Wedding Dress Styles - A Guide

Shopping is something we all know how to do, but while shopping for a wedding dress isn't the same as scrolling through ASOS at lunch, it shouldn't be any less fun! When you first start looking there might be a lot of terms which you have never heard of that can make wedding dress shopping seem scarier than it is. Don't worry though, we've created a definitive guide to translate for you! 🤯


When you start shopping you might be asked what style of dress you like, here are the most popular styles:

Fishtail / Mermaid Wedding Dress - A form fitting dress which flows into a large skirt starting around the knee to create a mermaid or fish tail silhouette.

Ballgown / Princess Wedding Dress - A dress with a large layered skirt starting from the hips. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty's iconic dresses are classic examples.

Tea Length Wedding Dress - A Tea Length Wedding Dress is a dress with a fuller knee length skirt. They tend to be 1950's vintage inspired.

Ilusion - Skin coloured net with embroidery used to create the ‘illusion’ of embroidery floating over skin. 

Sweetheart neckline - When the neckline dips towards the bust creating an almost heart shape. 

Bateau / Sabrina neckline - 'Bateau' is French for 'boat' so it literally means boatneck, which is more elegant than it sounds on paper! It's a high neckline that follows that shape of your collarbone. Meghan Markle wore a classic boatneck wedding dress for her 2018 Royal Wedding.

Queen Anne neckline- A Queen Anne neckline is a dress with a higher collar at the back and a scoop, V-neck or sweetheart at the front.

Train - the long back portion of a wedding dress that trails behind the bride. There are a few lengths of train each with their own name:

Sweep train - A Sweep train is the shortest of trains; at around 6 inches long it's a subtle way to add a bit of tradition to a gown. Perfect for the wedding reception dancefloor or an outdoor wedding! 

Chapel train - A Chapel train is between 12 and 18 inches long. It is the most common style of train as it's just long enough to add a bit of drama, but short enough to allow low maintainence movement.

Cathedral train -  A Cathedral train is the longest for most wedding dresses, measuring from 22 inches. For making an entrance with real impact, they look stunning in wedding venues with a long aisle.

Royal / Monarch train - Serious trains, timewasters need not apply. A Royal / Monarch train does what it says on the tin. Princess Diana's 25 foot train was a classic example.