishiness to it. (Though that description would make me go a little crazy, as well. Which is it–Anne or WWI?? *EEK!*)

    Your wedding dresses are always great–normally I’m quite bored with white dress after white dress, but yours are always imaginative and wildly different. I’m a big fan of wedding dresses that AREN’T white, though. If you ever decide to draw any. ^_^

    Going back to my Cinderellas now.

  2. Yeah — I enjoyed the Twilight series for what they were, but it’s certainly not hard to pick apart its ridiculousness and flaws. I liked Breaking Dawn the most out of all of them because I thought it was fun having the other vampire covens showing up, Bella being on an even footing with the others and a larger role for the werewolves, but the way in which Bella got everything — grace, a perfect daughter, skipping the newborn period, even a continuing relationship with her dad – was even more blatant wish-fulfillment than the other books combined. Still… uh… Bella’s prom dress is a popular one, and I get a lot of hits for “bella wedding dress” too so I thought I’d do it :)

    It’s too bad white dress after white dress bores you, because since my scanner doesn’t mangle them I might be doing a lot of them until I get it fixed ;) I’d love to go a good red wedding dress, though…

  3. I wouldn’t mind if you did lots of white dresses, since I love the way you draw them. Scanners can be tricky beasts–I hope you get it sorted out soon! And a red wedding dress sounds wonderful, I’d love to see it if you get around to drawing it! :D

  4. “…and Liana tears her hair out.”

    rotflol. I KNOW what you mean when it comes to Anne and time periods! It’s easy to do.

    Another great dress. :)

  5. Camilla, I have been meaning to do a LoTR style dress for a while, and the Rivendell site reminds me… I’ll think about that one. I think my scanner could manage not to mangle light green. :)

    Thanks Janel! :)

  6. Have to confess I wasn’t a big fan of Twlight, but as an example of 1980’s costume, this is fantastic. The lace is beautifully done and white has some very nice depth.

  7. Oh when I saw this I fell in love with it, then I read about Twilight and I died a little inside :P Still it’s quite lovely, as all your designs are.

  8. Haha, I hear you guys. My running partner read the first couple Twilight books recently and running goes by a lot quicker when one is snarking on sparkly vampires and creepy behavior!

  9. Hi! I love your site, all of your illustrations and beautiful gowns!

    I believe Stephanie Meyer was thinking of the miniseries when she mentioned Anne of Green Gables. I think so based on the timeline, and the descriptions of the high-necked blouse/wildflowers/porch swing in Bella’s earlier flashback. Read more about it here: http://www.lmm-anne.net/archives/2009/blog/anne-of-green-gables-in-twilight-by-stephanie-meyer.html (and I quoted you.)

    Can you do an Anne paper doll dress design sometime in the future?

  10. I enjoyed your design above as a possible alternative to Bella’s dress. But really if your not a Twilight fan how could you even design such a thing. Knowing the character of Bella is a window to her soul and her love for Edward. I believe the 1900’s style of dress will be fitting for her with a few modern touches to it. This is what she would want for Edward the old and new. Old for her past life and new for the life ahead of her. Read the books you might see things differently.

  11. I love the design of the dress you show above. I must confess I haven’t read the twilight books yet but may just to see what all the fuss is about. My daughter just loves the series .

  12. i don’t usually leave comments on things i read, but i felt compelled to do so this time!! this dress is absolutely PERFECT for Bella – i wish there was some way to get YOUR sketch to Stepehnie and the design team!!!!! but be happy knowing that this “Twi-hard” is thrilled with your beautiful creation :) :) :) thanks for taking on the task!! you nailed it!!!!

  13. I was wondering…. i luv ur work and it has inspired me SO much…. so, i was wondering if i could put ur website on the fav’s page of my website? pretty pls? if i can…. visit my website and go to poll page. do the first poll & cick on small car. Ill know it was u then. thnks! btw- that’s an amazing bella dress- if only Steohenie Meyer could c it!!

  14. In the future, when the novels are required reading for various ology classes and analyzed ALMOST as much as they are on blogs & fansites today, you can be sure that venerable and esteemed scholars with impressive facial hair will lecture their students on this.

    Because Meyers has made such a point of never having read a horror novel, not even the original Dracula, she has only herself to blame when the subject of just what she did or did not read comes up, and the frequency with which it will come up, in those 2071 classes.

    So let me give you props for outing the super-famous and accoladed author as A Person Who Did Not Read Anne of Green Gables, Or If She Did, Forgot Big Chunks because those crusty old professors probably won’t.

    I agree with most of your reasoning process, especially that Edward’s notion of a kick-ass wedding dress would have been formed in the 19-teens.

    I don’t think either Bella or Alice has a very thorough grasp of the evolution of fashion, so it doesn’t surprise me that they sort of lump the different eras together, but it does surprise me that neither thought to google.

    I have no doubt that you’ve given it more thought than Steffikins did, and the result is awesome!

    Edward would totally love seeing Bella in a dress like that, I’m just not sure it’s her wedding dress.

    I can’t make myself like it as much as the hyacinth prom dress, or stop wishing it had the pickup in front, too, and while I can acknowledge it as artistically magnificent, try as I might, I just can’t feel the pinafore ruffle homage on the bodice. Which doesn’t matter. Edward would love that pinafore thing, and that’s what’s important.

    My problem is that I just can’t get past the fact that the prom dress is so much more “grand.”

    The wedding dress would have to trump the prom dress in both grandness and wow factor.

    People dressed up so hard back then to do just every little thing!

    I think this dress would be more like what Edward would have made for her as what Mr Jay would call a “day look.”

    This is just the opinion of a rambling old lady.

    I hope your fans will not waste their valuable flames and finger energy on it.

  15. M.E., of course that’d be fine ^^

    Pamadiya, thank you for your thoughtful comment – it made me smile to read it ^^ Actually I have been back to thinking about Twilight of late, since I guess the next movie has her wedding dress? I don’t keep up with it, but I’ve been getting hits from blogs and so on with people referencing this post. It made me think about what I would draw, if I was the costumer for the Twilight movies. I don’t think it would look at all like this – I would basically chuck out the Anne of Green Gables connection and probably look more to the 1910s and to modern dresses for inspiration. I’ve doodled a bit but haven’t really drawn anything I liked.. Maybe I’ll give it another shot!

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