The short wedding dress has surged in popularity again recently, with many brides now considering one or two additional dresses for use outside of the main ceremony, such as their engagement party and the reception part of the wedding day.

Here we answer some of the common questions we are asked in relation to short wedding dresses.

What is a short wedding dress?

A short wedding dress is a dress that typically falls above the knees and is often chosen by brides who wish to have a more relaxed, playful, or modern look for their post-ceremony celebrations. While traditional wedding gowns are typically long and can be cumbersome for dancing and mingling, a shorter dress offers ease of movement and a fun twist to their ceremony dress. These dresses can range from simple and elegant to sparkly and festive, depending on the bride’s personal style.

What styles of short dress are suitable for the engagement party?

For engagement parties, dress styles encompass a variety of looks, ranging from classic to contemporary. A-line dresses provide a universally flattering silhouette, while shift or sheath dresses offer a sleeker, modern vibe. Wrap dresses can give a romantic, feminine touch, while off-shoulder or skater styles add a youthful flair. Lace, floral patterns, or delicate embellishments can lend a celebratory feel. Ultimately, it depends on the formality of your engagement party – cocktail dresses are ideal for semi-formal events, while more casual gatherings might call for simpler, laid-back styles.

What style of short wedding dress is best suited to the reception?

For the wedding reception, the ideal short wedding dress is one that combines style with ease of movement, as you will need to mingle and dance the night away. Cocktail-length dresses, which fall just above the knee, are a popular choice due to their chic yet fun aesthetic. Fit-and-flare or A-line silhouettes can be especially flattering, allowing for movement without restriction. Brides might also consider dresses with less intricate detailing to ensure comfort throughout the evening. The key is selecting a dress that complements the reception’s vibe, whether it’s a glamorous soirée or a relaxed backyard gathering, while allowing you to move freely and confidently.

Short dress styles

Some example short wedding dress styles, available through Angelica Bridal.

Do short wedding dresses suit people of a certain height?

Short wedding dresses can suit individuals of any height. While it’s often believed that shorter dresses are ideal for taller brides, with the right design and fit, they can flatter brides of all statures. Petite brides might find that certain styles, like empire waists or vertical detailing, can elongate their appearance. Meanwhile, taller brides might gravitate toward dresses that emphasise their long legs. The key is in the dress’s proportions, silhouette, and where it hits on the leg. With proper tailoring and attention to detail, a short wedding dress can be a stunning choice for brides of any height.

What sort of accessories are best suited to short wedding dresses?

When accessorising a short wedding dress, the focus often shifts to shoes, as they are prominently displayed. Statement heels or embellished flats can elevate the outfit. Jewellery choices can vary based on the dress’s neckline and sleeve length; for example, a strapless dress might pair well with a bold necklace, while a higher neckline could be complemented by drop earrings. Hair accessories, such as tiaras, hairpins, or floral crowns, add a touch of romance. Depending on the dress’s style and the bride’s preference, a sash or a belt can accentuate the waist. The key is to balance statement pieces with subtler details to complement, not overshadow, the dress.

Can you help me find the perfect short wedding dress?

Absolutely, yes, we can! Whether you’re thinking of a short wedding dress for your engagement party, the reception, or the dance, we can help you find a style that’s perfect just for you. Get in touch with our friendly London team for further advice or to book an appointment at our bridal store.


Angelica Bridal is a bridal boutique in the bustling Angel area of Islington, offering a one-on-one personal bridal shopping experience since 2009. The store is by appointment only. In 2021, Angelica Bridal opened their Curve store on Liverpool Road in Islington, offering an eclectic collection of gowns for plus size brides.

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