What type of dress are you interested in wearing, is the first thing that your bridal consultant will ask you when you enter into a bridal salon. It is important to know a few key terminologies used to describe specific details on wedding gown, hence wedding gown lingo. Once you know what certain things are called you can direct your consultant much better into the direction you want to go in much faster.
The four major necklines on wedding gowns is Bateau, Jewel, Portrait, and sweetheart. The Bateau neckline is a straight line across the chest that extends to the shoulders. It only exposes the base of the neck and is a more conservative look. This neckline is usually seen on dresses with natural waistlines and looks best on women with a longer torso. A Jewel neckline resembles that of a t-shirt. It is a small scoop exposing only the base of the neck as well. This neckline is always accompanied by sleeves sometimes they are short but mostly always long. It is a conservative wedding gown and usually women with a classic fashion personality gravitates toward this neckline.
The portrait and sweetheart neckline looks exactly alike except the sweetheart neckline is strapless and the portrait is off the shoulders. The sweetheart is strapless and is the most popular neckline of all. This style can be found on almost every silhouette and no matter where the waistline sits the sweetheart works. It is the shape of the top of a heart and contours around the bust exposing your shoulders, chest and minimum cleavage. The portrait neckline is an off the shoulder style that exposes the shoulders and your chest but lays flat with a small contour around the bust. This neckline looks good with sleeves or without and falls under the glamorous/romantic fashion personality.
There are also four popular waistlines that can that you can choose from for your wedding dress. The Princess Cut Waistline is the first waistline although this dress actually doesn't have a waistline at all. It falls over the body like a waterfall because it is cut vertically in two spots creating three panels that follow the lines of your body. This style is similar to a silky 70's inspired gown very sexy and subtle. The next waistline is the Natural waist which is three inches below your belly button and looks best with a ball gown silhouette. You also have the option to wear a Empire Waistline which is right under the bust. The Empire style is very romantic and fall freely over the body putting you i the mind of a William Shakespeare or roman empire. The last waistline is a Drop Waist, this is when the waistline drops as low as your full hip line creating an hourglass illusion which is usually found on mermaid/fishtail silhouettes and very form fitting.
These are the first two things that you need to decide on when thinking about what your dream gown looks like. Look for pictures in magazines and online to get more ideas that will help you narrow things down also taking pictures can help when going to a bridal boutique. When you cant properly describe what you want the visual can be a better substitute.