15 Wedding Dress Necklines You Need to Know

Wedding Dress Necklines

PHOTO BY LARISSA CLEVELAND PHOTOGRAPHY

There’s a lot that goes into finding your dream wedding dress. One of the most important details to consider when searching for a gown is the neckline. Not only does this important detail highlight your face, but it impacts your entire wedding day look.

To help you decide, keep in mind the venue, the season, any accessories, how you plan on wearing your hair, and what will flatter your body type. As a rule of thumb, petite brides tend to go with a deep neckline, tall brides gravitate toward styles with a higher neckline, and brides with fuller figures complement their curves with looks that brush just below the collarbone. However, the most important rule to keep in mind is what makes you feel the most magnificent!

From the traditional sweetheart to the boho-meets-sophisticated bateau, we’re breaking down the most popular wedding dress necklines.

Wedding Dress Necklines
Bailey Mariner/Brides 
01 of 15

Sweetheart/Semi Sweetheart Neckline

Sweetheart Neckline

Photo by THE DAY COLLECTIVE

The sweetheart neckline, with its shape resembling the top of a heart, accentuates the décolletage and gives you a longer and leaner appearance. If you love the style but have a larger bust or are looking for a smidge more modesty, opt for the semi-sweetheart, which falls a bit higher up on the chest.

02 of 15

Straight Neckline

Straight Neckline

PHOTO BY JENNY FU

Modern and clean, a straight neckline is often seen on strapless dresses. Just like the sweetheart, it accentuates the décolletage and collarbones but provides a little more coverage and security.

03 of 15

V-Neck Neckline

V Neckline

PHOTO BY TIM WILLOUGHBY 

A v-neck dress is ideal for those looking for the appearance of a longer torso, whether it’s a slight or dramatic dip. V-neck dresses usually have sleeves or straps which create some added flair and support.

04 of 15

Plunging Neckline

Plunging Neckline

PHOTO BY D’ARCY BENINCOSA 

For the more daring bride, a plunging neckline dips low to accentuate your décolletage, elongate your torso, and add a sexy flash of skin. While most plunges come with illusion paneling to ward off wardrobe malfunctions, plenty of brides rock the style illusion-less. If you’re looking to wear long sleeves on your big day, a plunge is a great way to balance out the coverage!

05 of 15

Illusion Neckline

Illusion Neckline

PHOTO BY CHRISTINA MCNEILL 

Soft sheer fabric (such as tulle or lace) extends from the top of the bodice to the base of the neck or over the shoulders to give the illusion of a strapless, deep plunge, or a delicately strapped gown. Usually paired with appliques sewn on top that appear to be floating over the skin, this dreamy neckline is the ideal mixture of modern elegance and timeless romance.

06 of 15

High Neckline

High Neckline

PHOTO BY CARMEN SANTORELLI 

Made famous by icons such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, the high neckline hits at the base or above the neck and provides the most coverage of any bridal style. Don’t want to feel too buttoned-up? Illusion details are common in high necklines and can soften up the sophisticated look.

07 of 15

Bateau, Boatneck, or Sabrina Neckline

Boatneck Neckline

 PHOTO BY ERIC KELLEY

Made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina and, more recently, Meghan Markle, this vintage neckline has officially made a comeback. The wide, high shape grazes the collarbones to show a bit of skin and is often accompanied by sleeves that offer plenty of support.

08 of 15

One-Shoulder Neckline

One-Shoulder Neckline

 PHOTO BY TAYLOR MCCUTCHAN

This goddess-style neckline offers an asymmetrical look for the bride who longs to be a bit different. The one-strap style draws attention upwards to your face and shows off your gorgeous wedding day glow.

09 of 15

Off-the-Shoulder Neckline

Off-the-Shoulder Neckline

 PHOTO BY EVERENCE PHOTOGRAPHY

The off-the-shoulder neckline is a favorite for summer, beach, boho, and destination weddings. This effortless style gracefully frames your face and highlights the shoulders and collarbones with its draped sleeves. If you don’t want to accentuate your arms or have broad shoulders, you might prefer to stay away from this style and opt for the portrait neckline instead.

10 of 15

Scoop Neckline

Scoop Neckline

 PHOTO BY KATIE GRANT PHOTOGRAPHY

This U-shaped silhouette with its low, circular neckline accentuates the collarbone and lengthens the neck to create an elongated and sleek silhouette. It's a universally flattering neckline that looks great on all and offers some extra support in the straps.

11 of 15

Halter Neckline

Halter Neckline

PHOTO BY ZIBETTI PHOTO AND FILM 

Halters are not only a favorite for everyday fashion but bridal gowns as well. This neckline shows off your shoulders and offers a modern look that can vary from covered to sexy. Add in a keyhole detail for an extra pop of flair.

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Jewel Neckline

Jewel Neckline

 PHOTO BY ROSS HARVEY

This cut, also known as a “T-Shirt” neckline, rests above the collarbone and at the base of the neck. This flattering neckline elongates the neck and accentuates the bust. Oftentimes, it's beaded to create the illusion of wearing a necklace. The neckline makes the upper torso appear larger and wider, making it a nice fit for traditional brides with a smaller bust and narrow shoulders.

13 of 15

Portrait Neckline

Portrait Neckline

PHOTO BY ROEY YOHAI STUDIOS

Similar to an off-the-shoulder style but made with slightly more fabric, the portrait neckline is characterized by a wide scoop from the tip of one shoulder to the tip of the other. This cut is ideal for a bride looking for a timeless look to cover their arms and accentuate their collarbones.

14 of 15

Empire/Square Neckline

Empire Neckline

 COURTESY OF ELIE SAAB

Resembling the shape of a square, the empire neckline is both elegant and elongating. It features an angular silhouette that rests on the points of the shoulders. This open neckline can be cut wider or lower to show off more shoulder or give a modern spin to your look. It's the perfect style for brides who want to accentuate their necks and busts while slimming down the shoulders.

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Queen Anne Neckline

Queen Anne Neckline

Courtesy of Sincerity Bridal 

The queen of all cuts, this regal look is the epitome of vintage romance. Composed of a high collar in the back with a dipped neckline, usually scoop, v-neck, or sweetheart, this traditional look is nothing short of glamorous.

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