Bridal Designer’s Guide to Wedding Dress Necklines

Veronica in her custom wedding dress with a unique neckline

Choosing the perfect wedding dress is one of the most important decisions a bride will make. From the silhouette to the fabric, every detail of the dress should reflect your personal style, flatter your body and enhance your natural beauty.

One key element to consider is the neckline of the wedding dress. The neckline not only frames your face but also sets the tone for the entire dress. There are numerous neckline options to choose from, each offering a unique and beautifying effect.

Whether you opt for a classic sweetheart neckline, an elegant off-the-shoulder neckline, or a daring deep V-neck, your wedding dress neckline can make a significant impact on your overall wedding day look. In this article, I will explore the popular wedding dress necklines and provide insights on how to choose the one that suits you best. 

Plunging Necklines

Many brides who want to make a bold statement on their wedding day opt for a plunging neckline. This style can be both elegant and daring, showcasing the bride’s confidence and individuality.

Kyra in a custom bridal gown with a plunging neckline
Kyra in a custom bridal gown with a plunging neckline

A plunging neckline can flatter different body shapes, elongating the neck and accentuating the décolletage. For brides who want to show a little skin, this style adds a touch of sensuality without being overly revealing. 

Whether it’s a deep V-neck or a delicate sweetheart neckline, choosing a plunging neckline can be a stunning choice for those looking to make a memorable entrance on their special day. 

Sweetheart Necklines

Also known as the “princess neckline,” a sweetheart neckline is a great choice for brides who want a romantic look on their Big Day. This style has a feminine and flattering shape that accentuates your bust and creates the illusion of a longer, leaner neck and torso. 

Caroline's dress features a romantic sweetheart neckline
Detail shot of romantic boho dress bodice

The gentle valentine-shaped curve of the neckline creates a soft and glamorous appearance, making it a popular choice for both traditional and modern brides. Whether paired with a ball gown, mermaid, or A-line silhouette, the sweetheart neckline adds a touch of romance and sophistication to any wedding dress. 

High Necklines

A high neckline can give a more modest and traditional look to the dress while still allowing for intricate and beautiful designs. It can also be flattering for all body shapes and sizes as it lengthens the torso and draws attention to the face.

Masha posing on a porch with her wedding bouquet
Masha in a sitting pose with her bouquet

A high neckline adorned with intricate embellishments, such as beading or lace, can create the effect of more volume and draw attention to the chest area. This can add dimension and interest to a smaller bust.

Illusion Necklines

Choosing an illusion neckline for your wedding dress can be a stunning choice. This design features a sheer fabric that creates the illusion of a neckline, making it perfect for brides who want to accentuate their décolletage without revealing too much skin.

Evelina smiling in her wedding dess
Evelina posing in her wedding gown

This enchanting style delicately covers the décolletage in sheer fabric adorned with intricate lace or embellishments, creating an air of timeless sophistication. 

The delicate and ethereal effect of the illusion neckline adds a touch of modern elegance to any dress, while still providing comfort and support. Whether paired with lace, beading, or simple silk, this neckline style is a beautiful and versatile option for any bride looking to make a fashionable statement on her Big Day. 

Off-the-Shoulder Necklines

If you want to gracefully frame your collarbone and shoulders, an off-the-shoulder neckline is a fantastic choice. These necklines feature draped sleeves or small straps that rest just below the edges of your shoulders.

Hannah in her off-the-shoulder wedding dress
Hannah posing in her off-the-shoulder wedding gown

This playful neckline is perfect for creating a sensual and subtly daring bridal look. It adds a sophisticated and feminine touch to any wedding dress, making it a popular choice for modern brides. 

The off-the-shoulder neckline frames the upper body and face beautifully, creating a stunning and memorable look. 

One Shoulder Necklines

Choosing a one shoulder neckline for your wedding dress can make you feel like a goddess on your special day!

Payton in her wedding dress with a one shoulder neckline

The one shoulder neckline pairs perfectly with a flowy and romantic gown. This neckline is characterized by its asymmetry, drapes diagonally across the chest and draws attention upward to your face. 

Whether you prefer a subtle or more dramatic design, a one shoulder neckline can be a versatile choice to create a classic, glamorous or chic modern bridal look. 

Asymmetric Necklines

Asymmetric necklines can be a great option for brides looking to add a modern and unique touch to their gowns. Asymmetrical necklines are often paired with one shoulder or an off-the-shoulder style, creating a striking and stylish look. 

Chelsea descending some stairs in her wedding gown
Chelsea in her custom wedding dress with an asymmetric neckline

For brides with a smaller chest, an asymmetrical neckline can redirect attention and create visual interest. Styles like one-shoulder or off-center necklines can add a unique touch while subtly enhancing the bust.

Portrait Necklines

When choosing a wedding dress, it is essential to consider the neckline features that will highlight your neck and shoulders and frame your face. A portrait neckline showcases a soft and romantic look while elegantly framing the collarbone and décolletage.

Natalie wearing her custom wedding dress with a portrait neckline
Natalie in her custom wedding gown with a portrait neckline

It provides a classic touch to any bridal gown, enhancing both a traditional and modern style. Portrait necklines are a great choice for brides looking to accentuate their upper body and face while exuding sophistication and grace. 

Strapless Necklines

Strapless dresses accentuate the shoulders and collarbone, creating a chic and minimalistic look. This style is versatile and works well with many different bridal gown silhouettes, including ball gowns and mermaid styles. However, it may not be the best choice for brides with a smaller chest because it lacks support.

Jessica posing in her weddinng dress
Jessica posing in her wedding dress

The neckline is often adorned with lace, beading, or other embellishments to add a touch of elegance and glamour. Whether you prefer a classic or modern look, a strapless neckline can make a stunning statement. 

Scoop Necklines

The scoop neckline dips in a rounded U-shape that showcases the collarbones and adds a gentle curve to the chest area. It can create an appearance of a slightly fuller bust while maintaining a classic and elegant look.

Kate in her custom wedding gown with a scoop neckline
Kate getting ready for her big day in her boho wedding gown

It can be cut high or low depending on your preference and is suitable for a variety of body shapes and sizes. Whether you want a more modest look or want to show off your décolletage, a scoop neckline can be a beautiful and timeless choice. 

Halter Necklines

Choosing a halter neckline for your wedding dress can be a great option if you want to highlight your arms and shoulders. This style can enhance the overall proportions of the upper body and add a sense of curves.

Casey in her custom wedding gown with a halter neckline
Casey in a custom wedding dress with a halter neckline

The halter top neckline features straps that wrap around the back of the neck. Whether you prefer a high halter or a deeper neckline, this choice is perfect for showcasing toned arms and beautifully shaped shoulders. 

Bateau / Boat Necklines

The bateau or boat neckline is characterized by its horizontal straight-across design, which can make the shoulders appear wider and the bust fuller. It is a versatile choice that suits a variety of body shapes and sizes, as it elegantly highlights the neck and creates a balanced silhouette.

Denika wearing her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture
Denika wearing her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture

The bateau neckline adds a touch of regal charm to any bridal ensemble, making it a popular choice for brides who want to exude grace and classic beauty — like Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina

Straight Necklines

This style is often seen on strapless dresses, offering a uniquely modern look. A straight neckline is appropriate for many body types and can create a clean, sleek silhouette.

Payton holding a bouquet in her black bridal gown
Payton in her black wedding dress with a straight neckline

This style is popular for brides who want to highlight their collarbones and shoulders. Whether paired with a ball gown or a mermaid silhouette, a straight neckline adds a touch of modern allure. 

V-Neck Necklines

The v-neck neckline is a classic choice that flatters many body types. It lengthens the neck and creates a balanced, slimming effect. 

A V-neckline draws the eye downward, creating a vertical line that lengthens the upper body and provides balance for brides with a larger bust. It helps to break up the expanse of the chest while maintaining an elegant and long look.

Lauren posing for a bridal portrait in her custom wedding dress from Angela kim Couture
Lauren posing in her beautiful custom gown from Angela Kim Couture

This neckline can also showcase a beautiful necklace or statement piece of jewelry.

A moderate V-neck can provide a tasteful and chic appearance, offering both coverage and a visually appealing neckline.

Jewel Necklines

This style is characterized by a high, rounded neckline that sits close to the base of the neck. It is perfect for creating a modest yet sophisticated appearance.

Taylor in a wedding dress with a jewel neckline
Taylor posing in a wedding dress with a jewel neckline

The jewel neckline enhances the collarbone and draws attention to the face and shoulders while providing coverage. It’s a good choice for more modest brides choosing a traditional look.

Because it makes the torso appear larger and wider, it’s also good for brides with narrow shoulders or a smaller bust.

Square Necklines

A square neckline is a versatile option for many different body shapes, particularly those with a smaller bust. The clean neckline and structured shape create a sophisticated and timeless aesthetic.

Katie in her custom bridal gown from Angela Kim Couture
Katie in her custom wedding dress with a square neckline

This neckline style can be paired with various dress silhouettes, from ball gowns to sheath dresses, allowing you to find the perfect match for your personal style and wedding theme.