Wedding Gown Glossary

Photo credit: latteda
Wedding gowns have a language all their own. To help you “talk the talk” when you’re visiting bridal salons, here is a glossary of several of the most common terms.

GOWN SILHOUETTES

A-Line
A dress fitted at the bodice and gradually flares from the waist to the hem

Asymmetrical
An uneven hemline, often high in the front and low in the back, to create interest

Ball Gown

Photo credit: Joe Long Photography
A classic shape with a fitted bodice and full skirt

Empire
A high waistline that sits directly below the bust

Mermaid
A dress that is fitted at the top, long waisted and flairs below the knee. Also referred to as Trumpet or Fishtail

Sheath
This gown is form fitting and contours to your natural silhouette

VEILS

Blusher veil

photo by Alexa Marie Photography
A 2 tier veil with one layer shorter than the other which is traditionally brought forward to cover the bride’s face

Bubble Veil
A short, 2-layered veil made from one piece of fabric which poufs out to create volume

Mantilla
Typically a circular piece of lace or fabric and can be embellished with lace applique or pearls

WAISTLINES

Basque

Photo credit: sainii
The dress has a fitted bodice and drops at the waist, dipping in the center

Natural Waist
Falls at the natural waistline

Princess Waist
Slimming silhouette with vertical seams from the shoulder or under the arm, over the bust, and down to the hem.

TRAINS

Brush or Sweep Train
The shortest train barely brushing the floor

Puddle Train
Similar to the Brush/Sweep train but has more fabric at the sides

Chapel Train
More common train extending 75″ from the waist

Cathedral Train
Formal train extending 102″ from the waist

Grand Cathedral Train
Formal train extending 120″ from the waist

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