To those in the know, a wedding dress neckline isn’t just a matter of strapless or halter. In fact, there are more than 12 different neckline options to choose from. Some change in popularity depending on the fashion of the times, and others remain popular no matter the season, year, or current trends (strapless, anyone?) We break down the differences of a dozen of them so you’re better informed for your gown appointments.
Wedding Guy Wisdom: Be open-minded to try on more than what you think will look best. You might be surprised that a unique neckline could compliment you in ways you never expected.
1) Wedding Dress Neckline: The Deep V
So of the moment, this neckline is having its time in the sun. For a sexy bride not afraid of showing some skin, deep V necklines (also called plunging necklines) are alluring and come in a variety of fabrics, with embellishments, without, and some with illusion netting.
2) The Scoop Neckline
The scoop neck is not as common as some other options, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Similar to a t-shirt in style, this neckline is classic and works with detailed bodices as well as plainer options.
3) The Strapless Neckline
Probably the most popular neckline, the strapless can go straight across or dip in the middle, creating a sweetheart strapless neckline. This neckline is timeless, and it has never waned in popularity. It is also versatile in that you can attach a topper from the inside for a ceremony, and easily take it off for the reception.
4) Off the Shoulder Neckline
One of the most popular necklines — and one of our top trends from bridal fashion week — is the off-the-shoulder. It highlights a beautiful décolletage and is a sophisticated mash-up of the strapless, and a gown with straps. Designers of late have created very modern takes on this neckline, making it super chic and au currant.
5) The Halter Neckline
Always a shoulder-baring option, the halter is a mainstay in bridal fashion choices. Shown on both slim and fuller silhouettes, the halter can elongate the frame, show off shoulders, and highlight skin without being too bare.
6) The Bateau Neckline
With fabric that goes from shoulder to shoulder, this wedding dress neckline is a great choice for petite brides that want to accentuate the neck or shoulders. The “Sabrina Neckline” was actually a bateau neckline, popularized by Audrey Hepburn when she was in the film “Sabrina.”
7) The Sweetheart Neckline
This neckline most probably got its name because the fabric creates a heart-like shape with a small dip in the middle. It has been around for ages, and some consider it the classic bridal neckline. Many brides love it because it can make one appear to look longer than they actually are.
8) The Square Neckline
The square neckline is great for brides with ample chests that don’t want to “spill over” as they might in a revealing strapless or V-neck gown. The style still reveals skin at the neck, so you wouldn’t be fully covered up with this wedding dress neckline, making it a nice option that provides a great balance of being appropriate, without being staid.
9) The Portrait Neckline
This neckline is very similar to the off-the-shoulder style but while the off-the-shoulder can have fabric that loosely drapes over the shoulders, the portrait style tends to have more fabric, with a wider scoop to the neckline. This is a great neckline for a bride that wants to show some skin, but still wants her shoulders covered (be it for modesty or religious reasons).
10) The Illusion Neckline
Illusion gowns have been everywhere for a few seasons now, and we’re seeing illusion details on the back, sleeves, and yes — necklines. They reveal skin, without too much. They can have lace on them, or not. Either way, they can be beautiful.
11) The Cowl Neckline
Often sexy and always alluring, a cowl neckline is suggestive without going too far. When shown on a slim silk gown it can be lingerie-like in style, and totally provocative. This is a great style for brides with a smaller chest.
12) One Shoulder Neckline
One of the more unusual wedding dress necklines, this is for the bold bride that wants to look unlike her friends at their weddings. Most brides go for timeless looks, but some brides strive for individuality and aren’t afraid of embracing trends. If that’s you, consider the one-shoulder neckline. (And besides, with the way that bridal designers have had fun with this detail, it might be around longer than you’d think.) For the non-traditional bride, this is a great option, that works for a gown or for those daring enough to pull off a bridal jumpsuit.