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The Best Wedding Dress Styles for a Short Bride

Updated: May 1

Petite brides can get anxious and think, what type of wedding dress suits me best as a short bride? We're here to help!

If you are petite, and you're shopping for your big day, it is essential to understand what wedding dress styles look best on a short bride. You want to find bridal gowns that elongate your figure, not widen it. This means that as beautiful as puffy ball gowns or princess dresses are, the excess fabric will only make you look shorter. To help you narrow down your options, below are some bridal shopping tips and silhouette guidelines to help you say “yes” to the dress.

best wedding dress styles for short bride

Shopping Tips for Petite Wedding Dresses

The key for petite brides is to keep things simple, and ensure your figure is not overwhelmed. Avoid overly elaborate dresses with beading or large bows. You should also choose a simpler, shorter veil, such as a birdcage. Though chapel-length veils look stunning, they may overwhelm a smaller frame. It's wise to think about your haircut too, if you want to appear taller. You'd be amazed at how longer your frame looks with a shorter bridal haircut, as opposed to something shoulder length or longer.

When it comes to wedding dresses for short brides, the length is not the only thing that matters. You also want to make sure the proportions of your gown are in line with your own. Any bridal dress can be hemmed to your height, but a fitted bodice designed for someone 5’6” and up won’t properly fit someone who is 5’1” or under. However, selecting a flattering silhouette sets the foundation for a smooth round of alterations down the line.

What Wedding Dress Styles Work Best for Short Brides?

The chosen silhouette, or shape of your dress, can flatter or un-flatter your petite frame. In fashion, there are a variety of silhouettes. And some suit certain body types better than others. For short brides, the following silhouettes are ideal for creating a beautiful, elongated shape.

Sheath Dresses

If you are looking for a sensual wedding dress, then a sheath style is ideal for you. A slinky, body-hugging sheath bridal gown is the best way to show off your natural figure. This silhouette is designed so that the seam runs vertically from the shoulders to the hips, creating a beautiful yet minimalistic look.

best wedding dress styles for short bride enzoani

Noah from Maggie Sottero

Since most sheath dresses are lightweight, this style is perfect for weddings in a variety of settings. Whether you’re getting married in a traditional church or on an exotic beach, sheath wedding dresses are an ideal fit for a short bride.

Mermaid or Trumpet Gown

If you want to add a bit of drama to your big day look, trumpet or mermaid fit wedding dresses are a great option. The elongated waistline of these styles will help you appear taller, and the flare at or below your knee will help to balance out your frame.

Marilyn from Etoile by Enzoani mermaid wedding dress

D3247 from Essense of Australia trumpet wedding dress

Trumpet and mermaid wedding dresses are flattering for many body types, including short brides. If you want to show off your curvy figure, this silhouette emphasizes the bust and hips. To make your legs look even longer, opt for a waistline higher than your natural waist.

A-line Wedding Dresses

If you are unsure of what silhouette to choose, an A-line look is universally flattering for every body type. Like the letter A, this style of wedding dress is fitted through the hip line, then broadens down to the ankle.

Seraphina from Josephine Scott Bridal A line wedding dress for short bride

Rosa from Mori Lee (Shown in black/blush)

Petite brides should look for an empire waist A-line dress to add some extra length to their frame. Not only is this style great for all body types, but it is beautiful in any wedding setting.

General Tips for a Short Bride

If you want to find a perfectly fitting wedding dress that makes you look taller, use these general tips for a short bride:

High heels. This is the simplest way to boost up your height and feel more confident on your wedding day. But remember, the higher the better principle only works for those brides who are used to walking in stiletto heels. If you are not one of them, do not overestimate your abilities! You will spend the whole day on feet, and you deserve to be comfortable. Choose shoes with a middle heel height and wear them a few times around the house to get used to walking in the new pair. Consider having a second, more comfortable pair too, that you can wear after your portraits.

Keep it Simple. Pick a wedding dress made from a plain material and without any contrasting details. Select smooth fabrics. This will help to elongate your stature visually and create a vertical line. Wedding dresses with bright floral ornaments or block colour designs are not the best choice for short brides.

Avoid horizontal stripes. Vertical pleats on the skirt, vertical stitching on the bodice, and a long line of buttons on the back will create a flattering silhouette and make you look taller. If you want to have a thin belt or a ribbon on your waistline, choose a coordinated colour pattern, not a contrasting one.

best wedding dresses for short bride Gabby from Mori Lee

Choose high-waisted designs. High-waisted dresses make your legs look longer and as a result, you look taller – the Mori Lee style above is a great example! Go for an empire line wedding dress with a soft and lightweight skirt. The cut of the gown covers all imperfections and elongates your silhouette. Slender, petite brides could also go for a bridal jumpsuit!

Do not hide your shape. Petite brides can look stunning in a variety of different styles of wedding dresses, but the dramatic ball gown is not one of them… Full skirt, heavy fabrics, and lots of decoration will make you look wide and stumpy. Look for a slimmer silhouette, that will not hide your delicate figure.

When you're searching for the perfect wedding dress, Bellissima Weddings has a massive variety of options to select from.

Have a browse online today and when you're ready, book your very special Bellissima appointment!


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