Every bride envisions how they want to look as they walk down the aisle, regardless of height. And no wedding dress designs are off-limits, no matter what type of body you have. However, if you’ve been blessed with a few extra inches to your statuesque frame, there are certain styles of wedding dresses for tall brides that accentuate a beautiful silhouette. A sheath wedding dress, A-line gown, or trumpet-style skirt all look lovely on a taller figure.
The final selection comes down to how well the dress looks and feels. Is the hemline long enough? Does it highlight the features you want? These are some of the questions to consider as you start shopping. Finding your dream dress requires knowing what you like (and what you don’t!). Eventually, as you sift through all of the gorgeous dresses, you’ll stumble upon the stunner that will end up being the one.
A sheath or column bridal gown is one of the best styles of wedding dresses for tall brides. It’s fitted, but doesn’t cling to the body. It hangs straight down, rather than flaring out near the bottom. It’s elegant, sophisticated, and embraces height. By starting with this simplistic shape, it’s easy to customize through different necklines, materials, and embellishments.
For full coverage at the top of the bodice, a square neckline with tank straps is an excellent choice. To keep the neckline open, strapless is always a go-to selection. If your goal is to shorten a long torso, opt for a deep V-neck detail with a sheer overlay to minimize the torso and still provide ample coverage.
Strapless also accentuates the shoulders and arms, while the option of sleeves covers them. It depends on which features you’d like to highlight the most. The decision of straps versus sleeves on a sheath dress may also be determined by seasonality. A wedding date scheduled for warmer months may call for sleeveless, while sleeves may feel more appropriate for ceremonies scheduled during the colder months.
When it comes to deciding on fabrics for a sheath wedding dress, choose lightweight materials that offer a subtle sheen, such as satin. It doesn’t weigh down the look and maintains a stylish appeal to an otherwise simple shape. Another fabric option is a heavier, decorative lace that adds texture—not bulk—to the dress.
If you want to minimize height by a few inches, an unconventional idea is to wear separates. A full sheath skirt with a top made of a different material gives the illusion of a shorter frame. With this modern style, you can mix and match fabrics, as well as colors and levels of formality. For example, a column satin skirt paired with a long-sleeved lace top gives a fresh take on a traditional dress shape.
Finish the look of the sheath wedding dress with embellishments. To accentuate your height, draw the eyes up by wearing a statement necklace. To minimize it, wear a ribbon or band around the midsection to visually shorten the torso. Allow the hemline to barely graze the top of the feet and wear sandals or flats rather than heels if you don’t require the extra inches. Or, stand tall(er) in your favorite heels or stilettos.
An A-line gown is a tall bride’s best friend. The timeless shape looks great on everyone and can be customized to fit your personal style. The traditional A-line wedding gown has a fitted bodice that slightly flares out to form a capital A-shaped skirt. This creates curves to the body shape, while drawing the attention to the neckline, since the legs are hidden. Heels, flats, sandals, or even sneakers all pair well with this type of dress, as long as the hemline is flawlessly tailored.
An alternative look is to shorten the hemline by more than a couple inches and bring it up to right below the knees. This dress cut visually shortens the frame, while still highlighting long legs. The tea-length has a retro appeal ideally situated for a mid-century modern wedding style. The airy look also fits in nicely with a low-key outdoor celebration or a ceremony at city hall. It’s chic, yet simplistic; timeless, yet trendy.
For taller brides who don’t need the extra height, ballet flats or kitten heels are a beautiful alternative to sky-high stilettos, especially for A-line wedding dresses with a hemline that doesn’t reach the floor. It also draws focus on the shoes, which are equally important as the dress when creating a complete bridal look. Pair with a standard ivory shoe or go non-traditional with a bold color like red or purple. Have fun with how you accessorize, and experiment with different combinations that might work for your overall chosen aesthetic.
A final style idea for an A-line gown is to draw attention to the arms with off-the-shoulder sleeves or by wearing a jacket, cardigan, or shawl. These elements add width without being bulky. The result? A more balanced body proportion for a long torso.
One of the best wedding dresses for tall brides is the trumpet style. This wedding dress silhouette is regal and flattering for all figures, but exceptionally so for women who have a height advantage. The shape is more form-fitting than a sheath dress with a flared skirt that starts approximately at mid-thigh. It’s similar in style to the mermaid wedding dress, which has a fitted bodice and starts to flare out just below the knee to the hem.
A trumpet-style skirt accentuates and adds curves as needed. It follows the body’s natural flow and hugs the midsection, hips, and thighs, while leaving the legs unrestricted. For women who want to embrace their height, the trumpet wedding dress exudes elegance as a dress cut ideally for them. As an alternative, opt for a high-low hem with the trumpet-style skirt. By raising the hemline in the front a few inches and keeping the fullness of the back of the skirt, this can shorten the frame.
Since the skirt is what takes center stage with this wedding gown style, all necklines serve as a supporting role. An elegant choice is the Queen Ann neckline, which has a high-rising collar at the back of the neckline and scoops low across the chest. The classic go-to is the strapless sweetheart, which is one of the most preferred choices among brides across all dress silhouettes. Additionally, a deep V-neckline may visually shorten the torso, while a boat neck will continue to draw the eyes up to the curve of the collarbone.
There’s no shortage when it comes to necklines. Experimenting with different options will change the look and appeal of the dress. Consider whether you want to have more coverage on the top or keep an open neckline. Are straps the way to go, or do you prefer sleeves? Every detail makes a difference in completing your final bridal look.
The sheath, A-line, and trumpet wedding dress silhouettes are only a few of the styles to choose from as you narrow down your choices. Decide if you want to embrace your full height or visually shave off a few inches with certain design details. Either way, there are tricks and tips that will deliver the exact look you want. As you get closer to finding the one, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re exploring all of your choices and come away with a dress you love.
Finding the perfect wedding dress that fits like a glove is one of the top challenges all brides face. For tall brides, sometimes going up a size allows for the extra length you need, but with unnecessary width. If you’ve fallen in love with a certain style, but the fit isn’t quite right, you don’t have to settle for highwater hemlines to find the style you like best. Every bride knows the true value of a good tailor.
On the other hand, rather than fighting against hemlines that don’t match your height needs, join the company of those who prefer a shorter dress. Tea length wedding dresses and calf-length wedding dresses are chic and modern and offer another alternative to the traditional floor-length gown with a full train.
The joy of searching for the perfect wedding dress shouldn’t be limited in any way. The guidelines of shopping for wedding dresses for tall brides only provide a starting point for inspiration. Try any wedding dress silhouette or neckline that speaks to you, since the most important part of finding the ultimate wedding gown is how it makes you feel.