When it comes to wedding dresses, there’s no one size fits all approach. But there is something to be said for the perfect fit. By looking for dresses with a bit of structure, you can help create a gorgeous, figure-flattering shape that shows off your body and adds support.
What does “structure” in a wedding dress entail? “The most important element of a structured wedding dress is what is going on inside the garment,” says bridal dress designer Hillary Anne O’Dell. “A built-in bustier creates a foundation for the fit and design of the dress. It establishes how the dress will fit and feel on your body but also serve as the underlying architecture of the garment, supporting the weight of the fabric and embellishments."
While some brides may adore a straightforward corset, some prefer hidden boning or a softer silhouette. We’ve curated a list that features a wide variety of structural wedding dresses, with crisp lines, architectural elements, and refined silhouettes that feel fresh and beautiful.
Whether you're planning a grand ballroom event or a beachy, laid-back reception, a structured dress can provide a flawless fit so you look your best and feel supported on your big day. Read on for some of our favorite structured wedding dresses to suit various price points, styles, and themes.
OFFICESEVEN Princess Wedding Dress
When it comes to weddings, the only drama we want is on the dress! This princess-style puff sleeve dress is made in ivory cotton with a reversible light pink fabric (or for more drama, a bold custom color) on the other side for two looks in one. The corset features supportive boning and satin lacing on the back for a vintage touch. It’s made to order for a perfect fit, with custom length options available as well.
Price at the time of publish: $244
Runs: True to your custom size | Size range: Custom | Materials: Cotton, Plastic or Metal Boning | Length: Custom
Sachin & Babi Pippa One-Shoulder Pearl-Embellished Mini Dress
The Sachin & Babi Pippa Mini Dress is fun and playful, while still offering plenty of support. Made of a silky dupioni fabric, it features a wrapped front that gives a flattering waistline, and a dramatic one-shoulder neckline and a bow sleeve. The dress is dotted with hand-beaded pearl embellishments that feel classy and elegant.
Price at the time of publish: $598
Runs: True to size | Size range: 0-16 | Materials: Polyester dupioni, pearl embellishments | Length: Mini
Lulus High-Class Hottie White Satin Strapless Bustier Midi Dress
This bold dress is sexy, sleek, and super flattering. It features a décolleté-accentuating strapless bodice with a gathered, overlapping bust. The bodice features sheer mesh corset-inspired panels that flow into a column-style skirt with a midi hem. It’s complete with a thigh-high slit for added breathability and sensuality.
Price at the time of publish: $84
Runs: True to size | Size Range: XS-XL | Materials: Polyester, Spandex| Length: Midi
Best Statement Sleeve
CULT GAIA Muna Off-the-Shoulder Midi Dress
The Cult Gaia "Muna" dress features exaggerated short puff sleeves and hand-crafted boning at the bust for supportive meets flamboyant style. It features an A-line silhouette, off-shoulder neckline, a sexy thigh-high slit, and a midi length raw edge hem.
Price at the time of publish: $698
Runs: Small | Size range: 0-12 | Materials: Silk, Rayon, Wool | Length: Midi
Best Simple Design
Danielle Frankel Nina Pleated Wool and Silk-Blend Satin Gown
Danielle Frankel's “Nina” gown shows how powerful and elegant simplicity can be. The basque waist corset-inspired bodice holds you in without discomfort, and is contrasted by a regal, gathered skirt made from wool and silk-blend satin. It has layers of organza underneath to keep its shape, and feels like butter on the skin.
Price at the time of publish: $7,990
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-8 | Materials: Wool, Silk-blend satin | Length: Floor-length
RIME ARODAKY Stella Embellished Embroidered Tulle and Crepe Jumpsuit
For a twist on structural wedding outfits, try a tailored pant ensemble. This gorgeous jumpsuit from Rime Arodaky features a tulle bodice, crepe straight-leg pants that hit above the ankle, and floor-grazing skirt that’s lined with glittering sequins, beads, and embroidery. It fits true to size, and is meant to be a slim fit.
Price at the time of publish: $2,010
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester Tulle, Crepe | Length: Ankle
Danielle Frankel Daphne Sculptural Silk Taffeta Gown
This sculptural ivory masterpiece has a tailored fit with a strapless, straight neckline. Made from 100 percent silk taffeta, it features asymmetric pleating with exaggerated body contouring, a maxi hem and concealed zip fastening along the back. It’s also size-inclusive, with range from 00-24.
Price at the time of publish: $6,490
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 00-24 | Materials: 100% silk taffeta | Length: Maxi
Best Side Slit
Watters Orlie Strapless Corset Satin Sheath Wedding Gown
This elegant structured bodice dress has a daring side slit, giving you the opportunity to show off a fabulous pair of bridal heels. Even better, the slit is accented with delicate pearly beading.
Price at time of publish: $1,895
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-18W | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Tadashi Shoji Tenley Satin Jacquard Gown
This glamorous dress is perfect for the bride who wants to take a risk, while still staying true to a classic gown silhouette. Take advantage of the off-the-shoulder neckline by pairing it with a statement necklace or glittering earrings.
Price at time of publish: $738
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 00-16 | Materials: Satin jacquard | Length: Floor-length
Emilia Wickstead Diamond Duchesse Satin Gown
Crafted in Italy out of white duchesse-satin, this gown features a simple bodice, sweetheart neckline, and boning that holds you in without feeling uncomfortable. It has soft pleats along the empire waist and a full ball gown skirt that feels fresh and polished. The square back gives it a crisp and tailored finish.
Price at the time of publish: $5,775
Runs: True to size, size up if in between sizes | Size Range: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Full-length
V. Chapman Violet Corset Ruffled Tiered Hem Midi Dress
With a slim, body-skimming silhouette, and delicate ruffle detailing, the V. Chapman Violet midi dress is flirty and festive. It has a boned bodice for support and structure, and elastic-smocked back for comfort. It features adjustable ruffled cap sleeves and tie at back, more ruffles at the waist and hem, and a subtle all-over floral pattern.
Price at the time of publish: $445
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-18 | Materials: Polyester satin | Length: Midi
Galina Signature Floral Petite Wedding Dress with Removable Sleeves
This A-line wedding dress feels romantic, whimsical, and dramatic. The visible boning details that add structure and sophistication, and features a sheer sweetheart bodice and removable swag sleeves for a romantic touch. The embroidered floral appliques, full tulle skirt, and lots of lightweight layers add even more whimsy.
Price at the time of publish: $1,124
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Full-length
For the Modern Bride
Reformation Solay Silk Dress
Haven’t you heard? Color is in. This soft blue silk number features a modern square neckline, slim fitting silhouette, and thick, tank style straps. It also has a side slit to show a little leg, as well as a corset-detailed bodice for structure and support.
Price at the time of publish: $298
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-12 | Materials: Silk | Length: Midi
Roksanda Kleo Braided-Waist Draped Satin Dress
This unique dress plays with structural proportions in a way that feels cool and unexpected. It features fluid satin draping with a partial braided paneling at the waist to give shape in a new way with a bohemian flair. It falls to an asymmetric maxi hem, and comes in sizes 2-18.
Price at the time of publish: $2195
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 2-18 | Materials: Silk | Length: Maxi
Collective The Label Exclusive Structured Bandeau Mini Dress In Blush Polka Dot
For the bride who doesn’t take herself too seriously, this playful mini is maximum fun. It sports a bandeau neckline, cinched-in waist, and a sweet polka dot print over a light blush colorway. The ruffled neckline adds even more playfulness! We also love that it’s available at a budget-friendly price point, too.
Price at the time of publish: $72
Runs: True to size| Size Range: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Mini
V. Chapman June Satin Dress
This sheath gown by V. Chapman really lets the corset details shine. It features sexy bustier styling, a front slit and a side-tie sash with a maxi-length hem. The dress offers a bit of spandex for some comfy stretch and comes in multiple colors if you’re feeling bold.
Price at the time of publish: $415
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-18 | Materials: Polyester, Spandex | Length: Maxi
Olivia Bottega Royal Lace Off-The-Shoulder Sparkly Wedding Dress Meryem
This is a true statement dress, fit for a dramatic cathedral (or royal!) wedding. With a princess-style silhouette, it features lace and beading throughout for tons of glitz and sparkle. It also has a classic ball gown skirt with an off-the-shoulder neckline and long sleeves for modesty.
Price at the time of publish: $3,400
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 4-30 | Materials: Beading, Tulle, Satin | Length: Full-length
ET OCHS Hudson Corset Jumpsuit with Draped Denim Styling
This jumpsuit is modern and fashion-forward—it's definitely an unexpected, fresh choice for a bold bride. It features a corset-style bodice with a draped denim button and zip front detailing, with a strapless neckline. The wide-leg, full-length pants are finished with stylish pleats.
Price at the time of publish: $1,595
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-8 | Materials: Cotton, Elastane | Length: Full-length
Oleg Cassini Cap Sleeve V-Back Beaded Ball Gown Wedding Dress
With an illusion neckline, intricate cap sleeves, and a low V-back bodice, this regal gown comes adorned with a glorious ball gown skirt. It has romantic beaded lace appliques throughout for added texture, and a chapel train fit for a princess.
Price at the time of publish: $1,424
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Full-length
For The Colorful Bride
ASOS Lace & Beads Off Shoulder Tulle Corset Maxi Dress
Featuring a bardot neckline and a corset-style front, this colorful red dress is sure to make a statement. It has a shirred, stretch panel on the back, and a side slit to show some leg. The tiered skirt adds drama, and the mesh sleeves are oh-so-fabulous.
Price at the time of publish: $191
Runs: True to size | Size Range: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Maxi
What to Look for in a Structured Wedding Gown
While structure is more straightforward, the style of your dress can vary. One key factor in your style includes the silhouette, which (among others), includes A-Line, sheath, ball gown, and mermaid.
You can also think about hem length when deciding the style you’re going for: a mini dress like Sachin & Babi Pippa One-Shoulder Pearl-Embellished Mini Dress will offer a more playful, fun approach, while a cathedral length gown like Olivia Bottega Royal Lace Off-The-Shoulder Sparkly Wedding Dress Meryem will be more suitable for a grand ballroom ceremony.
Some styles are more romantic and whimsical, with floral appliques or off-the-shoulder necklines, and some styles lend themselves to a more modern and chic affair, like crisp square necklines or edgy embellishments, for example.
While you can choose to wear whatever you want, you’ll probably be most comfortable selecting a dress that suits the season. For spring and summer weddings, opt for breathable fabrics like linen or cotton. You can also get away with shorter hemlines for even more breathability. With its midi length and linen construction, CULT GAIA Muna Off-the-Shoulder Midi Dress is a great pick for a wedding in a sweltering climate. In colder months, you may want thicker fabrics like velvet or brocade and sleeves to keep yourself warm.
Consider patterns and embellishments that suit the time of year, as well. Think florals for spring, bold vibrant colors in summer, and cool-toned details in the winter to suit the icy feeling.
Where you have your wedding will undoubtedly guide you on the dress you end up choosing. O’Dell says that structured wedding dresses tend to be more suitable for formal venues and temperature-controlled climates. However, how you feel and what you love is the most important factor.
You can also play with elements on the dress to match your venue, like floral appliques in Galina Signature Floral Tulle Wedding Dress With Removable Sleeves for a garden wedding or cathedral-length trains for a dramatic French chateau venue, as an example.
Are structured wedding dresses comfortable?
O'Dell says they definitely can be, but make sure you have the proper fit. “There is a misconception that garments like this are uncomfortable or designed for one body type,” she says. “Many of them are. When you are forced to cram into a mold that was not created for your measurements, it can feel suffocating and distracting.” Be sure to get the dress altered to your size and don’t focus on the size on the label. Just go with how you feel!
Are structured wedding dresses flattering for all body types?
Yes! A structured wedding gown generally has boning in the bodice that provides a shapely, flattering look on all brides. As O’Dell reiterates, just be sure it fits properly. If it’s too small, it can look unflattering, and if it’s too large, it won’t provide the hold and shape you’d want from a structured wedding dress.
What type of wedding is a structured wedding dress best suited for?
“When it comes to where and when you see dresses like this, typically it’s for more formal events, held indoors or outdoors in a temperate climate,” O’Dell explains. “If I have a bride getting married at the Carlyle in New York City, it's a great choice. If she is getting married on the beach in Bali, I would recommend something more suitable to the environment of the event. With that being said, it's our philosophy that brides can and should wear whatever they want.”
Meet the Expert
Hillary Anne O’Dell is the Founder and Designer of Hilandel, a custom bridal dress shop based in NYC.
Why Trust Brides
Chelsea Frank has been a comedy and lifestyle writer for nearly 10 years. She’s contributed to dozens of online publications, researching and writing on a number of topics from clean beauty and fashion to travel and wellness.