Find the Perfect Wedding Dress for Your Figure
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Find the Perfect Wedding Dress for Your Figure

Ah, the wedding dress: the centrepiece of the wedding ceremony. It’s all about the dress, when it comes right down to it. Why else would brides keep their attire such a closely guarded secret leading up to the Big Day?

No one waits excitedly to sneak a peek of the groom in his tuxedo (sorry, guys!). No one has their camera poised to get the first shot of the maid-of-honour in her wedding finest (sorry, girls!) No, it’s the bride—beautiful and beaming—who gets all the attention.

Every detail of her dress will be admired, every inch marvelled. How do women find the perfect wedding dress to compliment their style and shape? Well, when it comes to selecting the exactly right dress, there’s a lot to be considered.

First and foremost, a woman needs to be honest about her shape. C’mon ladies: It’s time to celebrate and accentuate every curve! Brides come in every shape and size—tall, short, lean, and stout. Each shape is beautiful in its own right, but unfortunately, the dress you think you want may not be the one that best suits your body. So here is a quick crash course on selecting a wedding dress to play up your figure.

The A-line is perhaps the most universally suitable—if you can say there is one type that will work on just about anyone. As the name suggests, an A-line dress resembles the letter ‘A’ in that it has a fitted bodice (starting at the shoulders) and a skirt that gradually flares from the waistline to the floor. This type of dress looks best on women who have bottom-heavy figures.

The ball gown is probably what women think of when they hear the term ‘wedding dress.’ A ball gown dress has a fitted bodice and waist, and a very full skirt that gathers at the natural waistline. This type of dress works well on women with a narrow waist and plenty of curves: women with an hourglass shape (think Marilyn Monroe), a pear shape (small bust, heavy on the bottom), and even those with an inverted triangle shape (broad shoulders, narrow waist). The fullness of a ball gown can be very forgiving and therefore extremely flattering on many women.

The mermaid dress is perhaps the sexiest of silhouettes. It features a slim fitted gown that moulds to the bride's figure, from the shoulders to the thighs, and then flares out from the knees. This type of dress is ideal for women whose curves are fairly proportionate throughout (equal bust and hips with a narrower waist), and of course for women who want to play up all of their curves. One thing to note with the mermaid dress: It may be difficult to kneel or sit!

Another popular style among today’s brides is the empire dress. The waist on an empire starts right under the bust, with a flowing skirt that skims over the hips then flairs slightly to the floor. Much like the A-line dress, an empire silhouette flatters most body types and is particularly idea for women with a small bust.

Rounding out the dress styles is the sheath. Simple and elegant, a sheath dress is form-fitting like the mermaid silhouette, but without any flair. Sometimes called a ‘column dress,’ the sheath is ideal for slender women and especially for shorter brides, since the long lines of the dress can give the impression of an elongated the body.

When shopping for a wedding gown, it’s wise to try on several dresses in different silhouettes. The dress you think you’ve always wanted may in fact not suit your body at all. Take your time and go to many different shops to try on as many dresses as you need. Mark my words: When you find the perfect wedding dress, you’ll know it.

Larry Campbell is a professional wedding photographer serving London and all of the U.K. Visit him online at

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