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Types of Wedding Dress Embellishments


Types of Wedding Dress Embellishments

What is a wedding dress, if not its embellishments? It’s important to select a dress cut that flatters you, but what will really turn your dress from a piece of fabric into a stylish wedding gown is the embellishments.

Fabric Rosettes

From fabric to beads to lace to trim, there are a dozen different ways to spruce up your LDS wedding gown.

Fabric Rosettes

Realistic 3-dimensional flowers made from fabric can be attached to the dress to achieve a variety of looks. The size, shape, and color of the flowers drastically alters the visual impact of the flowers. Wear one large rosette on the shoulder of a vintage wedding dress, or a bunch of small rosettes on one side of the waistline for a modern, slimming effect.

Large and small Pearls with a few Rhinestones

Pearls and Beads

Pearls are the most traditional stone for weddings, so there could hardly be anything more appropriate for embellishing your LDS wedding dress. If you are planning to wear a pearl necklace or earrings, ornamenting your dress with pearls could tie the look together.

An LDS wedding gown with appliques of lace, sequins, beads, and pearls.

Beading made of alternate materials such as glass or even plastic can also look great on a LDS wedding gown. White beading adds a soft texture to your dress, but brides who want to be more daring could use colored beads to match their wedding colors. Beading is often stitched close together to create shapes like flowers, leaves, or other elements.

Crystals and Gems


Crystals are polished and reflect light, and can be used on a wedding dress in a variety of sizes and combinations. Clear crystals add dimension to an all-white ensemble, and off-white or topaz-colored crystals add color without stealing the show. Colored crystals, because of their transparency, are a more reserved alternative to colored beading.

Gems are any imitation crystals (usually rhinestones) that are used to ornament tulle fabrics on the dress bodice or veil to visually add “weight” or substance to an otherwise gauzy material. They are usually glued onto the veil in evenly-spaced intervals, but can also be applied in a pattern.

Sequins and Paillettes

Sequined LDS wedding gown

Sequins with a few Pearls

Sequins are small, iridescent plastic discs sewed onto a dress to add texture and shine. These are common in figure skating and gymnastic costumes, but also can look fabulous when applied with finesse to portions of the wedding dress.

Paillettes are much larger than sequins, and hang from the dress by holes near the top of each disc. The paillettes move when the bride does, accenting her movement. Sequins, however, are firmly sewn in place on a dress.


LDS wedding gown with lace edging

Lace Edging

Edging is any type of ribbon, lace, embroidery, or other embellishment used as trim. A dress with edging appears finished. It is common to see edging sewn at the bottom hem of a skirt or on the sleeves of wedding dresses, and well as around the bridal veil.



Buttons on a wedding dress, whether they are functional or simply decorative, give a wedding dress a lot of pizzazz. Buttons may be fabric-covered, uniquely-shaped, or even colored for more emphasis. Buttons are often seen going up the back of the wedding dress, even if they are purely ornamental.

wedding gown pearls

Photo Courtesy of DarlaRoze Photography

There are so many options for wedding dress embellishments it’s hard to know where to begin. Regardless of the type or placement of the embellishments you choose, remember that embellishments should draw attention to your best features without overwhelming you or your dress.

♥ Jenny Evans
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