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Demystifying wedding dress silhouettes—All you wanted to know about different wedding dress styles

If we say that finding the perfect wedding dress is as challenging as finding the perfect groom, will you agree?

The wedding fashion scene presents an overwhelming variety of options in wedding dress. This, of course adds to the excitement of dress shopping; however, wait till you set foot in a bridal shop, and all this variety will only add to your confusion.

Nevertheless, you must find a way out and reach your goal—a “dream wedding dress” perfect for the most special day in your life! And for this you must know what your options are and direct your attention to choices most suitable for you.

Clever brides know that the wedding dress search begins with choosing the right wedding dress silhouette.

So, join us as we explore this first step in detail. In the coming sections, we will look at different wedding dress silhouettes and identify which of these is best for you based on your body shape.

Let us begin!

Chapter 1: Wedding dress silhouettes—how are they different from regular clothing? 

Wedding dresses are very different from regular clothes in the following ways

  • They are complex garments that have internal boning and other special elements like corsets and heavily layered fabric. These features hold the gown up by creating its structure and shape and allow it to drape perfectly. You will rarely see these features in regular clothes.
  • Most wedding dress silhouettes involve intricate and elaborate details like embroidery and lace appliques. This type of fine work is often hand-embroidered.
  • The fabric used in designer wedding dresses is of high-quality, expensive and made of the finest fabrics.
  • Look closely at any designer wedding dress. You can see the impressive quality of work at each level. Everything from how the seams are made to the definition of details will be impeccable.

This video will help you better understand the extent of work that goes into the construction of a wedding gown.

See how much effort it involves?

So, wedding dresses are very different from any other garments!

Now, let us move on to the key factor that differentiates different wedding dress styles—the Silhouette!

By silhouette, what we mean is the shape that your body has when you wear the dress. Wedding dress designers follow certain basic structures when designing wedding dresses. Although there is a stunning variety in style aspects like neckline, sleeves, fabric and length, there are only a handful of wedding dress silhouettes.

Recognize the wedding dress silhouettes that flatter your body type best and your search for the perfect dress becomes much easier. We will tell you why in the coming section.

Chapter 2: Importance of wedding dress silhouettes in your search 

We already told you that the silhouette is a defining factor of a wedding dress, which is basically the shape that your body achieves when you wear a certain gown.

Since there are just few wedding dress silhouettes, you can use this as the starting point for your wedding dress search. Identify the dress silhouettes that suit your body type and appeal to your taste and it will be easy to narrow down the rest of your search criteria.

Let us look at this with an example.

Say, you decide to go with the ball gown silhouette. So, this is your first search criterion.

When you convey this information to your bridal consultant, she will only bring you ball gowns to try on. This eliminates the need to explore other silhouettes. Such a focused search will save you time and effort.

Except for the highly unlikely situation that you do not find a single ball gown that you like, you need not even pay attention to any other dress style.

Chapter 3: Types of wedding dress silhouettes 

Let us now move on to decoding each wedding dress silhouette in detail. For this, we will discuss the defining characteristics of different silhouettes as well as the pros and cons of each style.

The first one on the list is the ball gown.

Ball Gowns 

Think fairytale, and the ball gown is the first style that pops into mind!

The ball gown is a silhouette that says ‘bride’ so very clearly. Synonymous with the princess look, it is opulent and dramatic.

Ball gowns always feature a fitted bodice, defined waistline and full skirt. The contrast between the top and bottom halves of the dress is what makes this silhouette very dramatic.

These dressy gowns are created in fabrics like silk, taffeta and tulle and the skirt is structured to hold a fancy, bouffant style. Ball gowns feature different necklines and sleeve styles, as the ballooning skirt can hold its own against any elaborate or simple bodice.

If you want a dramatic and striking look without much effort, the ball gown is the perfect choice. You will have no dearth of options as there are ball gowns with tiered skirts, ruffle details and stunning embellishments in the hemline or scattered in the skirt. This style looks good on most body types, and hence is a safe choice.

Modern versions feature illusion bodices, striking back details and crisp lines that add flair to this classic silhouette. When fashioned in shantung or dupioni silk, the look is polished and sophisticated.

This dress style works just great for weddings in the cooler months, since it offers ample coverage and keeps you cozy under layers of fabric. When your silhouette is as dramatic as a ball gown, you need few other accessories to complete your wedding day look.

Who should avoid ball gowns?  

Ball gowns are not the best choice for brides who are petite or curvy. Petite body structures tend to be swallowed by the elaborate layers in a ball gown. Similarly, curvy brides will look fuller when they opt for this silhouette.

Still unsure? Visit this post for more reasons on why the ball gown is an amazing choice.

Here are some sample ball gown styles from our collection to inspire you.

Sweetheart neckline, draped bodice and ball gown skirt

Romantic illusion bodice and lace appliques on ball gown skirt

Modern ball gown with sheer bodice and spaghetti straps

For a quick and easy understanding of the ball gown shape in wedding dresses, we suggest you view this video.

A-line and modified A-line 

The very name of this wedding dress silhouette is self-explanatory, isn’t it?

The easiest way to identify an A-line dress is to check whether it resembles the shape of a letter A. A-line gowns have a fitted bodice and waistline and open into a full skirt beyond the waist. This makes the silhouette look like the letter A.

This style is classic and elegant and is suitable for both formal and casual wedding themes. The A-line skirt is also very versatile, and works well with any neckline and sleeve style.

Now, there is a variation of the A-line that is very popular. It is the modified A-line, which is very similar to the classic A-line, except that the dress has a fitted bodice and waistline that continues down to the hips. It flares into a full skirt only beyond the hips, thus defining the natural curves of the body better than a regular A-line wedding dress silhouette.

The modified A-line is the perfect balance between the classic A-line and mermaid. It defines the shape better than an A-line, but allows easier movement than the mermaid.

A-line silhouettes are universally flattering choices, that look good on most body types. Hence it is a very popular choice among brides. Here is a video that explains the shape and structure of the A-line silhouette in detail.

Here are some of the diverse choices in A-line wedding dresses from our collection at Best for Bride.

Sweetheart neckline and lace embellishments on A-line wedding gown

Illusion halter neckline with sweetheart bodice and A-line wedding skirt

Plunging V-neckline on sleeveless lace bodice A-line gown

 Trumpet 

The trumpet is a wedding dress silhouette with a straight bodice that continues down the waistline and hips. The skirt begins at mid-thigh and opens out into a flared shape that resembles a trumpet. The flared skirt is easy to move around in.

The straight shape of the top-half draws attention to the stomach and hip area. Hence it is a good choice for women with slender waistlines and delicate figures. Brides with a curvy figure can accentuate their curves with a trumpet silhouette.

However, if you have a full figure, we believe this may not be the ideal choice since it further enhances your natural curves and draws attention to less desirable areas of your body.

You can find trumpet dresses with all types of necklines, sleeves and interesting features. Watch all that we just discussed in the video below.

Here are some trumpet dress silhouettes from our collection.

Spaghetti strap trumpet dress with all over lace design

Off-the-shoulder lace trumpet gown with full-length illusion sleeves

High neckline with illusion lace motifs over sweetheart bodice and trumpet skirt

Mermaid 

Do you want a sexy, stylish and stunning wedding dress silhouette?

Then, the mermaid is the best choice to consider. It has a fitted bodice that closely fits the natural curves of the body all the way down the waistline and hips. The silhouette flares out into a dramatic and full skirt below the knees, creating a stunning effect.

The fitted style of the mermaid makes it suitable for curvy brides who like to show off their natural shape. It is not the best choice for brides with bulky waistlines and hips, since the shape highlights these areas.

Don’t worry if you find yourself confused between the mermaid and fit and flare. Both wedding dress silhouettes have similar shapes and it isn’t always easy to distinguish between them. However, there are differences. So, look for the following.

  • The bodice in the fit and flare gown is straight while the mermaid features a fitted bodice that closely curves along the natural body shape.
  • The skirt in the trumpet silhouette usually starts at mid-thigh while the mermaid skirt flares out further below, at knee level.

Here are some mermaid dresses

Dramatic strapless satin mermaid dress with ruffle skirt detail

Flounced organza mermaid wedding dress with embellished bodice

Ruffled mermaid gown with lace applique embellishments in bodice

Fit and Flare 

Like the mermaid and trumpet, the fit and flare silhouette also has a fitted bodice and a full skirt. However, the difference here is that the skirt flares out gradually, beginning at the waistline. In the case of the trumpet and mermaid, the flaring of the skirt occurs much below, at thigh or knee level.

The fact that the fit and flare silhouette has a skirt that gradually flares out makes it comfortable to move around in. Hence it is convenient to dance, walk around or climb stairs in it.

The fit and flare dress looks good on brides with slender waistlines. Since it draws attention to the waistline and bust, it can also be worn by brides who wish to distract from their hips and legs.

Here is a video to demonstrate the difference between the fit and flare, mermaid and trumpet silhouettes.

Let us now look at some examples of fit and flare dresses.

All-over lace appliques on fit and flare silhouette with V-neckline

Satin minimalist sleeveless gown with fit and flare silhouette

Sheath 

This is one of our favorite wedding dress silhouettes, as it is simple, classy and elegant. The sheath silhouette follows your natural body shape from top to toe. It doesn’t have any defined lines and simply flows over your natural body curves.

The sheath is very simple with a straight structure. It does not have multiple layers like other dress styles. Nevertheless, the simplicity of this dress style is its strongest feature.

Sheaths are also known as column-dresses. They look great on straight figures, as they create the illusion of curves. Sheaths are also good for brides with defined waistlines and brides who wish to flaunt their curves.

For more information on this wedding dress style, watch this eHow video.

The following sheath dresses belong to our Best for Bride wedding dress collection.

 Stretchy crepe sheath dress with illusion scoop neckline and sweetheart bodice

Shimmering lace appliques on sleeveless sheath gown

Chapter 4: Wedding dresses and different body types 

We just looked at the different wedding dress silhouettes that are available for brides.

So, when you go wedding dress shopping, do you try dresses in all available silhouettes?

That certainly wouldn’t be a sensible idea!

Unless you limit your options, your wedding dress search will never end. And for this, you should first identify your body type and then find the best wedding dress silhouettes for it.

So, let us first look at how to evaluate what body type you are.

How to identify your body type

Where body shape is concerned, there are four categories:

  • Apple or inverted triangle
  • Pear or triangle
  • Hourglass
  • Rectangle Straight

To recognize which of these you belong to, first measure yourself around the bust, shoulders, waist and hips. Then compare each of these measurements against each other to find out which body type you are according to the following instructions.

  • If your shoulder measurement is much greater than your hip measurement, you are an Apple.
  • When your hip measures more than your shoulder and bust, you are a pear or triangle.
  • If your shoulders and hips measure pretty much the same, and your waist measures smaller than both these measurements, you are an Hourglass.
  • When the measurements of your shoulders, hips and bust are similar, you are a Rectangle.

This comparative method should give you a fair idea of what your body shape is. However, you can also follow the more detailed process in our guide to correctly identifying your body type to analyze your body shape.

Alternately, refer to this post for detailed instructions on how to correctly identify your body type.

Once you recognize your body shape, most of your work is done! It is now easy to find the wedding dress silhouette that best enhances your positive assets.

So, let us move to this step.

In the coming section we will look at the different silhouettes that are best suited for each body type.

Chapter 5: Best wedding dress silhouettes for each body type 

Now, let us look at the different wedding dress silhouettes for each body type and understand why it is suitable. We will also look at the dress styles you to avoid for each body type. Here goes!

  • Apple or inverted triangle 

If you are an apple, your upper body dimensions are larger than those of your lower body. So, you have broad shoulders and less curves in your lower half.

Based on these characteristics, the ideal dress silhouettes are those that balance out your broad upper body by adding bulk to the lower body.

Dresses that flare away from the waistline, thereby concealing slight hips will achieve this effect. Also, silhouettes that pull the upper half in and define your waistline better will flatter you.

Here are the recommended choices:

A-line: Hide your slender hips and legs under an A-line skirt that flares out at the waistline. The larger the skirt, the better it will balance out your upper body.

Ball gown: These dresses have heavy skirts that can camouflage a slender lower body. The thick skirt also creates a defined waistline that adds the illusion of curves, thus enhancing your figure.

Avoid fit and flare and trumpet dresses since these emphasize the larger proportions of your upper half.

  • Pear or triangle 

Pear-shaped women have larger dimensions in the lower body than in the upper half. So, your hips are wider than your shoulders, and you are small on top.

The best wedding dress silhouettes for you will show off how little you are on top, while hiding the larger proportions of your hips. These would be dresses that either hide the hips or flare away from the waistline, camouflaging their larger proportions.

We recommend the following

Ball gown: The full skirt of these dresses and defined waistline will draw attention to your slim natural waist. Your thicker hips will not be obvious under the naturally puffy skirt of a ball gown.

A-line: A-line dresses with skirts that do not cling are good for pear-shaped women. These balance the proportions in either half by flaring away from the waistline and hiding the natural shape of the body beyond the waistline.

Sheaths and trumpets are two silhouettes to avoid. The sheath emphasizes your natural curves and draws attention to your lower body. Trumpets draw attention to the stomach and hip area with their straight lines, and this will not work in your favor.

  • Hourglass 

The characteristic feature of an hourglass shape is well-balanced upper and lower halves and a defined waistline. So, your hips and shoulders will be quite the same size and you will have a beautiful curvy structure.

The balanced proportions of both your body halves makes it easy to carry off any wedding dress silhouette. Since there are usually no features to hide, you should show off your curves to look more fashionable. Here are the silhouettes that achieve this effect.

Mermaid: This wedding dress silhouette shows off your natural curves and hence is one of the best choices for hourglass figures. You will look stunning in the well-defined curvy shape that draws attention to your slim waistline.

Fit and flare: You can carry off fit and flare gowns with details like a dropped waist, ruffles and textured bodice with perfect style. This silhouette also accentuates your naturally curvy figure, showing off your best assets.

Sheath: The straight shape of the sheath plays up your natural features, making it a wonderful choice for hourglass figures.

  • Straight 

With similar proportions in both the top and bottom halves, your waistline isn’t obvious when you have a straight shape.

When choosing wedding dress silhouettes, look for dresses that create the illusion of curves where there aren’t any. Also look for dresses with bodices that pull in the upper half and create a more defined waistline.

Here are the best choices

Ball gown: This dress has a slender bodice and a full skirt, that creates a full figure by itself. When brides with a straight shape wear this silhouette, the longer and straight proportions of their upper body balance out by the larger proportions of the skirt.

Sheath: The benefit of this silhouette is that the straight appearance creates an illusion of curves in the lower body. As a result, your body shape will tend to look curvier than it actually is.

A-line: A-line dresses with a defined waistline and full skirt also look attractive on rectangle body types. This dress style creates a full look at the waistline and beyond, thus adding more dimension to your lower body.

If you are a rectangle, avoid wedding dress silhouettes that accentuate your straight structure. Stay away from trumpets, mermaids and fit and flare silhouettes that closely fit.

Chapter 6: Some more important things to know 

We have now finished looking at wedding dress silhouettes and how to choose the right one according to body shape. So, ready to go shopping?

Not just yet!

Here are some important tips to help you make the most of your wedding dress shopping.

1.Only shop at the right place

Don’t limit yourself when you shop for your wedding dress. Choose a bridal salon with rails and rails of diverse collections, so you can explore all your options. Also make sure it has great customer reviews, since this directly impacts the quality of your shopping session. Go with a reputed salon and your wedding dress shopping will be a fun-filled and memorable experience in every way.

2.Keep an open mind

Do you know how many brides end up buying a wedding dress they never initially considered?

Bridal dress shopping is funny that way! A dress may look unappealing on the hanger, but amazing when you wear it. Unless you are flexible with your ideas and open to trying such dresses, you may miss your dream dress. So, shop with an open mind and you may be luckier than you expect.

3.Trust your consultant

An experienced wedding dress consultant will be an expert in wedding dress silhouettes and styles. She will also be able to identify your body type by just looking at you. As a result, she can suggest dress silhouettes that are sure to look amazing on you. So, trust her and try on her suggestions. You will not be disappointed!

4.Buy it only if you love it

There is no such thing as a wise impulse buy when it comes to wedding dresses. So, take your time to think your choices through before you make your final decision. If unsure, go home and think over it. Finalize your wedding dress only when you are certain it is right.

As challenging as wedding dress shopping is, you cannot go wrong when armed with the right knowledge and information. Revel in every moment while you shop for your dress, explore your options, and wedding dress shopping will be a fond memory that you will always cherish.

Look no further than our bridal gallery at Best for Bride for all the wedding dress inspiration you need. Irrespective of the silhouette, whether it is a ball gown, sheath, fit and flare or mermaid, we have a stunning variety of options for you to choose from. So, start preparing for your shopping by browsing through our gallery of dresses here.

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Mistakes to avoid when you choose your bridesmaids dresses

If there is a task that levels up to the challenges of choosing your wedding dress, it has to be selecting your bridesmaids dresses. And if you have many bridesmaids, it is even more difficult to choose dresses that suit all of them, go well together and satisfy the women who are to wear them.

The current trend of mixing and matching bridesmaids dresses is a good one on many accounts. Not only can you choose different dresses to suit each bridesmaid, it looks splendid when done properly. This article on the Huff Post proves our point. Take a look at it for some flawlessly executed mix ‘n’ match bridal parties.

The mix ‘n’ match trend also gives you the opportunity to experiment with options till you find one that you like most. Having said this, we cannot overlook the fact that it can be just as daunting, when you have to ensure that all the dresses come together in a cohesive manner.

Whether you go with this trend, or choose the exact same dress for all your bridesmaids, you should avoid certain common mistakes that brides make when they choose bridesmaids outfits. Let us take a look at the list of these likely issues and how you can avoid them.

1.Not clearly communicating the budget

Your bridesmaids know that they have to pay for a new dress when they sign up for the role. However, this doesn’t mean that you can pick an expensive dress and expect them to happily bear the bill. Be considerate of individual circumstances when making a decision. Check with each of them in advance on what they can afford to spend. Do this before you start your research, so you can plan the shopping accordingly. If one of them is in a tight spot, you can think of footing the extra amount on her behalf, but only if you want to. However, if most of them think your budget is on the higher side, it may be better for you to rethink your decision and pick other dresses that fit their budget.

2.Not consulting your bridesmaids about their preferences

It is impossible to make everyone happy when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. However this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Rather than focus on the features that each of them would like to have in their dresses, pay attention to the factors that they would rather not have. Certain colors can make certain women to look pale or sickly. Or there may be unflattering dress silhouettes that some of your bridesmaids dread wearing. It could also be that at least some of your girls wouldn’t be comfortable in dresses that are too short or those that expose too much skin. Check with your bridesmaids to find out what they would not like to wear, instead of what they would like to wear. This will help you eliminate dresses with any of these factors and narrow down your choices.

3.Giving your girls free rein

With the mix and match trend continuing to be a hit, many brides allow their bridesmaids to pick out their dresses themselves. However, do this wisely. Unless you provide at least few guidelines to abide by, it is possible that you will end up with bridesmaids looking entirely different and with no cohesion whatsoever. The issue arises when the parameters you set are vague. If you were to ask your ladies to pick green dresses, you could end up with a set of dresses varying from mint green to turquoise, and entirely different in finishes. The result would be disastrous. So, be very specific with the guiding factors. Try to fix at least two or three focal aspects of the dress such as the color, neckline and hemline that will make the group look cohesive. If you fix a color palette, allot specific shades to each of the girls and make sure they stick to the same color.

4.Not considering each woman separately

Every woman in your bridal party will be different in her own way. There will be differences in build, complexion and style. So a dress that looks good on one of your bridesmaids may be a terrible choice for another. Although you cannot perfectly match dresses to each lady, it is best if you consider their individuality when choosing dresses. Find dresses that they can connect to and they will appreciate your consideration. Be flexible with options and creative with your choices to pick dresses that will satisfy all your girls. If you decide to go with very similar dresses for all the ladies, zero in on a neutral that suits most complexions and a silhouette that will flatter almost any body type. Colors to consider include navy, brown and black, while the modified A-line silhouette looks good on most women.

5.Not doing your research first

Just like with your wedding dress, you have hundreds of options in bridesmaids dresses. While this is a good thing as it gives you enough variety to choose from, it can also make the whole process very tedious. So arm yourself with a general idea of what you want, before you go shopping. Look online and in bridal magazines to identify pictures that you like. Explore your options and make note of your specific requirements. Create a list of dress features and ideas that would be right for your wedding. Use this as your starting point when you actually go shopping.

6.Not giving due thought to length

Very short and too long bridesmaids dresses are simply not practical. On your wedding day, expect your bridesmaids to be very busy as they handle a range of tasks. Small dresses can make it uncomfortable for them to move around, and also make them very conscious when they have to pose for pictures. Long dresses are accident-prone, and if your venue involves a staircase, it is an invitation for trouble. Another problem with really short dresses is that they look quite cheap, and rarely flatter anyone unless they have an amazing body structure. Go with dresses that hit between knee-length and ankle-length and there shouldn’t be any issues. Also go for well-structured dresses and longer hemlines when the wedding is held outdoors in windy weather, to avoid embarrassments.

7.Choosing the wrong fabric

The fabric for your bridesmaids dresses should not only have the right texture, it should also be practical. The fabric choice should depend on the look you wish to achieve. While fabrics like silk and chiffon have a formal look, others like crepe are casual. If your wedding is held outdoors, the fabric shouldn’t show sweat. Choose light fabrics and cotton blends for warm weather, while opting for heavier fabric for the cooler months. It is also a good idea to choose similar fabric for the bridesmaids dress as for your wedding dress, as this will create a delightfully cohesive effect.

8.Shopping at the wrong time

As with everything wedding-related, don’t wait till the last minute to do your wedding shopping. It can take time to find the perfect dress and few more weeks to have them delivered and altered to the right sizes. So, factor this in when you start your bridesmaid dress shopping. You may come across attractive discounts in certain seasons. Make the most of these when available and your bridesmaids will appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, don’t shop too early either. Many things can change over time especially if you have a long engagement. You may find your girls grow in size, lose pounds or even announce they are pregnant. All these factors will affect your dress choices. So, don’t go shopping earlier than 6 months before the wedding.

9.Making just one appointment

It is a big mistake to go for your bridesmaids dress appointment with all the girls at once. This can cause chaos and confusion. The chances of making the wrong decision are very high when this happens. The better approach is to first go shopping with just one or two bridesmaids. Look at your options and narrow down the dress choices to a select few. Bring your bridal party in for another appointment and have them choose their dresses from the ones you had previously short-listed. This will make the entire task a lot easier and get rid of any possible confusion in the process.

10.Forgetting the accessories

Don’t be so caught up with dress research and shopping, that you forget all about your bridesmaids accessories. The jewelry and footwear they wear on your wedding day will have an impact on the overall look. So, give due thought to these aspects before you make a final decision. Instead of just planning the dress, think of the overall picture and plan from there. Also think of how practical a choice will be for the venue and weather, when selecting footwear. Aim for a balance between the dress choice and the accessories, so the overall look is neither too cluttered nor too simple.

11.Not prioritizing comfort

Even the most stylish dress will not look good if the woman wearing it finds it uncomfortable. So, make comfort a priority when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. Avoid patterns that are too tight, too revealing or short. When the dress fits correctly and doesn’t make them overly conscious, your bridesmaids will be able to focus their attention on you and their wedding-related duties. There are also better chances for them to reuse a dress that they are comfortable in. So, focus on this factor and you will help them get more value for the money they spend.

12.Not thinking of how it will photograph

Certain dress colors, details and designs don’t look as good in photos as they do in person. Bright shades of pink and orange look entirely different on camera, and can take on an entirely different appearance from what you planned. Embellishments may look cheap or may not be noticeable at all, in certain combinations and colors. Consider these factors when you choose your bridesmaids dresses. Think of how the colors will go with the bridesmaids bouquets and rest of the accessories like shoes and jewelry. Take sample photos to make sure it doesn’t clash with the complexion or hair colors of the girls. This will save you from being disappointed when the colors in your wedding album don’t match the ideas in your mind.

13.Compromising on your vision

It is important to give due thought to your bridesmaids opinions when choosing their dress However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of compromising on your wedding vision. Always keep your ideas and priorities in mind when planning their look. Be flexible, open to suggestions and listen to your bridesmaids suggestions. Nevertheless, the dresses you choose should match your wedding theme and colors, and be appropriate for the type of wedding you have in mind. It should be a reflection of your personal style and taste. As your bridesmaids will feature with you in many photographs and will be a big part of the overall wedding scenery, you shouldn’t take this decision too lightly. Don’t give in to any amount of coaxing, or sway too much from your personal vision. After all, it is your special day.

At Best for Bride, we have an impressive collection of bridesmaids dresses in all sizes, styles and designs. Whether your wedding is held indoors or outdoors, is in summer or winter and whether your bridesmaids are all the same height or look totally different from each other, we have the solution for all your needs. Take a look at our online bridesmaids gallery to view our collection. You can also find attractive discounts and the current deals in bridesmaids dresses in our special offers and clearance sections. For more details about the rest of our services and the stock we carry, visit our Best for Bride website.

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A guide to the different types of Flower girl dresses

Flower girls are precious little angels who add a touch of innocence to your wedding ceremony! Little girls dressed in beautiful dresses, and scattering flowers as they cruise down the aisle are absolutely enchanting. Although flower girls are not an essential part of the wedding party, the beauty that they bring to the ceremony is unbeatable. Hence, it is no wonder that many brides decide to have them at their wedding.

Since they are part of your wedding party, it is important that their outfits also match the theme of your wedding. You may not have as many options as with bridesmaids dresses, in flower girls dresses. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing them.

  • Your flower girls will typically be between the ages of 3 and 8. At this age, they are not old enough to manage a high-maintenance dress. So, choose one that is simple but effective.
  • Young girls grow quickly. Hence, it is best that you buy the dress closer to the wedding. This way you can ensure that it will fit her.
  • Comfort should be one of the most important factors when choosing your flower girl’s dress. Avoid dresses that are too long, too tight or too warm. This can irritate your flower girl and spoil her mood.
  • Don’t expect your flower girl to sit still and take good care of her dress, so she looks fresh at the wedding. Not all girls are capable of doing that at their age. So, choose fabric that is wrinkle free and you needn’t worry about her spoiling her dress.
  • Although the common practice is to choose a dress that is a miniature version of the bride’s outfit, this isn’t necessary. Your flower girl can have a dress that is colorful, matches the bridesmaids dress colors or in any way ties to the theme of the wedding. If you choose a white or ivory dress for your flower girl, consider adding accent colors that match the wedding color palette, with suitable accessories.
  • Flower girl dresses can be expensive. So, be mindful of the parent’s budget when you choose a dress. Also, it would be a good idea to pick a dress that can be used by the girl again, so she gets more use out of it.
  • If you have more than one flower girl, either dress them up in the same dress or mix and match styles, colors and features, just like you would in the case of your bridesmaids dresses.
  • If your flower girl isn’t comfortable wearing a party dress, have her dress up in an outfit with pants or divided skirts that match the bridesmaids dresses. It doesn’t really matter as long as it comes together with the overall look.
  • Don’t forget your flower girl’s accessories when planning her look. Simple and convenient pieces of jewelry are the best. You can also think of adorable accessories like flower crowns and pretty waistbands for that extra dainty touch.
  • Your flower girl’s dress should match the formality of the event. A fancy-looking dress would be appropriate at a formal function. For a casual, outdoor event or an informal wedding, light, airy dresses would be better.

Now that we have covered the essential points that you should keep in mind when choosing your flower girl dresses, let us take a look at the various dress styles that are available to choose from.

V Neck Ivory Satin Champagne Tulle
V Neck Ivory Satin Champagne Tulle

Fairy-tale flower girl dresses

If you have your heart set on a princess wedding gown, a fairy tale flower girl dress would go well with your outfit. These dresses are typically miniature versions of ball gowns, with embellishments like lace, beading and hand embroidery. The dresses are usually floor length, but you can also have them altered to just skim the ankles, so it is comfortable for your flower girl to move around. Although fairy tale dresses are typically available in white and ivory, you may also be able to find them in different colors also.

You may like to take a look at 582 and 578 from the Mori Lee flower girl dress collection, if you want a princess style dress.

Two-piece flower girl dresses

This is a versatile choice for brides who want to mix and match the top and skirt, to create the intended look. Here, the dress has a separate bodice and skirt, but when worn together, it will resemble a single dress. There are different options when you choose this alternative, and you can either have poufy flower girl dresses, or choose simple silhouettes that are easier to carry and comfortable to wear. The added benefit of a two-piece flower girl dress is that it allows you to mix and match different sizes, if your flower girl doesn’t really fit into a specific size. Thus, you can find a dress that fits her shoulders and her height correctly.

Full-length gown

Perfect for a formal wedding, these dresses are full-length, and extend just beyond the ankles to make sure it is comfortable for the little girl to carry it. Since it is a long dress, it is best to keep the details simple on it, so the bulk of the material isn’t overwhelming on the small frame. These dresses are usually created in A-line style, since this is easy to wear and looks good on most children. Full length gowns are available in color or white, and the skirt may either be pleated or plain. The dress shown here is from the Mori Lee collection, and features an empire waistline and sleeveless neckline.

Tea length dresses with poufy skirts

Very ornate and voluminous, this is a party dress style that is sure to look perfect at a formal ceremony. Usually fashioned in an A-line silhouette or ball gown style, the dress is characterized by the volume of its skirt. The fabrics used are net, tulle or organza, and sometimes it may feature a satin finish in the bodice and the lower layers of the skirt. Although the dress is short, it is still very effective as the skirt adds a dramatic overtone to the overall look. It is common to find the skirt gathered at various points and little flowers scattered at these gatherings for a beautiful effect.

A-line skirts

A-line dresses are a flower girl favorite, and can be either short or long. Like the name suggests, the dress silhouette resembles the shape of an A, with the top part fitted closely to the body, and the skirt flaring out into the shape of an A from the waistline. There may be a demarcation at the waistline with a sash or waistband, usually in a different color. When choosing this style, you can consider adding a waistband in your theme color to easily match it to the overall look. Many variations are possible with the humble A-line silhouette. This includes a dropped waist, draping on the bodice, embellishments along the skirt and many more options.

Pick-up skirts

Another style that instantly dresses up your flower girl, dresses with pick-up skirts are elaborate and stylish. Here the hemline is gathered and pushed upwards at regular spacing, along the length of the skirt. This is usually done in different tiers and that adds more texture and volume to the dress. This Mori Lee flower girl dress looks like it is bubbling with excitement, as it features a ruched skirt with several pickups along the length. The dark sash at the waist separates the bodice from the textured skirt.

Tiered skirts

Adding more volume to a buoyant skirt are tiered skirt styles that feature a layered arrangement of tiers. These make the dress very interesting. These are usually fashioned out of lace, tulle or similar soft fabrics, so it bounces along. For the tiers to be evident, the skirt has to be long, and so it usually ends at the ankles. Although the tiers are spectacular by itself, this dress may also feature other embellishments in the bodice or at the hemline. This is a dress pattern that will be loved by most little girls.

The Mori Lee 575 features three tiers, each of which is trimmed with a hint of dark color like red or black. The sleeveless dress is simply embellished with a bow at the waist, but it can be accessorized with a bolero-style jacket if desired.

Cap sleeves and short sleeve dresses

If you aren’t fond of the sleeveless feature that is common on flower girl dresses, you can consider dresses with sleeves. There are different sleeve lengths to choose from. These include cap sleeves, T-shirt sleeves and longer styles. The cap sleeve style is particularly endearing, especially when they are embellished with lace or hand embroidery. Short sleeves can also be done with lace, and this will help you match it to a vintage-inspired wedding theme.

The dress featured here is the G339 from the Aglaia collection. This dress not only has lace cap sleeves, but the pretty embellishments continue into a scalloped neckline and further into bodice and skirt  You may also like to check out the dresses here and here, done in similar styles.

Dresses with colorful accents

If you want your flower girl to be dressed with a little dash of color in her dress, you have two options—either choose colorful accessories like a sash or bow to go with her outfit. Otherwise, choose a dress that has just the right amount of color in it. Colors like red, blue and pink are easy to come by in flower girl collections. These dresses are usually in white, and have the hint of color done at the neckline, in the sleeves, waistline and in scattered embellishments.

 

The G3327 shown here is from the Aglaia collection, and is a beautiful dress in white, with red as an accent color. You can see how the red is kept to a minimum to just create the right impact without overpowering the white. Other white dresses with pretty accent colors in embellishments can be seen here and here.

Colorful flower girl dresses

If you wish to dress your flower girl in rich color, there are plenty of choices. From full-length dresses to shorter tea length dresses, these are available in a range of colors, designs and silhouettes. While colorful dresses are always attractive on young girls, ensure that the dress color goes well with the bridesmaids dress colors for a cohesive effect. Since you may not have as many color options as you have with bridesmaids dresses, you will have to choose from what is available or settle for the closest available color. Also consider the rest of the outfit like the shoes and other accessories. Make sure that they complement the color, so it doesn’t look weird together. A safe option would be to choose white or black shoes and socks, or those that match the color of the dress.

The Aglaia collection at Best for Bride contains plenty of colorful flower girl dresses. Most of them can be ordered in colors beside those shown in the pictures on our website. Shown here is the G3307 in a soft shade of blue, that is perfect for outdoor weddings in terms of silhouette, fabric and design. This dress has more embellishments and would be good for a formal ceremony,while it is also an in-between choice that would work for both a formal or informal wedding.

We hope this post has helped you understand the various options in flower girl dresses, for you to pick for your wedding day! This is just another detail that you have to plan, and it is easier than dressing up your bridesmaids. One factor in your favor is that it is almost impossible to dress your flower girl wrong. So, have fun choosing her dress.

Do take a look at our gallery of flower girl dresses for more choices and options to pick from. Head over to this link at Best for bride for this.