August 24, 2023

The Quick Guide to Bridal Gowns

Ideas + Inspiration

Choosing your bridal look for your special day is such an exciting experience, but also comes with some added pressure, when there are so many options for styles, fabrics, and designers. You want to feel gorgeous on your special day with a dress you’ll love wearing for the day, and enjoy seeing in photos that you’ll look back on forever!

We put together the ultimate quick guide for dress styles, necklines, and veils to help you figure out some of your preferences before scheduling your bridal shop appointment.

Dress Styles

  1. A-Line

A-line dresses are one of the most-chosen and versatile dress styles for brides. This style features a snug top that accentuates the waist and bust. The skirt flares and widens towards the bottom. You can easily wear tall heels under the big gown and add some height to your look.

2. Ball gown

Ball gown dresses make your wedding a fairytale by giving you that princess look. This is a very popular silhouette, showing a tight, and sometimes strapless corsage, with a full, puffy skirt.

Martina Liana ballgown

3. Empire

The empire style is a high-waist dress with a long, free-fitting skirt. The focus and detail of this gown goes to the neckline and décolleté. This style can feel less restricting than a ball gown or an A-line, allowing more freedom of movement.

Kyha empire waist

4. Mermaid

The mermaid style offers a dramatic silhouette that hugs around your curves and flares out from the knees down. While this dress can be considerably more movement-restricting, it is an attention-grabbing look, and often lends a truly glamorous look to the right bride.

Berta Privée mermaid

The Wedding Studio, Sophia’s Bridal, Marie Gabriel Couture, and Brick Street Bridal are just a few of our favorite bridal gown shops.

Neckline Styles

  1. Sweetheart

The sweetheart neckline is a classic that is both trendy and modern. This style is perfect for brides who want a sweet and feminine neckline choice. It is shaped like the top half of a heart and creates a delicate touch to your décolleté.

Viktor & Rolf sweetheart neckline

2. V-Neck

The V-neck neckline dips down in the front, and sometimes in the back, in a flattering V-shape. V-necks can be as daring or modest as you’d like, depending on how low they are cut. They show off an elongated torso while also having straps to keep the dress stable.

3. Square

The square neckline is a popular modern look. The square shape offers a striking geometric frame and adds a trendy twist to any dress. It looks beautiful on any gown and can be as fashionable or simple as you want.

Colby John Bridal square neck gown

4. Off-the-shoulder

The off-the-shoulder neckline is perfect for brides who want to show just a little bit of skin. This neckline sits below the shoulders to showcase the collarbone and shoulders with sleeves that cover part of the upper arm. This neckline option can be added to any gown without sleeves and can be altered with different kinds of fabrics.

Abella off the shoulder style


  1. Cathedral Veils

Cathedral veils are a beautiful option for more traditional brides. These veils are floor length that extends a couple inches beyond the hem of the wedding dress. This choice is best suited for formal weddings, but it will add extra elegance and drama to most any full-length gown.

Toni Federici cathedral veil

2. Detailed + Edging Veils

A detailed veil or a veil edge designs adds a beautiful touch to your overall look. If you have a simple gown, the details add something eye-catching. You can add embroidered details, pearls, or lace. Some veils also have design on the edges which can look as classic as a simple band or as elegant as lace trim.

3. Mid-Length Veils

Mid-length veils generally create a semi-formal to informal look and make an attractive silhouette with a floor-length gown.  If your dress has elaborate detailing at the bodice, consider wearing an elbow or fingertip veil to draw attention to your waist.

4. Tiered Veils

Tiered veils often have 2 tiers or more, giving a beautiful fullness to your bridal sillhouette. The beauty of tiered veils is they are available in such a huge range of styles and lengths. From waist length designs with satin edges to flowing cathedral length veils adorned with lace edges or intricate beading, there’s a tiered veil for all kinds of bride!

Hera Couture tiered veil

If you’re interested in seeing these looks and more showcased on the runway, we invite you to attend our upcoming Unveiled Bridal Runway Show!

Benefitting Vow for Girls and presented in partnership by The Sixpence and The Wedding Studio, Unveiled will be the fashion + charity event of the season, and we just can’t wait to have you. Purchase your tickets here before they sell out!

If you’re looking for a space to say “I do,” book a private tour today to find out more about our packages, space, and services.

If you can dream it, we can host it.

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