Are you a petite bride who is ready to start shopping for your wedding dress? Are you wondering what style or shape of wedding dress is best for your petite body type? Whether you're on the shorter side or your body is built a little smaller, if you're a petite bride-to-be on the hunt for your dream wedding dress, you're in luck with today's wedding dress shopping advice just for our petite brides.
Today’s advice post is in response to a question we get asked all the time by our petite and small framed brides at Lovella Bridal during in-store wedding dress shopping appointments and through our social media channels. All brides will wonder what silhouette or shape and style of wedding dress they should wear to best fit their body, but it is a question we hear frequently from our petite brides.
We are going to discuss everything petite and smaller body framed brides need to know about choosing what style, silhouette, and shape of gown they should wear for their wedding. Let’s jump right into it when to comes to the wedding dress styles that look the best on a petite or smaller bride!
VIDEO: What Style Wedding Dress Should a Petite Bride Wear?
For all of our advice and tips for petite brides and how to choose a wedding dress style or silhouette, don't miss our video discussing what style of wedding dress a petite bride should wear.
Every Style Is An Option
When it comes to what style of wedding gown a petite bride should wear on her wedding day, the short answer is any style! You may by surprised by this answer, however, it is true. Any bride, even our petite or plus size brides, can wear any style and shape of wedding dress that they love. From mermaid to fit and flare to ball gown to strapless to long sleeves, no matter your size of body, you can wear whatever wedding dress style you love.
Once your wedding dress has been altered, it will fit you just as you are no matter your size. At Lovella, we have helped our fair share of petite brides find their dream wedding dress. We’ve seen petite brides in ball gowns, fitted gowns, and sheath bridal dresses. No matter the style of gown, we’ve seen a happy, petite bride in all styles of wedding dresses.
What it comes down to in the end, is that you find a bridal dress that makes you feel beautiful. Oftentimes, a wedding style that compliments your body may be something that we’ve been mentally trained to think we can’t wear for our body type. So many times we hear from petite brides that they won’t be able to wear a bridal gown that a taller person might wear.
It’s important to keep in mind that all bridal dresses are altered to fit your specific body measurements. So while a sample wedding gown in the dress shop that you're trying on may have sleeves that are too long for you, or the length of the dress is too long, please know that the final gown that you wear walking down the aisle will fit like a glove after alterations. Also, your bridal dress consultant in the store will have some tricks up their sleeve to help you better fit into the sample gowns so that you aren’t swimming in a bunch of extra fabric while trying on different wedding dresses during an appointment.
For more on the different wedding dress styles and silhouettes, be sure to check out our video sharing the different types of wedding gowns:
Not All Bodies Are The Same
As a petite bride, we would encourage you to try on all different shapes and silhouettes when you are shopping for your wedding dress. Be open to trying on as many wedding dress styles and shapes as you can. You never know what style of wedding dress you will end up falling in love with. There will be proportions on different dresses that fit you better than others. There isn’t a one size fits all style of wedding dress, even for petite brides.
Not all body proportions are going to be the same from person to person, even if you are the same height in inches as another bride or are both technically considered petite. Some petite brides may have a longer torso than others or shorter legs than others. Even though many brides fall into the petite category because of their height, size, or body frame, everybody’s body proportions are going to vary.
The measurement from the top of the wedding dress to your shoulder, your bust measurement, and your hips measurement are all things that are going to be specific to each individual and come into play when ordering the correct size wedding dress. Your individual measurements will be important for your wedding dress alterations.
You’ll Need Alterations
As a petite bride, you may already be expecting to make quite a few alterations to your wedding dress.
One question, in particular, you may be curious about is whether your wedding dress will be hemmed from the bottom or from the waist. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. You should ask at your bridal store as each wedding dress style is unique.
Generally speaking, ball gown style wedding dresses are hemmed from the bottom of the skirt because there would be a lot of bunching if the torso of the dress was detached and the skirt hemmed from the top and then reattached.
For more fitted gowns such as a mermaid or fit and flare, especially if there is a seam at the waist, they can be altered in the torso area. But again, it all depends on your body proportions and the style of your wedding dress. It’s something that you need to ask in your bridal store. You and your bridal stylist in the store will need to understand the needs of your individual body and the wedding dress style all in one prior to moving forward with your wedding dress purchase.
If you are worried that the shape and the silhouette of your wedding dress will be compromised after alterations, that is a valid point for any bride and we understand your concern. When you're wearing a sample wedding gown what you're seeing when standing on the pedestal during a dress shopping appointment and all that extra material in the dress, gives a different illusion than when you cut that material and have a properly fitting dress. We want to make sure all brides are prepared to ask the bridal store the appropriate questions about what the bridal dress will look like in your proportions. Ask your bridal stylist if they can fold the dress and show you how the wedding dress will fit your body after alterations.
If the bridal dress shop has a seamstress on site, you could arrange to meet with the seamstress to make sure that all the things that you're wanting altered will be done properly. Also, any area of concerns that you might have will be addressed prior to buying the dress if you're able to meet with an alterations person. This is a win-win for everybody involved. The bridal dress store and you will both know what to expect and everything will be to your liking because it was discussed on the front end prior to purchasing your wedding gown.
Get Off The Pedestal
No matter your height, sample wedding dresses are most likely going to be long on you if you're a petite bride or a bride on the shorter size. Unless you are around 5’11” or taller, the sample wedding dresses are going to be too long for your petite body size. Most wedding dresses will need to be altered to better fit you. If you are a petite bride, don’t worry about having to hem your wedding dress too much.
When you go wedding dress shopping, be sure to bring along a pair of heels if you plan on wearing heels on the wedding day, or flats if you will be in flats on the wedding day. When you are picking out your wedding dress, you don’t need to have the exact shoe you will wear on your wedding day, but at least bring along a similar style and heel height that you’ll wear on the wedding day. When it comes time for alterations, you can bring along your wedding day shoes, so that your seamstress can be sure to hem your dress to the proper length.
Another reason we encourage all brides to bring certain shoes to their wedding dress shopping appointments is that we want you to get off the pedestal in the fitting room and walk around in the wedding dresses. It’s so important to walk in the bridal dresses you are trying on so you get a sense of how you’ll move in the dress and how the dress itself will move and look when you are in motion.
At Lovella, when we get you off the pedestal and walk in a sample wedding dress, we’ll show you what your dress will look like proportionally once it’s altered. We want to make sure that you are going to be happy with the final wedding dress look after alterations. For example, if your wedding dress goes straight down, like a sheath or column style, and it has no volume, once it is hemmed, your feet may show when walking since the dress falls straight down. We have heard from many brides after their wedding day that they were unhappy that their feet showed in their gown, and they didn’t know because they never walked around in the wedding dress, and the sample wedding gown they tried on was so long on them. This is why it’s very important for you to understand what that wedding dress is going to look like altered.
For more on how to move and walk in a wedding dress, be sure to check out our past post all about how to move when wearing a wedding dress.
No Set Formula
All in all, no matter your size or your height, there is no set formula or a set particular shape of wedding dress that is going to look better on a petite bride. For the best dress that looks the best on your body, you'll have to try the different wedding dresses on. Each silhouette of a bridal dress will fit differently and uniquely on every different body, so it's all about trial and error. You need to try on different styles of bridal dresses to see what makes you feel beautiful and confident.
At Lovella, we are firm believers in there being no rules when it comes to bridal fashion. We have our brides try on all of the different shapes, fabrics, styles, and silhouettes, no matter their size or height because we want you to see every wedding dress on your body. Each bridal dress style will lead to the next, and you’ll start to learn what you like and don’t like. The only way you can truly judge a particular dress is to try it on and see how you feel.
Remember that your bridal stylist is only as good as your feedback, so be sure to tell them what you like and don't like about each wedding dress you try on. Be specific in your feedback to your bridal store consultant. If there is something you really want to highlight, or if you are maybe self-conscious about being short or petite and you want a wedding dress to elongate you, then communicate those needs to your bridal stylist so they can show you dresses that have all the components you are looking for so you can find your dream wedding dress.
More Helpful Wedding Dress Shopping Advice
We hope all our petite brides found this advice helpful, and even any bride who is curious about wedding dress styles and shapes. For even more helpful wedding dress shopping tips, be sure to check out these past posts:
- What Wedding Dress Style & Shape Should You Wear For Your Body Type
- How to Move When Wearing a Wedding Dress
- Wedding Dress Shopping Checklist
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.