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How to Choose the Right Lace for Your Wedding Dress

Why You Should Consider a Lace Wedding Dress? 

With so many bridal fabrics to choose from, why should you say “I do” to a lace wedding dress? Check out all the great reasons below. 

Lace is Timeless 

For centuries, lace has been used to create wedding dresses and continues to be a go-to fabric for brides nowadays. While different varieties of lace may gain popularity as trends shift, this fabric will be worn by brides for years to come. 

Lace is Luxurious 

Lace, especially handmade lace, is fit for royalty! There is a reason why Queen Victoria wore a satin bridal gown with a Honiton lace flounce in 1840, and Kate Middleton wore a wedding dress with a lace bodice, sleeves and a lace appliquéd skirt for her wedding to Prince William centuries later in 2011. The intricacy of lace lends itself to an elevated bridal look. 

Lace Adds Texture 

If you’re looking for a gown with visual interest, lace is your fabric! Layered lace appliqués, bold corded laces and even the most delicate Chantilly laces add extra detail to your dress and bring dimension to fabrics like satin, crepe or tulle. A lace with metallic threading or beading adds even more detail for an ornate and regal look that only lace can achieve! 

Lace Provides Options 

Lace is a wonderfully versatile fabric that works well with various wedding dress silhouettes, body types and wedding aesthetics. Check out some of the reasons why lace is such a versatile wedding dress fabric:  

  1. Lace is quite flattering! It can be used on the sleekest column gowns or for a dreamy A-line. A heavier beaded lace hugs the body while minimizing any areas that a slinkier fabric like silk may highlight. 
  2. Lace wedding dresses always have a super bridal look! While a satin mermaid may look red carpet ready, a gown in lace always gives off those bridal vibes.
  3. If you believe that small details can make a significant impact, then lace is the fabric for you! A lace-trimmed train or sleeve instantly elevates your dream dress to the next level by adding dimension with intricate motifs.
  4. Not into an all-lace look, but still want to incorporate this bridal fabric? Lace can be used in so many ways! A lace embellished illusion back, lace sleeves, a lace-trimmed hem, or even accessories, like lace gloves or a veil, add that beautifully bridal touch to your look without feeling overwhelming! 

Characteristics of Lace 

The beauty of this fabric is that there are so many types of lace to choose from, and each one has its own special characteristics.   

  • Lace can be made of a variety of fibers, from cotton to polyester to silk and even linen.  
  • Delicate laces have smaller stitches and finer threads. French laces often have “eyelashes” along the edge and are often used to trim a neckline or hem. 
  • Lace tends to be delicate and can be easily damaged. Be careful when choosing your jewelry that you don’t pick anything that will catch on the lace and pull the threads. 
  • Lace doesn’t wrinkle too easily, making it wonderful for a destination wedding dress! 
  • Lace can be vintage or modern, depending on the pattern and how it is made. Handmade lace is time and labor-intensive and may only be used for smaller lace details, while machine-made lace is produced much more quickly, making it better for larger areas or even an entire gown.

Types of Lace Used in Wedding Dresses 

With so many types of bridal lace to choose from, let’s talk about each type, if it’s the right lace for your wedding gown and what differentiates one type of lace from the next.

Alençon Lace 

lace wedding dress - stella york 7169

Stella York Style 7169 

Alençon lace is among the most popular bridal laces and originates from Alençon, France. It is a needle lace with a 3-D effect produced by the cording that outlines the details of the pattern. This lace typically features florals, scrolls and medallions and can be beaded for the bride who wants to sparkle on her big day. Stella York Style 7169 features a floral Alençon lace over tulle and regency organza for a dimensional and romantic look! 

Chantilly Lace 

chantilly lace wedding dress - martina liana 1321

Martina Liana Style 1321 

Fun fact: Chantilly lace used to only come in black! Chantilly is a bobbin lace that has been around since the 17th century. It is similar to Alençon lace but has a less pronounced cording, making it more delicate in appearance. Chantilly lace is lightweight and ideal for a romantic or ethereal gown and is often very detailed, but it also looks stunning when layered with bolder styles of lace or lace appliqués for a dimensional look. Martina Liana Style 1321 is a stunning example of this with its 3-D floral appliqués layered over Chantilly lace. 

Guipure/Venise/Venetian Lace 

lace wedding dress - d3488 essense of australia

Essense of Australia Style D3488 

Guipure, also called Venise or Venetian lace, became popular during the 19th century and is a bold raised bobbin lace that is sturdy and can be used without a netting background. Often featuring floral or swirling motifs, Guipure lace is an excellent choice for a bride who wants to look regal and make a statement in her wedding gown. Essense of Australia Style D3488 features beaded scrolling and linear Guipure lace for the glamorous yet modern bride. 

Schiffli Lace 

schiffli lace wedding dress - d3443 by essense of australia

Essense of Australia Style D3443 

Schiffli lace is created by embroidering a pattern onto a piece of treated fabric that disintegrates when it encounters specific chemicals, leaving behind the pattern. Today, there are other methods of dissolving the material besides using chemicals, such as heat or by using water-soluble fabrics. Bohemian bridal elegance comes alive like never before in Essense of Australia Style D3443 exemplifies bohemian bridal elegance with its unique lace pattern, calling on traditional embroidery designs and elevating it for the modern bride.  

Point D’Esprit 

Point D’Esprit lace wedding dress - 1423 martina liana

Martina Liana Style 1423 

Point D’Esprit lace is the simplest of the lace types and is characterized by woven dots on sheer tulle. This lace works beautifully for an illusion top, layered in a skirt or for a fashion-forward veil. Sometimes additional lace or embroidery can be layered on top for a dimensional look. Point D’Esprit is a stunning choice for the modern or simple bride who still wants to incorporate lace into her wedding dress. Style 1423 from Martina Liana exudes ethereal elegance with the head-to-toe floral lace and delicate beaded straps that highlight the upper body for a flattering, feminine fit.  

Embroidered Lace 

embroidered lace wedding dress - d3284 essense of australia

Essense of Australia Style D3284 

Embroidered lace is commonly used in bridal fashion and is fitting for the bride who appreciates detail. Typically, this variety of lace consists of an illusion fabric as the base with the lace stitched on top, so it looks like an appliqué, making it ideal for ornate necklines. Often the lace features beading or sequins, is mixed with dimensional flowers or has intricate cording for a wow moment.  

Essense of Australia Style D3284 is a stunning example with its floating lace thoughtfully dispersed throughout the bust, waist and sleeves of the gown, adding elegance and a delicate look to the plunging off-the-shoulder neckline. The dramatic open back is also edged with floating lace details for an elegant and detailed look. Lace finishing on the extra-long scalloped train finishes this stunning style. 

Beaded Lace 

beaded lace wedding dress - 1367 martina liana

Stella York Style 7529+ 

Beaded lace is ultra-popular when it comes to lace wedding dresses! Brides can get the best of both worlds if they want lace, but they also want to sparkle and shine on their big days. From laces embellished with bugle beads to sequins and everything in between, there are so many varieties to choose from.  

For example, Stella York Style 7529 features shimmering sequins, brilliant beading and luxurious lace for just the right amount of glamorous detail! This gown is also available in plus sizes.  

Cotton Lace 

cotton lace wedding dress - le1128 martina liana luxe

Martina Liana Luxe Style LE1128 

Lace can be made from so many different fibers depending on the look you want to achieve. Cotton lace tends to have a more matte look and is soft to the touch. Martina Liana Luxe Style LE1128 features matte cotton lace with vintage-style floral motifs throughout the sheer bodice and sleeves. It makes for a rich, ornate texture when layered on the soft tulle with 3-D embellishments. This gown is truly a showstopper and fit for the bride who wants a glamorous and magical bridal effect!

Lace Appliqués 

lace appliques wedding dress - raine all who wander

All Who Wander raine gown 

Lace appliqués are ideal for adding just a touch of lace to a hem, back, veil or bodice and can come in a variety of shapes and styles. The All Who Wander raine gown is a romantic boho A-line gown adorned with organic-shaped lace leaves and dainty blooms that look like they are growing on the fabric. 

What is the Best Lace for Your Wedding Dress? 

What image pops into your head when you hear the word “wedding dress”? You may picture lace wedding dresses because lace is a beloved, classic and iconic bridal fabric worldwide. There are numerous reasons why lace has been used for centuries to create elegant, timeless and showstopping wedding gowns! Keep reading to learn more about the varieties of this gorgeous bridal fabric so you can choose the best lace for your wedding dress. 

For more lace wedding dresses, visit our wedding dress gallery. It is filled with stunning lace options for every bride. For an in-person shopping experience, find a store near you.