Popular Wedding Gown Embellishments Explained

Wedding gown embellishments are like the icing on a cake. They decorate and celebrate the bride’s style and unique personality. There are loads of embellishments from which to choose, so it can be overwhelming to know what is what. Below are some of the most common and most popular embellishments… explained!


An applique is like it sounds, a decorative application of something on top of the fabric of a wedding dress– including designs like fabric flowers, lace, tulle, beading of all types. An applique can be simple or intricate and can be here and there or head to toe. Darcy is the perfect example of a 3-D floral applique.


Beading refers to the embellishments created by gluing or sewing crystals, bugle beads, gemstones or other accents onto the bodice, hem or all over the gown. You can have a little beading or loads of beading, depending on your taste. Brilliante features delicate pearl beading at its best.


Buttons are a traditional and elegant addition to any wedding dress. They are used to fasten the back of a gown, the cuffs or sleeves, but can also be purely decorative (like buttons down the entire back of a train). This style by Stella York shows a simple but functional covered button.


Bows are a popular gown embellishment for skirts, straps, bodices and waist sashes. Bows can be sewn directly onto the dress to permanently stay in place or tied manually using ribbons. They are also often detachable for two looks in one and can be found in the front (as shown), back, on the shoulders and more!


Embroidery is a wide term used to describe hand or machine-stitched decorative designs created on a gown, bodice, train, or veil. Patterns vary from straight lines to intricate designs and can be so many varieties of lace and patterns. The possibilities are truly endless! The Persephone gown features a scrolling dolomite embroidery.


Ribbon embellishments are usually made from a feminine and rich material like velvet or satin, which comes in many colors. The thin or thicker ribbon around the waist of a gown is especially popular in lieu of a belt.


If you have a long train, a bustle helps you transition from ceremony to reception. It is a sewn-in ribbon or hook that lifts your train to the back of your dress, making it shorter so that you may move and dance with ease. Lottie is an example of a simple ribbon bustle that goes around the wrist.