Choosing the Perfect Backless Wedding Dress for Your Bridal Style

Masha posing in her custom backless wedding dress

If you want a bridal look that is both alluring and sophisticated, consider a backless wedding dress. This stunning style is perfect for brides who want to showcase their style and confidence on their Big Day. Whether you dream of a romantic lace wedding dress or a sleek silhouette, a backless gown offers endless possibilities to elevate your bridal style.

Masha looking over her shoulder in her custom wedding gown
Masha is wearing an open back wedding dress

There is something inherently captivating about a backless wedding gown. It exudes timeless elegance, sensuality, and a touch of boldness. It’s a choice that will turn heads as you walk down the aisle, creating a lasting impression that will be etched in your guests’ memories forever.

Traditional wedding dress designs were all about extensive embellishments and layers of tulle. Modern wedding dresses feature more minimalistic yet striking designs, and a stunning open back wedding dress is a perfect choice.

Taylor's dress features an open back design
Taylor twirling in her wedding dress

Whether you envision a bohemian beach wedding or a glamorous event in the city, a backless dress is a versatile choice that will complement any silhouette and venue.  In this article, I’ll share my expert advice about how to find the perfect open back wedding dress for your bridal vision.

Understanding Different Backless Designs

Backless dresses come in a variety of designs, each offering its own distinct charm. 

Halter backless dresses are perfect for brides seeking a touch of vintage glamour. They accentuate the shoulders while highlighting the neck and collarbone.

For a more daring look, a low open back design plunges deeper, creating a dramatic effect.

Lauren wearing a beautiful custom wedding gown from Angela Kim Couture
Lauren's wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture has a beautiful U shaped back

Sheer illusion back dresses blend romance and sophistication seamlessly, combining delicate lacework with an alluring exposed back. Open-back dresses with intricate beading or embellishments add a touch of bling to create a mesmerizing focal point that catches the eye.

For brides looking to make a statement, plunging or deep V backs are the perfect choice, as they add a touch of sensuality to the overall look.

Back detail shot of Erin's wedding dress
Erin posing in her custom wedding dress

If you want something more elegant and sophisticated, a cowl back design can be the ideal option, as it drapes elegantly down the back, adding a touch of glamour.

Lastly, a keyhole back is a style of gown that features an opening or cutout in the back, adding a subtle and unique detail to the dress. 

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Backless Bridal Gown

Whether you are shopping for a backless wedding gown or having one custom designed specifically for you, you’ll want to consider the following seven factors to find the right design for your wedding day.

Your Bridal Style

Open back wedding dresses are appropriate for a wide range of wedding themes. These enchanting gowns add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any ceremony, whether it’s a romantic garden wedding, a glamorous ballroom setting, or a bohemian beach celebration. 

A backless design is also versatile and complementary to any style of wedding dress silhouette.  The key lies in selecting the right details to complement the chosen theme. 

Evelina posing in her wedding gown from Angela Kim Couture
Evelina spreading the train of her overskirt

For a traditional or formal wedding, choose a modest backless design with delicate lace or illusion panels.

For beach or boho wedding dresses, a backless design with ethereal flowy fabrics or floral embellishments can beautifully capture the essence of the event. 

For a classic ball gown, a low back adds a touch of modernity and sensuality.

For a sleek mermaid silhouette, it accentuates the curves and creates a stunning focal point. 

Bridal gowns that feature an A-line skirt benefit from a backless design by showcasing a graceful, elongated back.

Even simple wedding dresses like a sheath gown are elevated with an open back, and exude an understated elegance.

Betsy wearing her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture
Betsy wearing her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture

Additionally, consider the season and venue of your wedding, as a long sleeve backless dress can be both elegant and practical. 

Your Body Type

The prefect wedding dress to show off your back isn’t necessarily the one that shows the greatest amount of skin. A more important consideration is how your back is framed.

If you have a slender and toned back, you can choose a dress with intricate lace or beaded detailing on the back. This will beautifully accentuate your back and add a touch of elegance to your overall look.

Rebekah wearing her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture
Detail shot of Hannah's wedding gown

On the other hand, if you have a wider back or extra weight around the upper body, it is best to choose a dress with a wider and higher back bodice. This will provide the necessary support and structure to ensure a flattering fit. 


If you have an hourglass figure with balanced proportions, embrace your curves with a fitted backless gown that highlights your waistline. Mermaid wedding dresses or trumpet silhouettes work wonderfully for this body type, emphasizing your curves while showcasing the open back.


For pear-shaped bodies with a narrower upper body and wider hips, choose an open back dress that draws attention upwards. A ball gown or A-line wedding silhouette can balance your proportions with a lower back that adds a touch of sexiness while maintaining elegance.

Straight or Athletic

For those with a straight or athletic body type, choose a style that adds curves and enhances your figure. Look for designs with intricate detailing, ruching, or draping on the back to create the illusion of curves.

Oksana in her open back bridal gown
Breigh in her custom open back wedding dress

A simple backless wedding gown with a sheath silhouette can also emphasize your slender physique while highlighting the open back.


A backless design can help create the illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette, as well as draw attention away from any areas that petite brides may be self-conscious about.. A sheath or A-line silhouette can elongate the body, while avoiding excessive volume. Consider higher necklines or halter styles to balance your proportions. 

The Neckline of Your Dress

There are several neckline options that can beautifully complement open-back wedding dresses. 

Hannah posing in her custom backless wedding dress
Payton posing in a black open back wedding gown

A halter neckline offers a modern and sleek option, with straps drawing attention to the shoulders while effortlessly balancing out the bare back.

A plunging neckline is a daring choice that adds drama and makes an elegant yet seductive statement.

For those wanting to showcase their décolletage, a deep V neckline is an excellent choice. It elongates the neck and accentuates the upper body, creating a slimming effect. 

A sweetheart neckline combines femininity and romance, creating a soft and flattering heart shaped frame for the décolletage. 

Illusion necklines with delicate lace or sheer fabric can add an enchanting touch to a backless design, while boat necklines provide a chic and modern twist.

A cowl neckline offers a more subtle and sophisticated approach. Its draped fabric creates a graceful and romantic look, perfect for a vintage theme or style. 

The Depth of the Back

The depth of the backless design can vary from dress to dress, offering different levels of elegance and boldness. When determining the appropriate depth of a backless wedding dress for a bride’s comfort level and style, a few things need to be considered.

Most importantly, the bride’s personal comfort should be the focus; she should feel at ease and not self-conscious in her dress. 

Denika wearing her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture
Heidi in her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture

Additionally, the wedding venue and theme should be taken into account as well. A backless beach wedding dress might call for a more open scoop back design to complement the natural surroundings, whereas a formal indoor affair may require a more modest backless style.

A shallow back typically features a low cut that reveals just a small portion of the back, offering a subtle and sophisticated look. A moderate back depth exposes a larger area without being too revealing. For a more sexy look, a plunging V or low scoop showcases almost the entire back.. 

The bride’s body type and proportions also play a significant role. A bride with a slender frame may opt for a deeper back to accentuate her figure, while a curvier bride may prefer a shallower scoop back for added support and coverage.

Fabrics and Materials

Different fabrics can greatly enhance the design of a backless wedding dress by improving its comfort, drape, and texture.

Lightweight and breathable fabrics such as silk chiffon or silk georgette are popular choices, as they offer a graceful drape and provide a comfortable fit. These fabrics allow for movement and flow, creating an ethereal and romantic look.

Sofia wearing her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture
Sofia posing in her custom backless wedding gown

For a more structured and tailored backless design, satin or silk crepe can be excellent options. These fabrics have a smooth texture that adds a touch of sophistication and elegance.

Delicate and intricate embroidered lace patterns can create an alluring visual effect, adding texture and a sense of femininity.

Embellishments and Details

The choice of embellishments allows brides to express their individual style, create a unique focal point, and add personal touches that make the dress truly one of a kind. 

Beading is a popular choice, allowing for intricate patterns and shimmering details that add a touch of glamour and sparkle to the bare back.

Placed strategically on the lower back or at the closure point, bows can create an eye-catching focal point and add a touch of femininity.

Appliqués, whether lace, fabric, or even 3D floral motifs, can provide a dimensional and textured element to the backless design. These appliqués can be strategically placed to accentuate the curves of the back or create a dramatic statement.

Incorporating personal sentimental heirloom pieces can infuse the dress with emotional significance and heritage. Whether it’s a piece of lace from a grandmother’s wedding gown, a brooch passed down through generations, or an heirloom pearl pendant, these cherished items can be carefully incorporated into the backless design, making the dress truly one-of-a-kind.

Betsabe wearing her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture
Betsabe wearing her custom wedding dress from Angela Kim Couture

Thick straps can be added to the backless design, providing both support and a modern twist on a classic bridal touch. Alternatively, dainty spaghetti straps can maintain the delicateness of the backless style while adding a touch of femininity. 

Fit and Comfort

As a custom wedding dress designer, I always tell my brides that the perfect wedding dress is the one that fits you perfectly. A proper fit  is the key to comfort and confidence on your Big Day.

Achieving a perfect fit involves strategic support and construction techniques that not only provide comfort but also maintain the desired aesthetic of the backless design.

It is crucial to have a dress that is tailored to the your measurements. A well-fitted bodice provides the necessary support for a backless design, preventing it from sagging or shifting during movement.

Jessica and Trent dancing
Jessica in her open back wedding dress

Incorporating discreet boning or built-in corsetry within the dress can provide additional support and structure. This helps to distribute the weight evenly and create a flattering shape while ensuring the dress stays in place.

Strategic placement of straps or illusion panels can also contribute to both comfort and support. Thin, transparent straps or illusion netting can offer subtle reinforcement to the backless area without compromising the aesthetic appeal.

Selecting fabrics with some stretch or incorporating adjustable closures such as corset-style lacing or hidden elastic bands can further enhance comfort and flexibility.

Accessorizing Your Backless Dress

Choosing the right undergarments such as adhesive bras or stick-on cups can provide added support without compromising the backless look.

Shapewear can also be beneficial, smoothing the silhouette and enhancing the fit of your dress. 

Rachel and Greg in Chicago
Whitney wearing her custom wedding gown from Angela Kim Couture

For veils, consider a simpler, more minimal design that won’t detract from the back details of the dress.

For your hairstyle, an updo or an elegant low bun can showcase the backless design while allowing for intricate hair accessories or a statement hairpiece. 

Strappy sandals or open back heels can further enhance the charm of the dress and draw attention to the bare back. 

Overall, the key is to select accessories that complement the bare back, allowing it to take center stage while adding touches of elegance and personal style.

The Best Backless Wedding Dress is One Custom Designed Just for You

As a wedding fashion designer, I of course almost always recommend that a bride have her dress custom designed. For most brides, a perfect fit is difficult to achieve with off-the-rack dresses without extensive alterations, which can be surprisingly expensive. It’s often actually more affordable to have your dress custom designed right from the start.

Kyra wearing her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture
Sherri's beautiful custom wedding dress from the back

Also, a custom designed dress allows you to have full control over every aspect of the design, ensuring that it perfectly matches your vision and style. You can work closely with a designer to select the ideal fabric, silhouette, and embellishments that suit your preferences and flatter your figure. 

The dress can be crafted to accentuate your unique body shape, highlighting your best features and providing the most perfect and comfortable fit.

And finally, the experience of having a dress designed exclusively for you is unforgettable. You’ll collaborate with a designer who will guide you through the process, offering expert advice and bringing your dream dress to life. 

Working with a designer and seeing your vision become real is a part of the wedding journey that you will cherish forever.

Custom wedding dress designer Angela Kim

Why trust Angela?

Angela Kim has worked in fashion internationally for over 20 years. She created Angela Kim Couture in 2017 and now specializes exclusively in custom wedding dress design.