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Wedding dress embellishments run the gamut from intricate beading to shimmering crystals and lace appliqués. But for a look that's a little less glitzy, a tad more classic, and utterly elegant just the same, look no further than wedding dresses with pearls. Like a timeless pearl strand or pair of stud earrings, a wedding dress with pretty pearl detailing equates to total sophistication, whether you choose a voluminous ball gown, minimal sheath, or spirited mini.
All-over pearl detailing makes a stunning statement and a trending design feature we love for any venue or celebration. Lately, designers are all about subtle pearl touches for a unique feel in combination with tea-length and mini dress silhouettes. These styles work well–and are a playful option for virtual nuptials–as a unique look for a second wedding celebration after an intimate affair, a secondary reception, or a late-night look.
Meet the Expert
- Andrea Louie Brown is a divisional merchandise manager at BHLDN and is based in San Francisco, CA. She oversees buying for all categories at the brand, working with internal and external teams to curate BHLDN’s full product assortment–from wedding gowns to accessories and lingerie.
- Pia Panaligan is the director of styling and visual design at David’s Bridal and is based in Philadelphia, PA. With a thorough knowledge of bridal fashion, current trends, and an acute eye for fit and detail, she articulates the brand's voice each season by styling their digital and print fashion editorials and brand visuals.
“Pearls are a great, modern update to traditional beading,” says Andrea Louie Brown, BHLDN’s divisional merchandise manager. “They look great sprinkled throughout a gown or delicately trimmed.” Pia Panaligan, the director of styling and visual design at David’s Bridal, tells Brides, “Whether all over or lightly splattered, [pearls are] such an elegant and classic accent.” Noting their versatility, she adds, “They go with every dress, lace or silk.”
If a wedding dress with pearls isn’t quite your taste, there’s another option: accenting a bridal look with pearls whether it be a veil or a dramatic cape. Louie Brown notes, “Pearls look great on a layering piece to add extra dimension to your look!”
Wherever you are on the pearl spectrum, ahead, scroll through our edit of 20 styles for every taste and budget.
For the Minimalist Bride: Imad Eduso Bridal Lucy Dress
Size range: 2-16 | Material: Satin, pearls, and crystals | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Inquire with bridal designer
Featuring delicate pearl detailing along the square neckline, this dress is minimalist in the front and statement-making in the back! The oversize bow acts as a train for a dash of drama that we love for “I do’s.”
Best Illusion Detail: Watters Kai Wedding Gown
Size range: 00-24W | Material: Crepe, illusion, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Final sale
If you’re here for illusion detailing, look no further than this beautiful crepe gown. It’s encrusted with delicate beads and pearls to emphasize the V-back and sweeping train.
Best Pearl-Clustered Embroidery: Savannah Miller Amber Wedding Gown
Size range: 00-24W | Material: Italian stretch matte crepe, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
Savannah Miller’s minimal gown including clustered pearl embroidery is utterly modern, with a romantic touch of pearls along the neckline and straps. We can picture this on a bride at a sleek city venue.
Best A-Line: Oleg Cassini Large Floral Applique Beaded Strap Wedding Dress
Size range: 0-14 | Material: Lace, tulle beading, sequins, and pearls | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within 7 days of purchase
This quintessential bridal gown epitomizes romance featuring its full A-line skirt and waist-accentuating bodice. For a modern touch, delicate pearls line the criss-cross straps as a beautiful counterbalance to the voluminous silhouette.
Best Cape: Amsale Jay Wedding Gown
Size range: Inquire with bridal retailer | Material: Crepe, tulle, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
Capes continue to trend in the bridal space, and this pearl-adorned version is a masterful approach to the look. The detailing feels perfectly whimsical and stands out against the otherwise minimal design.
Most Statement-Making: Maggie Sottero Rosette Wedding Dress
Size range: 0-28 | Material: Organza, shimmer tulle, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
This pearl long sleeve ball gown is the dream dress for a fanciful bride and pearl lovers–providing full-on glamour via exquisite beading and an illusion neckline. We can picture it at a dreamy countryside venue abroad for a modern, fairytale feel.
Best Overall Pearl: Madison James Style MJ671 Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-30 | Material: Tulle, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
We can’t think of a better wedding gown for pearl lovers than this beautifully bedecked ballgown. As if pearls covering the entire bodice and extending on the skirt weren’t captivating enough, the sweet sleeve detailing is breathtaking.
Most Decorative: Temperley London Mirabelle Wedding Dress
Size range: 2-14 | Material: Tulle, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Returns accepted within 14 days of purchase within guidelines
From the three-dimensional tulle flowers to the dotty tulle, this decorative gown comes scattered with iridescent sequins and pearls for an unforgettable bridal moment. We can picture it at a lush outdoor venue for a magical look amid nature.
Best Sweetheart Neckline: Allure Bridals Style DP270-Ariel Wedding Dress
Size range: 0-30 | Material: Shimmer tulle, sequins, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
Sweetheart necklines are popular for a reason; they’re incredibly flattering! If this neckline speaks to you, how about one entirely covered in pearls?
Best Embellishment: Dana Harel Madeline Wedding Gown
Size range: Inquire with bridal retailer | Material: Tulle, Swarovski crystals, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
For the bride all about the spotlight, this shimmering gown is perfect for her big day. It features thousands of Swarovski crystals and pearls that beautifully glimmer as they catch the light.
Best Cap-Sleeve: Pronovias Reed Wedding Dress
Size range: 0-32 | Material: Crepe, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
For the bride seeking a dress with sleeves, this pearl-adorned style makes for an ultra-fresh and modern look. Play up the sparkle factor by styling yours with a glitzy pair of heels.
Best Pearl Layer: Alexandra Grecco Quinn Jacket and Astrid Slip Wedding Gown
Size range: Inquire with bridal retailer | Material: Crepe, tulle, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
As Louie Brown and Panaligan advised, a pearl layer makes for a unique bridal moment, and this jacket by Alexandra Grecco is perfection. We love it most for fall brides craving that extra-special touch for photos and later into the evening.
For the Classic Bride: Maggie Sottero Raven Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-28 | Material: Mikado and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
Who doesn't love a classic?! This minimalistic ballgown features the most impeccable fit in its mikado fabric and pearl-lined trim. Plus, it has pearl buttons going all the way down the train—and it has pockets!
For the Glam Bride: Maggie Sottero Elton Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-28 | Material: Shimmer tulle, beading, and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
Calling all glam brides! Your search stops here. This gorgeous pearl-embellished, shimmer tulle ballgown is beyond statement making. You'll practically float down the aisle in this beauty.
For the Romantic Bride: Maggie Sottero Sahar Marie Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-28 | Material: Crepe and pearl-embellished tulle | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
This dreamy A-line gown features cascading pearls throughout its soft tulle skirt. The daring plunge details throughout its crepe bodice is universally flattering and striking.
Most Grand: Allison Webb Wellsley Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-28 | Material: Italian floral jacquard and pearls | Shipping: Dependent on bridal retailer | Return policy: Inquire with bridal retailer
This stunner has it all. From its luxurious jacquard fabric, pearl-lined trim, impeccable fit, and oversized bow, this ballgown is sure to make a grand bridal statement.
Most Ethereal: Willowby by Watters Aeryn Wedding Gown
Size range: 0-15 | Material: Beading and pearl-embellished tulle | Shipping: Shipping rates vary | Return policy: Free returns accepted within guidelines
A densely pearl-embellished bodice cascades down into a light and ethereal tulle skirt. Its open neckline and architectural bodice is sure to frame your face and décolletage beautifully.
What to Look for in a Wedding Dress with Pearls
The good news? When choosing your wedding dress, there truly are no rules. It all comes down to selecting the look that feels true to you and the woman you want to reflect on your wedding day. The same applies to styling a wedding dress with pearls. If you're considering incorporating this timeless gem into your bridal ensemble, you most likely associate your sense of style with a chic, classic, and slight fashion-forward flair. With a vast selection of accessories and types of details to choose from, the ways to style pearls prove to be endless. If you're looking to lean into the trendier side of the look, opt for a dramatic pearl veil, bold pearl shoes, or a pearl topper. Statement chandelier earrings are another unforgettable look for the trend-setting bride. We may be a dash biased, but we're obsessed with the editorial spin that these accessories especially make in photos. However, if you consider your fashion icons to be women like Jackie O. and Grace Kelly, your personal style most likely leans slightly more sophisticated, clean, and classic. Elegant pearl details like delicate pearl trims, simple studs, and subtle pearl embroidery are undeniably timeless. Details such as these are ideal for the bride seeking a more demure and delicate bridal statement. No matter how you decide to style your pearl-adorned look, there's no doubt that the stone will stand the test of time.
Should I buy a pearl wedding dress?
Pearl wedding dresses are perfect for any bride craving adornment with a timeless feel. They range from minimal to ornate, so there’s a style to suit every bridal aesthetic. Ultimately, you should buy it if it feels right to!
Where and when can you wear a pearl wedding dress?
The short answer: anywhere and whenever! However, formal designs with a lot of detail, or those cut from fanciful fabrics, are best for black-tie or city weddings, while pearl wedding dresses with long sleeves or those made from heavier weight fabrics work best for the fall and winter. Cotton fabrics with shoulder or arm-baring silhouettes would be the most comfortable in warm weather.
How do you style a pearl wedding dress?
For highly decorative pearl dresses, simple shoes, veils, and minimal jewelry are best. If you choose a simpler wedding dress design, consider a pearl veil or embrace statement shoes and pearl jewelry.
Why Trust Us / About the Author
Contributing writer Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a writer and editor with expertise in 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 Pop Sugar, she has extensive experience researching and sourcing the best fashion items.