Wedding dress styles

Your glossary of wedding dress terms

The wedding gown lingo you need to know.
May 8, 2013 | By: The staff

A-Line – A dress style that is slim on top, fitted through the waist, and flairs out at the bottom. It is a flattering style for most body types

Ballgown – A dress style that has a fitted top and a full skirt that often is held out with underskirts or crinolines.

Bateau neckline – A wide, open neckline that helps to make the neck appear longer.

Blusher veil – A veil that has a shorter hem in the front.

Brocade – A type of heavy woven fabric that is best for fall or winter weddings.

Bustle – A way to pull up the back train of a gown and attach it to the back of the dress just below the waistline.

Cathedral train – A long, formal train that is usually 6 to 7 feet in length. Often accompanied by a cathedral veil, a long veil that extends past the dress.

Chapel train – A popular dress train that extends from the waist. It is typically a manageable length of 3 to 4 feet. 

Charmeuse – A lightweight type of satin material that is very flowing.

Chiffon – Sheer, lightweight fabric that is very sheer and flows nicely.

Crepe – Thin material that has a slight texture, often made of silk.

Elbow veil – A veil that is about elbow length. A very popular style that is easy to wear.

Empire – A popular dress style where the waistline is high- just below the bust.

Faille – This soft fabric has a slight sheen and is typically made of a silk or rayon blend.

Jewel neckline – A classic, round neckline that is higher than a scoop neck.

Mermaid – This dress style is tight through the torso and flares out just below the knee.

Organza – A semi-sheer fabric that is rather stiff so it holds its shape well for full skirts.

Portrait neckline – A open, slightly off the shoulder neckline that is perfect for framing a beautiful necklace.

Puddle train – Very popular style of train. The fabric gently falls into a small puddle in back and is not long.

Scoop neck – A neckline with a gentle round curve that shows a hint of cleavage.

Shantung – A shiny, lightweight fabric with a slightly nubby or irregular texture.

Sheath – A close-fit dress style that closely hugs the body shape

Spaghetti straps – Thin straps that may be made of the same or different fabric as the dress.

Strapless – A dress with no straps or sleeves. This is a popular style for bridal gowns because it is flattering to most body types.

Taffeta – A lustrous and crisp fabric that is usually made of silk or polyester. It is a common fabric used in wedding and bridesmaids dresses.

Train – A long length of fabric that is part of the wedding gown. Trains can be various lengths and sizes.

Tulle – Fine netting that is often used under skirts to make them stand away from the body for a full look.

Veil – Traditionally, the bride wear a veil over the face before the ceremony and the father of the bride pulls it up as he gives her away.

The staff.