Now that you’re engaged, the next “Yes” will come when you find your dream dress! Wedding dress shopping is an exciting experience and a fun task to complete on your wedding planning journey. Yet, stepping into a wedding dress shop can be overwhelming! There are so many options, but a good place to start is with silhouettes. By narrowing down a few of the most popular dress shapes you’ll have a good starting point.  We hope that understanding wedding dress silhouettes will help you come one step closer to defining your bridal style. And that you will feel confident at your first wedding dress appointment!


If you’re looking for a slimming and sexy style, seek out a trumpet silhouette. It hugs each and every curve before subtly flaring outwards, starting around the knees. Note, that this design is not to be confused with a mermaid wedding dress! It hits higher than a mermaid silhouette, making it less restrictive and allowing easier movement. This style is big amongst brides who want to flaunt their bust and hips. You may dislike it however if you have a rounder torso!

trumpet wedding dress
Bridal Boutique: @one.bridal
lace a-line wedding dress
Dress: @allwhowander / Bridal Boutique: @studioidobridals


When you think of a ballgown, you might think of a princess. And that’s an accurate representation! Ballgown silhouettes feature a fitted bodice with a narrow waistline and a full skirt. For most brides who desire a ballgown, the bigger the skirt the better! This look typically aligns with a more glam or luxe bridal style. As for body types, it best suits a curvy or pear-shaped bride. If you are petite, however, it can feel like you're drowning in material.

ballgown wedding dress
Dress: @martinalianabridal ⁠/ Bridal Boutique: @studioidobridals
ballgown wedding dress silhouette
Bridal Boutique: @luxelacebridal


By far the most popular wedding dress silhouette, an a-line dress looks similar to the letter ‘A’. It is narrow at the top and gets wider towards the bottom, starting at the hips. Why is this dress so popular? It looks stunning on absolutely everyone! It is equal parts flattering and comfortable, and a hit amongst romantic brides. You may therefore dislike it if you prefer a more sexy, figure-flattering silhouette.

A-line wedding dress
Dress @essenseofaustralia / Bridal Boutique: @studioidobridals
plus size a-line wedding dress
Dress: @essenseofaustralia / Bridal Boutique: @whiteweddingsvaldosta


By far the most unique wedding style, a mermaid silhouette is defined by the skirt which flares suddenly at or below the knees. Otherwise, it is very similar to a trumpet silhouette, tightly hugging the bust and hips. This style looks stunning on women with a well-defined hourglass figure or those who are planning to rock shapewear. However, it is quite restricting, and should therefore be avoided by brides who plan to let loose on the dance floor. Unless you have a second reception dress that is! 

mermaid wedding dress
Bridal Boutique: @thebridalstudioutah
mermaid wedding dress silhouette
Dress: @inesdisanto / Bridal Boutique: @idobridalcouture!


A column or sheath wedding dress is a beautiful and highly underrated silhouette. Although simple it lends a modern and timeless look. The style is form-fitting and follows the body’s natural line, so there is no flared skirt. It's an elegant option for a bride who wants to make a statement, or those who like to accessorize. This silhouette looks best on tall and/or petite women. Whereas women with curves can risk looking unbalanced, or struggle with material that grabs uncomfortably.

sheath wedding dress
Dress: @chosenbykyha / Bridal Boutique: @thebridalstudioutah
column wedding dress silhouette
Dress: @daughtersofsimone / Bridal Boutique: thebridalstudioutah


The best way to remember a tea-length dress is by the frock worn by Alice (in Wonderland)! This whimsical silhouette nods to years past, specifically the 1950s when skirts were full and bounced beautifully if one danced. A tea-length dress lends a youthful vibe, making it a hit amongst retro-inspired and bubbly brides. Since it’s the same shape as an a-line wedding dress, most anyone can wear it. Although you may prefer a long skirt if you would prefer not to show off your legs.

tea length wedding dress
Dress: @mooshkibridal
tea length wedding dress silhouette
Dress: @jbbridals 

Let us know which of these wedding dress silhouettes is your favorite! Did our guide help you narrow down your options? Tell us in the comments below!

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