Wedding Dress 101: MMW Guide to Gowns

When the excitement of calling your man your *fiancé* starts to feel natural, or when you finally get used to the twinkling new accessory that sits perfectly on your ring finger, the planning process is about to begin!

These days, wedding gowns come in so many styles, shapes & materials that it’s both amazing – because it’s possible for everyone to find their perfect gown…and a little overwhelming. Believe it or not: taffeta, serpentine & cowl-neck are terms to describe your wedding gown features {not the names of ancient reptiles!} With the MMW glossary, you can go into your next fitting with a few terms up your petal sleeve!


I believe every bride should determine which silhouette they’re obsessed with, before focusing in on minor dress details. You can pick the one that flatters your body type or choose what you’ve always envisioned yourself walking down the aisle in.


A-lines are perfect for hourglass, petite, or full-figured brides. The romantic shape highlights the waist and flares out to a flowy bottom. It’s a traditional shape, but sleeve/neck details & added sparkle allow for a unique take on the gown.

complete the look with: an elbow length veil & diamond stud earrings

Ball Gown

Ah, the princess gown! The ball gown is probably the most timeless silhouette of them all. The bodice is fitted with a cinched waist and a stunning layered bottom. The shape looks best on pear shaped or tall & thin brides that want to float through their wedding day!

complete the look with: a cathedral length veil & a bold lip


Mermaids are by far the most luxurious, glam looking gowns of them all. They’re sexy and stunning with a fitted bodice that flares just below the hips. While the mermaid gown flatters curves and looks fab on an hour-glass shaped bride, it also creates the illusion of curves – so tall & thin brides can rock it as well!

complete the look with: a chapel veil & drop earrings


Sheath gowns are my favorite – does it get any more effortless than this? No illusions here! The sheath silhouette falls upon the natural shape of your body. Petite brides, this shape is the best option as you won’t be fussing with fabric to move about in your gown. Two-piece gowns, short sleeves and beading always look amazing on this style.

complete the look with: a lace veil & cascading bouquet


For the fun bride, beach beauty or anyone looking for a standout silhouette – Short, or cocktail length, is an easy option that will still steal the spotlight. Pear shapes and petite frames can rejoice in kicking their heels up all night without worrying about their hemline!

complete the look with: a birdcage veil & killer heels


Long Sleeve, 3/4 Sleeve, One Shoulder, Cap Sleeve, Tank/Spaghetti Strap


  • Chiffon: lightweight & easy to move – but equally easy to snag
  • Satin: SO timeless, always looks clean & crisp – shows the slightest underwear line
  • Organza: makes for fabulously full skirts, wrinkles easily
  • Lace: not everyone’s favorite, but the varieties are endless!
  • Taffeta: chic & slimming but hard to maintain/clean


Sweetheart, V-neck, Halter, Illusion, Boat Neck, High Neck,

Off-the-shoulder, straight across

meg's modern weddings FLOWER

Go into your appointment with some inspiration, but keep an open mind. Saying “yes” to the dress will come naturally – that perfect {tear inducing} dress is just waiting for you to try it on.

{IMAGES: Silhouettes: Kleinfelds, Sleeves: BHLDN, Fabrics: Fabric Factory, Necklines: SMP VAULT}

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