Although elegant wedding dresses can be found across all silhouettes, one common thread that each shape has in common is that they shun sparkle and striking details, favouring understated features. This stunning style also ignores bridal fashion and stays true to classic, timeless looks as seen on Pippa Middleton and Ellie Goulding. 

With elegant wedding dresses expect cap sleeves, off-the-shoulder bateau necklines, minimal detail and good tailoring. High necklines also fit the style’s stringent criteria. 

10 elegant dresses we love are styles 18318, 18322, 18353, 18401 and 18604 from our Victoria Jane collection and styles 69501, 69553, 69656, 69570 and 69702 from our Ronald Joyce collection. Let us talk you through each one in detail…

Woman standing in photo studio against grey backdrop wearing strapless mikado ballgown wedding dress Back image of a woman standing in a photography studio with grey backdrop wearing mikado ballgown wedding dress with low back and lace sleeves

Ballgown fans could be mistaken in thinking the voluminous silhouette is too extravagant to exude elegance, but three classic Mikado satin ballgowns deliver just that. India, style 18318 is a strapless ballgown wedding dress with a matching waistband, open back and cascading bridal buttons that delivers the perfect simple style for spring and summer weddings. 

Blonde lady standing outside villa with historic pillars wearing off the shoulder mikado ballgown wedding dress with 3/4 length sleeves Woman standing outside villa with pillars and french doors wearing mikado ballgown wedding dress with bridal buttons and 3/4 length sleeves

More suited to older brides and winter nuptials, Devan, style 69553 is a ¾ sleeve ballgown with a beautiful off-the-shoulder lapel neckline, flattering pleated waistband, closed back and cascading bridal buttons to the hemline. Similarly, Doliana, style 69570 is a sophisticated off-the-shoulder ballgown wedding dress with a bold collar, delicate beaded belt and cascading bridal buttons to the hemline.

Lady standing on street in Barcelona wearing 3-D floral applique wedding dress with contrasting plain fitted skirt  lady standing on street in Barcelona in front of gates wearing fitted crepe wedding dress with low back and button detailing

If you’re a tall bride, styles 18604 and 69702 offer elegant silhouettes without a continuous line thanks to subtly detailed bodices and contrasting plain fit and flare skirts. We love the sweetheart  beaded lace bodice in style 18604 and feminine 3D floral appliques and shoulder straps in style 69702

Man with arm around bride wearing fitted mikado wedding dress with beaded high neckline, cap sleeves and belt detail Woman stood in idyllic European side street wearing fitted mikado wedding dress with bridal button detail and embellished cap sleeves

Cap sleeve fans who seek elegant bead detailing will love Farah, style 69656, a Mikado fit and flare wedding dress with exquisitely beaded capped sleeves and a matching beaded neckline and delicate waist belt. Despite its detail, its classic tailoring, capped sleeves and high neckline exude elegance. Cascading bridal covered buttons and a puddle train also add to the sophisticated style. 

Man standing outside villa with woman wearing low back ballgown wedding dress with beaded straps and belt detail Man and Woman walking down steps outside villa while woman wears classic mikado ballgown wedding dress with high neckline and embellished belt

For a modern, flattering neckline, Walker, style 18401, is a backless A-line Mikado wedding dress with a sophisticated halter neckline, matching beaded feature straps and a delicate bow belt detail on an otherwise understated silhouette. We think it’s picture-perfect from all angles and suited to a younger bride.

Woman stood against pink floral blossom backdrop wearing mikado fitted wedding dress with v-shaped back detail  Blonde lady standing in front of pink floral blossom flower wall wearing off the shoulder mikado wedding dress

If you like the elegant look of off-the-shoulder style wedding dresses, two timeless styles that won’t disappoint are 18353 and 69501. Ivana, style 18353 is a plain Mikado fit and flare featuring a statement collar and cascading bridal buttons while Dafne, style 69501 is an elegant Mikado satin off-the-shoulder A-line wedding dress with a subtle lace applique bodice and contrasting plain skirt.

Brunette woman standing in photo studio with grey backdrop wearing v-neck wedding dress with embellished belt Lady standing in photo studio against a grey backdrop wearing a-line bridal gown with v-shaped back and embellished belt on waistline

Our final pick is perfect for brides seeking a modern style and less structured fabric. Made from plain chiffon and crepe, Inna style 18322 exudes modern elegance thanks to its simple A-line silhouette, v-neckline, pleated bodice and plunging v-shaped back.

We hope you found this blog on elegant wedding dresses informative and inspiring.

If you’d like to view more elegant styles, you can browse our whole wedding dress collection and filter by detail, neckline, sleeve and much more.

You can also find our latest elegant wedding dress styles and real bride photos on Instagram and Facebook

Written by Lucinda Bell.