The History Of Elizabeth Taylor's Yellow Wedding Dress Explained

Oscar-winning actress and bejeweled icon Elizabeth Taylor is known for her legendary career, spanning nearly six decades (per IMDb). However, one of her most impressive achievements was planning eight weddings without ripping her hair out.

Between 1950 and 1991, Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times to seven different men. Her love affair with love affairs started at the tender age of 18 when she married her first husband, hotel heir and playboy Conrad Hilton Jr. However, according to Taylor, the relationship didn't last due to Hilton's abusive ways. Quickly moving on from her tumultuous first marriage, Taylor's second husband, Michael Wilding, offered a more mature way of life. Wilding, who was nearly 40 when he married the 19-year-old Taylor, was also an actor. The two had two children together, before parting ways five years into their marriage. Taylor's third marriage, to producer Mike Todd, tragically ended when Todd died in a plane crash. When Taylor got together her late husband's close friend, singer Eddie Fisher, the gossip rags nearly imploded with excitement — most likely due to the fact that Eddie Fisher was married to Debbie Reynolds at the time.

However, Taylor's marriage to Eddie Fisher didn't stand a chance the second she set eyes on her "Cleopatra" costar, Richard Burton. The two fell madly in love, and this is where the tale of the yellow wedding dress begins.

Always a bride, never a wife

In the early '60s, Elizabeth Taylor was cast in one of her most famous roles: Cleopatra. While the notoriously lengthy flick would go on to win six Oscars, it would forever be known as the set where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began their salacious affair. Much like Antony and Cleopatra, the two had undeniable and scandalous chemistry that set the world on fire. Both Taylor and Burton were still married to other people, but this didn't stop them from becoming bedfellows.

According to Taylor herself, "I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions, and I can't pretend I didn't know what I was doing when I became involved with Richard" (via People Magazine). Even though Taylor and Burton were quickly falling for each other, there was one entity that did not appreciate this tryst; the Vatican Newspaper issued a statement that called the Taylor-Burton affair "erotic vagrancy."

Still, their love persisted and the couple left their respective partners to marry each other in 1964. When it came time for Taylor to pick her fourth wedding dress, she chose to incorporate something that was important to the couple's origin story.

Elizabeth Taylor channels Cleopatra

Long before Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were baiting "paparazzi" by canoodling on a yacht in her "Jenny From The Block" music video (and again in real life nearly 10 years later, per People), Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had done it first.

In fact, the moment bystanders caught the famous pair together on a yacht — while they were in Italy, filming "Cleopatra" — was a turning point for the private lives of celebrities, according to The Wedding Secret

The public was ravenous for information, drooling at the thought of a high-profile, glamorous love affair. When it came time for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to turn their indiscretions into a legitimate marriage, the public was watching closely. However, Liz and Dick opted for a semi-private ceremony, most likely fed up with the media circus.

As an ode to the reason the two first fell in love, Elizabeth Taylor hired "Cleopatra" costume designer, ​​Irene Sharaff, to create her canary yellow, knee-length wedding dress. According to Vogue, the chiffon fabric offered a softer contrast to her legendary metallic gold dress in the movie. Taylor also wore white hyacinths in her hair, a Mediterranean flower symbolizing innocence and purity, according to Florgeous.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's headline-busting marriage lasted for 10 years before they divorced in 1974. They briefly reconciled, and remarried, the year following their divorce, but the second marriage sadly didn't last either.