Every bride-to-be looks forward to finding the perfect wedding dress for her special day. And a big part of choosing the right gown is considering which wedding dress neckline will best compliment your face, hairstyle and body type.
There are a variety of wedding dress necklines to choose from. Before setting foot in a bridal salon, it’s wise to have an understanding of the dress necklines available and which will work best for you. From sweetheart to illusion to v-neck, knowing which styles will flatter you is key to looking your very best on your big day.
To help you choose a gown that will accentuate your unique beauty, we’ve crafted a list of the most sought-after wedding dress necklines.
Popular Wedding Dress Necklines
Your wedding dress, ultimately, should do two things: be an extension of your own personal style and make you feel beautiful. To accomplish both of these key elements, your neckline choice is vital.
Here are the 15 most popular wedding dress necklines to consider:
1. Sweetheart neckline
The scalloped sweetheart neckline resembles the top of a heart and is often seen on strapless or spaghetti strap wedding dresses. Made to accentuate the décolletage, this heart-shape style can give the illusion of a fuller bust for smaller-chested brides or can flaunt a fuller figure.
If you do have a larger bust, but want to stay covered, a semi-sweetheart neckline is a good option. The semi-sweetheart has less pronounced curves, and sits higher up on the chest giving well-endowed brides a bit more coverage without sacrificing style.
Often found on: One of the most popular wedding dress necklines, it is often featured on a ball gown, but can also be seen on a-line, mermaid and trumpet silhouettes.
Best suited for: Sweetheart necklines look great on many body types but are particularly attractive on brides with toned, broad shoulders. It can also help to balance out the wider hips of a pear-shaped figure and can detract from a thick waist by drawing the eye upward toward your face. Small-busted women with narrow shoulders can also wear this neckline to create curves.
2. Straight neckline
Often featured on strapless wedding gowns, a straight neckline is perfect for any bride who wants to bare her arms and shoulders without showing as much cleavage. This style of dress puts the focus on your upper body and looks great with minimal jewelry.
Often found on: This neckline style is often featured on mermaid, trumpet and sheath silhouettes.
Best suited for: Straight necklines look best on brides with toned arms and good shoulders. A good choice for brides with a medium-sized chest, it can also work for busty brides who want a strapless dress because a straight neckline allows a sturdier strapless undergarment to be worn.
3. Illusion neckline
An illusion neckline offers a sheer lining, creating the appearance of exposed skin, while still providing extra coverage and support. This style, often paired with appliqués, or embroidery, can give the illusion of a strapless, sweetheart or plunging v-neck gown. The illusion fabric can also be incorporated into the sleeves of the dress or offer a bare-back look.
Often found on: This neckline style can work with virtually any silhouette from a-line to mermaid to sheath.
Best suited for: This elegant neckline works well for most brides, thanks to the wide variety of silhouettes and designs available in this style. So, whether you’re 25 or 45, petite or tall, slim or curvy, you’re sure to find a variation of this lovely style that works well for you. As an added bonus, the details on illusion necklines eliminate the need for a necklace.
Brides who don’t want to wear a strapless bra will appreciate the wide straps and long or cap sleeves that often accompany this neckline, allowing a more traditional bra to be worn.
V-necks create a long, lean line, elongate the neck and draw the eye upward to the face. This style can come in a variety of depths, from modest to plunging and everything in between.
Often found on: The versatile v-neck can be found on a variety of dress shapes but are especially popular on ball gowns, a-line and trumpet-style dresses and sheaths.
Best suited for: V-necklines work well for brides with a medium or large bust. Not only does it accentuate female curves, it offers additional support. Ladies with small chests are not usually flattered by this neckline.
5. Scoop neckline
This low, U-shaped neckline is accompanied by straps or sleeves and puts the focus on your decollatagé and collarbone. Not only does it visually lengthen your overall silhouette it offers a timeless and elegant look for any type of wedding.
Often found on: The scoop neckline can be found on any type of wedding dress.
Best suited for: A universally flattering neckline, it looks good on any body type. It works especially well for medium- or large-chested women who need extra support or coverage.
6. Plunging neckline
This daring silhouette is perfect for the bride who wants a sexy look that commands attention. A plunging neckline dips low in the front, exposing the skin between your breasts and can even dip as low as your waist. Some plunge-neck dresses come with illusion paneling for a bit of structure and coverage while others are completely open.
Often found on: The plunging neckline works well on any wedding dress style but is especially dramatic on a ball gown or mermaid dress.
Best suited for: This dramatic look works best for smaller-busted brides. Brides who wear larger than a B-cup bra won’t receive much support from this style and would leave themselves open to wardrobe malfunctions.
7. Halter neckline
A halter neckline offers an inverted V shape and winds around the neck to be secured with a tie, hook, button, or snap. Halter necklines vary in coverage and can be cut modestly or be more daring in both front and back.
Often found on: This sportier neckline style is most often seen on sheath, trumpet or a-line wedding dresses but can occasionally be found on ball gowns as well.
Best suited for: A halter looks best on athletic or tall brides with broad shoulders and can show off a toned back and arms to perfection. Best for brides with a medium to full bust, halter necklines can overwhelm petite frames.
8. Square neckline
Traditionally accompanied by wide straps, a square neckline shows off the collarbone to perfection. While some square necklines are designed for more modest brides, they can also be low and wide for those who want to show a little more cleavage.
Often found on: This cut is often accompanied by a tight bodice and full skirt but can sometimes be found on slimmer silhouettes as well.
Best suited for: Flattering to most body types, the wide straps that accompany a square neckline make this an especially great choice for busty and plus-size brides due to the ability to wear a supportive bra. Especially good for brides who want to take the emphasis off broad shoulders, it is less flattering to those with narrow shoulders.
9. Off-the-shoulder neckline
One of the best shapes for framing your face and decollatagé while showing off your shoulders and collarbones, this cut is all about romance. This versatile neckline works well with cap, short or long sleeves, allowing you to choose the coverage you want.
Often found on: Off-the-shoulder necklines can be found on all styles of wedding gowns. They are beautiful and romantic paired with fuller-skirted dresses and sleek and elegant with slimmer silhouettes.
Best suited for: Brides with small and large busts alike can pull off this neckline, but it does look best on those with toned or narrow shoulders.
10. Portrait neckline
While this elegant cut is similar to an off-the-shoulder style, the portrait neckline offers slightly more coverage. Rather than falling below your shoulders it scoops from the top of one shoulder to the other and dips across the chest. If you’re looking for a classic, sophisticated dress that will accentuate your neck and collarbones, this is the style for you.
Often found on: This timeless neckline can often be seen on ball gowns and a-line styles but can also be featured on mermaid and sheath dresses.
Best suited for: A portrait neckline can offer coverage to brides with fuller arms who still want the look of an off-the-shoulder dress. This neckline is best suited to those with well-defined collar bones.
11. One-shoulder neckline
Also known as an asymmetrical neckline, one-shoulder styles offer an old-world Grecian vibe for any bride who wants to sport a unique look on her wedding day. One-strap styles put the focus on your arms and shoulders.
Often found on: This unconventional neckline shape is frequently seen on body-conscious cuts like sheath and trumpet silhouettes, but can also be found on fuller-skirted gowns for brides who are looking for a princess dress.
Best suited for: Ideal for small-chested brides and brides with narrow shoulders, you should avoid this look if you’re busty or don’t want to draw attention to your upper body.
12. Queen Anne neckline
If you enjoy vintage gowns, then the Queen Anne neckline could be just what you’re looking for. With a high collar in the back and a low neckline, this classic look offers a whole lot of retro glamor. This neckline shape can come in a number of variations with scoop, v-neck and sweetheart being the most common.
Often found on: A-line, trumpet and ball gowns can often be found with this unique neckline shape. It is usually accompanied by filmy and romantic fabrics like lace or tulle.
Best suited for: Ideal for any bride who wants a traditional or classic look, this neckline works for a variety of body shapes and bust sizes.
13. Jewel neckline
Also known as a T-Shirt neckline, a jewel neckline hits just above the collarbone elongating the throat. Accompanied by a fitted bodice, this neckline shape often comes with beading or lace, making a necklace unnecessary.
Often found on: A jewel neckline looks equally good on full and slim-skirted gowns and can be found most often on a-line and sheath silhouettes.
Best suited for: Perfect for small-chested brides, the high neckline broadens narrow shoulders and adds bulk to the bust, while enhancing a small waist. Because this neckline adds volume, brides with fuller chests or broad shoulders should avoid this design.
14. Bateau/boat neck
Most famously worn by Audrey Hepburn and, more recently, by Meghan Markle, this vintage shape is perfect for the modest bride. Featuring a soft scoop just below the collarbones, it stretches out to each shoulder, drawing the eye outward.
Often found on: One of the most unique shapes, the bateau neckline can be found on sheath and a-line gowns alike and comes in a variety of fabric choices from tulle or lace to silk shantung.
Best suited for: This classic shape is a lovely choice for brides with smaller upper bodies and can help balance full hips and emphasize a small waist.
15. High neckline
If Grace Kelly is your fashion icon, then a high neckline could be the perfect pick for you. Hitting either at the base of or above the neck, this shape provides the most coverage of all the styles. If you like the look but want less coverage, illusion details can offer you the best of both worlds.
Often found on: Found on virtually every type of bridal gown, this shape often accompanies a sheath, mermaid or trumpet silhouette.
Best suited for: Amazing for taller brides with good posture, this shape is perfect for athletic or statuesque figures and should be avoided by those with petite frames.
Knowing which wedding dress necklines will best suit your body type plays a big role when it comes to choosing a flawless look for your big day. If you’re looking for additional tips for choosing the perfect dress, check out our guide on how to find the perfect wedding dress for your body type.