22 Captivating Cowl Back Wedding Dresses

This design detail adds glamour to any bridal gown silhouette.
Low cowl back floor length gown with spaghetti straps
Ashley Kiely - The Knot Contributing Writer.
by
Ashley Kiely
Ashley Kiely - The Knot Contributing Writer.
Ashley Kiely
The Knot Contributor
  • Ashley contributes fashion and lifestyle wedding content to The Knot.
  • Ashley is a freelance editor, writer and brand consultant.
  • Before going freelance, Ashley was the Fashion Editor for PeopleStyle magazine.
Updated Feb 24, 2022
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When shopping for a wedding dress a lot of your attention may be focused on the front of the gown, but the back of the dress can make just as much of a statement. Case in point: The cowl back wedding dress. Like a cowl neckline, a cowl back has beautifully draped fabric, and it brings a glamorous feel to any bridal gown.

A wedding dress with a cowl back provides a gorgeous way to show off your back and waist. Brides looking to bare more skin will gravitate toward low open-back styles, while others will find there are dresses with a more modest cowl feature that drapes at the mid-back. No matter where the cowl is located, it's an eye-catching design element that'll create a memorable and picture-perfect style moment.

If you're now ready to find the cowl back wedding dress of your dreams, continue on to see our favorite styles. Follow up your scrolling by making an appointment with a bridal stylist to try on more gowns in person using The Knot Marketplace to locate bridal salons in your area.

Nouvelle Amsale Gavin

Satin gown with low lace back and long train

Slip into this effortlessly elegant satin bias gown with delicate spaghetti straps on your wedding day. The front of the dress is kept simple with a soft cowl neckline, but the back brings a beautiful surprise with the draped cowl design detail and a feminine sheer embroidered panel.

Danielle Frankel Simone Gown

Silk wool backless long sleeve dress

This bias-cut silk wool backless wedding dress with long sleeves (and 5-inch slits at the wrists) is a stunning choice for the cooler months. The lustrous pearl-hued gown has a modest neckline at the front that juxtaposes the skin-baring low back. The cowl at the base of the open back has a scarf-like design which adds a unique element to this ultra-chic silhouette.

Jenny Yoo Jules Gown in French Vanilla

Sequin tulle floor length gown

This sequin tulle floor-length evening dress with a removable cowl at the back comes in several shades, but we love it in this French vanilla hue for a wedding gown. Add a faux fur stole and a sparkling bridal hairpiece for a winter wedding. Psst, it'll also make for a stylish black tie party dress postwedding.

Theia Couture Daria CC Gown

Crepe gown with train and scoop back and flutter sleeves

This minimal stretch-crepe gown with a low neckline can work for any season. The cap sleeves flow into an elegant cowl back, and the long train will look just as nice gliding across the grass as it will a ballroom floor.

Justin Alexander 88108 Fit and Flare Gown with Pleated Waistline and Beaded Back

Illusion sparkle back with thin straps and covered buttons on back

Glamorous and elegant, this fit and flare gown will have all eyes on you. The ruching defines the waistline beautifully, while the soft boat neck reveals some of the sparkles to come on the back. The beading on the sheer back and the cowl confirms that you'll not only make an entrance but an exit, too.

Houghton By Katharine Polk Lexi Gown

Satin dress with shawl and spaghetti dress

This spaghetti strap, stretch satin wedding dress's godets and train will create beautiful movement as you walk down the aisle. The removable cowl back also gives you the option to switch up your bridal look from the ceremony to the reception.

Kelly Faetanini Tamora Gown

Crepe gown with low back, spaghetti straps and covered buttons

Simple yet striking, this timeless dress is crafted in heavy crepe fabric. The set of spaghetti straps at each side, the soft V-neckline and the delicately draped cowl make this gown a lovely pick for a modern bride.

Ghost London Claudia Dress in Ivory

Satin floor length gown with partially exposed back

This 1930s-inspired sleeveless gown has an airy Georgette bodice with a beautifully draped cowl at the back and a floor-length satin skirt. Finish off your look with a bridal headpiece or hair combs to lean into the vintage vibe.

The Other White Dress Cambria Wedding Dress

Satin gown with side cutouts and draped cowl back

This V-neck, satin fit-to-flare gown may seem simple from the front, but the back brings eye-catching details. The illusion side cutouts, a stunning draped cowl back and covered buttons that extend down to the top of the flared skirt take this dress to the next level of elegance.

Pronovias Abby Gown

Crepe fit to flare dress with dramatic cowl back

Make a statement in this crepe mermaid wedding dress with a V-neckline and a flirty thigh-high slit. The design of the dramatic cowl back begins at the front of the dress, where it also creates draped bat sleeves. To top of your wedding day ensemble, slip on satin pointy-toe white pumps and add sparkling drop earrings.

Savannah Miller Kate Gown

Low draped cowl back satin gown

Modern and minimalist brides looking for an understated but memorable gown should look at this sleek style. This stunning silk satin biased-cut gown has a high, square neckline and a low curved back with a cowl. Instead of wearing a traditional veil, the dress offers detachable tulle streamers pieces that can be worn for the ceremony and removed for the reception.

Alexandra Grecco Lotus Gown

Low cowl back floor length gown with spaghetti straps

Elegant and sexy, this silk crepe gown will look gorgeous at any venue, but we can't help but picture it by the ocean. The delicate straps, the low open back and the sultry front slit make it a perfect pick for a beach wedding in the summer or "I do's" on a tropical island.

Moonlight Collection STYLE J6791 Crepe Long Sleeve Bridal Gown with Long Sleeves

Fit and flare with sheer back and long sleeves

For cooler weather, this crepe-back satin mermaid silhouette is a great choice. The clean and modern body-hugging gown has a modest neckline at the front and features a cowl back with a sheer illusion panel. The corset-like panel has elegant covered buttons that go down to the edge of the chapel length train.

Ghost London Salma Dress in Ivory

Satin ivory gown with swoop cowl back and cap sleeves

Simplicity meets glamour with this satin ivory gown. The cap sleeve, empire waist dress is a lovely style for a bride who desires a more modest cowl back. And, if you're looking to go more of a nontraditional route, this gown comes in several other colors, including silver, oyster and light pink.

Anne Barge Manhattan Gown

Low draped cowl back and long sleeves

Chic and sophisticated, this stretch crepe long sleeve gown's draped cowl back brings the glamour to the sleek column silhouette. Consider sweeping your hair back into a low bun and adding pearl drop earrings for your big day.

Danielle Frankel Charlie Gown

Silk floor length dress, low back and thin straps

You'll stun in this silk sleeveless dress with a raised cowl-neck and beautiful straps that lead to an elegant low back. The liquid-like train will look beautiful coming down the aisle.

Paloma Blanca Style #4950

Fit to flare backless dress with long sleeves and train

Winter wedding? This crepe cowl back wedding gown is ready for pictures in a snowy setting. The fit-and-flare dress's long sleeves with slightly puffed shoulders, plunging V-neck, dramatic open back and button details on the sleeves make it a standout style.

Made With Love Archie Gown

Fit to flare with cowl scoop back and train

This sultry crepe gown with a deep V-neck and a low cowl back is a showstopper. Finish off your wedding day ensemble with a long tulle train and strappy white sandals.

Theia Cerise Gown

Low V neck back sheath gown with lace applique

This breathtaking bateau-neck wedding dress is refined and romantic. The satin sheath gown has beautiful scattered lace appliqué and a knotted cowl at the back that flows effortlessly into a soft train.

Watters Mirall Gown

Charmeuse gown with spaghetti straps and covered buttons

Offered in white and ivory, you'll really wow in this flirty charmeuse gown. The asymmetric style has beautiful draping and covered buttons that extend the entire length of the side of the dress. We love that you can adjust the buttons to reveal as much leg as you want to show for the ceremony, reception and after-party.

The Bar Max Dress in Blanc

Backless silk midi dress with sash sleeves

Looking for a style with a shorter hemline? There's a lot to love about this silk midi dress. The dress's draped boat neckline, low cowl back and tie-back design create a captivating style that'll transition from the reception to the after-party seamlessly.

Jenny Yoo Collection Aura Gown

Silk chiffon dress with low cowl neck and thin straps

This whimsical silk chiffon gown will have you looking like you're floating down the aisle. The bodice and straps have delicate draping with beading and embroidery that will shimmer in the light, while the airy skirt will create picture-perfect movement with every step.

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