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The perfect white dress (or beige…or off-white!) for your wedding day DEFINITELY doesn’t have to be long. In fact, short wedding dresses are becoming more and more popular, not only for brides having a beach wedding or those looking for something to change into for their reception, but for pretty much every other type of wedding and venue.
Just like wedding pantsuits and cropped two-pieces, what’s considered an “appropriate” wedding dress is definitely changing. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend wearing a short wedding dress to a religious church/temple ceremony, I would strongly encourage a shorter dress at a restaurant reception, loft/warehouse wedding, a rustic barn wedding, and any other unique wedding venue that lends itself to a more modern (if not vintage) vibe.
The other beauty about short wedding dresses is that they are (typically) less expensive. If you’re looking to save money, I would definitely consider shrinking that dress in order to shrink your budget!
But first, let’s get into the basics.
When to Wear Short Wedding Dresses
The idea of wearing a short dress at your wedding has absolutely evolved over the years. And while we still love dramatic, long dresses, there are so many fun opportunities to wear shorter lengths as well. For instance, if you’re eloping a shorter dress might make the most sense. They’re also a great option for casual venues like restaurants, beachside inns, and campgrounds.
You can also choose a shorter dress to change into at your reception, which is what they’re most commonly for. Depending on your budget you can look for an inexpensive dress from fast-fashion stores like Zara and ASOS for a simple silhouette. Or, if you’re looking for something you can wear again, opt for chic designers that use beautiful materials like organza and embellishments to create the perfect short bridal look.
What to Look for in a Short Dress
As with any dress, you want to look for quality that is commensurate with price. If you’re looking for a second wedding dress (or even third) for your wedding after-party, an inexpensive little number is perfect. However, if this is your main dress, opt for short bridal gowns that are statement-making with interesting features, such as an illusion neckline or shorter hemlines with a high neck.
You can also wear a shorter length that works for you, such as mini (which end above the knee) or midi (which come right around the calf and can sometimes be referred to as tea-length dresses). Also, don’t be afraid of wearing a two-piece outfit, such as a cute top and short skirt.
WGM Says: If you’re planning on having bridesmaids, don’t think they have to wear short dresses, too! Long dresses would look great alongside your short dress. However, I would stick to either all long or all short for your bridesmaids (rather than having them wear varying lengths) so it looks more consistent.
Where to Buy Short Wedding Dresses
One of the best things about short wedding dresses is that, like a black wedding dress, you can shop for them anywhere! Short white dresses are everywhere (especially in summer) and can be found in every price range. Some of our favorite stores to look for them are:
The Best Short Wedding Dresses
I went shopping for some awesome short dresses recently and LOVE what I found, below. Whether you’re looking for something a little bohemian or something more prim and proper, there’s a dress style for pretty much every body and budget.
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SEE MORE: Plus The Best Plus Size Wedding Dresses