Wedding Dress 101: Guide to Dress Styles

Wedding planning is extremely exciting but can be quite stressful to cover each and every little detail! When it comes time to shop for your wedding dress you may assume it’s as easy as walking into Macys and strolling around with your ladies for a few hours. Easy peasy, right?  Once you step foot into that chic bridal shop you’re going to be asked a slew of questions. The most important; what style dress are you looking for? Ball gown? A-Line? Mermaid? The list goes on! Who knew there were so many to choose from?! Shopping for a wedding dress may be over whelming, I am here to give you a wedding dress 101 guide to dress styles making your search a little easier!

Ball Gown:

When you were a little girl, did you daydream about your future wedding day? The day you’ have your princess moment with your Prince Charming? Chances are the dress you we envisioning was the Ball Gown style. This is the most traditional style or dresses worn for a wedding. This royal style will have you feeling elegant and chic! Once nice thing about Ball Gowns is the silhouette is very forgiving. If you feel you have lower body flaws, this is a great way to hide that! Overall, the Ball Gown style will look stunning on just about any bride.


The A-Line dress has a sleek and classic silhouette but has a new modern twist to it. The term “a-line” was coined by Christian Dior in 1955 when he wanted to bring more femininity to light in the post World War II era. The classic version had a tighter fit up top and flowed loosely towards the bottom to allow the bride to have more movement. Naturally, over time this dress has evolved into another version of itself. Brides can wear a modern A-Line where the fit goes through the torso and the flows out. Yes, this means more room for you to shake it on the dance floor all night!

This style dress is great for the petite bride because it will give her a taller appearance. Other perks to the A-Line style is it will a heavier bottom half and adds curves for those with a straight body figure. Another great thing about A-Line dresses is it can be worn in a traditional church wedding and still have a formal appearance or in a more modern venue such as the Four Seasons: Beverly Hills!

Fun fact! On my trip to Santorini, Greece this summer I teamed up with Kleinfeld on a fun project. We had this crazy idea how much fun it would be for new brides to think about taking their wedding dress on their honeymoon with them. Giving you another chance to wear your dream dress and do a photo shoot with your new hubby! Since I was traveling to Greece we all agreed Santorini would be the PERFECT place to work on this project. The ladies at Kleinfeld were ever so kind and provided me with a Masion Signore A-Line dress with a v-neck. I felt like I was getting to live my princess moment while on vacation with my hubby!


This next silhouette is a bit of a hybrid having qualities of both the A-Line and Mermaid styles, called Trumpet! The Trumpet dress gets its name because it resembles a trumpet bell. If you happen to be a full figure bride, this will be the style for you! Trumpet dress will showcase your every curve and elevate the drama and glam of the night! This understated silhouette fits tightly through the hips and will gradually flare out mid-tigh. Keep in mind this dress does cause attention to be directed to the waistline so this is a great option to try out different belts or sashes!



As previously mentioned, Mermaid, has similar qualities to the Trumpet style. A Mermaid style dress is going to tightly hug every curve and flare out right at the knees. This dress will give you the illusion you have the silhouette of an actual mermaid! If the Mermaid style is one you’re considering and you wanted to get down on the dance floor all night, keep in mind movement is restricted. Since the flare doesn’t start until the knees, it wont allow for you to move quite as freely as you would in other styles. Ladies with an hourglass figure are going to benefit the most because the Mermaid style is going to highlight each and every one of your curves! This silhouette is also for the bride who wants to be ultra glamorous, sexy, and has a touch of high fashion! Another fun perk you may be wondering? Many times with the Mermaid style added options such as sleeves and high necklines often make this a super stylish look!



Calling all destination brides! (Also brides who want a super elegant dress without going over the top.) The Sheath dress is for you! When the Sheath dress is designed, typically lighter fabrics are being used such as satin and chiffon. Lighter fabrics will make this a great dress for those who are about to hop on a plane to their far off destination because the Steath is much easier to pack!

The Sheath design is known for being long with straight, narrow lines. When this dress is designed with a train silhouette in mind, instantly it’s transformed into a formal gown. The ideal bride to rock this style would be petite, simply because thinner fabrics tend to cling to all the wrong places! If the Sheath dress is one you’re considering, be mindful of the undergarments you choose. This clinging I mentioned also means the potential of showing off those panty lines. This would be a great time to bust out those Spanx to emphasis that sexy silhouette of yours!

Now that you’re a little more familiar with the most common wedding dress styles I hope this makes your search a little less stressful! If you’re unsure of which style is best for you, try them all on! Maybe you always had a vision of yourself in a ball gown but were blown away at how well you rock a Trumpet dress! You never would have known otherwise!

What’s your favorite wedding dress style?  Share your thoughts down in the comments!








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Jana Williams

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