Wedding Dress Style Guide

There are so many technical terms to describe the style of a dress – it can become very confusing! UKbride has created a style guide for you to see what kind of style of dress you like and therefore what kind of style filter you know to set when searching for your dream wedding dress on UKbride…

First of all, dress are categorised by the ‘style’ which has a lot to do with how the skirt looks. They are then categorised by ‘neckline.’ Let’s first of all, take a look at the top ten typical styles you will see wedding dresses categorised as.


This style is probably the most common wedding dress style there is. The skirt goes outwards from the waist  in the shape of an A. The example here is from the designer Morilee.

Morilee A-Line Dress
An A-Line dress goes out from the waist. This dress is from Morilee.


On UKbride, we label a Princess dress as somewhere between an A-Line and a Column, usually with a long train. It’s a style you’re sure to feel like royalty in! Below is the perfect example from designer Eddy K.

Eddy K Princess Dress
The perfect Princess dress! A long train and a thin A-Line.


This is quite self-explanatory. Think of Hermione Grange in the Goblet of Fire! A big skirt full of ruffles and frills is classed as a Ruffled dress.

Ruffled dress from Justin Alexander
Justin Alexander’s Ruffled dress example.


The Column dress fits closer to the body than all of the above examples. Funnily enough, the skirt goes straight down like a column. It has an almost Grecian appeal to it; Helen of Troy comes to mind!

Eddy K's Column dress
Almost Grecian, Eddy K has the perfect Column example here.


Empire is a classic style that is somewhere in between a Column dress and an A-Line dress. It’s what most people would refer to as being a fitted dress.

Essense of Australia Empire dress
The perfect Empire dress from Essense of Australia.

Two Piece

This is a trend that seems to have leaked into the wedding dress fashion world from the high street fashion world. It’s perfect for a more informal affair, with a top that is separate to the skirt.

Stephanie Allin Two Piece
This beautiful two piece is from Stephanie Allin.


The fishtail dress is a style you may be familiar with. The bottom of the skirt fans out like a fishtail. It juts quite sharply out below the knee.

Stella York Fishtail
The perfect fishtail dress from the designer Stella York.

Trumpet or Mermaid

Similar to the Fishtail look, the Mermaid or Trumpet style fans out at the bottom but a lot more gradually. It can fan out from anywhere below the waistline to be classed as this style. We love this example from Eddy K.

Eddy K Mermaid style
Eddy K Collections Mermaid style dress

Ball Gown

Think Cinderella! A Ball Gown wedding dress is like an A-Line but a lot bigger. It looks like an umbrella, going out from the waist in a huge skirt. It can be anywhere from the most ridiculously big skirts to a classier one like this example from Martina Liana.

Martina Liana Ball Gown
The Ball Gown is a typical traditional style epitomising fairy tales. This example is Martina Liana.


Finally, there’s the Trouser leg style. This is a beautiful style for a more informal, relaxed wedding, and very popular for same sex couples. We love this example from the designer Lillian West.

Lillian West Trouser Style
Lillian West’s Trouser leg look for the wedding day.


Now you have an idea in mind of your favourite wedding dress style, head back to the UKbride dresses page, filter your selection to see dresses only in the styles you prefer and get quotes for your favourites! 

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