Since you were a little girl watching animated princess movies, you've been bombarded with images of the perfect wedding: The beaming, princely groom, the stately walk to the altar, the gentle rain of white petals, and, most of all, the gauzy, long-trained, shimmering meringue of the ideal wedding dress.
Now affianced, off to the bridal shop you go with visions of flowing veils and lace-edged trains dancing in your head. You sweep through the selections on the racks, your fingers lingering on the sateen, silk broadcloth, and beading. With a gasp, you pull out the perfect wedding dress and rush to the fitting room to try it on.
Buttoned up, kicking your skirts out of the way, you step out onto the platform with the three-way mirror. Your jaw drops but this time not in joy. As a bride-to-be finally sporting what you thought was the "perfect" wedding dress, you're shocked to discover yourself buried in a pouf of organza and tulle. Maybe you feel weighed down, wondering how you're going to walk, never mind dance or go to the bathroom, with all this fabric hanging from your hips. Maybe you realize that you've never been much of a girly-girl in the first place. Maybe you've always been more of a rebel, or a minimalist, or a bohemian. Maybe you just want to show off your legs.
If this sounds familiar, then it's time to reassess the traditional image of the "ideal" gown. Like every other bride, you deserve your wedding dress to reflect who you truly are.
Short, Sassy, and Spectacular
Your more traditional female relatives may balk at your suggestion of a shorter-length wedding dress, but shorter gowns are not a new thing. They've been worn with panache by Yoko Ono, Audrey Hepburn, Kiera Knightley,Ferne Cotton Natalie Portman, Cindy Crawford, Mia Farrow and even Princess Stephanie, just to name a few. You don't need a cathedral train to make an impact while you're walking down the aisle. Nor do you have to shock Aunt Margaret by going micro-mini. These days, less-than-floor-length wedding dresses come in a variety of lengths to best fit your dreams.
Maxi Length: ( Worn by Ferne Cotton)
A maxi-length wedding gown lands just at the ankle, which keeps the fabric off the floor so it doesn't drag and allows for more swish and twirl. If you're planning a beach wedding but still adore a long dress, this may be the perfect length to save your gown from sand and splash while still showing off your coltish ankles and barefoot manicure.
Love shoes? The hem of a tea-length gown stops just at mid-shin, drawing attention to your lower calves and feet. Accessorized with a series of fabulous shoes, this versatile length allows you to change your look to fit the elegant-and-serious walk down the aisle, and then the playful brunch, and finally to the dance floor so you can twirl on the parquet well past midnight.
Planning to have a mixologist at your wedding, shaking up just-trending cocktails? Great for sophisticated, evening weddings, a midi length dress just covers the knees and is ideal for a fitted look, especially if you want to show off your waist, hips, and shapely backside. Demure and elegant, it can often be worn again in another setting as a cocktail dress, especially if professionally dyed.
For a retro, playful look, a knee-length wedding dress is a comfortable, flirty option that, depending on the fabric and cut, can evoke either 1950s elegance or a waifish, bohemian style. It'll swirl and fluff on the dance floor but won't weigh you down. Nor will it empty your wallet. So if you'd rather splurge on the perfect band so you can do the jitterbug, forgo the big fluffy dress for a perfect-for-you knee-length confection.
Strutting down the aisle in a thigh-high white mini-dress is a bold and beautiful statement that's sure to make heads turn. But just because the hemline is short-short-short doesn't mean you can't tip a hat to the traditional. Some mini-length wedding gowns come with gauzy, swishing layers while others use beading to evoke a 1920s happy-flapper vibe. This length is the best choice if your priority is to make your wedding—or at least your wedding dress—unforgettable.
In the best of worlds, you'll only have one wedding. Don't waste that moment trying to fit into the mold of someone else's ideal. Be bold and go find the dress that fits you and your true style.
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