TV & Movies

Rachel McAdams’ Wedding Dress In The Notebook Was Inspired By Royalty

The film’s costume designer shared some of her biggest influences.

Rachel McAdams in 'The Notebook'
Melissa Moseley/New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock

The Notebook remains one of the defining love stories of a generation, and one of the film’s most memorable costumes was inspired by a real-life princess. To mark its 20th anniversary on June 25, costume designer Karyn Wagner spoke exclusively to People about working on the 2004 film.

“I made about 90% of the costumes because I’m so specific with my storytelling,” she said, sharing that one of the looks she crafted was Allie’s wedding dress.

In the movie, adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ same-named novel, Allie Hamilton (played by Rachel McAdams) plans to marry Lon Hammond Jr. (James Marsden) during a break in her relationship with Noah (Ryan Gosling).

Speaking to People, Wagner said she turned to the late Grace Kelly as inspiration for Allie’s gown. The lace dress, designed with long sleeves and a large veil, resembled the dress Kelly wore on her 1956 wedding day to Prince Rainier III.

“Even if you don’t really know who she is, you’ve seen the photographs of her wedding,” Wagner said. “I wanted to reference, again, the family’s wealth by the amount of lace on the dress and also by how huge the veil was.”

Grace Kelly, known as Princess Grace of Monaco, on her wedding day. Mondadori via Getty Images

In the interview, Wagner also noted that Allie’s wedding gown was purposely designed to be uncomfortable, which thematically reflected the character’s reservations about the marriage.

“I wanted the dress to make her realize that she wasn’t happy about this,” Wagner explained. “She wasn’t happy. She didn’t actually want to be here.”