Have you always dreamt of wearing a ball gown wedding dress to walk down the aisle?
We’ve got all of the insight, answers, and top picks to help your dreams come true.
Ball gowns are the dresses of fairytale weddings. When most little girls plan their future nuptials, they envision themselves in a dress worthy of royalty with a fitted bodice and the most voluminous skirt you’ve ever seen. And for many brides, a ball gown turns out to be their dream dress.
These gorgeous gowns have remained a favorite thanks to their classic shape and ease of customization. If you want to feel like an absolute princess on your wedding day – nay, a queen – then you deserve a stunning ball gown!
What is a Ball Gown Wedding Dress?
Ball gown and princess dress are relatively interchangeable terms. They both describe the same silhouette: a fitted bodice and a voluptuous, full skirt. While the form of the dress is pretty standard, these gowns can be easily customized to suit your style and personality.
The bodice of the dress can be sheer, beaded, or satiny smooth. Opt for a classic sweetheart neckline or maybe an alluring deep-V.
The skirt, the most recognizable part of a ball gown wedding dress, can consist of tulle, lace, taffeta, or other fabrics. Brides may choose to leave the layers of fabric full and billowing, or they may want to add ruffles, embellishments, or lacework. As you can see, the options are endless!
Brides and designers alike love ball gowns because the silhouette flatters most body shapes. A boned bodice provides ample support, elongates the torso, and cinches the waist. Paired with the ample skirt that lays softly over the hips and legs, this dress style is incredibly becoming.
However, a word of caution – too much skirt can quickly overwhelm petite brides. Thankfully, with a few tucks and trims, a tailor may be able to tone down the volume and make a ballgown style work for you.
Ball gown dresses work for boho brides and modern chic, modest brides, and sultry ones too! Don’t believe us? Check out the stunning collection we have put together of our favorite ball gown wedding dresses.
Our Favorite Ball Gown Wedding Dresses
1. Satin Jacquard Ball Gown
The flowing skirt of this alluring ball gown gives it a modern and chic edge. It can be left as is or boosted in volume with a hoop slip. The delicate straps and plunging neckline definitely give me 90’s vibes ala Cindy Crawford’s 1998 beach wedding. But this dress is brought into the contemporary with an eye-catching tonal floral pattern that covers the entire dress.
Little construction, a natural waist, and a loose skirt make this the ideal ball gown for a boho bride.
2. Long Sleeve Beaded Lace Ball Gown
This wedding dress is quite grand, but it would look perfectly at home in an opulent cathedral or a magical forest venue. The beading and applique details are so intricate that you can’t help but stare in amazement. They cover the barely-there long sleeves, the sheer high neck, the flowing skirt, and the chapel train.
Though this princess dress may boast yards of tulle and over 5000 beads and sequins, it isn’t too proud for pockets (a must-have in any dress nowadays!).
3. Strapless Organza Ball Gown
Organza is such a great fabric to use in a ball gown design, and this dress proves it. Layer upon layer of ruffles makes the skirt positively voluptuous. The chapel train helps add to the drama without making the dress impractical to wear. A gorgeously fitted bodice, complete with a strapless sweetheart neckline is the perfect complement to the striking lower half of the dress.
4. Laraline Ball Gown
An ethereal ball gown? Dreams do come true!
Floating folds of soft tulle hang beautifully from your natural waistline. Super soft pleats give the skirt a cloud-like appearance, while the top boasts a severe plunging neckline. The deep-v of the strapless sweetheart bodice is layered in more tulle that closely hugs your form, giving you a gorgeous shape. A shimmering silk ribbon accentuates your waist and forms an angelic bow in the back.
5. V-Neck Ball Gown
This stunning V-Neck ball gown perfectly pairs a bold outline and dainty details. A lace appliqued bodice features a daringly deep cut, ending just above the navel. The pretty floral design stretches upward to give the illusion of straps and dots the skirt below. However, covering the alluring top is a tulle mesh that adds just a hint of modesty. It also helps form the illusion back, the chapel train, and the free-flowing skirt.
6. Square Neckline Ball Gown
This dress is all elegance – I swear I have seen it on true royalty before! Crisp taffeta gives it a smooth and chic appearance, from the form-fitting bodice to the effortlessly draped skirt. Just the right amount of fullness keeps this gown graceful, as does the modern square neckline.
Things aren’t quite as prim and proper as they seem though. Just take a peek at the flirty side cutouts and the discreet pockets! Excellent additions for a modern bride.
7. Floral Appliqué Ball Gown
Whimsical and enchanting, this garden gown has me dreaming of a softly lit outdoor venue. Gently folded silk drapes softly around your body, delicately hugging your torso and flowing out from your natural waist. The creamy ivory is perfectly complemented by gold and cream floral embroidery.
The best part? A flowery applique helps to give the illusion of an hourglass figure and a sweetheart neckline without requiring uncomfortable boning or a constricting corset.
8. Vintage Style Ball Gown
by Etsy: ieie
Two-piece gowns are rising in popularity, but can admittedly be a daring choice for some.
This stunning two-piece ball gown makes the decision simple! It is so beautiful and doesn’t even look like a separate top and bottom. The collared blouse with feminine capped sleeves and pretty buttons tucks seamlessly into the full skirt. The lace hemline of the skirt is sweet and delicate, barely brushing the gown. The two pieces are joined by a wide ribbon that completes the look with a large crisp bow in the back.
9. Bohemian Off the Shoulder Ball Gown
Make a statement with this strapless ball gown that is the epitome of bohemian style. The plunging sweetheart neckline leaves nothing to the imagination, sumptuously hugging every curve. Floral lace graces the body and skirt, which carries a champagne underlay.
With all the billowing, you’ll be cool and comfortable while looking hot, hot, hot!
10. Princess Chapel Train Tulle Organza Ball Gown
A chapel train that will be the envy of all other brides! We are not talking about Lady Diana Spencer’s gown lengths here, but this train still will make an impression.
Tulle, length, and organza combine to create ruffles, pleats, and voluminous folds. The voluminous skirt is covered with shimmering beaded lace appliques in a floral design. Delicate straps, a soft-v neckline, and a low back complete this fairy princess ensemble.
11. Ruffle Gown
Ruffles upon ruffles upon ruffles. This ball gown is quite unique and makes me want to try it on immediately just to see the movement as I walk.
It takes its cue from 1930’s Hollywood glamour with a demure neckline, fun sleeves, and a geometric pattern formed solely by ruffles. With frothy tulle, diamond details, and trim, this dress will definitely make a statement at your wedding.
12. Textured Organza Wedding Gown
Simple and sweet without skimping on the volume, this dress would be at home in a beach venue or a chapel. Layered organza forms the skirt with a sweetheart neckline on the lace bodice. The way the organza skirt flows is positively dreamy.
13. Cap Sleeve Lace Ball Gown
I personally believe you can’t go wrong with capped sleeves – they’re the ideal solution if you’re on the fence about a strapless bodice. These feminine sleeves are embellished with a combination of beading and lace that covers the entire bodice. The grand appearance of the top is toned down with the soft tulle skirt that still carries some of the impressive appliques displayed on top.
14. Bateau Neckline
by Etsy: ieie
With grace and femininity in the front and jaw-dropping design in the back, I’m swooning for this stunning lace ball gown. A full skirt includes a delicate lace trim, a removable satin sash, and yards of flowy tulle. A boned sweetheart bodice peeks out from behind a dainty lace illusion boat neckline. The front is all grace while the back features a swooping scalloped V that ends at your low back with a petite satin bow.
15. V-Neck Crepe Ballgown
by Nordstrom: Mac Duggal
A classic form and beautifully draped crepe make this understated dress elegant and chic. There isn’t any reason to go overboard with embellishments when you have a dress as beautiful as this. Spaghetti straps, a gorgeously fitted bodice, and a sweeping skirt are all you need.
Add in a chic tonal ribbon to highlight your natural waist and voila! A refined and graceful dress fit for a princess.
16. Floral Lace Ball Gown
This striking gown radiates sophistication, from the high neck to the exquisite floral appliques. The lace bodice complete with vertical pleats and floral lace helps to slim your torso and elongate your form. At your waist, the floating tulle billows out to form a full skirt, dotted with pretty petals. The high back with the hidden seam is equally as demure for an all-around romantic yet modest look.
Ball Gown Wedding Dress FAQs
As we mentioned, it is easy for petite or short bride’s silhouettes to be overwhelmed by a ball gown. But these dresses are still an option. Reduce the fullness of the skirt by removing some fabric layers, add a belt to highlight the waistline, or choose a bodice that has a high waistline in the front and dips low in the back. These adjustments will help elongate the torso.
Some ball gowns come with hoop slips under their fabric layers that hold the skirt away from your legs and feet. This makes it easier to walk, but not to sit down!. If your dress doesn’t have a hoop, a common model trick is to gently kick the front of the dress before each step.
Most ball gowns have a fitted bodice with boning, so they won’t require much shapewear. When it comes to the skirt, a hoop slip can make all the difference. It adds volume and shape as well as making it easier to move.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you have a fancy pair of pumps), your shoes won’t be very noticeable under the voluptuous skirt of a ball gown. You can still wear your favorite stilettoes or opt for a comfy pair of shoes sans guilt since they won’t be on display.
Waltz Into Wedded Bliss with a Ball Gown
A voluminous ball gown is the dress little girls daydream of when planning their future nuptials.
Even though your fashion tastes may change, a ball gown can still be the wedding dress you always envisioned. Easily tailored, they can have voluptuous skirts with many layers or full skirts with long trains and delicate appliques. Atop each, you will find a form-fitting bodice that highlights all your best assets thanks to a variety of customizable designs and features.
We hope this list proves that there’s a ball gown out there for you, waiting for you to take it for a spin during your first dance as a married couple!
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Megan’s wedding experience began over a decade ago when planning her dream ceremony. Since then, three kids have been added to the mix. Megan wholeheartedly embraces all things baby, childhood, and family. When she isn’t writing or chasing little ones you can find her running, hiking, or reading.