What is a Bridal Bra?

Susan Grindstaff

A bridal bra is a type of undergarment typically worn under a wedding gown or other formal attire. There are many different styles and designs to choose from, but a bridal bra should complement the overall style of the wedding gown. Bridal bras are typically more expensive than regular bras, and are often embellished with beading and embroidery.

A strapless wedding dress will require that the bride wears a strapless bra.
A strapless wedding dress will require that the bride wears a strapless bra.

The neckline of the wedding gown often determines the type of bridal bra that will be needed. If the gown is off the shoulder or strapless, the bridal bra will need to be strapless as well. If the wedding gown has sleeves or straps, the bra can be either strapless or strapped. In some instances, wedding gowns may have high necklines in front, with a back neckline that is plunging. For this situation, a special backless bra would be required.

Bridal bras are often embellished with beads and embroidery.
Bridal bras are often embellished with beads and embroidery.

Most bridal bras are designed along the same lines as a corset. They are intended to offer maximum lift and support of the breasts while slimming the ribcage and waistline. The top part of a bridal bra is somewhat like a traditional bra, but it extends all the way down to the waistline or below. Closure for bridal bras can be in either the back or the front.

More expensive bridal bras have vertical boning sewn into the midsection to help support the bust and slim the waist. The boning is usually made of narrow bands of fabric-covered steel or heavy plastic. In addition, bridal bras can be purchased that target specific areas of the body for slimming. For instance, some bridal bras are designed to target the abdominal area, which would help draw in a stomach paunch.

Some bridal bras are entire body suits, ending just below the knee. This type of undergarment slims not only the waistline, but the hips and upper thighs as well. This type of bridal bra is popular for use with very form-fitting gowns, such as the mermaid style. Mermaid silhouette gowns cling to the body until just below the knee, where the gown begins to flare out and eventually ends with a very full hemline at floor level.

Modern bridal bras achieve the slimming effect by using fabrics that are blended with spandex. This blended fabric is typically more comfortable than pure elastic. For some women who want or need a great deal of slimming or support, elastic bridal bras will typically work better. Elastic bridal bras are not considered as comfortable as spandex.

Most bridal bras are designed along the same lines as a corset.
Most bridal bras are designed along the same lines as a corset.

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Discussion Comments


@KoiwiGal - I see your point, but I really want to look as good as possible for the photos. I'm not going to wear something absolutely ridiculous in order to achieve that, but I don't mind wearing some spandex or whatever under the dress if it will help.

I figure, the day is going to be wonderful even if I do have to tug at my underwear every now and then. And once I've taken the photos, I'd just go and change. Everyone knows who the bride is. I don't need to be wearing a wedding dress and bridal underwear throughout the reception to remind them.


@irontoenail - I'm not sure I would want to take the risk of wearing a corset, even one that was custom made, on my wedding if I wasn't used to it though. Particularly if I was trying to reduce my waist by inches.

My priority for bridal undergarments is that they have to be comfortable. I know I'm supposed to really care about what I look like, but it's my day and I want to enjoy it. Picking at underwear or fighting to breathe just to look that little bit prettier is not my idea of a good time.

Not to mention it would depend on whether I was going to get a real chance to change them at some point as well.

I would want to wear something fabulous and distinctly uncomfortable that night, because the intention would be that I wouldn't be wearing it for very long!


If I was going to buy a bridal bra with the intention of getting something slimming, I would just go the whole way and get a proper bridal corset fitted.

Most of the time when you buy a corset, you are just buying something off the rack and it's not going to do much physically, although they are very visually slimming.

But, a real corset, which has been custom made to fit you can actually pull you in several inches, and will make sure you don't bulge out at the wrong place. You can have the seamstress make it so that it perfectly compliments whatever kind of wedding dress you have, or even make it part of the wedding dress.

Don't try to get a corset which is supposed to be tight laced, but isn't custom made though. You'll pay almost as much, but they can be dangerous, and won't look nearly as good.

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