When you walk into a bridal store for the first time you will be bedazzled with all the stunning wedding gowns and will probably want to try all of them on. However, it is best to be familiar with the basic shapes of wedding dresses beforehand because you will be asked what kind of silhouette you are looking for. Many brides-to-be are fantasising about walking down the aisle in a fairytale ball gown, but this silhouette is not ideal for all the body shapes or every type of reception, whereas A-line is much easier to wear. 

Whether you are slim, tall, pear shaped or petite, it is not so difficult to find the right gown once you discover which silhouette flatters your figure. The shape is the foundation of your wedding dress so choose which one it is going to be before you even start thinking about fabrics and embellishments. Unless you know exactly what are you looking for, trying different silhouettes first is a good strategy.

Dress by Monique Lhuillier - Spring 2015

Ball Gown 
Back in the Victorian era when it was invented, the ball gown consisted of a fitted bodice with décolleté neckline and a very wide skirt with layers of petticoats. Nowadays there are different styles of ball gowns but the basic shape remains the same and its key features are small wais and full skirt. It is the most romantic and ladylike silhouette in the history of fashion and since there are not a lot of opportunities to wear a ball gown in a lifetime, many girls are dreaming to get married in it. This type of gown is ideal for tall women and isn’t suitable for petite brides who might look too small while wearing such a big dress. It is a great option if you are having a formal wedding reception, but isn’t so practical for informal cocktail party where you will want to dance and mingle freely. You can also choose to wear a ball gown at the church ceremony and change into a more comfortable dress before the reception. 

Dress by Cosmobella

Empire style can be traced back to 18th century but was popularised in the 19th century, in the period of the First French Empire. Empire dress features very high waist which is just below the bust line, tight bodice and loosely fitting long skirt made from light fabric which floats around the body. This silhouette is ideal for summer wedding dresses made from light fabrics such as silk chiffon. High waist elongates the body and definitely works well for petite brides, but it isn’t ideal for full busts. Since it is loosely fitted around the waist and hips it flatters women with pear body shape. 

Dress by Pronovias

Celebrated by Christian Dior in 1950’s, A-line silhouette refers to a dress with a skirt that has a shape of a capital letter A. This shape was popular during Elizabethan era in 16th century, in Rococo period and throughout Edwardian era. This is the most common shape of the wedding gowns because it suits any body shape and makes a great ball gown alternative. You can choose between different types of neckline and the dress can either be loosely fitted or have a seam at the waistline. 

Dress by Pronovias

A trumpet gown is a fabulous choice if you want to show off your figure! With a fitted bodice and flaring from the hips in a smaller skirt, the trumpet silhouette is less bulky. Mermaid shape is fairly similar, but the dress flairs from below the knee. Strapless dress with sweetheart neckline made from stretch satin, crepe or lace is the best choice if you have the body shape for this silhouette. It can be worn at both formal and informal weddings and you can even find models with removable flares which you can transform into a casual dress ideal for dancing all night long.

Dress by Reem Acra Spring 2015

Typical sheath wedding dress is tight and looks fabulous on tall and slim women. It often features plenty of seams, tucks and darts to accent curves of the female body. This is a typical Hollywood diva silhouette popularised by superstars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. This type of dress is very glamorous and works well for all types of wedding receptions. You can choose between different lengths and it can be strapless or even long sleeved, but it looks very romantic with cap sleeves. 

Dress by Jenny Packham - Spring 2015

For brides who prefer to have a casual or alternative wedding rather than a big formal gathering mini white dress can be the perfect option. Short wedding dress can be on-the-knee or even shorter and there are plenty of design options to choose from. You can choose among different shapes from A-line and Empire waist which can cover the area around waist and hips to the sexy sheath silhouette.
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