The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping for Petite Brides Mobile Image

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping for Petite Brides

October 29, 2020

We know the struggle is real for petite brides trying to find their dream wedding dress that will perfectly complement their short frame without overwhelming it. While we would love to say that petite brides have all of the options in the world when it comes to wedding dresses, that's just not the case. Certain silhouettes — like ball gowns or mermaid styles — are heavier on the body and tend to swallow shorter frames. 


From deciding on the perfect silhouette to discerning between which fabrics will enhance your small frame and which have the tendency to overwhelm, here is our ultimate guide to wedding dress shopping for petite brides: 


Silhouettes that should be on your radar:



A-line wedding dress with V-neck bodice from Martin Thornburg


A-line wedding dresses look amazing on pretty much all body types, but they're especially flattering on petite brides! Structured sweetheart or V-neck bodices will perfectly cinch your waist and effortlessly flow into breathtaking tulle or lace A-line skirts — all working to elongate your shorter frame as you make your way down the aisle. Just look to our Cantara gown for inspiration (also available in plus sizes!). A simple A-line silhouette is enhanced by a dreamy tulle skirt, low V-neck bodice that will make you look taller and tiny lace details that trickle down the wedding dress — all attributes that work together to create one totally flattering wedding day look for the petite bride with a romantic feminine charm. 


Fit and Flare

Simple lace fit and flare wedding dress for petite bride


If you're a petite bride looking for something on the sexier side, opt for a fit and flare wedding dress. While they're similar in style to mermaid wedding dresses, fit and flare silhouettes flare out just above the knee (whereas mermaid styles flare out below the knee), so they won't shorten your frame. Something like our Avila gown is the perfect match for the petite bride that wants to keep the focus on her alluring beauty as she ties the knot. Embroidered with delicate beaded lace details for a subtle shimmer and complemented by a classic V-neckline that comes together with an illusion lace open back, Avila works to create the ultimate hourglass shape for any petite bride. 



Crepe wedding dress with semi-sheer bodice and side lace inserts


Last but definitely not least — the sheath. Sheath wedding dresses are less form-fitting than fit and flare styles but still hug to your hips in order to create a more defined shape. The sheath silhouette is great for the petite bride looking to highlight her shape without drowning in fabric with a dramatic flare. If this shape is peaking your interest, then you need to check out our Lenore gown. Sexy without being too bold, Lenore is a sheath wedding dress that features simple crepe fabric that perfectly hangs on the hips and semi-sheer sides with delicate lace embroidery that will add to your height. Eye-catching is an understatement. 



Which fabrics to love and which to avoid: 


Avoid: big prints and large lace embroidery.


We're here to let our petite brides know: big prints and large lace embroidery will overwhelm your small frame. We suggest that you stay in the realm of minimal fabrics — like satin or crepe — and intricate lace detailing. These fabrics won't swallow your petite silhouette!


Love: small lace details, simple satin or crepe fabric, intricate beading.


As we mentioned above, the smaller the details, the better. With smaller details and simple fabric, a wedding dress can beautifully elongate and complement a shorter frame — a match made in heaven for petite brides. 


Pro tip: find a dress with a shorter bodice.

Vertical seaming is a major plus, too!

Strapless two piece wedding dress with flowy lace train


Finally, we're here to let you in on a little secret: a wedding dress that features a shorter bodice can make all the different for a petite bride! Wedding dresses that offer shorter bodices and longer skirts will lengthen your silhouette in order to create the illusion of a longer frame. Vertical seaming on the bodice helps with this as well!


Want to browse more wedding dresses for petite brides? Check out our newest collection here