Wedding dress guide

Wedding style ideas

Look through magazines and cut out pictures of the styles, shapes, colours and details that you like. Take these to bridal shops to give them an idea of your preferences.

Do you have a dress in your wardrobe that looks great on you? Use this for style inspiration when searching for your wedding dress.

Even if you have an idea of the style of dress you would like, keep an open mind and try on a style you wouldn't normally consider, you might find it's the perfect dress.

Wedding style ideas

Think about your wedding day, if you are having a small civil ceremony, a full skirted gown with cathedral-length train may not be suitable, or a grand church wedding might not match with a simple knee-length dress.
If you are getting married abroad in sunnier climes go for a light-weight or floaty fabric that will keep you cool, and will pack easily.

Wedding style ideas

  • Hourglass

  • Triangle

  • Apple

  • Pear

  • Athletic

Hourglass - Curvy shape with shoulders and hips of similar width, with a defined waist, often with a fuller bust.

• Accentuate your waist - a corset style dress will make the most of it.
• Don't add extra detail to either your bust or hips as this will unbalance you.
• Sweetheart necklines emphasise a fuller bust.
• A mermaid or fish-tail dress will highlight your curves.
• Avoid empire-line dresses as they won't flatter your figure.

Triangle - Broader shoulders than hips, slim legs, often with a fuller bust.

• V-neck styles will balance your top half and draw attention away from wider shoulders.
• Avoid off the shoulder dresses or puffed sleeves, as these will add extra width to your shoulders.
• Capped sleeves or boleros will disguise wider shoulders.
• Having extra width or detail at the bottom of your dress will balance out your shoulders and bust.
• A square neck line is flattering for a fuller bust.
• Avoid halterneck dresses which emphasise wider shoulders.

Apple - Broader shoulders with slimmer hips and legs, often with a fuller bust, tend to have an undefined waist.

• Empire-line dresses emphasise the narrowest part of your body while skimming over your tummy.
• A sash or detail going down the middle of your dress will give the illusion of a slimmer torso.
• Avoid column dresses as they will draw attention to your problem areas.
• A-line dresses will create more of a waist.
• Keep detailing on the top or bottom of the dress to draw attention away from your middle.

Pear - Hips are wider than shoulders, normally with a defined waist, tend to have a smaller bust.

• Princess-style dresses nip you in at the waist and disguise larger hips.
• Keep detail on the top half of the dress to draw attention away from your problem areas.
• A-line skirts are perfect at skimming over the hips, but avoid very full A-lines as these can add width to your
• Avoid mermaid and trumpet-style dresses, which emphasise your hips.
• Strapless, V-neck or scoop neck dresses keep attention on the top half of your body.
• Avoid sheath and bias-cut dresses, which can cling to your hips, bottom and thighs.
• Empire-line dresses also keep the attention on the top half of your body.

Athletic - Slender shape with shoulders, waist and hips of a similar width, tend to have a smaller bust.

• A sheath dress suits a slender shape.
• Extra detail and width on your bust or hips can add curves.
• A dress with a fitted bodice and fuller skirt will add curves.
• High-neck or boat-neck styles suit your shape.

• Keep your dress simple, one-piece dresses will elongate you.
• Avoid large ballgown dresses as they may swamp you.
• Sheath dresses will give the illusion of height, as will slim A-line styles.

• Avoid empire-line dresses as they can look unbalanced on you.
• A-line or mermaid dresses suit taller women.

A guide to veils and trains
A guide to wedding flowers
A guide to wedding favours
A guide to wedding fairs
A guide to wedding dresses
A guide to wedding planners