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Know Your Wedding Dress Necklines

Bateau, sweetheart, halter – or something else? Learn these necklines before you hit the shops to find your dream wedding and bridesmaid dresses.

Boat Neck: Boat neck – or bateau – collars are wide, following the curve of your collarbone to the tip of your shoulders.

Cowl: A cowl neckline has a draping of loose fabric in the front.

The bridesmaid on the left is wearing a cowl neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: UMD Lovebirds Tie the Knot

The bridesmaid on the left is wearing a cowl neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: UMD Lovebirds Tie the Knot

Halter: The straps on a halter dress tie behind the neck.

High Neck: High-neck dresses have a higher collar – as high as a turtleneck or slightly lower like a T-shirt.

The bride's dress has a high neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: Personal Style at Cove Point Lighthouse

The bride’s dress has a high neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: Personal Style at Cove Point Lighthouse

Off the Shoulder: You know this one – the neckline sits just below the shoulders. It’s great for highlighting your collarbone.

A classic off-the-shoulder dress. Real SoMd Wedding: Twinkle Lights on the Harbor in Annapolis

A classic off-the-shoulder dress for the bride, and an asymmetric of one-shoulder dress for the bridesmaid on the right. Real SoMd Wedding: Twinkle Lights on the Harbor in Annapolis

One Shoulder or Asymmetrical: As the name implies, these dresses have a strap or draping over only one shoulder.

Queen Anne: If your dress rises to a high collar in the back but is lower in the front, you’re wearing a Queen Anne-style neckline.

The bride's dress has a Queen Anne neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: Rustic, romantic, and handmade

The bride’s dress has a Queen Anne neckline. Real SoMd Wedding: Rustic, romantic, and handmade

Scoop: This neckline is shaped like a U. Again, the depth of the U may vary.

Square: The top of square gowns is horizontal. If a strapped dress, the straps are at 90 degrees.

Strapless: That’s right – no straps, and arguably one of the most popular wedding gown necklines. Strapless dresses can be straight across, sweetheart, or slightly curved up or down.

Sweetheart: Like the name suggests, this neckline is shaped like the top of a heart. Sweetheart dresses can be strapless or have straps or sleeves.

V-Neck: You know this one, too – the neckline is shaped like a V. The depth may vary.