What Style of Wedding Dress is Best for a Short Bride?

Bride and groom standing in field

Wedding dress shopping can be stressful enough without worrying about how your individual frame may affect the experience. There are tall brides. Thin brides. Athletic brides. Big-busted brides. Curvy brides. And then, there are short brides too. Those petite beauties can have some difficulties finding a silhouette that suits their smallness – they’ve had this problem their entire life!

Without height, a lot of the lines of a designer gown can be lost – but that doesn’t mean there are shapes out there that are well-suited for those without the highest of heights. Today, we’re exploring what style of wedding dress is best for our shorter brides. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Our Opinion

When it comes to our shorter brides, we suggest seeking after designs that elongate your frame and accentuate your best features – whether that’s your waist, your back, or maybe even your shoulders. You’ll want to pay special attention to gowns with the following silhouettes:

  • Sheath: The most vertical of gowns, the “column” style runs up and down without room to add width. They often come in more minimal designs which will bring the eyes to you
  • A-line: An A-line gown is a great choice for all body types including petite ladies. It hugs your hips and creates that beautiful, classic silhouette we all love.
  • Trumpet/Mermaid: Draw attention to your curves and waistline. This gown accentuates the female form in the best of ways and works for a variety of heights.
  • Mini: If you want something off-beat and outside-the-box, think about going with a dress that shows off those gams. Showing more skin gives the illusion of more height and you get a fun, flirty wedding day look to boot.

In contrast, it’s important to stay away from gowns that may essentially swallow you whole. We realize that not every short bride’s goal is to look taller – instead, it’s just to look their best and that means staying proportional and highlighting the assets. The lines of these designs should go vertically to add the illusion of height, stay away from gowns that are more on the horizontal side. So, yes, stay away from the puffy, princess ball gowns.

Bride having her dress fitted

Other Expert Opinions

“For brides who are short in stature and narrow at the waist — otherwise known as petite — wedding dresses that create the illusion of a long torso are ideal. The key to finding the most complementary dress for petite brides-to-be is all in the details, particularly, four specific silhouette styles that help create a long and lean stature.

Brides going for a boho or beach aesthetic on their big day will likely gravitate towards an empire-waist dress (where the waistline falls right beneath the bust) to help elongate their miniature figure.

The low-lying skirt and form-fitting bodice help to stretch out your midsection and adds inches instantly. There’s also the tried-and-true sheath: Its straight-cut silhouette manifests into one statuesque look for brides on the shorter end of the scale. And remember to consider flattering embellishments and details from pleats and vertical beading or sequins to a seam that runs along the side of your bodice as opposed to across.

Lucky for petite brides, our favorite bridal designer’s most recent runway shows were filled with tons of options. Whether it’s Amsale’s modern, no-fuss sheaths, Ines di Santo’s glam trumpets, Jenny Packham’s signature up-and-down beading, or Vera Wang’s diagonal ruching, there’s a gorgeous, lengthening dress out there for all petite brides to wear.” – Brides

“If you have a petite frame (small in stature and narrow at the waist), you need to find a gown that elongates your figure. Silhouettes to shop for are sheath, trumpet, and the always flattering A-line. Avoid princess-style gowns with excess material—you’ll drown in them! They’ll make you appear shorter than you really are, hiding your beauty in bunches of material.

Stay away from over-detailed dresses with lots of beading or big bows, too. They may be beautiful, but they’ll hide your show-stopping looks in the end. If your dream look requires a veil, keep it simple. A birdcage would be ideal, or anything short. Chapel-length will be too much fabric for your small frame.” – Wedding Shoppe

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