If you are a petite bride who is ready to begin shopping for your wedding dress, you won’t want to miss today’s wedding dress shopping tips and advice. If you are a petite bride who has already begun trying on wedding dresses and are finding the process a bit frustrating or disheartening, we have the best tips to help you continue your wedding dress search. As a petite bride, you might be struggling to find your dream wedding dress due to the sample dress sizes available in bridal stores.
Sample wedding dresses that brides try on in store are not going to fit the majority of brides perfectly, but there can be some extra challenges for brides who are petite. The sample dresses are going to be too large on petite brides and so it can be hard to envision what a particular dress will actually look like when you wear it on wedding day after it’s been tailored to your body measurements. Petite brides should not worry as we will share our best tips and advice to prepare you for wedding dress shopping.
For more help for our petite brides and those who are on the smaller or shorter side, you'll love our advice for the best wedding dress styles and silhouettes for petite brides. We also have some really great tips for brides who are tall and the best wedding dress styles and shapes for tall brides.
VIDEO: Tips For Wedding Dress Shopping as a Petite Bride, Not Fitting In Sample Sizes While Dress Shopping
If you are a petite bride who is ready to shop for your wedding dress, don't miss our video advice with all the tips petite brides need for wedding dress shopping. If you are a petite bride worried about fitting in sample sale wedding dresses, you won't want to miss these best tips for wedding dress shopping.
Bridal stores purchase dresses from designers so that brides will have something to try on when they visit a store to shop for their wedding dress. These dresses are usually ordered in a size that is somewhat in the middle of the size scale so that they will hopefully fit a variety of brides. Please keep in mind when you are trying on wedding dresses that your gown will be ordered based on your body measurements and will be tailored to fit you perfectly during the alterations process. You might have to use your imagination a bit when trying on the sample dresses, but they are not designed to fit every bride perfectly.
Petite brides face an extra challenge when trying on wedding dresses because in addition to the size of the sample dresses being too big, that also means the length of the dress is also going to be too much for shorter brides. It can be hard to imagine what you will look like walking down the aisle if you are swimming in fabric. But know that if you love a dress that is not to scale on your body, you will love it even more when it arrives in your size.
Bring A Friend
As a petite bride, it can be hard to know what a particular dress will look like once it’s been fitted down to your proportions and correct size. One trick that can help you imagine what a particular dress will look like when fitted better is to bring a friend along with you. As you are narrowing down your wedding dress search, bring along a friend who has a similar body type to you. So if you have an hourglass shape or a triangle shape, see if you have a family member or friend who is the same shape as you but is maybe taller than you or a bigger size and have them try on the gowns you are considering for your wedding. This will allow you to see how the dress will fit properly. You’ll have a better understanding of where the dress falls on the bust and waist.
It might sound a little strange but it can be so helpful to see the dress on a body that it fits more proportionally and to scale. It may help you envision better what the dress will look like on your own body when it fits properly.
This next tip will not apply to all bridal designers, but it is worth asking at your bridal store. If there is a certain designer you like and there is a trunk show of their collection, you can ask the bridal store to contact the designer and see if they have a smaller size that can be sent during the trunk show. In this scenario, you will often times have to pay for the shipping and it may not be applied as a credit to your purchase, it will just cover the fees for sending that dress or dresses to your particular store. This may be worth it to some brides just so that they can try on a dress that more proportionally fits their body.
Look For Photos
If you don’t want to pay additional fees for shipping a smaller dress size to your local store, be sure to check for photos online. The designer’s website may have photos or videos of the dress you are interested in. If you are able to see the dress on a model or even another bride, that can also help you envision what a certain dress looks like when it fits properly. It’s also helpful to look at these photos and videos while you are in the dress so you can imagine what the proper size would look like on your own body.
When you are trying on sample wedding dresses, bridal stylists have all sorts of tricks up their sleeve to help brides better fit into dresses. They can clamp the back of a dress that is too big so it won’t be falling off a petite frame. We know this can still make it a bit hard to fully visualize a perfectly fitting dress, but it should help give you a better idea if things are pulled in a bit.
An important adjustment to make when you are trying on dresses is with the hemline. Petite brides should be sure to ask their bridal consultants to show them what the dress looks like with the hem done. Sample bridal dresses are going to be very, very long on petite brides and oftentimes when you stand on the pedestal and have the dress skirt and train completely spread out, it will give the dress a shape that you will not have once the dress is hemmed to the correct length. The length will make you look taller and the proportions will fit differently once the dress is tailored correctly. At Lovella, we will fold the front of the dress underneath so that a bride can see what the dress looks like based on their height and have a better sense of proportions when they know where the skirt will end.
This is especially important with certain style dresses, like a mermaid or more fitted style. It’s going to look fuller with the longer skirt when it’s all laid out, but once it gets hemmed, there will be a difference in the proportions of the skirt. We have had brides in the past not like the shape of their dress once it’s been hemmed, so please be sure to have your bridal stylist tuck the skirt under so you can visualize what a hemmed dress will look like and ensure you will be happy with the shape.
If the alterations process of hemming your dress is going to decrease the fullness of the skirt, crinoline layers can always be added in the alterations process. This thick layer of tulle will help manipulate the dress skirt material to stay more open and spread out to give that fullness back.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope you have found this advice helpful when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress as a petite bride so you can be prepared for your shopping appointment. For even more helpful advice when it comes to shopping for your dream wedding dress and finding your bridal style, be sure to check out our past posts:
- What Style Wedding Dress Should a Petite Bride Wear
- What Should I Expect When Wedding Dress Shopping For The First Time
- How To Maximize Your Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.