Applique Wedding Dress

Appliqué, from the French appliquer meaning ‘to apply’, is an ornamental decorative needlework technique used to create beautiful, intricate wedding dress embellishments.

Appliqué can be created by hand or by machine and is often made from lace. However, other decorative elements such as beads, sequins and crystals can be incorporated to give a wedding gown a hint of sparkle to catch guests’ eyes as you drift down the aisle.

The versatility of appliqué allows designers to add a hint of refined, feminine decoration to a simple gown, such as Enzoani’s clasically elegant, mikado A-line wedding dress with beaded lace appliqués on the bodice, or to create a visually dynamic wedding dress where appliqué is elevated to become the star of the show. Sottero and Midgley’s ‘Orianna’ princess wedding dress features a ballgown skirt of lace appliqués and tulle, accented with a shimmer of sequins, with additional lace appliqués trim the illusion jewel over sweetheart neckline, illusion straps and illusion open back.

Appliqué is also a wonderful way to create contrast between colours in a wedding dress, particularly white over blush. A few of our top blush picks are this stunning Sottero and Midgley princess wedding dress with cascading blush and gold lace appliqué, this Justin Alexander slim-A-line gown with hand placed Venice lace appliqués and Ronald Joyce’s blush mermaid wedding gown with decorative lace appliqué motifs to the bodice.

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Ruching describes a design feature on a wedding dress where fabric is gathered together or creatively pleated on two parallel sides to create attractive, rippling lines of gathering.


Wedding dresses with a key-hole back are a great way to add the ‘wow’ factor if a low back or backless dress makes you feel too exposed.


Pickups are a design feature on the skirt of a wedding dress where the fabric is ‘picked up’ and tacked, sometimes finished with an embellishment such as a bow or beading.

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