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Courtesy of Odylyne the Ceremony

There’s a reason almost every wedding dress can be called a romantic wedding dress. Think back to when you were little, and planning your wedding, detail by detail. The dress that comes to mind is most likely full, long sleeves, and had a long train. If this style flashed across your mind, that’s a romantic dress. Romantic wedding dresses are ones that look full of magic when a bride wears them. These dresses typically have full skirts, lace detailing, and long trains or veils. 

Meet the Expert

  • Stephanie White, founder and creative director of Odylyne the Ceremony.
  • Yemi Osunkoya, founder and designer of Kosibah. 
  • Valentine Avoh, designer of Valentine Avoh.

The dresses also have special features that classify them. “A romantic dress will always have some details that evoke lightness or fluidity. It has delicate and refined details such as a lace edge, some delicate fabric-covered buttons down the back, or a floral embroidered tulle,” Valentine Avoh, the designer of Valentine Avoh tells Brides. “It can also have some transparency effects, for example, in the sleeves long as it stays classy. I would imagine it with soft fabric such as silk crepe, satin, or tulle,” she adds.

And now, romantic gowns have evolved and received modern touches to them. “Romantic silhouettes have become more unique and playful. Back then, it was often considered bohemian. However, the trend has now gained respect by the industry, while designers find different ways to express it,” Stephanie White, the founder and creative director of Odylyne The Ceremony tells Brides. “I have always considered my designs to embody romanticism but have been typecast as either not modern or fashion-forward enough, and that is changing years progress!” she adds.

Osunkoya says that romantic dresses that have soft fullness in the skirt is achieved with layers of transparent or opaque fabrics. Then, there is the train to the dress that is unique to this dress. “Romantic dresses usually have a train length of some sort from a puddle, through the chapel to dramatic cathedral lengths,” Osunkoya explains.

To get a better sense of a romantic wedding dress, we asked the experts about what makes a wedding dress, well…romantic. “A romantic dress is one that invokes a soft, fairy-tale, ethereal feeling in the bride that wears it. It’s usually the type of dress most little girls dream about how their wedding dress would look like when they grow up,” says Yemi Osunkoya, founder and designer of Kosibah. 

When going to select your dress, if you are unsure about what to ask for, keep this in mind: “I suggest something with delicate lace detail, like a see-through lace back, lace cap sleeves, or a lace edge highlighting her décolleté, waist or train. If you are not a fan of lace, I will go for silk mousseline or silk tulle,” Avoh notes.

If you’re dreaming of walking down the aisle in a romantic wedding dress, keep reading ahead to see 21 of our favorite romantic dress selections.

Shopping FAQs

Are you a shopping for a wedding dress? We’ve answered three common questions brides have when shopping for a romantic wedding dress.

  • Are romantic lace wedding dresses more expensive? It depends on the amount of time that goes into creating the lace. There are many affordable lace dress options out there and you can definitely find something that suits every budget.  
  • Is a romantic wedding dress modern? Call it the modern renaissance but romantic styles are definitely having a moment, which makes it a very modern choice.
  • What should I wear to a vineyard wedding? We love a bohemian lace dress, or even a modern jumpsuit. It’s really up to your taste and style, anything goes and you shouldn’t worry about matching the dress to the venue.