20 Modern Ball Gowns That'll Stun on Your Wedding Day

We found a variety of options for today's contemporary bride.

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bride in modern strapless ballgown

Photo by Mo Davis Photography

Often associated with royalty and grandeur, ball gowns have been known as a classic wedding dress option for centuries. And even though the idea of these extravagant silhouettes may seem a bit outdated today, there are plenty of designers pushing the envelope to create modern and unique iterations for every type of bride. 

Whether you are after a princess-like dress or want a cool, edgy style, we're confident that there's a look that will fit your dream day. So, to help guide you through your search for the perfect ensemble, we put together our favorite looks for every style, budget, and season. Read on to find the best modern ball gowns available to shop now.

For the Classic Bride

Jenny by Jenny Yoo Lawrence Gown

Size: 0-18 | Materials: Taffeta | Length: Floor-length

We love a classic ball gown with a twist, and this one from Jenny Yoo is just that. The square neckline and illusion side cut-outs bring a subtle hint of modernity to the gown, making it the perfect look for a contemporary bride.

For a Fairytale Wedding

Alonuko The Freedom Collection Look 11


Courtesy of Alonuko

Size: Made to order | Materials: Tulle, beading, sequins | Length: Floor-length

Live out your childhood dreams with this one-of-a-kind ball gown fit for a princess. The illusion sleeves give a magical feeling, while the sequins throughout the gown sparkle at every angle. 

Most Dramatic

Vera Wang Bride Margot Ball Gown

Princess Mikado wedding dress with V-neck

Courtesy of Vera Wang

Size: Made to order | Materials: Mikado, organza | Length: Floor-length

This ball gown from Vera Wang doesn’t need glitz or sparkle to make a statement. The oversized, organza shoulder bow is truly breathtaking, especially when paired with the plunging V-neckline.

Best Cut-Out Detailing

Suzanne Neville Elliana Gown

Suzanne Neville

Courtesy of Suzanne Neville

Size: Made to order | Materials: Satin | Length: Floor-length

We absolutely love this look from Suzanne Neville, which subtly incorporates a modern cut-out along a traditional neckline. Style your ensemble with drop earrings and a classic updo to complete the royal-inspired look.

Best Ruffles

Vera Wang Bride Jeaninne Ball Gown


Courtesy of Vera Wang

Size: Made to order | Materials: Organza | Length: Floor-length

Vera Wang is known for her dramatic gowns, and this contemporary look shows us why. The structured corset bodice is juxtaposed with a sideways ruffle skirt, all of which will leave your guests absolutely speechless. 

Most Versatile

Galia Lahav Ballerina Gown


Courtesy of Galia Lahav

Size: Made to order | Materials: Embellished silk tulle | Length: Floor-length

Go from ceremony to reception in this two-piece ball gown from Galia Lahav. The dress’s dramatic removable tulle skirt is perfect for a formal ceremony, and the strapless corset mini dress will make you want to dance the night away.

Most Intricate Detailing

Peter Langner Amandine Gown

long sleeve ball gown

Courtesy of Peter Langner

Size: Made to order | Materials: Illusion tulle, crinoline, lace | Length: Floor-length

This off-the-shoulder ball gown features beautiful and intricate hand-embroidered florals and leaves. However, the best part is that each flower and leaf is hand-cut and sewn one by one, making for a truly one-of-a-kind gown. 

Most Elegant

Giambattista Valli Magnolia Gown

Giambattista Valli

Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

Size: Made to order | Materials: Taffeta | Length: Floor-length

Glide down the aisle in this beautiful ball gown from Giambattista Valli’s first bridal collection. We especially love the ivory hue and couture design, details that are perfect for brides-to-be with elevated aesthetics.

Best Texture

Watters Laraline Ball Gown

strapless ball gown

Courtesy of Watters

Size: 00-24W | Materials: Stiff mesh crinoline, tulle, netting, tulle | Length: Floor-length

Fashion-forward brides should take note of this uniquely textured ball gown. The striking structured bodice adds a bit of edge to the soft, flowy tulle skirt, while the pleated design element adds an unexpected touch.

Best Pop of Color

Andrew Kwon Flora V2 Gown

yellow ball gown

Courtesy of Andrew Kwon

Size: Made to order | Materials: Tulle, silk organza | Length: Floor-length

Gone are the days of strictly pure white wedding gowns. Now, brides are experimenting with color, and we love this pale buttercup yellow ball gown for those going the non-traditional route.

Best Slit Detail

Alex Perry Abigail Satin Ball Gown

white ball gown

Courtesy of Alex Perry

Size: 2-10 | Materials: Satin | Length: Floor-length

Ball gowns tend to be a more conservative option, but you have the opportunity to show some skin with this Alex Perry high-slit number. Pair with a red lip and slicked-back hair for a bold and glamorous look. 

Most Simplistic

Anne Barge Crazy For You Gown

spaghetti strap ball gown

Courtesy of Anne Barge

Size: 0-22, 16SP-24SP | Materials: Silk satin chiffon, Italian kalika | Length: Floor-length

If you love the idea of a ball gown but still want a classic, minimalist look, opt for this simplistic dress from Anne Barge. The sweetheart neckline and thin spaghetti straps are made for a memorable look, sans sparkles. 

Best Bow Detail

Amsale Ada Ball Gown

strapless ball gown

Courtesy of Amsale

Size: Made to order | Materials: Silk magnolia  | Length: Floor-length

Bold and chic, this modern ball gown is perfect for a black-tie wedding. From the sweetheart neckline to the crystal appliqué bows, this ensemble has plenty of eye-catching details any bride will love.

Best Lace Detail

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2022 Look 8

lace strapless ball gown

Courtesy of Oscar de la Renta

Size: Made to order | Materials: Lace  | Length: Floor-length

Crafted in only a way Oscar de la Renta could, this beautiful ball gown features luxe-pressed embroidery and expertly designed lace. Not to mention the breathtaking full skirt, this look certainly brings the runway to the aisle.

For the Whimsical Bride

Peter Langner Panarea Gown

spaghetti strap ball gown

Courtesy of Peter Langner

Size: Made to order | Materials: Tulle  | Length: Floor-length

Your wedding dress is all about showing off your personal style, and we think this ball gown is the perfect option for brides who like to have fun with fashion. Take your look to the next level by wearing colorful heels and bold jewelry for a one-of-a-kind look.

Royal-Wedding Inspired

Rita Vinieris Thyra Gown

long sleeve ball gown

Courtesy of Rita Vinieris 

Size: Made to order | Materials: Lace, silk  | Length: Floor-length

From Kate Middleton to Lady Kitty Spencer, we know how much the British royal family loves lace detailing in their wedding dresses. This particular long-sleeve ball gown is elegant and modest, and is sure to make you feel like a true royal bride.

Best Midi

Carolina Herrera Patterned Jacquard Midi Dress

midi ball gown

Courtesy of Farfetch

Size: 0-14 | Materials: Jacquard  | Length: Midi-length

Edgy brides will fall for this Carolina Herrera jacquard midi ball gown that is at once unexpected and utterly unique. The short hemline is perfect for laid-back nuptials, especially backyard or courthouse affairs.

Best Off-the-Shoulder

Justin Alexander Off-the-Shoulder Plus Size Ball Gown

off-the-shoulder ball gown

Courtesy of Justin Alexander

Size: Made to order | Materials: Lace, tulle  | Length: Floor-length

We adore this off-the-shoulder ball gown that features elegant Venice lace and tulle detailing. What's more, the cathedral-length train adds another level of drama making it spectacular for a black-tie wedding.

For a Garden Wedding

Monique Lhuillier Freesia Gown

floral wedding ball gown

Photo by KT Merry

Size: Made to order | Materials: Lace, tulle  | Length: Floor-length

Spring and summer brides, be sure to take note of the delicate floral detailing on this unexpected ball gown. It's the perfect look for a formal outdoor wedding, paired with a bouquet that brings out the unique embroidered detailing throughout the gown. 

Most Statement-Making

Ines by Ines Di Santo Rebecca Gown

long sleeve beaded wedding ball gown

Courtesy of Ines by Ines di Santo

Size: Made to order | Materials: Tulle, beading  | Length: Floor-length

Ideal for a winter wedding, this long-sleeve ball gown is adorned with pearls all throughout the bodice, which is further complemented by a statement tulle skirt. Not a fan of long sleeves? Luckily, they're detachable and can be removed for a more pared-back look.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Modern Ball Gown

Since ball gowns are typically a standard silhouette, shopping for a modern iteration will require you to pay attention to the details. Focus on looks that lean into the trends, like ensembles that feature bows, lace, and oversized embroidery. Additionally, it's important to keep the season in mind when looking for a dress that's right for you. For instance, if you're having a summer wedding, opt for strapless looks that'll keep you cool as you walk down the aisle. Hosting a winter affair? Long sleeve ball gowns are the perfect choice for your big day. Ultimately, though, any ball gown you choose should be a reflection of your personal style, so be sure to buy a look that you feel comfortable and confident wearing.

  • Are modern ball gowns only appropriate for formal weddings?

    While it's true that ball gowns are more popular for formal weddings, they're just as great for laid-back and casual celebrations. And for those looking for a pared-back look, steer clear of sparkle and intricate detailing and try a more minimalist design.  

  • What are the best shoes to wear with a modern ball gown?

    Since ball gowns are floor-length silhouettes, your shoes won’t be that noticeable, and thus, you have the ability to prioritize comfort over fashion. Still, it would be best if you opted for footwear with a bit of height, so that you aren’t tripping over your gown as you walk down the aisle.

  • Are modern ball gowns timeless?

    Ball gowns have been around for centuries, so it's unlikely for them to fall out of style. That being said, you should follow your heart and pick a dress that you love just as much today as you will in 30 years.

About the Author

Contributing writer Melony Forcier is a recent graduate starting her career path in beauty and fashion journalism. Before graduating, she interned with both Boston Magazine and Foundation PR. Additionally, she served as a fashion editor for Boston University's lifestyle magazine, The Buzz.


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