Wedding Gown Details: Frequently Asked Questions

So many dresses, so many design details! When you start your online wedding gown search, there may be terms and descriptive words you’re not quite familiar with. But no worries, below we have answered some of your most frequently asked questions!

What is ruching?

“Ruching” is actually derived from the French word for ruffle. It is a sewing method used quite often in wedding gowns. Small pieces or strips of fabric are gathered in a redundant pattern to create petals, scallops or ruffles. It creates the illusion of a smaller waist or hip line in wedding dresses. It is super flattering on all body types. The Badgley Mischka, Cecilia gown is a perfect example of ruching in the bodice and hips.

What is a bustle?

If you have a long train, a bustle helps you transition from ceremony to reception. It is a sewn-in, ribbon or hooks that lift your train to the back of your dress, making it shorter so that you may move and dance with ease. There are different types of bustles (featured is the American bustle), learn about all of them right here!

What is a bateau neckline?

A bateau neckline is just another name for a boat neck. It is a higher neckline that stays close to the collarbone. It is a fantastic option for those brides who want to be a little more conservative but still feel sexy on their big day. We love the bateau neckline of this Mikaella dress!

What is an applique?

An applique is just as it sounds, a decorative application of something on top of the fabric of a wedding dress– including designs like fabric flowers, lace, tulle, and beading of all types. An applique can be simple or intricate. The gorgeous appliqued bodice of this Allure gown features metallic threading!

What is a tiered skirt?

A tiered wedding dress skirt is a series of layers or panels that fall in graduated lengths to the floor. The design brings a bit of drama with its lovely cascading look. The fabric can vary from gorgeous lace or this amazing tulle tiered skirt by Paloma Blanca.

What are balloon sleeves?

Balloon sleeves, also known as puffy sleeves or or bubble sleeves, are long, puffed sleeves that are gathered at or around the shoulder and then puffed out and gather back at the wrist. They are super whimsical and found in all types of dress silhouettes. Below, Galia Lahav has paired these sleeves with a beautiful ballgown style.

What is a modified silhouette?

You may have seen terms like “modified A-line” or “modified ball gown.” This simply means that the original silhouette has been altered to be a little different and understated. It still reflects the style, but in a more subtle way. For example, a modified ball gown may have a less full skirt, or a modified a-line may be a tad more form fitting than the norm.