Wedding dresses have a long and storied history. While white dresses did not become popular for brides until Queen Victoria wore one in 1840, wedding dresses have gone through many style changes over the centuries. From simple silk sheath dresses in the 1920s to full ballgowns with petticoats and corsets in the 1950s, bridal fashion continues to evolve.

In recent years, two specific trends have emerged in wedding dresses: lace and open backs. Lace brings a sense of romance and intricate detail to a dress. Open backs add a touch of sexiness and reveal a bit more skin. The combination creates a wedding dress that is both elegant and alluring.

This guide will cover the history and emerging popularity of lace open back wedding dresses. We'll suggest styles that complement this look, like long sleeves or illusion details. Tips on finding the perfect fit and working with your budget will help you shop smart. Advice from designers and real brides who wore this style will provide inspiration. By the end, you'll be ready to find your dream lace open back wedding dress.

Trends in Lace Wedding Dresses

Lace wedding dresses are a timeless and elegant choice for brides. Over the years we've seen some key trends emerge in the styles, detailing, and types of lace used.

Vintage inspired lace gowns have continued to grow in popularity. Lace gives an inherently romantic vibe, taking cues from 19th century inspired looks. This style pairs well with accessories like floral headpieces for a boho chic look.

We're also seeing more experimentation with different lace types. The delicate needlepoint lace Alençon and geometric patterns of Chantilly create different visual effects. Combining lace types, like lace overlays on top of softer tulle skirts, is a popular trend.

Sheer panels that reveal a hint of skin have become common in lace wedding dresses. This can be done tastefully on the back, sleeves, or sides of the gown. Low back dresses are especially trendy, creating alluring open back looks when paired with lace. The transparency provides a modern edge to the romantic lace fabric.

Choosing an Open Back Wedding Dress

An open back wedding dress offers a gorgeous blend of elegance and allure for brides. When selecting a lace dress with an open back design, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Consider the venue and formality - More skin showing may be better suited for a beach or barn venue compared to a church or ballroom. Think about the overall feel you want for your big day.

  • Amount of skin to show - Open backs can range from illusion cutouts to deep-v openings to being fully open. Decide how daring and how much skin you want to bare. An illusion open back shows just a peek of skin, while a deep-v is more brazen and a fully open back makes the most dramatic statement.

  • Style of open back - Straps that crisscross the open back area add support and a delicate look. Try lace-up corset designs for a touch of romance or a row of buttons flowing down the back for vintage charm. The style options are endless for adorning an open back.

Experiment with different open back wedding dress silhouettes to find the one that flatters your figure and matches your wedding style. Turn around frequently when trying on dresses to see how the open back looks from all angles. An alluring open back transforms a lace wedding gown into a showstopping look full of beauty and allure.

Complementary Styling

An open back wedding dress provides the perfect opportunity to showcase gorgeous styling details. When your back is exposed, all eyes will be drawn to your neck, shoulders and nape, so this is an ideal chance to add some glamour with your hairstyle, jewelry and makeup.

Hairstyles for Open Backs

Brides with open back dresses should consider an updo or half-up style to show off the dress detail. A low bun, chignon or braided updo placed at the nape of the neck provides an elegant look. Curly updos with tendrils or a fishtail braid also complement an open back beautifully. Wearing your hair up helps focus attention on the open back rather than having long locks cover it up.

For half-up styles, a bouffant or lightly teased crown creates volume on top while leaving some hair down in the back. You can also do a half up braided style or sweeping to one side. Adding a decorative comb or jeweled pin in your updo adds even more flash.

Dazzling Jewelry

When your back is bare, all eyes will be on your neckline and shoulders. Draw further attention to this area with sparkling jewelry pieces. The most popular and traditional option is a necklace. Look for styles that drape down onto the upper back to fully utilize the real estate.

Dramatic statement necklaces with crystals or pearls make a bold impact. For a more delicate look, layer multiple thinner chains. You can also attach your veil to a necklace rather than a comb for extra sparkle.

Beyond necklaces, bridal capes, jewelry harnesses and shoulder necklaces are on trend. These accessories cover the shoulders in eye-catching details. Delicate chains, swirling metalwork, pearls and gems create gorgeous back interest.

Makeup for an Open Back

When your back and shoulders are exposed, keep your makeup focused on your face. Play up your eyes and lips so they really pop.

Smoky, sultry eye makeup pairs perfectly with an open back. Go bold with cat eyes, metallic shadow or a pop of color on the lids. False lashes also help your eyes stand out. Keep the rest of your makeup fresh and dewy.

Make a statement with your lips too. Try a classic red, berry or pink lipstick, or opt for an ombre effect. Matte lipstick lasts longer than gloss. Just avoid pale or nude lips that will fade into the background.

With dazzling jewelry and hair, accentuated eyes and lips, your open back wedding dress will truly shine. The styling possibilities are endless when you've got a gorgeous bare back!

Finding the Perfect Fit

An open back wedding dress offers a gorgeous, alluring look for your special day. However, finding the perfect fit is crucial to fully pull off this style. Here are some top tips for finding your ideal fit in an open back lace wedding gown:

Getting Accurate Measurements

  • Schedule fittings with your seamstress early, 4-6 months before your wedding. Open back styles need more time for potential alterations.

  • Bring the shoes, undergarments, shapewear, and accessories you plan to wear at your wedding. The full look will determine the perfect fit.

  • Stand up straight and relax your body during measurements. Proper posture yields the most accurate fitting.

  • Provide your seamstress with clear feedback during fittings. Let them know if anything feels too tight or loose. Don't settle for less than your dream fit.

Finding the Right Undergarments

  • Strapless bras, bustiers, corsets, or adhesive bras all work well under backless dresses. Choose options with subtle seamless edges.

  • If your dress has a low cut, wireless or plunge bras prevent showing bra lines on your back and chest.

  • Try undergarments on with your dress during fittings. Move around and sit to test comfort.

Alteration Options and Places

  • Work with an experienced seamstress familiar with wedding gown alterations. Bridal shops often provide in-house alteration services.

  • Common adjustments include taking in or letting out side seams, adjusting bust lines, hemming lengths, and boning or tightening to add support.

  • For extreme sizing changes, more complex alterations may require repositioning lace overlays, layers, or embroidery to retain the original look.

The perfect fit elevates the gorgeous open back look on your wedding day. With some planning and expert alterations, you’ll feel comfortable, confident, and breathtaking in your lace dress.

Care and Preservation 

A lace wedding dress is a precious keepsake that deserves special care and attention after your big day. Properly cleaning, storing, and maintaining your gown will help preserve its beauty and allow you to potentially repurpose it for special occasions down the road.

Cleaning Methods

It's important to have your lace wedding dress professionally cleaned as soon as possible after your wedding to remove any dirt, makeup, perspiration, food or drink stains that may have accumulated throughout the day. Look for a specialty bridal gown cleaner to properly clean your delicate lace fabric. They will inspect the gown and determine the best cleaning method based on the type of lace, beading, embellishments, etc. Some options include:

- Dry cleaning with gentle solvents approved for lace 

- Steam cleaning the lace fabric on low heat

- Spot cleaning any stains by hand with mild soap and water

A professional cleaner can also recommend any needed repairs, pressing, and restoration work to return your gown to pristine condition.

Proper Storage

After your lace wedding dress is cleaned, be sure to store it properly to maintain its beauty over many years:

- Allow the dress to thoroughly air dry before storing to prevent mold and mildew.

- Store in a cool, dry place away from humidity, heat, and direct sunlight which can cause fading and yellowing.  

- Protect the dress in a breathable garment bag or archival box; avoid plastic which doesn't allow the fabric to breathe.

- Use acid-free tissue paper to gently stuff and pad out the bodice, sleeves, and skirt to hold the shape. 

- Hang the dressed on a padded hanger to avoid creases; specialty bridal dress hangers with wider shoulder supports are ideal.

- Periodically air out the dress and re-pad it with fresh tissue paper if needed.

Repurposing Your Dress

There are lovely ways to potentially give your lace wedding gown new life after your wedding day:

- Preserve and display it in a shadowbox, under glass.

- Create a christening gown for future children.

- Redesign it into a cocktail dress or top & skirt set.

- Use the fabric to make special occasion outfits for children.

- Craft hair accessories, a purse or other items from lace fabric swatches.

- Incorporate lace panels or overlays into a new dress.

- Donate or sell to services providing gowns for others.

With proper care and cleaning, your lace wedding dress can become a timeless heirloom to cherish for many years. Taking steps to repurpose it can allow you to enjoy your gown in new ways long after your wedding day.


Choosing the perfect lace wedding dress with an open back is a special experience for any bride. This elegant style allows you to show off a bit of skin and beautiful back details while maintaining the classic romance of lace. 

When dress shopping, focus first on finding a lace fabric and silhouette you love. An open back can be added to many styles. Consider when your wedding will take place - open backs pair wonderfully with warm weather weddings, though some brides wear them year-round. 

Next, coordinate with your venue, theme and accessories. An open back dress calls for wearing your hair up and choosing the right undergarments. For your algo vendors, select a veil that compliments the delicate lace rather than obscures it.  

Most importantly, when you find the one, the perfect lace open back dress will make you look and feel confident & beautiful on your big day. Wearing a gown that flatters your figure and unique style will ensure you walk down the aisle radiating joy. That inner glow is the ultimate bridal accessory.