What wedding dress style should I choose?

To find out what wedding dress suits you there is a lot to consider:

  • The style of your wedding dress (vintage, princess, simple, etc.)

  • The shape or silhouette of your wedding dress (A-line, mermaid, etc.)

  • Your body type (no body type excludes any dress styles. A plus size bride can rock a sexy wedding dress as long as you know what to choose)

  • Your wedding dress budget (most future brides don’t realize that how well a wedding dress fits is largely dependent on your budget)

If you’ve read through a handful of online guides on how to choose your wedding dress style, forget everything you’ve read! It doesn’t help you to think are you a pear, triangle or banana shape. What you need to consider when buying a wedding dress is much more complex than that.

Plus size wedding dress and a lace wedding dress-Victoria & Vincent

1. Wedding dress style

The style of the wedding dress is not the shape of the dress but rather the “feel” of the dress.

For example, a princess wedding dress has a big skirt and often plenty of decorations and some slight bling.

A vintage wedding dress on the other hand is much lighter, has a smaller skirt and is often decorated with floral lace etc.

The style of the wedding dress should be matched with the style and feel of the wedding, which is one of the first steps in planning your wedding. The dress should also match the bride’s personality and style.

2. Wedding dress shape or silhouette

Bridal dress silhouette is the shape formed by the dress.

For example A-line is roughly the shape of the letter A as the skirt opens up to the sides

A mermaid dress hugs the body around the hips and legs forming the shape of a mermaid’s lower body

Wedding dress shape / silhouette and wedding dress style are not the same thing. As the next point explains there is no certain dress shape for a certain body shape.

Here are some example pictures of the most common wedding dress silhouettes:

3. Your body type

Good quality bridal dresses are heavily supported and cut to form a specific shape. They are not designed to follow your body shape; they reshape your body. As we mention in our wedding dress price guide there are large differences between the different price level dresses. The most significant being the fit of the dress. An evening dress that is the perfect size for you usually looks good on you. With wedding dresses this isn’t the case. Different brands have slightly different templates for their bridal dresses and you just have to find the one that is perfect for your body.

As we mention in our guide for where to buy a wedding dress from this is the part where your local bridal shop can help you more than any online guide ever. To find out what wedding dress style suits you the best place to start is trying on several different styles. No body type excludes any dress style!

Plus size wedding dress Laura from Victoria & Vincent

4. Your wedding dress budget

We have an entire guide for the prices of bridal gowns but to summarize from our own guide: support and good fit will cost you. Other things that will increase the price of your wedding dress are high quality materials and beading. More down to earth styles with less lace details and beading are the most affordable. If you are going for a big flashy princess style and you are on a budget, the options are sacrificing support and fit which we wouldn’t advice or asking your local bridal shop what sample dress or second-hand options they have available.

Wedding budget

If there was only one thing we could teach future brides, it would be:

How the wedding dress fits determines if you look good in the dress or not.

The most common mistake soon-to-be brides make: they choose a dress based on a picture and stick with their choice. Until you have tried on the dress and few other dresses, keep your options open. That perfect looking dress might not be perfect on you. (Not to mention you should never trust pictures anyways).

Dresses from different brands have different fit, try few bridal gowns from at least two different brands before making up your mind.

An off shoulder wedding dress with a beautiful illusion lace back. Perfect for a vintage look.