Getting married is the happiest moment of your life, so why does planning for it feel so stressful? Picking the right dress can feel like a nightmare. From all the styles and types you can choose from, the list of wedding dress necklines is extra important.

They frame your upper body, including chest, collarbones, shoulders, neck, and face. Pick the wrong one, and your dress will look drab. Discover the right one, and your whole look will radiate that wedding day glow.

The first step is to look at some of the available neckline styles and what they do to help their brides shine. Some necklines prioritize certain areas over others and don’t work for all brides. It’s important to be realistic but also go with what makes you feel confident.

For a deep guide on wedding dress necklines and how to pick a good one, read on.

The Sweetheart Neckline

When going wedding dress shopping it can be difficult to find one that’s right for you. The sweetheart and semi-sweetheart neckline is a good place to start. It’s a good in-between for those looking for something modern yet classic.

It’s also great for those looking to give their bust a subtle accent without being too revealing. The semi-sweetheart, with a higher cut, is great for those with larger busts who still want a touch of class. Not only does it give better support and lift, but it also provides a more sophisticated style.

V-Neck Neckline

Knowing how to choose a wedding dress neckline requires knowing your body. The V-Neck is a great semi-traditional neckline where this is crucial. It helps to elongate your torso to give you a more elegant look.

While only you can know which dress you’ll love, this one is often preferred by brides who want more length. Sleeves and straps can sport any kind of decoration you like. However, the focus remains on baring the collar and neck.

This gives you a more elongated and slimmer silhouette. If you prefer a more conservative look or don’t want to show off your neck or collar bones as assets, then this neckline might not be your first choice. Though there’s still no harm in trying it out, who knows, you might change your mind.

Illusion Neckline

The illusion neckline is taunting, enchanting, and mesmerizing without going overboard. It uses semi-see-through fabric, with lace and tulle being most common. It allows for more open and plunging necklines while still delivering support.

The sheerer the fabric over the plunge, the more creative you can get with decorations and design. It’s modern, sexy, and only a smidge provocative, allowing it to remain tasteful. In fact, many up and coming designers pride themselves on creating the right definition for this neckline.

It’s also no doubt a favorite of most brides looking for a middle ground. If you can’t decide whether to bare your neck or cover it up, then give this a go. For great examples, these wedding dresses are worth checking out.

Straight Neckline

Despite its reserved appearance, the straight neckline is actually modern, not vintage. It prioritizes a clean line across the top of the bust. Often it shows only the tiniest glimpse of where the cleavage would start.

It’s ideal for those who want their collarbones and bust to shine, but don’t like sweet or semi-sweethearts. They’re also a great alternative for those looking for chic and contemporary. It’s also right up your alley if you’d prefer a vibe that’s formal yet unpretentious.

Although sleeves are optional, shoulders bare is the most common. After all, the straight neckline is all about highlighting the upper torso. If more flair or a more intricate shape is important to you, then this won’t be the one for you.

Plunging Neckline

This neckline is a favorite among women who embrace, and are proud of their modest busts sizes. This is because they can often go as low as they wish without losing the elegance factor. It also lends them a sense of flirty sultriness.

That said, plunging necklines aren’t limited to women who aren’t that busty. With the right fit and tailoring, it can still be flattering and tasteful without revealing too much. What’s also great about this neckline is it can be quite versatile.

You’ll often see it in boho-themed dresses, more feminine ones, or even chic and modern options.

Boatneck Neckline

Any list of classic wedding dress necklines wouldn’t be complete without this one. It went out of style for a little bit, but thanks to Meghan Markle, it’s been coming back with a vengeance. This neckline is wide and high, resting a little under the collarbones as it sweeps across.

It’s simple, clean, and offers plenty of room for sleeves to spice up the look. Those who like how reserved it is in relation to the bust can accentuate the area however they like. It’s important to note that while elegant, it doesn’t fit into most definitions of “sexy”.

It does work with a variety of body and dress types, which makes it very versatile. You can also fit it into your silhouette to let your assets shine without revealing much skin.

High Neckline

When it comes to wedding dress necklines, the high neckline is world-famous. If pulled off right it can be incredible, or it can fall flat. This neckline often goes all the way to the base of the neck, with finer details following suit.

It’s common to see it with full-length sleeves, with at least partial shoulder coverage. The great thing about this neckline is it’s customizable. How buttoned-up you go is up to you.

Sheer fabric elements can spice things up while keeping the high shape. This lets you accentuate your bust in more subtle or obvious ways while adding a touch of elegance. It puts a lot of focus on the neck and face, as well as the shape of your shoulder silhouette, which can be a factor for some.

One-Shoulder Neckline

Quite often seen in Indian weddings, this neckline is breaking into the mainstream. The one-sided strap look might look unusual or asymmetrical to some, but has its pros. It draws the eye upwards towards the strapped shoulder, accentuating the neck and face.

On one side the covered shoulder can play host to any elaborate decoration, broach, or pin you like. On the other side, your bare shoulder and collar will stand out gracefully. Like many other necklines on this list, arm and shoulder exposure can be a concern for some brides.

Those attracted to the look, and who can pull it off, will find a new level of elegance in this one-sided neckline.

Halter Neckline

Choosing a wedding dress can sometimes feel like a stifling affair. You might not like the traditional, but are a little scared about going for something too sexy. The halter neckline might be the solution for you.

Like everyday halter tops, this neckline lets you go backless while offering support. Your shoulders and arms will join the party too. This can make some brides hesitant about going for this look.

Those who are self-conscious about their upper body or back can steer clear. It’s also possible to customize how much skin this neckline type will reveal. It can go from pretty reserved with little chest exposure, to downright sexy.

You can even get creative with lace or see-through latticework in all the right places.


This one is popular for all the right reasons. Like others on this list, it accentuates the collar and shoulders. It comes in several styles and modesty types, but a medium bust cover is most typical.

The key to a good off-the-should is simplicity and grace. It will draw the eye towards the arms and shoulders, and highlight your face as well. Those self-conscious about their shoulders or arms will usually pick something else.

That said the elegance of a good off-the-shoulder for the right bride is something to behold.

Jewel Neckline

The jewel neckline is aptly named because it helps the bride shine. The neckline for this one is pretty high, sitting above the collar, but not as much as the high neckline. The part that covers the cleavage is usually beaded or done with intricate lacework.

This is where it gets its name, as the design of the neckline imitates a jeweled necklace. It also accentuates a small to modest bust while staying sophisticated. The jewel neckline is a good fit for most brides with small shoulders who want to highlight their upper body.

The Guide to Wedding Dress Necklines

There are so many different types of wedding dress necklines that it makes you dizzy. Knowing the difference between them and which one will suit you is something only you can know. That said, considering what you want and don’t want to expose is a good first step.

Many wedding dress necklines prioritize showing off arms, shoulders, collarbones, necks, and bust. Some are subtle about it, and others more obvious, so it’s important to be confident in your choice. For more articles and tips on finding the right wedding dress style for you, our site has plenty to offer you.