When it comes to wedding dress shopping, perfectly petite brides often have to struggle through rails of big, flouncy wedding dress styles to find something that enhances, rather than swamps, a small frame. But, if this sounds familiar, then our Bridal Experts can help. 

With hundreds of different designs in each of our stores, we’re the experts when it comes to dressing brides of all shapes and sizes. Below we’ve put together a few top tips to help smaller brides find a dress that flatters and fits like a dream…

1. Try slim straps or cap sleeves

Off-the-shoulder and cap sleeves make narrow shoulders appear wider, while delicate spaghetti straps work well with a petite body shape. If you want a dress with sleeves go for half or three-quarter length. Full sleeves will make your arms look longer and slightly out of balance with the rest of your body.

For example, a soft fishtail like Winona is an ideal choice. This design hugs the waistline and hips before falling gently out into a beautiful tulle skirt, decorated with delicate floral lace appliqués. The softly draped straps add style and interest without too much coverage. Try it in blush too, for a skin flattering shade that really makes the appliqués pop.

Winona a petite wedding dress styles by Anna Sorrano
Wedding dress featured: Winona by Anna Sorrano

If you prefer sleeves, Breona is a traditional A-line that’s all about detailed lace. Inspired by nature, this design features over-sized, embroidered florals and leaves that flow across the bodice and down the soft tulle skirt. They also run elegantly across the illusion neckline and onto the flattering three-quarter-length sleeves. 

Breona a petite wedding dress styles by Anna Sorrano
Wedding dress featured: Breona by Anna Sorrano

2. Highlight a petite waist

Close-fitting, sheath wedding dress styles, like Roscoe, create a clean, continuous line and help to elongate a smaller figure. This figure-hugging sheath has an on-trend illusion bodice with ornate embroidered and Chantilly lace appliqués. The plunging necklines front and back mean petite brides won’t be swamped by too much material, while the wow-factor train will add length to your look.

Roscoe a petite wedding dress styles from The Signature Collection
Wedding dress featured: Roscoe from The Signature Collection

Marko, a sexy sheath featuring botanical lace, an incredible illusion back and a magnificent train, will work in a similar way, adding an illusion of height. The pretty cap sleeves also add width to narrow shoulders. When you choose your accessories, avoid breaking up the lines with a belt and go for a little sparkle in your hair instead.

Marko a petite wedding dress styles from The Signature Collection
Wedding dress featured: Marko from The Signature Collection

3. Balance your figure with a mermaid skirt

Mermaid skirts that flair at the knee or calf is great for the small but perfectly formed. The slim-fitting silhouette will elongate your torso while the skirt will draw eyes downward. Try Michaela, a true fishtail silhouette made from ivory tulle with soft embroidered and Chantilly lace running the length of the dress. There’s also just a hint of sparkle from a delicate scattering of sequins. 

Michaela a petite wedding dress styles by Anna Sorrano
Wedding dress featured: Michaela by Anna Sorrano

If florals aren’t your thing, then take a look at Catia instead. This striking fishtail has a unique contemporary feel and lace inspired by Greek mythology. The V-neckline, illusion straps and low back combine to give this dress a modern, fitted silhouette that’s wonderfully glamourous.

Catia a petite wedding dress styles by Viva Bride
Wedding dress featured: Catia by Viva Bride

4. Look for vertical detailing

Dresses with vertical details, such as rows of beading, cascading ruffles or a princess seam will naturally draw the eye down – rather than across – your body, giving the illusion of height.

Playful Brynn does exactly that with its fabulous ruffled skirt, which is just made for twirling in a ballroom. The show-stopping waterfall skirt is made from layers of beautiful organza with floral appliqués scatted throughout, complemented perfectly by the lace-covered bodice. For even more volume you can add a couple of underskirts too!

Brynn a petite wedding dress styles by Anna Sorrano
Wedding dress featured: Brynn by Anna Sorrano

Alternatively, if Brynn’s ball gown look isn’t for you, Minnie has plenty of stunning embellishment and sparkle but with a smaller skirt. This A-line style features embroidered florals covered with iridescent sequins and twinkling glass beads. The shimmer continues down the soft tulle skirt and onto the understated train, which is super comfortable and lightweight. Plus, there are supportive spaghetti straps for a touch more shimmer and to flatter slim shoulders. It’s also a great match for our Calli hair vine, which your hairdresser can weave prettily through your hair.

Minnie a petite wedding dress styles by Heidi Hudson
Wedding dress featured: Minnie by Heidi Hudson

So, whether you walk tall or small, you’ll find a figure-flattering design at your nearest WED2B store. Our Bridal Experts are also on hand every step of the way, with plenty of expert advice on choosing the right silhouette and the right accessories to suit your style and shape perfectly!

Click here to see more of our latest wedding dress styles then try on your favourites at your nearest WED2B store. Also, for more inspiration, check out our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages.

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