Choosing the perfect wedding dress is one of the most stressful parts of wedding preparation. There are a variety of styles and silhouettes to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which bridal gown style suits you best.
When choosing your perfect wedding dress, it’s important to consider the following:
- The type of silhouette that suits you best
- The neckline you are most comfortable with
- Whether you prefer straps, sleeves, or strapless
- If the dress fits well with the theme and the venue.
These are just some important questions brides should ask themselves before going wedding dress shopping. Determining the answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices and make your wedding dress shopping experience more enjoyable and memorable.
Different Types of Wedding Dresses
Wedding dresses come in many different shapes and sizes. However, wedding gown styles can be based on two categories: the silhouette and the neckline.
The silhouette is the overall shape and form of the wedding gown. On the other hand, the neckline refers to the style and shape of the neck and shoulder area of the dress. Both the neckline and silhouette greatly contribute to the overall aesthetic and style of the wedding dress.
Types of Wedding Gown Silhouettes:
A ballgown dress features a structured fitted bodice and a full layered skirt. It is considered the “ultimate princess-style dress” for brides that want to feel regal on their special day.
Before choosing a ballgown-style dress, it is important to note that this silhouette may not be as flattering for shorter brides. This type of silhouette is best for brides with average to taller height, as more petite brides may become too consumed by the volume of the full ballroom skirt.
Ballgown-style wedding dresses also help give the illusion of a tiny waist due to their large skirt. However, the large skirt may not be ideal during warmer weather. If you plan on wearing a ballgown in a summer wedding, it’s best to use a cotton hoop petticoat underneath to keep you cool as it allows air to circulate.
Determining what to wear underneath your wedding dress is just as important as your dress itself. We have created a helpful Guide on What to Wear Under Your Wedding Dress.
A-line wedding dresses are the most popular choice for brides. It’s no surprise as the a-line silhouette is considered a universally-flattering silhouette as it complements all body types.
The silhouette got its name from the fact that it is shaped like the letter “A.” It has a fitted bodice cinched to the waist and softly flares out to fall over the hipline. This helps create the illusion of wider hips while emphasizing the bride’s waistline. The A-line dress is a top choice among brides as it hugs their bodies in all the right places.
Petite brides who want to look taller on their wedding day can choose an A-line silhouette as it provides an overall slimming effect which helps create the illusion of length, making them look taller.
3. Mermaid Gown
A mermaid silhouette is iconic for its fitted bodice, waist, and hips, while it also flares down elegantly towards the bottom. This silhouette is great for brides that are apple-shaped, but it is also generally a universally-flattering silhouette for any body type.
If you’re on the curvier side, it’s best to choose a bridal satin fabric like Mikado or a dutchess delustered satin, as they can help smooth out your body and make the gown more flattering.
A dramatic train is also a common feature for bridal mermaid gowns as they highlight the silhouette more, creating a dramatic effect most brides want for their special day.
When wearing a wedding dress with a mermaid silhouette, finding the right shapewear is important as it gives brides a seamless and contoured look. Here’s our guide on how to find the best shapewear for your wedding dress.
Tea-length silhouettes are known for their vintage vibe. This style first emerged in the 1950s and has become a staple among wedding dress shops. Tea-length dresses typically fall between the knee and ankle, ending at the mid-calf area.
The name “tea-length” originated from the fact that it was a popular dress choice for afternoon tea parties during the mid-20th century.
If you are looking for a charming vintage appeal with a retro vibe, then a tea-length dress may be the best option for you.
Column or sheath gowns have a narrow and straight shape from the top to bottom; they are slim-fitting and are designed to gently hug the body, accentuating your figure in the process. Brides that want to show off their waist and hips may want to consider trying column gowns.
This silhouette is best suited for tall and lean brides. The straight, narrow line from the neckline to the hemline creates an elongated and classic look. Due to the gown’s simple and modern design, it is one of the most versatile silhouettes and can be worn to beach weddings or minimalist or contemporary settings.
Column gowns are usually made with lightweight and flowing fabrics like silk, chiffon, or satin, allowing the dress to drape gracefully over the body, creating a timeless and classic appeal.
Types of Wedding Gowns According to Neckline
Strapless wedding dresses are designed to fit perfectly around your bust without any sleeves or straps attached. This type of neckline is usually supported by a cleverly hidden corset that is boned to support the bust and sits on the waist to prevent it from slipping down.
If you’d like to flaunt your shoulders and bust line on your special day, then you may want to consider trying a strapless wedding dress.
Although strapless bridal gowns go well with all body types, brides with bigger busts may need additional support or alterations if they go for a strapless gown. If your gown needs alterations, here’s a quick guide on how much wedding alterations cost.
The sweetheart neckline, as the name suggests, resembles the arches of a heart. The design first appeared in the 1950s on catwalks. Due to its romantic, feminine design, it eventually became a popular choice for bridal gown necklines.
Sweetheart necklines are featured in a lot of strapless gowns. However, some wedding dresses with sleeves often use this type of neckline as well. If you plan to choose a sweetheart neckline, check if the cup size is right for you; otherwise, your bust may not fit correctly.
Gowns with square necklines have a straight-cut bust which connects to the straps at a right angle, creating the three sides of a square or rectangle. This type of neckline is popular for A-line dresses, and also perfect for brides with bigger busts.
Square necklines are very flexible in terms of levels of modesty depending on the width and depth of the neckline. Brides can choose whether they want to go the conservative route with more coverage in the chest area, or some brides can also opt to show off more skin depending on how the square neckline is cut.
Its structured and angular look accentuates the collarbones and shoulders nicely and can flatter any body type. Additionally, it can also be paired with sleeve options like cap sleeves, short sleeves, or even sleeveless designs, depending on the desired look and level of coverage.
A plunging V-neck wedding dress helps draw attention to the face as it is considered one of the most flattering necklines. V-neck wedding dresses usually plunge to the waist and are often connected to a strap or a sleeve.
Depending on your preference, your dressmaker can adjust your v-neck accordingly, whether you want it to be modest or revealing. Additionally, your dressmaker can also put a nude colour insert to give you better coverage while still giving the illusion of a deep v-cut away.
Off-shoulder necklines are considered alluring as they are renowned for framing the shoulders and decolletage area. This neckline can be paired with anything, whether it’s an A-line dress, ball gown, or even column dress, the way the off-shoulder neckline falls on the bride’s shoulders gives it a classic and elegant look.
The off-shoulder neckline achieves this gravity-defying aesthetic through a fully boned corset that is invisibly stitched into the gown and is cinched to the waist to prevent it from falling. However, off-shoulder wedding dresses may also limit your movement. When choosing an off-shoulder wedding gown, ensure you’re comfortable moving around in it.
How to Choose Your Wedding Dress Wisely
Besides aesthetics and appeal, another important aspect to consider when choosing a wedding dress is how comfortable and secure you feel. It can be overwhelming to choose as there are many different types of wedding dresses. But, once you narrow your choices, it should be smooth sailing.
If you’ve found your favourite wedding gown and wish to alter it, our experts from Love Your Dress provide professional wedding dress alteration services at competitive prices. We also offer wedding dress cleaning services and wedding gown preservation services.