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Types of Wedding Dress Necklines and How to Choose the Right One

Types of wedding dress neckline

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When you’re looking for your dream wedding dress, it helps to know the type of necklines available to you. The neckline you choose depends on several factors, including your body type, personal preferences, the theme and style of the wedding and even the venue.

Here’s a look at the most popular types of wedding necklines and how to pick the right one for you.

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1- Sweetheart Neckline

Bride in white sweetheart neckline wedding dress

Dress with sweetheart neckline by EL Design Studio. Check price here.

Why: To accentuate or flaunt your curves with a romantic style

The sweetheart neckline is one of the most feminine styles and it’s currently the most popular style for bridal gowns. It’s a strapless style that looks like the top of heart, as it curves and dips in the front. This neckline accentuates the bust and waist, flaunting your curves.

The sweetheart neckline creates the quintessential bridal silhouette and is a romantic style. It’s commonly paired with ball gown dresses or more body-fitting designs like mermaid and sheath dress styles.

2- V Neck Wedding Gowns

Bride wearing deep v neckline wedding dress

Tulle wedding dress with deep V neckline by Our Stories Bridal. Check price here.

Why: To make you look slimmer and taller

V-necks are perfect for a laidback, confident look and can make you appear taller and slimmer. They accentuate the cleavage and waist in a classic, stylish way. The V of the dress can come in various lengths to suit your figure, with deep plunging V necklines looking very sexy.

V necks are perfect for petite brides with hourglass or apple body shapes, but for ladies with small busts, V necks can emphasise this feature and make the bust look even smaller. V-necks are very versatile necklines, and can go with a range of wedding gown silhouettes, including column, ball gown or mermaid styles.

3- High Neck

Bride in high neck wedding gown

High neck wedding dress by Mywony Bridal. Check price here.

Why: For more coverage and a fashion-forward classic look

The high neck is a classy, sophisticated looking neckline, providing extra coverage to a bride looking for modesty on her wedding day. But beneath the sheer lace and tulle of your bodice, you can also show some skin for an edgy touch.

High necks typically feature a turtleneck-like style, that gathers around the neck like a collar and is secured behind with buttons or clasps. This neckline emphasizes your neck and shoulders, drawing attention to your face. It pairs best with a high hairdo for a less busy look.

While not the most popular neckline for wedding dresses, it’s truly fashion-forward and very stylish.

4- Halter Neckline

Bride wearing halter wedding gown

Halter neck wedding dress by Hannah Tikkanen. Check price here.

Why: To add height and expose your shoulders in a casual style

Halter necks typically have straps that can be tied or fastened around the neck to hold the dress up in a stylish way. This is a great style if you want to show off your shoulders, but not ideal if that’s a feature you want to downplay.

Halter necklines are gorgeous with ball gown dresses, and pair well with a deep V-cut front or with backless dresses. While this style is perfect for tall brides, it also adds height to a more petite bride.

Halter necks have a more casual look to them and are perfect for destination weddings or more laid back ceremonies.

5- Off-the-Shoulder

Bride wearing off-shoulder wedding dress

Off-the-shoulder gray wedding dress by Budoir Wedding. Check price here.

Why: Highlight your collarbone and neck with this romantic neckline

Off-the-shoulder wedding dress styles are feminine and romantic, that emphasizes your shoulders, collarbone and neck, drawing attention to your face. This neckline suits almost any wedding dress silhouette making it a very versatile look.

In an off-the-shoulder dress, the straps fall of your shoulders, resting around the top of your arms and depending on the style of the dress, can be dramatic or understated. This style of neckline is perfect for triangle and hourglass body types.

6- One-Shoulder

one shoulder unique wedding dress

One shoulder silk wedding dress by Hanieh Fashion Shop. Check price here.

Why: For a contemporary, asymmetrical look

One shoulder dresses are modern and fashion-forward looking, featuring a single strap that goes over only one of your shoulders. This style highlights your collarbone and neck, drawing attention to the upper half of your body. It’s a confident looking design that stands out from the rest of the crowd.

One shoulder wedding gowns have a contemporary and glamorous look to them, and depending on the style of the dress can be ultra-modern and formal, or more laid back and romantic.

However, choose this neckline with caution as it doesn’t complement broad shoulders or large arms. If you want to downplay these aspects of your figure, this isn’t the neckline for you.

7- Illusion Neckline

Bride in illusion neckline dress

Wedding dress with illusion neckline by Devotion Dresses. Check price here.

Why: Embellish your dress with details that stand out against your skin

So called because it can barely be seen against your body, illusion necklines have surged in popularity lately as a versatile, stylish option. Illusion necklines are typically made of sheer fabric like tulle or lace that often extends close to your neck. The reason this neckline is so popular is that it allows the designer to get creative, adding details and embellishments that look like they’re floating without fabric to hold them in place.

Illusion necklines are perfect if you’re looking for a dress with more detail and work. This style of neckline is ideal for a fashion forward bride who wants a statement look.

8- Cowl Neckline

Bride wearing cowl-neckline wedding dress

Cowl neckline wedding dress by Matchimony. Check price here.

Why: A more flowing, relaxed look

This type of neckline features draped or rounded folds around your neck, that fall loosely below your collarbone. This is a more casual look for a wedding dress and ideal for relaxed ceremonies.

The cowl neckline isn’t a very popular style. While it is beautiful when well designed, cowl necklines can make you look top heavy so it’s important to pick a well-designed dress if going for this style. It’s perfect for petite brides with hourglass or triangle figures and ideal if you want to downplay your bust.

9- Court Neckline (a.k.a. Square Neckline)

Bride in square neckline dress

Square neckline wedding dress by Lou Atelier Canada. Check price here.

Why: Elongate your neck and add width to your shoulders

The court, or square, neckline looks exactly like its name suggests – it features a square shaped neckline with two right angled corners. Square necklines can be deep or shallow, depending on how much coverage you want. It provides a good balance for dresses with long sleeves but works nicely with smaller straps and cap sleeves as well.

The square neckline helps to elongate a shorter neck and can make your shoulders appear broader. However, this neckline tends not to complement brides with square faces.

10- Bateau Neckline

Bride wearing white bateau neckline wedding dress

Bateau neckline dress by Victoria Grace Wedding. Check price here.

Why: Emphasize your collarbone curves and neck in this traditional style

The bateau, also known as a boatneck or Sabrina neckline, is a highly elegant, chic neckline that perfectly complements a traditional wedding. This neckline highlights the curve of your collarbone and emphasizes your bust, resting just at the top of your shoulders.

The bateau is highly versatile and looks beautiful with or without sleeves. It’s a favorite for Royal weddings, as it’s a modest design and works well with sleeves. It was chosen by Meghan Markle on her wedding day.

If, however, you wish to downplay your chest, this might not be the best option as it draws attention to the area.

11- Scoop Neckline

Scoop neckline bridal top

Scoop neckline bridal top by Wardrobe by Dulcinea. Check price here.

Why: A casual laidback style for a feminine feel

The scoop neckline features a low, rounded scoop that gives a feminine, casual look to your dress. Scoop necklines are perfect for semi-formal or casual wedding ceremonies but depending on the style and fabrics used, can be a formal dress as well.

This style comes in varying lengths and can provide you more or less coverage as required. It’s a romantic style that gives a flattering look to the bride.

12- Queen Anne Neckline

Bride wearing queen anne neckline dress white

A version of Queen Anne neckline by Victoria Grace Wedding. Check price here.

Why: A traditional look with a vintage touch

The Queen Anne Neckline is a formal, vintage style that’s recently seen an increase in popularity. It has a traditional, classic look, ideal for a formal wedding.

The neckline features a sweetheart cut with two fanning straps that cover the shoulders ending in a high collar at the back. It’s a cross between a sweetheart neckline and a wide strap dress. The Queen Anne neckline has many variations and can come in a variety of different lengths and cuts in the front.