Judy Garland wore this pale blue, mini length tent dress for her wedding to Mickey Deans on March 15, 1969.
This was Garland’s fifth marriage. The ceremony took place at the Chelsea Register Office in London, after which Judy told press “This is it. For the first time in my life i’m really happy. Finally, I am loved.”
Though a few hundred people were invited to the reception, only fifty showed up. Liza Minelli was not one of them, and told her mother “I can’t make it, Mama, but I promise I’ll come to the next one.” Lorna Luft later said “I mean if she put an advert in a newspaper for the most unsuitable person to take care of her, she wouldn’t have had a better response.”
Judy reportedly designed this dress herself. It featured a loosely draped layer of light blue chiffon over a silk satin lining. Blue-gray Ostrich feathers circle the neck and cuffs. A row of blue satin ribbon trims the hem of the dress. This was paired with matching blue, square toed heels and an open top pill box hat with five pearls in descending sizes.
Judy was buried in this blue wedding dress when she died just three months later in June of 1969. It had nearly been ruined in Judy’s temporary coffin on the flight from London due to condensation. The funeral home had thrown it in a garbage bag thinking she would be laid to rest in something else. Mickey Deans shocked them when he came in and said that he wanted her to be buried in the near ruined dress. An assistant was sent on an emergency run to a nearby dry cleaner with just over two hours to get the dress cleaned. He recalled that he was amazed when it came back looking like new. Due to this delay and other issues with cosmetics, the viewing was pushed back over an hour for fans waiting outside to pay their respects. By the end of the day over 15,000 people had visited her coffin, many of whom waited more than four hours.
A replica of this dress was recreated by Dona Granata for Judy Davis for the 2001 ABC series “Life With Judy Garland”. Granata won an Emmy and CDG Award for her work on the production.
A very similar version of the dress and hat, designed by Jany Temime was worn by Renée Zellweger in 2019’s “Judy.”