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A sleeveless wedding dress with a high neckline is a decidedly fresh bridal look and quite flattering in terms of silhouette no matter your body type. Whether you’re seeking a straight column, A-line, or mermaid-shaped skirt, a high neckline appears elegant with any dress style whether you go for a halter or a neckline that hits at the collarbone. A slightly more conservative look that covers your décolletage, high necklines serve as an elegant balance to bare arms, adding a level of modesty to any bridal look. Brides with modern sensibilities will love being able to play with cuts and can opt to balance out a covered neckline with a low open back or a high slit.
We consulted with industry experts from Kleinfeld Bridal, the world-renowned store featured on the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress, located in New York City. Marissa Rubinetti, the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, and Tina Zimmerman, the Director of Alterations, gave us insight about everything brides should know before they walk down the aisle in their halter gown.
Meet the Expert
If you need convincing that high necklines are stylish and sleek, just remember Meghan Markle's second wedding dress by Stella McCartney. That gorgeous, minimal, high neck halter gown was a refreshing second act to her pared-back ceremony gown, and a less conservative option for brides-to-be who want to show a little arm and shoulder at their wedding like Meghan.
Ready to shop for a high-neck wedding dress á la Meghan Markle? Ahead, shop our edit of 45 styles from super-minimal to classic to daring.
For the Classic Bride: BHLDN Montreal Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 26 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
Offset a more demure neckline with a thigh-high slit. This sleek, fitted crepe dress is equal parts sexy and elegant. Pair it with a sleek updo for head-to-toe sophistication.
Best Embroidery: Alon Livné S/S 20 Sydney Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: Custom | Materials: Embroidered Lace | Length: Floor-length
A nude illusion top is the focal point of this all-lace halter gown. Sheer details, strategic embroidery placement, and an open back make this delicate dress an enchanting bohemian dream.
Most Flirty: Lela Rose F/W 20 The Positano Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: Contact Retailer for Sizing | Materials: Tulle | Length: Mini
We can imagine this pleated halter mini dress at a chic courthouse ceremony. The exaggerated floral detail and the point d'esprit pattern on pleated tulle are fun, frilly touches to make any bride feel extra feminine and flirty on her wedding day.
Best Beading: Adrianna Papell Art Deco Beaded Blouson Dress With Halter Neckline
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Beaded Tulle | Length: Floor-length
The Art Deco-inspired silver beading on this nude halter dress adds dimension to an otherwise simple and effortless blouson dress. The vintage throwback (and hue!) marries the contemporary silhouette so well.
For an Intimate Ceremony: Stone Cold Fox Custom Quartz Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: SCF Size 0 - 4 | Materials: Satin Charmeuse | Length: Floor-length
This effortless silk gown features an adjustable halter neck, elastic waist, and a high slit. We can imagine this dress at a beach wedding paired with a flower crown—perfect for the bohemian in you.
Most Avant Garde: Costarellos Bridal S/S 20 Dynamene Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 14 | Materials: Silk Crepe | Length: Floor-length
An elegant option, this open-back, high-collar halter gown is studded with hand-crafted buttons that lead to a daringly high center slit. Minimal and sleek, we love this refreshing take on the classic silhouette.
Best Bow: Tadashi Shoji Marietta Halter Neck Bow Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00 - 20 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
This striking dress features an oversized draped bow on the high neckline, adding a contemporary touch to an elegant silhouette. Fashion-forward brides will definitely love this statement piece.
For a Garden Wedding: David's Bridal Illusion Lace Halter Sheath Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0P - 14P | Materials: Tulle and Sequin Floral Lace Appliqué | Length: Floor-length
This dress is soft and pretty, perfect for the feminine bride who wants to inject a little bit of romance into her bridal look. The illusion bodice adds a delicate touch to the intricate ivory appliqués that appear to be floating over the bisque colored gown.
Most Sleek: Willowby by Watters Gemini Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00 - 15 | Materials: Vellan Charmeuse | Length: Floor-length
The epitome of minimalism, this sleek dress features a delicate halter neck with a tied open back. Made of seamless Vellan Charmeuse and available in white or ivory, this dress is perfect for the modern minimalist bride. Accessorize with a pearl or studded headband to complete the contemporary look.
For the Royal Bride: Maggie Sottero Tamika Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Embroidered Satin | Length: Floor-length
A full satin skirt makes for an undeniably sophisticated and classic bridal look. Paired with shimmering embroidery and fabric covered buttons all the way down the train, we love how this gown pairs the tried-and-true sweetheart neckline with an illusion halter style.
Best Back: Watters Hymn Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 24W | Materials: Silk Georgette | Length: Floor-length
It doesn't get more elegant than this. Featuring a sheer back with hand-crafted covered buttons, this high neck ivory gown made of silk georgette is a clean and classic stunner.
For the Minimalist Bride: Amsale Darla Gown
Runs: Small | Size: 00 - 28 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
We love the simplicity of this high-neck crepe gown perfect for the minimalist bride. It features a racer-back cut-out detail that gives the seamless classic a modern touch.
Best Neckline: Suzanne Neville Belle Wedding Dress
Runs: Small | Size: UK 8 - 18 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
This high-neck crepe gown with subtle ruching is a sophisticated yet minimal bridal choice. Plus, the mermaid silhouette is so subtly seductive.
Most Intricate Detail: Morilee Cressida Wedding Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Beaded and Embroidered Lace | Length: Floor-length
A slim A-line silhouette creates a super romantic bridal ensemble. Paired with baroque-inspired embroidery and medallion appliqués, these charmingly intricate details make for the most memorable bridal look.
For the Chic Bride: Justin Alexander Cybill Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 2 - 32 | Materials: Mikado and Organza | Length: Floor-length
Make a statement in this ultra chic and sophisticated mikado ballgown. Featuring a dramatic open back, halter neckline, fabric-covered buttons, and pockets, there's simply nothing about this classic beauty that we don't love.
Best Illusion: Muse by Berta Wedding Armanda Gown
Runs: Small | Size: 36 - 44 | Materials: Embroidered Tulle | Length: Floor-length
The nude illusion top with strategically placed embroidery makes this romantic option extra alluring. Featuring an open back and a sweeping, cathedral length train, this bridal look is proof that sexy can also be dreamy and sophisticated.
For the Simple Bride: Halfpenny London Max Dress
Runs: Small | Size: UK 6 - 22 | Materials: Silk Satin | Length: Floor-length
This elegant sheath gown is an understated masterpiece. Featuring thin straps that intersect across the open back, a high neckline, and a stunning fabric that offers the most irresistible sheen, this gown is a strikingly simple option that is sure to turn heads.
Most Effortless: Savannah Miller Eowyn Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 -20 | Materials: Chiffon | Length: Floor-length
A classic look for the minimalist bride, this effortless dress features a high neckline and delicate micro spaghetti straps. The gown, made with flowy chiffon, has a deep train that adds drama to a timeless look.
Wedding dresses with high necklines are perfect for brides with a classic taste. Look for unexpected details like a low back, slim straps, or high slits to make it feel more modern.
For the Boho Bride: Galia Lahav Gala-905 Wedding Dress
Runs: Small | Size: Custom | Materials: Embroidered Lace | Length: Floor-length
This gown is a bohemian bride's dream. Sheer long sleeves, a criss-cross tie-back, and intricate cut-out embroideries make this dress feel oh-so-romantic.
Best Texture: Halfpenny London Lukas Dress
Runs: Small | Size: UK 6 - 22 | Materials: Embroidered Tulle | Length: Floor-length
We love this fresh take on a classic halter gown. Featuring decadent point d'esprit tulle and a frilly, ruffled high collar neck, this romantic dress is just divine and perfect for the modern bride.
Most Art Deco: Lulus Tell Me Everything White Beaded Sequin Halter Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: XS - XL | Materials: Beading and Sequins | Length: Floor-length
This ultra glam halter wedding gown features eye-catching beading and white sequins that are bound to steal the show. We imagine this under a dramatic chandelier and in a venue with lots of intricate details. Wherever it may be, you can't go wrong with a stunner like this.
Best Appliqué: Elizabeth Fillmore Daphne Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: Contact Retailer for Sizing | Materials: 3D Lace Appliqué | Length: Floor-length
Appliqués instantly make any bridal look infinitely more romantic and feminine. This A-line dress with a high neck and blanketed in 3D lace blossoms is a saccharine option for the stylish, romantic bride.
Most Dramatic: Odylyne The Ceremony The Empress Collection The Camilla Bodysuit And Juliette Skirt
Runs: True to Size | Size: S - L | Materials: 100% Lace and Silk | Length: Floor-length
This two-piece lace gown is so romantic. A high mock turtle neck bodysuit meets its perfect match in the lace high waist skirt with wrap around ties. The skirt flares dramatically out into a gorgeous train.
Best Fringe: Naeem Khan Georgia Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Beaded Fringe | Length: Floor-length
Brides who want to recall the glamour of the Roaring Twenties will love the beaded fringe tiers on this gown. Featuring a high tulle illusion neckline, this slim gown is an unforgettable bridal look.
For the Low-Key Bride: ASOS Edition Ruched Halter Neck Maxi Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 14 | Materials: Lightweight Woven Fabric | Length: Floor-length
A sleek option for the low-key romantic bride, this dress features softly gathered fabric throughout the bodice. The skirt's simple silhouette and comfortable fit keep it timeless and effortless.
Best Lace Detail: Morilee Bonita Wedding Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Beaded and Embroidered Lace | Length: Floor-length
Delicate lace details and embroidery embellish this form fitting gown. Featuring an ultra feminine illusion neckline paired with a jaw-droppingly stunning scalloped train, it doesn't get any more bridal than this.
Most Unexpected: Dana Harel Liv Dress
Runs: Small | Size: Contact Retailer for Sizing | Materials: Beaded Embroidery | Length: Floor-length
This sophisticated dress is a glistening option to match your glowing bridal aura. Intricate beading blankets sheer lace for a seductive number that brings on the glitz and glamour.
Best Metallic Gown: Galvan London Satin Pandora Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 33 - 44 | Materials: Satin | Length: Floor-length
Keep it sleek, chic, and sophisticated in this satin slip gown. Featuring a dramatic asymmetrical halter neckline and platinum satin fabric, the way this gown drapes and hugs the body speaks for itself. Plus, the luxuriously long sash that cascades down the back adds the perfect amount of drama.
Most Daring Neckline: Martina Liana 1341
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
Turn heads in this minimalistic crepe gown. Without a doubt, the daringly low illusion plunge serves as the focal point of this stunner. It not only elongates your frame, but it keeps your neckline open while still allowing for the high-neck look.
Best Fabric: Farfetch Galvan Dress
Runs: Small | Size: FR 36 - 42 | Materials: Triacetate and Polyester | Length: Floor-length
We're pretty obsessed with this ultra chic and smooth bridal look. For the bride who wants to look and feel subtly sexy, this halter neck wedding dress is the perfect pick.
For Simplicity with a Twist: Morilee Bree Wedding Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
This particular halter style just may be one of our favorites. A look that complements all necklines, the thin spaghetti strap is oh-so-dainty and pretty. Plus, this classic gown features the most irresistible back details.
Best Ballgown: Maggie Sottero Tovah Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Embroidered Tulle | Length: Floor-length
Make the entrance of a lifetime in this incredibly romantic Maggie Sottero ballgown. Intricate details adorn the bodice before fading out into a full tulle skirt. The slight glimmer to the lace motifs, fabric covered buttons, and plunging sweetheart under the illusion neckline are just a few of this gown's magical details.
Most Timeless: David's Bridal White by Vera Wang Plus Size Halter Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 16W - 30W | Materials: Crepe and Satin | Length: Floor-length
Few things go better together than crepe fabric and a halter neckline. That's why this fitted Vera Wang gown, featuring a bow and satin sash, is one of our favorites for a timeless bridal look.
For an Elopement: Rebecca Schonoveld Veracruz Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00 - 30 | Materials: Spanish Embroidered Tulle and Italian Hammered Satin | Length: Floor-length
Float down the aisle (and around the dance floor) in this free-flowing Italian hammered satin gown. Luxurious Spanish embroidery is paired with a loosely fitted tie belt and an optional slit.
Most Voluminous Skirt: David's Bridal Floral Sequin Tiered Plus Size Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 16W - 30W | Materials: Tulle and Sequins | Length: Floor-length
Adorned with an intensely embellished sequin bodice and full tiered, horsehair skirt, this halter-neck ballgown has it all! Our favorite detail: the double spaghetti straps across the upper back.
Best Waistline Detail: David's Bridal White by Vera Wang Illusion Waist Halter Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 30W | Materials: Crepe and Illusion | Length: Floor-length
We love the way this strikingly sharp halter neckline comes to a distinct point before transitioning into a dainty tie detail. Plus, the delicate lace around the midsection allows the loosely fitted belt to catch the eye and accentuate the waist.
For a Black-Tie Affair: David's Bridal Beaded Stretch Crepe Halter Sheath Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 18 | Materials: Crepe and Beading | Length: Floor-length
Opt for a fitted crepe gown with subtle details and delicate straps for an understated look with a twist. Elegant and effortless, the embellishment around the waistline accentuates the waist while the halter neckline elongates your frame.
Most Daring Back: Randy Fenoli Blakely Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00 - 30 | Materials: Crepe and Beaded Illusion | Length: Floor-length
We've never seen a back quite like this before. The Blakely gown showcases embellished lace motifs across an illusion back that makes it appear as if the details are merely floating across your bare skin.
Best Cape: Pronovias Noronha Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Georgette and Lace | Length: Floor-length
You'll practically float down the aisle in this angelic A-line gown by Pronovias. We're obsessed with how the delicate lace and scalloped edge detail draw the attention to this gown's stunning neckline. To top it off, the extraordinary cape made of billowing georgette fabric is bound to steal the show.
Most Romantic: Maggie Sottero Shelissa Lynette Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 28 | Materials: Lace Embroidered Tulle | Length: Floor-length
Soft, romantic, and oh-so-enchanting, this Maggie Sottero gown complements every body type. With a neckline and bodice that strategically accentuates and elongates your frame, it's no doubt that the stunning lace motifs and delicate tulle skirt will only further seal the deal.
Most City Chic: Herve Leger Column Icon Gown
Runs: Large | Size: XXS - XL | Materials: Rayon, Nylon, and Spandex | Length: Floor-length
Keep it clean and effortlessly stylish in this simple column silhouette. Pair it with a sleek middle part, minimal jewelry, and a simple stiletto for the epitome of city chic.
For the Bold Bride: Randy Fenoli Britt Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00 - 30 | Materials: Crepe and Lace Embroidered Tulle | Length: Floor-length
Opt for an illusion neckline with scattered lace details for a look that offers the halter neckline while still showing off some skin. Plus, this gown's super high center slit has us doing a double take.
Best Mermaid: Pantora Bridal Kay Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0 - 32 | Materials: Embroidered Tulle and Beading | Length: Floor-length
This dramatic mermaid gown by Pantora is nothing short of a knock out. Featuring a fitted silhouette, intricate beading, a daringly low plunge, and voluminous tulle skirt, this stunner makes for a sensational bridal look.
For the Sophisticated Bride: Pronovias Goldie Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Mikado | Length: Floor-length
We'll say it time and time again—you can never go wrong with a classic. This sleek and sophisticated mikado A-line gown exudes striking simplicity. With completely unadorned fabric, the subtle seams along the straps and neckline add a couture touch.
Best Long Sleeve: Pronovias Moher Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 20 | Materials: Tulle and Lace | Length: Floor-length
While you don't typically expect to see long sleeves paired with the classic halter neckline, this ultra whimsy and romantic Pronovias gown puts a stop to that expectation. This clever cold-shoulder design allows you to have the best of both worlds!
What to Look for in a Halter Wedding Dress
While many of us have become fixated on Markle's clean and chic halter look, it's evident that there's more versatility to the style than we may originally think. So, before you head out to the bridal salon to say "yes" to your halter-neck gown, consider how to incorporate your own personal bridal style into the look. For a little more glitz and glamour, you can up the ante with a high-neck wedding dress with lace detailing, sheer overlays with appliqué, or glamorous beadwork. Minimalist brides can opt for halter dresses with delicate straps and sheath columns. If the silhouette itself is all you’re looking to re-create and you want to go a little unconventional with your wedding dress, an illusion-style gown or glitzy sequin number will be a dazzling alternative. Or, pair your halter with a slit, allowing you to show off a little leg and balance out the more modest neckline.
Is a halter wedding dress considered a classic or does it fluctuate in popularity?
"The popularity of halters definitely fluctuate with each season. We've noticed that when halters are popular in ready to wear, they tend to gain more traction in bridal apparel," says Rubinetti.
What kind of bra should I wear with a halter wedding dress?
"No matter the style, I always recommend a well fitting bra for extra support and shaping underneath your wedding dress, and halter styles are no exception. While visible straps may be a concern, many bra styles have clear strap options that can be connected in different variations to hide underneath a halter top. We also frequently recommend long line strapless bras as the extra length in the bodice helps to support the waist and bust. If a traditional bra is not an option due to a low, backless style, sewn in bra cups or an adhesive bra can be an option. However, I only recommend these styles for smaller busts as bras like these do not provide any support," explains Zimmerman.
How should I accessorize my halter wedding dress?
"Since halters usually draw more attention to the neckline, we usually recommend a simple stud earring or classic drop earring. Another great way to accessorize is to keep the neckline plain and instead opt for a bracelet!" Rubinetti suggests.
Why Trust Us
Contributing author Laura Lajiness is a writer and editor with expertise covering all things fashion, accessories, and fine jewelry. With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and as the former senior fashion editor at the Zoe Report and Popsugar, she has extensive experience sourcing and researching the best fashion items.