When it comes to picking a wedding dress, you want one that’s beautiful, but also one that you’re comfortable in. Some brides may wish to go a more modest route. There could be various reasons for this, including a wedding in a temple or conservative church, or it could just be a preference and how you want your body shown.
What Makes a Dress Modest?
There are certain wedding dress characteristics that go into what we think of as a modest wedding dress. The options below can help make your dress more modest. You don’t need to use all of them in the design of your dress, but you could use one or a combination of them.
Long sleeves can help make your dress a bit more modest. If you are getting married in a cooler month or location, this is an easy way to add more coverage to your skin. You could consider full-length sleeves or even just half sleeves to achieve this look. The sleeves don’t need to be solid either, but instead, you could use illusion sleeves or lace to get this effect.
Illusion necklines are another great way to add some additional coverage to your collarbone and chest while still keeping some style. When looking for dresses that have this, you’ll be looking for a high illusion bateau neckline. These necklines draw the eye to your neck and rest just below the collarbone. It provides the coverage that you want in a modest wedding dress, but is super pretty with fancy embroidery.
If you’re not into the idea of an illusion neckline, you could spring for the fuller coverage of a truly high neckline. Many times these dresses will have necklines that go up all the way around your neck, but ditch sleeves altogether. This style assures full coverage in front, but you can still show off your shoulders.
When you’re looking for a dress, consider the kind of silhouette that you want, and you can expand on ideas from there. Generally speaking, you can pick a sheath silhouette or an A-line. Something to consider is combining certain elements with these silhouettes to maintain a more modest look. A sheath silhouette may be just right for gowns that have sleeves and a high neckline. If you want more of a ball gown look, you may consider a sweetheart neckline instead. Balancing out the elements will help you get the look that you’re after.
Our Favorite Modest Wedding Dresses
Available in diamond white, cream, and champagne, this modest dress has full cleavage coverage along with a full skirt. This sweetheart neckline dress has adjustable cap sleeves that leave your arms and part of your back really the only things exposed. The biggest bonus about this matte satin gown is the hidden pockets!
2. Sanders Dress
This almond-colored dress is covered in fancy beading that really makes it flattering. It gives the illusion of some see-through spots, but you’re fully covered. Even your back is completely covered in this beautiful fabric on this floor-length wedding gown.
Complete with lace at sleeves, this modest bridal gown will have you fully covered in gorgeousness. The beaded lace bodice trails down to a full a-line organza skirt all the way to the ground. If the long lace sleeves are not for you, the sleeves are customizable, and you can choose from ivory or parchment colors.
4. Oleg Cassini Short Sleeve Gown
This extravagant ball gown wedding dress will have you feeling like royalty on your special day. With a full ball gown skirt, this is the perfect dress for modern brides. It has a short-sleeved bodice which completes the look. It comes in solid ivory or an ivory and champagne combo.
If you’re more into a wedding dress with a bit less poof, check out this a-line chiffon gown with a straighter skirt and sweep train to up the elegance. The v-neckline has you fully covered and looks gorgeous. This pleating straps around to the illusion lace back. The Chantilly accents make this one an amazing choice
6. Chic Crepe Bridal Gown
This simple mermaid gown shows off your curves while revealing hardly any skin. It is purely elegant and romantic to give you clean lines and just the right amount of coverage. The beaded lace short sleeves, along with the embellished waist and back buttons add gorgeous detail and interest to an otherwise smooth dress.
7. Hand Beaded Gown
For a look that is truly unique, check out this hand-beaded gown that is sure to turn heads with its detail. The A-line neckline keeps this one modest, but no one will be noticing that with all of the amazing detail that goes into this dress. The train adds to its appeal along with the defined waist that will leave you feeling beautiful on your wedding day.
This elegant and modest gown pays a great homage to nature with its leafy beaded lace pattern that covers it. Your entire chest and collarbone will be covered here, so there’s nothing to worry about with coverage in that area. It has a scooped neckline that sits high. This decision not only adds to its beautiful look, but keeps it modest. It is an A-line gown with a really interesting skirt in the sheer tulle godets that adorn the bottom.
This gorgeous mermaid gown is adorned with fancy lace. The illusion back and skirt gives the whole thing an interesting look throughout. The chapel train skirt has extra length to make it easy to alter to create the perfect fit for your special day. The v-neckline shows a modest amount of skin to create a beautiful look.
10. Embroidered Illusion Mock Neck Wedding Dress
This full-coverage bridal gown is flowy and fun while being modest. The chiffon and lace dress with short sleeves is fully lined with a high illusion neck and gives a beautiful A-line silhouette. This dress looks super comfortable and stylish at the same time.
This gown is a similar style in that it is full-coverage, but this one features long vintage bishop sleeves to create a unique look. To make it extra comfy, it is lined with Brisa stretch jersey fabric. This gown offers smooth lines with no embellishment needed to create a classic look.
12. Lace Sleeve Modest Bridal Collection
This sheath silhouette bridal dress features gorgeous lace and applique embellishments to create more interest in the look. The long train with fabric-covered buttons trailing all down the back makes for beautiful details and adds to the dress. It features a modest V-neck and lace long sleeves.
13. Tadashi Shoji Maven Gown
The majority of this gown is modest, but it is important to note that there is a plunging back that does border on daring. It is a great minimalist dress with smooth lines and no embellishments. The long sleeves and fitted silhouette make for a sleek look if you’re comfortable with the low back.
14. Ivory Tulle and Lace Maxi Dress
by Etsy: BLUSHFASHION
This maxi dress may be just right for the modern modest bride. Covered in tulle and lace, there is a V-neckline and full skirt that makes for a classic look. This ivory gown is lined with stretch fabric to make for a more comfortable fit.
The best features of this beautiful dress are the pockets and the three-quarter length sleeves. There can never be enough dresses with pockets! With a crepe bodice and boat neckline, this gown makes for a great choice and is super customizable. You can even change the sleeve length, lining, and design.
16. Square Neckline Dress
by Etsy: BLUSHFASHION
The fact that this dress is a bestseller really tells you something about both its modesty and high quality. The square neckline gives a unique and elegant look. The lace and embellishments add up its beauty. This dress is delicate, soft, and a beautiful choice for your wedding day.
With a scallop V-neckline, this bridal dress is a gorgeous option. This A-line gown fits in all the right places to make for a beautiful silhouette that flows down into a chapel train skirt. The illusion back and fabric-covered buttons make for a modest and beautiful look. The embroidered flowers make for a wonderful detail as well.
18. Modest A-Line Gown
This A-line gown features illusion long sleeves covered in enchanting lace. There is a scalloped sweetheart neckline that creates a beautiful and modest look. Sequin lace appliques adorn the tulle bodice, hem, and chapel train to create some extra sparkle. This dress is full-coverage and offers a gorgeous romantic look in its design. You’ll truly feel like you’re getting married in a fairy tale.
19. Beaded Tulle Cap Sleeve Dress
For a more antique look, check out this champagne-colored A-line wedding gown. It features capped sleeves and an illusion neckline for a more modest look. The asymmetrical skirt and lack of train add to the uniqueness of this gorgeous wedding gown.
If you’re looking for a simple, but elegant choice, take a look at this chiffon A-line gown that will make you feel like you’re floating on clouds. The V-neckline and capped sleeves keep it modest, while the bedazzled belt offers a great way to separate the bodice from the skirt. The gathered chapel train skirt will turn people’s heads as you walk by.
21. Long Sleeve Wedding Dress
For another full-coverage bridal gown with real sleeves, check out this option. Made of stretch jersey, it is sure to hug your curves while keeping you comfortable. There are a few simple adornments to add some interest to the dress. These include covered back buttons, a chapel train, and lace paneling with flowers on both the neckline and the sleeves.
If you are looking for a vintage vibe to your wedding gown, look no further than this stunning maxi dress with beading adorning all over. The scalloped details and sheer sleeves give this gown a romantic quality that is great for a bride.
23. Modern A-Line High-Low Wedding Dress
by June Bridals
For a more modern and modest look, check out this A-line high-low wedding dress. The front hem is shorter than the back, which gives it an interesting look and makes the train seem even more impressive. The long sleeves and satin make this a comfortable and soft choice.
24. Long Sleeve Beaded Maxi Dress
If you love the mermaid dress look, check out this beautiful mermaid-style maxi dress with long sleeves. The v-neckline does dip a little bit lower in the front, but the rest is covered. The sheer sleeves along with the tasteful back cutout, give this one a gorgeous look. The beads and sequins will make you feel like a real princess when you walk down the aisle in this wedding gown.
This wedding dress is ideal if you are more into a floral motif. The silhouette here hugs your curves in all the right places to define your shape, but still keeps things tactful with the full coverage. The lace bell sleeves give this one something extra. Plus, the dress is lined with Jenday stretch jersey fabric to keep you comfortable throughout the ceremony, pictures, and reception.
26. Court Train Ball Gown Dress
by JJ’s House
You will feel like royalty in this princess V-neck ball gown. The romance level is high on this one with the floral lace appliques, shiny pleated waistband, and fancy ball-gown skirt. It will dazzle your huband-to-be and all your guests as you walk down the aisle with the court train trailing in your wake. The dress comes in ivory, white, and champagne, to give you just the look you’re seeking.
27. Beaded Trumpet Dress with 3/4 Sleeves
If you adore the look of ¾ sleeves, look no further than this beaded trumpet wedding dress. Available in ivory, this dress has a beaded scoop neckline that will keep you fully covered if you are seeking something modest. It is artfully decorated with a side-split skirt where a layer of tulle peeks through to add some great interest to the skirt itself. The back is also fully covered and leads down to an incredible chapel train.
28. 3D Lace Applique Gown
This fully covered bridal gown brings elegance and beauty with the 3D lace that adorns the bodice and trails down the skirt in vines. The sheer sleeves feature the vines as well and really tie the whole thing together. If you dig a long train, this one is semi-cathedral and will trail behind you beautifully as you walk down the aisle.
29. House of Wu Wrap Gown
For something with a closer silhouette, check out this option that features a wrap-around look at the waist and a slim fitting skirt. While it does cling to your curves, this dress still fully covers you and offers additional beauty in the beading and chapel train.
If you are comfortable with just a hint of cleavage, this may be the dress for you. The V-neck does offer a small amount, but still keeps things tasteful by not dropping too low. It is also maternity-friendly if you are planning your wedding and pregnant. It will keep you comfortable and offer some space in the dress that you need during this time. If you want a dress that doesn’t hug your waist too tightly, this is a beautiful A-line gown with an empire waist seam. The chapel length train and bodice are decorated with appliqued lace.
This Bayou bridal gown has a trumpet silhouette to give you a unique look for your wedding day. There is lace all over the dress that culminates into the tulle skirt on the bottom. The flutter sleeves are a unique addition, and the gown has full coverage in the front, and the lace-up look back. The dress comes in parchment or ivory colors along with options for changing the sleeve length, lining, and design if you so choose.
If you like the high-neck look, this gown may be perfect for you. You are fully covered in the front with tasteful lace that covers even higher. The skirt is floor-length and offers a cool pleated look for something completely different. If you are looking for a truly unique look for your bridal gown that is still modest, this one is a great choice.
Modest Wedding Gowns are Still Gorgeous
Modest wedding dresses don’t have to be boring, depending on the style, you can really spice them up with design instead of skin. Conservative dresses can still be stylish, breathtaking, and beautiful. There are so many creative ways to change the look to make them into what you want without sacrificing coverage.
Combining certain elements will make your dress really stand out and give you the look that you’re going for during your special day. The ideas above are sure to get you started toward finding your modest wedding gown.
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Kristen Winiarski lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. She loves to play with her kids, read, and watch classic movies. Kristen specializes in writing about parenthood, products, history, entertainment, and self-care. You can often find her writing on her phone or battling her kids' hangry moods with bacon and Cookie Monster impressions. Being a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom can get pretty crazy, but coffee sure helps. At least she gets to wear unicorn leggings whenever she wants!