Weddings are momentous occasions. Your special day is one of the few times in life where it’s essential to stand out. So first things first: If you’re looking at wedding gown options as part of your wedding planning activities, it means that someone out there, right now, is left breathless every time you smile regardless of what you wear.

When planning your wedding, though, one of the toughest choices you’ll have to make is selecting your dress. In doing so, you’re walking a very fine line: The right wedding dress will accentuate your natural radiance.  The wrong one could draw precisely the kind of attention you want to avoid. When it comes to choosing the right gown, your body type places a vital role. 

There is no such thing as the “right” body type, but this wedding dress style guide will help you determine the best wedding dress for you.

If you’re petite:

More straightforward dresses complement a small frame wonderfully. You’ll want to avoid dresses with frills, ruffles, or intricate designs. A simple, column dress will make you appear taller and more graceful. With the right fitting, a trumpet-style dress is also an excellent option.

What if you’re plus-size?

A plus-sized frame exudes natural, lush beauty. It’s no surprise that the plus-sized figure was the body of choice for Renaissance-era artists. If you have a plus-sized figure, you’ll want to either accentuate your curves or hide them. A neckline with asymmetrical pleating can make for an ideal fit, and Cumberland waistlines may also work well.

What if you have a large bust size?

If you have a large bust size, you’ll want to look for dresses that go well with your upper body. Unless you’re looking to emphasize your bust, a deep neckline is a no-no. It’s best to go with a modest neckline and avoid skinny straps. Shoulder and sweetheart necklines are two great options.

Or a small bust size?

If you have a smaller bust, look to the opposite dress types. You want a deep, high-cut neckline. Pair this with a plain, well-fitting gown for the perfect fit.

What if you have a pear-shaped body?

If you have fuller lips and a petite frame, it’d be a good idea to try draped dresses. A-line gowns will complement a generous waist size.

What if you have an apple-shaped body type?

If you have an apple-shaped body, you’ll want to highlight your upper curves, while de-emphasizing your waist. Empire waist dresses are by far the best option for apple-shaped bodies.

What if you have an hourglass figure?

If you’ve got a coveted hourglass figure, make sure you settle on a dress that accentuates your curves, especially your small waist. Corset dresses, for example, look great on brides with hourglass figures.

What if you have a straight/slim figure?

Brides with a slim or straight figure have a wide variety of dress options to choose from. Loose dresses, such as the ball gown, look particularly appealing.

Tips for Buying a Wedding Dress

These tips apply regardless of your body type:

  •  Make sure to focus on your best parts while concealing the rest: create the illusion of balance.
  •  Choosing the right inner-wear can be more important than many people think. Your foundation affects the fit of your wedding dress. It’s also a factor to consider for the night after your wedding.
  •  Don’t cheap out. If you can afford a good dress that complements your figure, get it.
  •  Don’t worry if you’re not able to settle on a dress. Start planning early. You will probably need to shop around.

Every bride is beautiful. You’re uniquely beautiful. But the perfect wedding dress will make sure that you’re the most radiant woman on your special day.

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