Wedding Journal’s Ultimate Wedding Dress Glossary!


When you go looking for your perfect wedding dress, you may find that you need to learn a whole new lingo!

In this article, we have given you Wedding Journals Ultimate Wedding Dress Glossary. It is the perfect guide to find out all the different types and styles of dresses.

After reading this, you will sound like a wedding dress pro during your appointment!

Wedding Journals Ultimate Wedding Dress Glossary


A-line is a classic style that has a fitted bodice, and a gently flared skirt – so-called because it resembles the shape of a capital letter A.


A true princess dresses, with a closely-fitted bodice that comes in at the waist and also immediately flares out into a very full skirt. 

Bateau or boatneck

A high-neck design that covers the chest, but has a gentle dip at the neck and the back.


A heavy woven fabric with a raised floral or ribbon design that is best for winter weddings. 


A lightweight fabric with a glossy, satin finish.


A lightweight, sheer fabric.


Fitted down to the waist and hips, with a straight skirt that flows to the floor.


A thin fabric with a crinkled texture.


A thick, shiny silken fabric that is popular for bridesmaids’ dresses. Shantung is a lighter version of this fabric.


Similar to a column, but the skirt falls from directly below the bust, similar to a maxi dress. 

English net

A softer, stretchier version of classic tulle netting.

Fit and flare

A fitted upper body and wide hem.


A lightweight, slightly textured fabric that’s less shiny than many other bridal fabrics.


The straps of this neckline tie behind the neck, like a bikini top – looks best on girls with narrow shoulders and small to average size busts.

See more: How to Successfully Find your Dream Wedding Dress!

Illusion netting

This fabric is used in wedding gowns for the sheer overlays on backs and necklines, or sometimes to add sheer sleeves.


This style shows off the decolletage, collarbone and shoulders, with the straps or sleeves resting on the upper arm.

One-shoulder or asymmetric

This neckline is draped diagonally to leave one shoulder bare and one with a strap. 


A popular fabric for the skirts on gowns, as it’s stiffer and heavier than chiffon, meaning it hangs nicely.


Closely fitted and tight from the bodice, through the waist and hips and down to your knees, where the skirt flares out dramatically. 


A type of silk which is thicker than other silk blends, such as chiffon, making it perfect for the bride who wants a structured gown that will hold its shape.


Satin is a very smooth, shiny fabric usually woven from silk or polyester.


This neckline is like a semi-circle, dipping low over the chest. A scoop neck is perfect for balancing out a big skirt, but also looks beautiful when combined with a draped column skirt.


This is one of the most popular wedding dress fabrics, and is soft, smooth and shiny.


A square neck reveals a similar amount of skin to the scoop neck, but is less circular and more squared off. Suits girls with large busts.


One of the most popular and flattering necklines, the sweetheart neckline looks like the top part of a heart, with a V shape in the middle. Suits both small and large busts.


Taffeta is a thick, woven fabric that rustles when you move in it. Its stiffness is useful for voluminous skirts.


Similar to the mermaid style, but flares below the hip instead of the knee.


This is a semi-sheer netting, often used for petticoats and bridal veils.


This triangular neckline forms a V-shape on the chest – how deep it goes is up to you! Those that show the most cleavage are often called plunge necklines.

Enjoyed our wedding dress glossary but still looking for your dream wedding dress? Make sure to check out our online wedding directory for all suppliers near you!

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