15 Best Cowl Back Wedding Dresses for an Ariana Grande Inspired Bridal Look

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

ariana grande wedding dresss

@ARIANAGRANDE

On May 15, 2021, Ariana Grande walked down the aisle in a stunning custom wedding gown inspired by Audrey Hepburn's timeless elegance. The simple, yet striking, bridal look was designed by Vera Wang and featured a strapless bodice and empire waist silhouette. But undoubtedly, the most swoon-worthy detail of the singer's exquisite ensemble was the open cowl back. If you're a bride looking to recreate the singer's iconic look on your own wedding day, you're in luck because there are many gowns on the market that feature a beautifully draped back. Just a few of our favorite designers to shop include Amsale, Danielle Frankel, Made with Love Bridal, Pronovias, Alexandra Grecco, and Anne Barge.

These cowl designs exude old Hollywood glamour and are a great way to draw attention to your back, waist, and backside. If you're going for a sweet but sexy look like Grande, opt for an open and plunging cowl back. Pair it with a statement veil featuring a chic bow to truly emulate the look. For brides with more traditional tastes, draping that begins at the middle of the back will feel less revealing and undoubtedly classic. For those who want something a little more daring, don't shy away from a low back with dramatic draping for an ultra sexy look. Regardless of your modesty level, a cowl back paired with a clean crepe or satin fabric is perfect for the bride with a chic, minimalist, and timeless bridal vision.

Ready to channel your inner popstar à la Grande? Ahead, we've rounded up the best wedding dresses featuring cowl backs.

01
of 15

Most Similar: Katie May Mary Kate Wedding Gown

Katie May Mary Kate Cowl Back Wedding Gown

Courtesy of REVOLVE

Size range: 0-12 | Material: Poly and spandex blend | Shipping: Free 2-day shipping | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 60 days of purchase

From the strapless bodice right down to the cut-out detail and cowl back, this silhouette almost looks identical to Arianna Grande's wedding gown. Add a simple veil to complete the look.

02
of 15

Best Details: Amsale Gavin Wedding Gown

Amsale Gavin Cowl Back Wedding Gown

Courtesy of Amsale

Size range: 0-24 | Material: Fluid satin | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

If you're searching for something that's a little more detailed than Ariana's look, opt for this breathtaking gown from Amsale. It features a cowl open back with beaded embroidery for an unexpected touch.

03
of 15

Most Effortless: Made with Love Archie Wedding Dress

Made with Love Archie Cowl Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Made with Love

Size range: 4-20 | Material: Double French crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

Turn heads in Made with Love's Archie dress. Talk about striking minimalism. Need we say more?

04
of 15

Best Bateau Neckline: Theia Bridal Cardamom Wedding Dress

Theia Bridal Cardamom Cowl Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal

Size range: 0-18 | Material: Satin | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

The sophisticated bateau neckline of this Theia Bridal gown strikingly balances out the daringly low back. We're especially obsessed with the silky sheen of this satin fabric.

05
of 15

For the Chic Bride: Danielle Frankel Simone Wedding Dress

Danielle Frankel Simone Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Danielle Frankel

Size range: 0-14 | Material: Wool and silk blend | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 5 business days of delivery

Like Ariana Grande's gown, this long sleeve dress from Danielle Frankel is truly statement-making. We love it for the chic bride who isn't afraid to make a grand entrance.

06
of 15

Most Dramatic: Pronovias Antiope Wedding Dress

Pronovias Antiope Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Pronovias

Size range: 0-28 | Material: Crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

While Ariana Grande's wedding dress had a short train, if you're looking for something a little more dramatic, opt for this gown from Pronovias. We love how the cowl open back gives way to the floor-sweeping train.

07
of 15

Best Under $1,000: House of CB Odette Wedding Dress

House of CB Odette Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of House of CB

Size range: XS-L+ | Material: Crepe | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free standard shipping within 28 days of purchase

Figure-flattering and budget-friendly, House Of CB's Odette dress is an absolute steal. Add barely there sandals to complete the look.

08
of 15

For the Sophisticated Bride: Anne Barge Manhattan Crepe Long Sleeve Wedding Dress

Anne Barge Manhattan Crepe Long Sleeve Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Anne Barge

Size range: 0-24SP | Material: Stretch crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

This is the epitome of striking simplicity. A sophisticated high neckline and long sleeves are met with the elegance of a clean crepe fabric. The daringly low back, cowl detail, and fabric covered bridal buttons speak for themselves.

09
of 15

Best Corset Detail: Moonlight Bridal Style J6791 Crepe Long Sleeve Wedding Dress

Moonlight Bridal Style J6791 Crepe Long Sleeve Corset Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Moonlight Bridal

Size range: 2-28 | Material: Crepe-back satin | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

A modern sheer corset meets the luxurious drape of a cowl back. The result? A match made in heaven.

10
of 15

Most Sexy: Alexandra Grecco Lotus Wedding Gown

Alexandra Grecco Lotus Cowl Back Wedding Gown

Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco

Size range: 00-20 | Material: Silk crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

Featuring a thigh-high slit, Alexandra Grecco's Lotus gown is perfect for the bold and fashion-forward bride. You'll be sure to turn heads as you walk down the aisle in this number.

11
of 15

Best Cut-Outs: Grace Loves Lace Aura Wedding Dress

Grace Loves Lace Aura Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Grace Loves Lace

Size range: XXS-XXXL | Material: Textured satin | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Final sale

While this dress doesn't have a cowl back, it does closely resemble the cut-outs on Grande's gown. If you're looking to show some skin in a simple silhouette, this Grace Loves Lace option is the perfect gown for you.

12
of 15

For the Minimalist Bride: House of CB Aurelie Wedding Dress

House of CB Aurelie Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Courtesy of House of CB

Size range: XS-L+ | Material: Satin | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free standard shipping within 28 days of purchase

Ethereal beauty meets modern glam in House Of CB's Aurelie dress. This body-hugging gown features pin-thin straps, front and back cowl draping, and a soft ivory hue.

13
of 15

Best Fitted Skirt: ReevBridal Cowl Back Minimalist Wedding Dress

ReevBridal Cowl Back Minimalist Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Etsy

Size range: Custom | Material: Crepe | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Final sale

If you prefer a more fitted silhouette but are coveting the look of Ariana's plunging back and exposed bra-strap closure, consider this red carpet-worthy dress from ReevBridal.

14
of 15

Most Versatile: Charlie Brear Trine Wedding Gown

Charlie Brear Trine Cowl Back Wedding Gown

Courtesy of Charlie Brear

Size range: UK2-UK24 | Material: Crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

Charlie Brear's Trine gown is equal parts modern and timeless and can be styled to suit your personal needs. For added coverage, the designer offers the option to include removable lace back panels, removable sleeves and a crepe sash.

15
of 15

Best V-Neckline: Pronovias Hispalis Wedding Dress

Pronovias Hispalis Cowl Wedding Dress

Courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal

Size range: 0-28 | Material: Crepe | Shipping: Inquire with bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer

Timeless meets sexy with this Pronovias gown. The soft stretch crepe beautifully sculpts the body and transcends into a show-stopping train with the most luxurious drape.

What to Look for in a Cowl Back Wedding Dress

Now that you've gained all of the swoon-worthy cowl back inspiration, it's time to think through a few of the key details that will ultimately bring your bridal vision to life. Most importantly, be mindful of the fabric you choose. You'll find that most wedding gowns with a low cowl back feature a clean, minimalist fabric such as crepe or satin. In order to achieve the gorgeous drape of the fabric, these type of materials often lack structure. We recommend trying out different undergarments or shapewear to have under your gown, so that you feel the most comfortable and confident on your big day. Keep in mind that this may not be the look for you if you're seeking a gown that provides structure and boning. Similarly, crepe is a stretchy fabric that appears more matte while gowns featuring satin will have much more of a luxurious silky sheen. Next, consider the amount of back you want exposed. For brides with more modest, traditional tastes, opt for gowns that drapes at the waist. Dresses with high necklines and long sleeves are another way to add sophistication that beautifully balances out the bare back. Looking for something a little (or a lot) more sexy? We're here for it! Opt for spaghetti straps, a corset detail, or of course, a daringly low back with that irresistible cowl detail.

FAQ
  • What is a cowl back dress?

    A cowl back is similar to a cowl neckline. It consists of loosely draped fabric that falls along the back.

  • Are open cowl back gowns flattering?

    Yes! An open cowl back is elegant and elongating. It's perfect for drawing attention to your back, waist, and backside.

  • What veil should I wear with an open cowl back dress?

    If you want to show off a statement-making back, opt for a blusher or short veil like the one Ariana Grande wore. However, if you're looking to add some drama to your look, opt for a cathedral-length veil with lace trim.

Why Trust Us / About the Author

Contributing author Sophie Moore is a former Brides editor and current contributing writer. She earned her degree in Media and Society from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. With over seven years of experience in the fashion industry and over five years of experience in bridal, she is an expert in all things bridal fashion.

Related Stories