Bridal Shopping 101: Necklines

Bridal Shopping 101: Necklines

We have many different types of necklines to choose in wedding gowns, and be advised that not all of them will look equally good on you. It depends on your bone structure and the shape of your face, neck, and shoulders.

If you love one type of necklines so much and you choose it for your wedding, you have to take the according suitable hairstyle into account.

Square Neck

Square necks look especially good on brides with rounded facial shapes. They will emphasize a hefty build or broad shoulders, so be careful with the square neckline if that’s your body type.


Sweetheart Neck

The sweetheart neck is similar to a square neck but it is scalloped at the bottom, giving the rounded appearance of a heart. Almost any bride can pull off a sweetheart neckline, but its soft curves especially complement angular facial features and bone structures. You have plenty of choices of wedding hairstyles for a strapless wedding dress. A flowing down hairstyle accords beautifully with the strapless allowing faint hints of skin to expose. A luxurious necklace makes it a bridge between an up do hairstyle and a strapless wedding dress.


Boat(Bateau) Neck

The sweetheart neck is similar to a square neck but it is scalloped at the bottom, giving the rounded appearance of a heart. Bateau neck expose almost no skin near your collarbone so it is necessary to comb your hair back and off your face.


Single Shoulder

If you choose single shoulder or other asymmetric neckline you can wear retro asymmetric buns or knots to create a balance of vision.


Off the shoulder

The off the shoulder neckline expose a skinny structure of your body so a smooth low up do is advisable for it.


Scoop Neck

The rounded shape of the scoop neckline can be used to balance out a more linear or angular face. Full-figured brides or brides with wide faces look great in scoop necks, but brides with long necks or thin faces should avoid them.


V Neck

V-necks are a wonderful choice to visually “lengthen out” the features of brides who have short necks or faces. They are also generally a good choice for someone with a rounded, softer face. A half up half down hairstyle or loose hair with big curls on both sides will work well with the V neck.


Illusion neck

Illusion necklines have been popping up in all of the latest runways, from New York to Milan. Illusion neckline wedding dresses are a great alternative to the strapless wedding dress that has been a classic choice for many brides.

An up do hairstyle is a must for the illusion neckline to highlight the lace and sheer fabric that is filled with intricate embroidery details.


Bridal Fabrics and Materials

When you try on dresses you may notice the difference in how they look, feel, and flow as there are many different fabrics are used in wedding dress construction from heavier to translucent. Style, texture,  and season are key factors in determining the best fabric for a wedding gown. Some fabrics cling to the body, while others stand away. Some are cherished for their crispness, others for being light-as-air.

Silk is a natural fiber that exudes an innate quality of refinement. Warm in the winter, and cool in the summer – is the and cherished wedding dress material, noted for its resiliency, elasticity, and strength. Silk threads are woven to create various fabrics, including satin, a densely-woven silk notable for its super-lustrous gloss. A duchesse satin, charmeuse, shantung are medium weight blends. Then there are the gauzier silks like chiffon, tulle, and organza – all used in multiple layers for gown skirts since they are transparent, but lightweight. Polyester is an inexpensive man-made fiber that can be woven into just about anything, including duchesse satin.


A lightweight, soft, transparent fabric.



Charmeuse (Satin)

A lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric, that is satin-like to the touch. It is a lightweight silk satin with a more subdued luster



Delicate, sheer, and transparent — made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish; often layered because of its transparency, making it popular for overskirts, sheer sleeves, and wraps.



A stiffened or structured fabric usually used to hold out a skirt



A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crinkled surface.


Damask / Brocade

A Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs; traditionally popular for fall and winter


Duchesse Satin

A lightweight hybrid of silk and rayon (or polyester) woven into a satin finish. It is lighter and more affordable than pure silk satin


Dupioni (Silk)

A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen.



Soft and slightly crisp fabric that holds its shape well with body to spare. Similar in weight to satin but incorporates thicker cross yarns for its characteristic rib.



A fine, sheer net fabric, generally used on sleeves or necklines.



is perfect for adding a touch of elegance, whimsy or a bohemian flair to any outfit. Lace is the perfect choice for tops, overlays on dresses and skirts, bridal veils. It comes with different levels of stretch.



A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design. A fabric with a wavy (watered) appearance, produced mainly from silk, wool, cotton and rayon.



Stiff and lightweight, widely used for petticoats and volume layers in the skirt.




Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar in effect to tulle, but more flowing; popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays.


Peau de Soie

A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance. Very formal and elegant, heavier than typical satins.



A knit fabric with a waffle-weave appearance, pique has distinct sides. The outside resembles a honeycomb or waffle and the underside is flat and smooth.



Similar to silk, but more elastic and affordable.



A heavy, smooth fabric with a high sheen on one side; very common in bridal gowns.



The most sought-after, cherished fiber for wedding dresses (and also the most expensive); there are several types with different textures: raw silk and silk mikado are just two examples. Silk-faced Satin  has a a glossy front and matte back.

raw silk
knit silk

Silk Gazar

A four-ply silk organza.


Shantung (Sateen)

Similar to a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its rubbed texture. It has a low-sheen texture characterized by a rough, nubby quality



Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib.



Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils.



more info at White Swan Bridal Boutique 


You don’t have to wear white

Today’s bride has unlimited options. She can wear the classic white dress to reflect the traditional wedding experience which symbolizes the purity of the soul. She can also pick a gown in other colors such as  blush pink, peach, mint, or other colors for a totally fresh and romantic look.

These are criteria for picking the color of the Dress:

  • Most women know what colors flatter them the most. Since this day is all about wedding pictures and memories, many brides want to look their best in colors that complement their hair, skin and eyes. The better choice for lighter skin tones is an ivory or antique white. Women with medium to dark-toned skin can often pull off a diamond white beautifully.  Bright whites on darker skin tones are stunning!
Oscar de la Renta, Elie Saab, Vera Wang (photo by Maria Valentino)
  • By choosing a colored gown or a white dress with colored accents, the bride can feel more coordinated with her bridal party and overall color scheme.
  • Increasingly popular destination weddings may call for simpler, less-complicated dresses that travel lighter and are more comfortable to wear. Beach weddings are the perfect place for bright, fun colors.
  • The season in which she is being married can also be a factor. Pink, blue, peach, ivory and turquoise are popular spring colors for wedding dresses. Summer weddings are an invitation to brighter colors or soft lavenders, yellows and dusty pinks. Vintage ivories and warm fall colors blend beautifully with autumn’s wardrobe change. Winter whites with velvet or fur trim are stunning, as are sapphire blue, emerald green and ruby red.
  • In regards to flowers, they are available in white, cream or ivory.  Some flowers work well with all  3 colors, (ie., calla lilies and hydrangeas). Flowers are available in stark white (roses, gladiolus, carnations, gardenias, paperwhites, stephanotis, stock).
Lazaro, Romona Keveza, Saveh Nouri  (photo by Maria Valentino)

While white is still the favorite choice in wedding gowns for 80-90 percent of modern brides, it is far from the only option. Today’s bride is free to be married in the style and color that best suits her personality, taste and appearance. After all, she’ll be remembering this day the rest of her life.

more info at White Swan Bridal Boutique 

Destination Wedding Dress

Are you planning a wedding away from home?

Wear a dress that fits the location of your wedding by choosing a Destination/Beach Wedding Dress for your oceanic wedding day. If your destination wedding parties are held on the beach, you need a dress that compliments the calm ocean breeze and warm golden sunshine and that allows you to get sand in-between your toes. A neat and casual, yet beautiful and flowing, beach wedding dress that goes with the wind and accentuates the great oceanic feeling will be the perfect finishing touch to your dream wedding day at the beach. Beach wedding dresses come in a variety of colors to inspire the relaxing feel of the beach and will make everyone at ease.


Destination dresses are made for easy storage and wearing and they are always made comfortable so that the bride can blissfully enjoy all of her sweet moments at the wedding under the heat of the sun. Aside from that, dresses of this kind are made from light fabrics so that the bride can easily walk along the sand and march her way to the altar effortlessly.

How to transport your wedding dress to a far-off locale? Here are five tips on how to pack your gown.

Choose a travel-friendly fabric. Bridal designer Winnie Chlomin Lee suggests “lightweight, comfortable fabrics such as silk charmeuse, lace and chiffon. A slimming, fluid silhouette, one with less crinoline, is always more convenient to pack and store.”

Talk to your bridal salon. They may be able to insert a cardboard form into the bodice. Better yet, they might even be willing to pack it for and give extra advice and tips for getting any creases out of your specific dress.

Protect your dress. Stuff the bodice with acid-free tissue paper, and layer it between each fold. Use white tissue for a white dress, for colored dresses, match the shade or go a hue lighter. Then enclose the gown in plastic dry-cleaner bags before placing it in the garment bag to provide an extra layer of protection. Or ask your bridal shop to put it in the preservation box for you. We at White Swan Bridal Boutique do it for our clients all the time.

Carry it on. To avoid the risk of lost or delayed luggage, take your dress as a carry-on. Some airlines will hang your dress bag up in the first class wardrobe if there is space – this is more likely with summer destination weddings when there will be fewer passengers with heavy coats to hang up.  If the wardrobe is full, lay the dress flat in the overhead bin on top of the other luggage.

Talk to your venue. Ask in advance if there’s an iron, a steamer, a seamstress or dry-cleaning service. If not, bring your own tools. Be familiar with the destination and what amenities are available; don’t let a little crease in your gown put a wrinkle in your big day.


Whether you’re jetting off to a sandy beach or a chic European city, we’ve got dream destination wedding dresses perfect for any out-of-town nuptial. Be specific to choose the dress that will speak of the location.

more info at White Swan Bridal Boutique 

Why having your dress custom ordered matters….

Oftentimes, bewildered brides ask us if ordering a dress with custom measurements is important.  Our store, unlike many others in our area, orders almost all of the dresses with custom measurements, which include custom bust, waist, hips, and length.  When the dress arrives to our store for the first fitting, it has already been customized to the bride’s body.

In a standard scenario, the dress is ordered by looking at a sizing chart. Measurements of the body are still taken, but usually only of bust, waist, and hip areas. The dress is then ordered by size only. When the dress arrives for the first fitting, the alterations for the dress begin. Usually the seamstresses have to alter the dress quite significantly, since not many people are a standard size. The dress is usually opened at the seams and reconstructed in order to fit the body better. A lot of times, this results in additional costs and brides end up paying hundreds of dollars for alterations to the bodice and the length of the dress. Most importantly, this causes significant stress to the brides. Stress from fittings should be avoided as much as possible, since fittings usually happen very close to the wedding, a time when tensions run high.

Not all measurements are taken equal! It takes an extremely experienced professional to be able to take measurements of the body in order to properly order a dress. Depending on how ‘tight’ one pulls the measuring tape, the measurements can be ‘off’ from 1 inch to several. This is truly an art form to be able to know how ‘tight’ to pull the measuring tape around the body. Since the body is soft, there is always room for error. Moreover, a body part that is measured with the same measurement (36 inches, for example), can have different shapes. Some people have wider busts and more narrow backs, or the opposite wider backs and narrower busts, which means that the person ordering the dress needs to specify the shape of the body. A lot of stores neglect to do this, which results in poorly fitting dresses (even if they are ordered with custom measurements).

In our store, the fittings are included in the price of the dress (when ordered with custom measurements), which eliminates the hassle and stress on the bride. Knowing that your fittings are included in the price of the dress eliminates that stress, since our store takes the responsibility to alter the dress that was ordered with custom measurements.

What if the bride changes size? After all, the dresses are usually ordered about six to eight months ahead of time. In our experience, very few brides actually end up changing their size. However, weight loss/gain still happens. In order to prevent further stress, our store only charges a small flat fee to completely resize the dress if the bride changed more than two sizes. If the bride changed less then two sizes, then the alterations are still included in the price of the dress.

So, if you plan to change sizes, is it still important to order your dress with custom measurements? Yes, it is! First, the dress’s length will be custom, which is important since paying for the hem of the dress can be quite costly. Second, the dress’s shape will still be close to the body, which would need only minor alterations in resizing.


more info at White Swan Bridal Boutique