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We're firm believers that your wedding-day look should celebrate and showcase your personal style. While some brides may covet dramatic ballgowns crafted from layers of voluminous tulle or heavily embellished fabrics, others may find beauty in clean lines and subtle details. If you fall into the latter category, you're a minimalist bride.
To find a simple dress that feels unique, look for details like an open back or asymmetrical hem.
As a minimalist bride, you'll likely be drawn to simple and classic silhouettes like pared-back slip dresses, unadorned ball gowns, and courthouse-chic mini dresses. Or perhaps you want a simple dress with an unexpected twist, like a modern neckline or romantic lace detail. We researched a variety of styles tailored to minimalist tastes to curate this list of gowns made by designers like Rivini, Galvan, and Pronovias. Whether you're having a backyard ceremony or a glamorous black-tie affair, you're bound to discover an array of swoon-worthy options that won't break the bank.
Read on for the best simple wedding dresses for every season, body type, and budget.
Best Off-the-Shoulder: David's Bridal Off-the-Shoulder Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
You can never go wrong with an elegant off-the-shoulder number—especially if it's crafted from oh-so-flattering body-skimming fabric. This sheath style could easily be worn for any wedding no matter the season. We love its streamlined shape for brides who don't want a lot of fuss with a complicated train or hem.
Most Intricate Back: Tadashi Shoji Cowl-Back Crepe Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-16 | Materials: Crepe and lace | Length: Floor-length
Conservative in the front, all party in the back, this Tadashi Shoji stunner will photograph beautifully from all angles. Sweep your hair up into a loose bun to really showcase all of the lace detail. The simple crepe fabric will keep you cool and comfortable and fit into any kind of ceremony.
Best Architectural Bodice: Rebecca Schoneveld Sarah Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-30 | Materials: Organza | Length: Floor-length
This gown's beauty lies in the construction of the architectural bodice and billowy fabric. Showcase your shape in this super-structured gown while still having fun with its playful organza skirt. It's both figure-enhancing and a little romantic with a flowing skirt, albeit not too flowy or frilly to keep it minimal and slightly casual. The best part? It has pockets.
Best Slip Dress: Julie de Libran Crystal-Embellished Silk-Satin Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 4-16 | Materials: Silk satin and clear crystals | Length: Floor-length
If you're a bride-to-be with a minimalist aesthetic, then a simple slip dress is a no-brainer for your wedding day. This silk-satin slip from Julie de Libran features an exquisite crystal embellished back and a high slit at the front. The classic satin fabric is both flattering and unfussy.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: Amsale Etta Strapless Ball Gown
Runs: Small | Size: 0-26W | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Brides who covet traditional styles and clean lines will love this modern take on a classic silhouette. Featuring a gentle train and an impressive abstract bow, this gown is perfect for a black-tie affair. With a tulle skirt, it's on the dressier side while still having an overall modern, clean aesthetic.
Most Romantic: Reformation Geranium Dress with Back Bow
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-12 | Materials: Silk charmeuse | Length: Floor-length
This Reformation dress is the epitome of understated glamour with its subtle neckline, puff sleeves, and plunging v-back—talk about old Hollywood glam! Plus, the stunning glimmer to this luxurious fabric is straight bridal magic. If you want a simpler dress from the front with a dramatic back detail, this could be it.
Best Strapless: David's Bridal Strapless Plus-Size Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 16W-30W | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
This clean and modern stretch-crepe strapless gown hugs your body in all of the right places. Designed with a form-fitting bodice and curve-accentuating princess seams, this David's Bridal gown couldn't be any more flattering or timeless. It's also a more budget-friendly option.
For a Spring Wedding: Black Halo Divina Asymmetrical Bodice Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-12 | Materials: Scuba jersey | Length: Floor-length
For the spring or summer bride, a strapless column dress is the way to go. This number actually features a no-slip grip on the bodice so you won't have to worry about adjusting your gown throughout the night—phew! And the asymmetrical hemline is an unexpected touch that adds interest to an otherwise simple dress.
Best Texture: Rebecca Schoneveld Ramona Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-30 | Materials: Taffeta | Length: Floor-length
Just because you're a minimalist bride doesn't mean your only option is a completely plain gown. Opt for some texture with this lightweight taffeta ballgown. Featuring pockets, a boned bodice, and a plunging neckline, the tiered skirt with its ruffled hem creates the dreamiest bridal look, while still being on the casual side.
Best Cowl Neck: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Sutton Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-26 | Materials: Satin | Length: Floor-length
Looking for an effortlessly romantic and minimal gown? Your search stops here. This Jenny by Jenny Yoo style features a soft cowl neckline, an empire bust seam, and a bias-cut skirt that gives way to a gentle train to create a truly figure-flattering design. It's also bra-friendly, giving you flexibility with your undergarment options.
Best Ballgown: Anne Barge Hutton Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0-24 | Materials: Italian Kalika | Length: Floor-length
Accentuate your décolletage and waist in this simple Anne Barge ballgown. Featuring a stunning pleated skirt, minimal lace detail on the back, and structured soutache bands at the neckline, waist, and hemline, you'll never want to take this dress off! If you like clean lines, it has a classic bridal silhouette without any extra frills.
Most Subtly Sexy: Rebecca Schoneveld Joni Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-30 | Materials: Crepe and silk charmeuse | Length: Floor-length
Show off your curves in this fitted, off-the-shoulder gown. Featuring a hand-draped silk charmeuse bodice and lace-up detail along its plunging neckline, the structured bodice lifts and supports you in all of the right places. Plus, the stretch-crepe skirt allows you to dance the night away!
Best Fabric: Halfpenny London Dion Stretch-Duchesse Satin Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-16 | Materials: Stretch duchesse satin | Length: Floor-length
Sleek and chic, this square neck gown features unadorned fabric with an irresistibly luxurious sheen. Fitted close to the body, a gown like this could be worn to a black-tie affair or a celebration as simple as a courthouse wedding. Since it has a body-skimming silhouette and clean lines, the focus will be on you and not your dress.
For a Formal Wedding: Tadashi Shoji Off-the-Shoulder Crepe Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-12 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
This Tadashi Shoji stretch-crepe gown is the perfect balance of structured and relaxed. A gentle, off-the-shoulder neckline brings a romantic softness to a body-skimming silhouette. Crepe fabric also skews casual for a relaxed spring, summer, or early fall wedding.
Best Party Dress: Anne Barge Twinkle in Time Dress
Runs: Small | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Embroidered lace and feathers | Length: Mini
You're here for a party–and it shows! This ultra-fun and flirty white mini dress features a one-shoulder neckline, hand-embroidered lace, and feathers–what's better than that? You're bound to have the time of your life in this simple and chic (yet extravagant) little number. If your personal style is more mini dress than maxi, it will suit you well.
Most Effortless: ASOS Edition Extreme Cape Sleeve Maxi Wedding Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Choosing to wear a simple gown doesn't mean you can't bring the drama! This lightweight crepe gown with a modern cape-effect is giving us serious Solange Knowles vibes. It's safe to say that we're obsessed with how effortlessly cool this stunner is.
Best Sparkle: Retrofête Asymmetric Lace-Up Sequined Stretch-Tulle Gown
Runs: True to Size | Size: XS-XL | Materials: Tulle and sequins | Length: Floor-length
Whether you wear this down the aisle or to the afterparty, this sparkly number should be in every bride's wedding wardrobe. Our favorite detail? The lace-up back. It's also stretchy for your comfort—and less need for alterations.
For a Winter Wedding: Rebecca Schoneveld Chrisholm Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-30 | Materials: Silk chiffon and lace | Length: Floor-length
Add a backdrop of evergreens and a flurry of snowflakes, and you may just have the most magical moment ever. This flowy silk chiffon gown is perfect for the bride seeking an ethereal and romantic long-sleeve look for her winter wedding. The billowy sleeves add a special touch to an otherwise simple dress.
Best Mini Dress: Reformation Riviera Oversized Bow Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Silk charmeuse | Length: Mini
For an impossibly chic city wedding, this silky mini dress from Reformation is a must. Wear yours with monochromatic accessories and a bold lip. It's great for the bride who wants to eschew tradition in a figure-flaunting mini.
For an Intimate Ceremony: Amsale Fluid Satin Bias Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 00-28 | Materials: Satin and lace | Length: Midi
For the laid-back bride who is having a wedding at home in the backyard, at city hall, or at an intimate venue, this sheath dress is for you. We love everything about this, but we're especially head over heels for this ultra-fluid fabric that cascades into the lace trim. We love classic satin with a twist for the minimalist bride.
For a Semi-Formal Wedding: Max Mara Bow Shoulder Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 00-14 | Materials: Satin crepe | Length: Floor-length
It's all in the details when it comes to making a simple dress feel special. Maybe it's a plunging neckline, lace embroidery, an asymmetrical hemline, or an open back—whatever it may be, you can never go wrong with simplicity with a twist.
Best Slit: Alyne by Rivini Eliana Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Matte satin | Length: Floor-length
Simple doesn't have to mean conservative. Turn heads in this sophisticated and chic A-line gown. Featuring a plunging neckline, dramatic pleats, and pockets, this gown has it all. Plus, the high slit allows you to pop your leg out for a dramatic pose with your S.O.
For the Edgy Bride: Cinq à Sept Laurile Cutout Crepe Midi Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Midi
We love the bold look of this asymmetrical neckline paired with its dainty straps and daring slit. This style could be elevated by an eye-catching pair of metallic heels or strappy stilettos for an ultra avant-garde bridal look. As a bonus, it's casual and stylish enough to wear again.
Best Cape: Alex Perry Alder Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 10-18 | Materials: Satin crepe | Length: Floor-length
For the fall or winter bride, a cape dress is a sophisticated way to make a statement and stay warm. A minimalist style like this would pair well with delicate jewelry and monochromatic heels.
Best Backless Slip: Galvan Spetses Dress
Runs: True to Size | Size: FR34-FR44 | Materials: Silk satin | Length: Floor-length
This silk charmeuse slip dress moves like liquid and its soft sheen captures the light at every angle. This dress comes complete with adjustable straps helping to keep pesky tailoring to a minimum. The open-back style is both minimal and sexy.
Most Dramatic: Pronovias Dominique Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0-20 | Materials: Mikado | Length: Floor-length
This gown is what we like to call a moment. It's your wedding day after all! Create the most memorable look with this show-stopping, ultra-glam mikado ballgown. A stunning draped bodice cascades into a cinched waistline and voluminous pleated skirt. While it is more dramatic than some other options, it still comes without all the sparkle and frills that you probably want to skip.
For a Garden Wedding: Rivini by Rita Vinieris Charlene Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Eco-satin crepe | Length: Floor-length
For easy-breezy summer days, you need an effortlessly romantic summer dress crafted with simple fabrics and floral appliqués. Wear this romantic floor-length satin crepe gown to your nuptials in a garden whether it be in your backyard or at a palace.
Most City Chic: Made with Love Lottie Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 4-20 | Materials: Crepe | Length: Floor-length
Pair this off-the-shoulder, fitted crepe gown with monochromatic florals, soft waves, and minimal accessories for a super-chic look. Whether you're celebrating your nuptials on a rooftop overlooking the skyline or by strolling the city streets after your courthouse wedding, you can't go wrong with an effortless look like this. The classic shape will appeal to any minimalist bride, regardless of what kind of ceremony you're having.
Best Back: Rivini by Rita Vinieris Isla Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0-14 | Materials: Silk magnolia | Length: Floor-length
Make a statement in the jaw-droppingly low back on this super simple fitted gown. Adorned with a draped portrait collar, off-the-shoulder straps, and a dramatic flare, this silk magnolia wedding gown has us crushing so hard. And the silk fabric manages to look clean, simple, and dramatic at the same time.
What to Look for in a Simple Wedding Dress
Simple wedding dresses are perfect for the bride-to-be who appreciates clean lines, streamlined silhouettes, and classic fabrics. Since everyone's definition of simple isn't necessarily the same, there are many different types of wedding dresses that fall into this category. If you're a bride with minimalist tastes, you should look for pared-back slip dresses or modern silhouettes crafted from unadorned fabric. Brides with more traditional tastes should opt for classic ball gowns in taffeta or organza. And if you're searching for a simple wedding dress with interesting details, look for designs with subtle beading and lace or dramatic silhouettes with eye-catching necklines and plunging backs.
Other factors to consider include the price point and comfort and function of the gown. There are several budget-friendly styles on this list, as well as ones that prioritize comfort with extra features like pockets or light, breezy fabrics that keep you cool and comfortable.
What is a simple wedding dress?
Traditionally, a simple wedding dress is clean and sleek with minimal embellishments. A simple wedding dress is pared-back, unfussy, and suited to all types of weddings from casual ceremonies to formal nuptials.
How do I style a simple wedding dress?
If you're more of a minimalist, you can choose to pair your dress with delicate personal jewelry or modern accessories. If you're looking to make a statement, consider a dramatic floor-length veil or drop earrings.
Are simple wedding dresses less expensive than other wedding dresses?
Usually, simple wedding dresses with fewer embellishments, like hand beading or embroidery, will be less expensive than ornate gowns. With that being said, the type of fabric also plays a major role in the overall cost of a gown, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the different types of fabrics before you start your search.
About the Author
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, guests, wedding parties, and more.