A guide to different wedding dress styles

Silhouettes, styles and necklines… Everything you need to know before booking your bridalwear shop appointments.

You’ll want a wedding dress style that makes you look and feel your best as you walk down the aisle at your dream wedding venue, so why not think about what you would love to look like before you start shopping? There are many different shapes and silhouettes that you will need to consider when thinking about what wedding dress will work best for you; thinking about the clothes in your existing wardrobe may help. Falling in love with the picture in the bridal magazine may well show you the way to the dress that you will ultimately don down the aisle, but it is worth going through the following list before commencing your journey to finding your dream wedding dress.

A guide to wedding dress silhouettes

No two wedding dresses are the same, except for maybe their colour. When searching for your dream wedding dress you’ll be faced with numerous different styles. Some brides like to find a style they like and stick to it, whereas others may be open-minded and may try on a variety of different gowns to suit their shape. Below is a list of the most popular wedding dress shapes.


A widely flattering style, this dress will gently flare out from the hips and as such suits most shapes and heights. It’s a versatile cut that can be seen in many different styles, and therefore you are very likely to find one you like.

Ball gown

The ultimate fairytale dress with a narrow fitted waistline and a full, flowing skirt.


High waistline that starts just below the bust (and tends to emphasise the bust), this skirt is usually slim and flowing. Think Bridgerton.


Vertical panels of fabric follow the natural contours of the body. Very flattering and easy to find in many styles.


Simple and elegant, follows the natural curves of the body. Usually fairly figure-hugging.

Wedding dress skirt shapes

The skirt on your wedding dress will play a big part in the way you walk down the aisle. If you plan on wearing a short wedding dress then you won’t need to worry about this part, but if you are planning on wearing a long wedding dress, then the skirt, and its length, are definitely something to consider – especially when it comes to buying your wedding shoes.


A very wide skirt, often on a hoop to make bigger. Think Victorian skirts and swooping motions.

Box pleats

Deep parallel pleats of fabric that cascade down the skirt. A more structured way to add volume to the skirt that works well with heavier fabrics.


Fabric gathered below the waistline at the back to create fullness and drama.

Trumpet or mermaid

​Sophisticated and flirty at the same time. Slim and figure-hugging until mid-thigh, where it flares out to finish.

Different wedding dress necklines

You’ll want to feel comfortable and confident in your wedding dress, and the shape of your neckline can play a huge role in this. If you’re a fan of halterneck tops when it comes to your ‘going out’ attire, then you might want to consider a halterneck neckline.


Sits below the collarbone and goes straight across the chest. It can be used with or without sleeves and works well if you want to highlight your neck and collarbones. A very chic neck cut that is classy and timeless.


An off-the-shoulder Bardot-style neckline that attaches to the sleeves to form a continuous line across the arms and chest. It flatters long, slender necks and well-defined shoulders.


Gathered at the neck, this cut leaves shoulders and arms open, giving a beautiful view of the upper arms.


A softly rounded neckline that slopes across the collar bones. It can go higher or deeper down the decolletage depending on how comfortable you feel with a more sensual look


It is similar to the scoop but in a square cut with the angles closer to the sides.


The centre of the sleeveless neckline dips down to a point in the centre of the dress, giving the impression of a heart


A romantic style that suits most figure types. A shawl-like collar that wraps around the shoulders.