Bridal Styles for Petites

by Ashton Cude

Brides come in all shapes and sizes. Every bride has certain features she wants to highlight in her wedding gown. We’ll be doing a series here on the blog for various body types and the bridal styles that make them shine best! We’re starting with petites because that’s what Ashton, our assistant manager, has the most experience with. Below are her tips on how to rock your bridal look if you’re on the smaller side.

There are different definitions of petite, and I’ll try to touch on a few different challenges petites face when shopping for wedding gowns. Being labeled “petite” can refer to your height or weight. As a bridal consultant, petites are always my most worried brides when it comes to sizing. In case you are one of those worried brides, I hope this post will reassure you. Your wedding gown is out there and it will make you feel beautiful! I personally have always been petite so I know how hard it can be to find a dress that doesn’t wear you. Since no two petite bodies are the same, I’ll offer suggestions for a variety of features.


1. If you have a long torso: If you’re petite and have a long torso, chances are you’re of average height or taller. I have good news for you: you have the body type designed for two-piece dresses! Two-pieces come in a variety of styles and work great for outdoor summer weddings. Pictured below is “Sunny” from Hayley Paige’s Blush line. This particular gown features an A-Line skirt, which is universally flattering. If two-pieces aren’t your style, you could also opt for a subtle fit-and-flare gown. Dresses that are slightly fitted through the hip will show off your shape without cutting up your figure. Maggie Sottero’s “Jade” is a great example, and features a stunning double keyhole back.


2. If you’re short: Some may prefer the term “fun-sized,” but however you say it, being petite in the height department can be a struggle when dress shopping. If you want to look taller, avoid horizontal seams in your gown whenever possible. Dramatic fit and flair gowns tend to “chop” your figure into sections. Look for sheath or A-line silhouettes. The higher the waistline, the taller and slimmer you will look. Consider an empire waist for an elongated shape. Ball gowns can tend to overwhelm petite figures. Stella York’s 6025 dress has beautiful netted tulle and alencon lace. Kate Mcdonald’s “Drayton” features an empire waist and an ethereal organza skirt.


3. If you want to create curves: If you are petite in terms of weight, you may want a gown that will enhance curves. Look for features like a sweetheart neckline, a natural waist, and fitting through the hips. Some brides with a petite frame find that they don’t like how strapless gowns look on them. Consider cap sleeves or a strap of some kind if you don’t like the strapless look. This Intuzuri gown has delicate Chantilly lace, shimmer, and an empire waist. Justin Alexander’s 8725 dress has gorgeous beading, an illusion back, and flattering cap sleeves.


Most important of all, remember that these are guidelines, not rules. Only you know which dress makes you feel most beautiful and bridal. You can toss all these tips out the window if you get on a dress that goes against them, but you light up in it. Know that you are the one who needs to feel comfortable and confident in your wedding gown, no one else. All of these dresses are available at Meant to Be, so if you think your wedding dress might be in one of these photos, make an appointment to come and shop with us!