bride wearing off-the-shoulder lace wedding dress holds pink rose bouquet

Before you shop for your dream gown, it's helpful to brush up on the most popular wedding dress necklines — strapless, sweetheart, illusion, and so on — to find the one that will best flatter your body type, complement your personal style, and ultimately make you feel incredible on the big day. But unless you're already an expert on bridal fashion terminology, keeping track of all the different wedding dress necklines might be easier said than done. That's where this handy guide comes in! While we definitely recommend trying on a variety of necklines during your bridal appointment, this go-to guide, which features gowns from Allure Bridals, will help you narrow down some of your initial wedding dress neckline faves.

Learn more about the most popular wedding dress necklines right here. 

blonde bride wears beaded wedding dress with straps and v-neckline

V-neck

This neckline dips into a "V" shape in the front and is usually paired with long sleeves or straps, as seen on this lace sheath gown (Style 9624). V-necklines are often a slimming option for many body types.

brunette bride wears lace wedding dress with long sheer sleeves and high neckline

High

This wedding dress neckline is similar in appearance to a turtleneck. A high neckline is a great option for brides who want to maintain a bit of modesty, but illusion netting and sheer details — as seen on this vintage-inspired wedding dress (Style 9567) —  allow you to show some skin, too. 

bride wearing lace wedding dress with elbow-length sleeves poses in front of pink backdrop

Bateau

Also known as a boatneck, the bateau neckline features a wider opening and skims the tops of your shoulders, allowing your décolletage to shine. It pairs beautifully with sleeves, as seen on this lacy number (Style 3209). This neckline is also a royal favorite — the Duchess of Sussex opted for an elegant bateau neckline for her walk down the aisle. 

brunette bride wearing lace fit-and-flare wedding dress with off-the-shoulder straps and sheer neckline

Illusion

A neckline that features sheer fabric or lace along the top part of the bodice. It gives the illusion of a strapless dress (hence the name) but offers more coverage and support. We're loving this gorgeous off-shoulder illusion gown (Style 9474).

blonde bride poses in a garden wearing a lace one-shoulder wedding dress

One-shoulder

This fashion-forward, asymmetrical neckline features a single strap that drapes diagonally across the chest. Depending on the style, a one-shoulder gown can feel glamorous, modern, or totally romantic, like this floral appliqué option (Style MJ457).

bride poses in front of gray backdrop wearing tulle off-the-shoulder ball gown

Off-the-shoulder

This neckline shows off the collarbone with straps that rest at the top of your arms, just below the shoulders. It's an ultra-romantic style, especially when paired with a ball gown silhouette like this (Style C520). We love off-the-shoulder necklines with loose updos and statement earrings. 

bride wearing strapless fit-and-flare wedding dress with geometric lace pattern

Strapless

As the name implies, you won't find any straps here! A traditional strapless neckline goes straight across the chest, creating a clean, sophisticated look, as shown on this geometric embroidered wedding dress (Style MJ401). For a similar option, check out the sweetheart neckline.

blonde bride wears modern A-line wedding dress with lace illusion back and spaghetti straps

Spaghetti straps

A neckline featuring thin, barely-there straps. This option is excellent for brides who want to show off their arms or rock a wedding dress with a fabulous illusion back, like this architectural A-line gown (Style 9620). 

bride stands in front of white backdrop wearing scoop neck wedding dress with lace appliques and chiffon sleeves

Scoop

This wedding dress neckline is rounded in the front, creating a flattering, feminine effect. Draped chiffon sleeves, like the ones on this crepe gown (Style MJ408), add an ethereal, fairytale vibe. 

brunette bride wearing halter neck A-line dress with low illusion neckline

Halter

A halter neckline has straps that tie, snap, or hook at the back of the neck, making it a great pick for brides who want to expose their shoulders. Halter necklines are stunning with backless wedding dresses and plunging v-necklines, as proven by this dramatic A-line gown (Style 9617). 

bride wearing sleeveless lace wedding dress with illusion v-neckline

Jewel

This wedding dress neckline is rounded and typically sits higher on the collarbones. It's sometimes beaded to mimic a necklace (hence the name "jewel") but looks just as fabulous without sparkling embellishments. Just take a look at this chic jewel neckline featuring illusion lace (Style 9504). 

blonde bride wearing beaded wedding dress with sweetheart neckline

Sweetheart

A strapless neckline that dips in the front, creating an outline that resembles the top of a heart shape. Sweetheart necklines are ideal for giving the illusion of curves (or flaunting what you already have) and look incredibly romantic, especially when paired with lace appliqués and tulle à la this fit-and-flare dress (Style 9601).