Contrary to popular belief, bridesmaids' dresses don’t have to be long gowns. Short dresses are an excellent option for a modern wedding party look, whether you’ve got a couple of petite girls in your lineup or you simply want a less-formal option. Not to mention, a shorter style will allow your bridesmaids to move freely and comfortably throughout the celebration.
"Some of the key features to look for in a short dress are the details of the style, color, and length," says Ranu Coleman, Chief Marketing Officer at Azazie. "When shopping for a short dress I would take into consideration the venue, color palette, and season. This will determine if you should opt for a solid color, textured fabric, skirt detail, sleeves, and back detail."
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There are above-the-knee silhouettes that are perfect for petite shapes, as a long skirt can overwhelm their frame. Knee-length styles are appealing on a range of body types, whether you choose a fitted sheath, fit-and-flare silhouette, or flowy and pleated style. Then, there are slightly longer versions like midi and cocktail dresses that are a more demure option if you want a shorter look—we love classic wraps, modern high-low hems, A-line shapes, and pretty tiered skirts. But, no one ever said all your bridesmaids' dresses have to be the same! If your group has differing styles (or opinions) of what they feel complements them best, select the best length for each person. The varying lengths will boost visual interest—and your 'maids' confidence!
To help you find the perfect bridal party dresses for your ceremony, we've researched and selected the best options with these features in mind. For a romantic and timeless look, we love the Show Me Your Mumu Samantha Ruffle Wrap Dress and the Dessy Group Bustier Crepe Midi Dress. Looking for something simple yet elegant? You can't go wrong with the Name of Love Lola Dress or the Azazie Vicenta Dress.
Read on for the best short bridal party dresses.
Best Party Dress
Dress the Population Alicia Mixed Media Midi Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XXS - XXL | Materials: Crepe and chiffon
This A-line dress is a winner for a range of body types. The V-shaped neckline and simple bodice feel clean and modern while the lace hem adds a touch of whimsy.
Price at time of publish: $198
For a Tropical Wedding
Reformation Christine Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 0 - 12 | Materials: Georgette
A floral bridal party dress is an effortless way to add interest and dimension to a bridal party rocking the mismatched dresses trend. This mini from Reformation would pair nicely with solid colors in blush or deep emerald tones.
Price at time of publish: $218
Show Me Your Mumu Samantha Ruffle Wrap Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XXS - 3X | Materials: Satin
This luxe satin rose gold dress is utterly romantic. With flirty ruffles and a high-low hem, you'll have the perfect opportunity to show off a pair of strappy stilettos. Perhaps our favorite part is the faux wrap that's secured with an elastic waist and sash.
Price at time of publish: $198
For the Minimalist
Name of Love Lola Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 0 - 14 | Materials: Crepe
Minimal and sleek, this dress feels both classic and modern. With wide straps and a round neckline, it flatters the upper body perfectly without feeling too bare. Even better is the full-flowing skirt that features inverted front pleats for a unique look.
Price at time of publish: $175
Boohoo Chiffon Cold Shoulder Wrap Midi Skater Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 4 - 14 | Materials: Woven fabric
This sweet number proves that the subtle details go a long way. We can picture this simple yet elegant dress on an entire bridal party in the spring or summer. We’re thinking of a cliffside wedding overlooking the ocean or a ceremony in the sand.
Price at time of publish: $45
For a Spring Wedding
Wtoo by Watters Designs 858K Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 00 - 26W | Materials: Bobbinet
This lavender-hued dress is perfect for brides in favor of a spring wedding palette. The shirred waistband cinches in perfectly at the waist while the swingy skirt allows for ample movement (especially on the dance floor).
Price at time of publish: $170
Dessy Group Bustier Crepe Midi Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 18 | Materials: Crepe
We’re in love with this bustier-style dress that enhances curves and nips at the waist. The high front slit allows for more than a flash of leg but natural movement when the reception kicks off.
Price at time of publish: $250
Alfred Sung Jewel Neck Satin Cocktail Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 18 | Materials: Satin
Keep it sleek and sophisticated in this deep-blue satin cocktail dress. The structured silhouette and unadorned fabric are bound to complement all shapes and sizes.
Price at time of publish: $214
Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Mini Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - XL | Materials: Satin
For a sleek and elevated yet subtly playful look, opt for this black halter mini. The high neckline is offset by an open back while the striking sheen of the satin fabric speaks for itself.
Price at time of publish: $148
For a Black-Tie Affair
ELLIAT Cassini Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - L | Materials: Hammered satin
If you're not a huge fan of patterns but still want to incorporate some visual interest, ruching with a luxurious fabric makes for an irresistibly perfect pair. Plus, it flatters all body types beautifully.
Price at time of publish: $187
Babaton '90s Slit Midi Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 00 - 12 | Materials: Stretch matte satin
Searching for a dress that you'll look forward to wearing let alone wear again can be challenging, but this drapey high-slit number is about to become your new obsession. It's made from a stretchy matte satin and comes in a variety of colorways, including this bright empress green.
Price at time of publish: $128
Best Scoop Neckline
Michael Costello x REVOLVE Midi Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XXS - XL | Materials: Lurex knit fabric
We're crushing hard on this simple yet striking midi. The boned bodice, scoop neckline, and ruched detail make for a comfortable and flattering fit. This stunner is available in periwinkle or blush.
Price at time of publish: $198
Best Halter Neckline
Wtoo Kippie Knee Length Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 00 - 26W | Materials: Chiffon
This chiffon halter-neck mini just may be the definition of simple elegance. With its classic silhouette and unadorned fabric, you will never have to question this look.
Price at time of publish: $170
ELLIAT Reception Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - L | Materials: Lurex knit fabric
This number puts the party in bridal party! With its asymmetrical neckline, snug fit, ruffle detail, and daring slit, this piece is both sophisticated and fun.
Price at time of publish: $170
Azazie Vicenta Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: A0 - A30 | Materials: Chiffon
If we know anything about bridesmaid dresses, it's this: You can never go wrong with an A-line silhouette or chiffon fabric. These romantic off-the-shoulder straps and gathered bodice are only the cherry on top.
Price at time of publish: $109
For a Garden Wedding
Bronx & Banco Megan Mini Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - XL | Materials: Tulle and floral appliqué
For the fashion-forward bridal party, this super-pretty long-sleeve mini is both bold and romantic. Paired with a palette of other solid pastels or textures, this dress is bound to create an effortlessly cool and memorable look.
Price at time of publish: $396
BHLDN Cali Satin Charmeuse Midi Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 0 - 16 | Materials: Satin charmeuse
Delicate spaghetti straps are paired with a strikingly simple design and cowl neckline. We love the dusty blue hue of this satin charmeuse fabric. Plus, the side slit allows for optimal movement down the aisle and around the dance floor.
Price at time of publish: $168
Birdy Grey Lisa Midi Dress Curve
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - 3X | Materials: Polyester Satin Crepe De Chine
Master easy elegance in this luxe satin champagne slip dress, a flawless take for a minimalist bridal party look. The body-skimming silhouette includes a cowl neck design that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories.
Price at time of publish: $99
What to Look for in Short Bridal Party Dresses
"You definitely want to think about the venue, weather, and dress code," says Coleman. "If the dress code of the wedding is cocktail attire the dress can be more on the midi side. If the dress code of the wedding is formal, the dress can be a little longer and be a tea-length style with maybe a high-low detail on the skirt."
While there are no rules, typically the longer the gown, the more formal the wedding. This will help you determine which length is best for the vibe of your nuptials. Want your big day to feel super fancy but love the short look? Opt for a tea-length or midi style with a strikingly high heel. We especially love the Dessy Group Bustier Crepe Midi Dress.
Bridal Party Heights
No matter the length you decide on, keep each member of your party's height in mind. Not only are different lengths more flattering for certain heights, but proper alterations are key. Even if you order the same knee-length dress for each person, for instance, the length to which it will fall is bound to be different depending on the varying heights of your group. Make sure your bridesmaids are altering their lengths to fall at the same point on their legs for a more cohesive look.
Now for the fun part! Whether it's a mini, high-low, or midi, the shorter length allows the shoes to take center stage. Opt for a classic pump or block heel for a more subdued and timeless look. Or, dare to style your party in a pair that's super sparkly, printed, or in a bold color. Whatever you may choose, be mindful of each individual's preference when it comes to style—and physical comfort. It may be your and your partner's celebration, but it's important that they're looking and feeling their best, too—they are some of your favorite people, after all!
Can I wear a short bridesmaid dress?
What are some short bridal party dress lengths to consider?
"Some great shorter lengths are Midi dresses, Mini, cocktail dresses, and tea length. All are versatile and more comfortable than a long formal gown," says Coleman. "Some of these lengths are more flattering on certain body types so it’s also nice to do varying lengths—it’s also something the bridal party loves to select their own silhouette!"
What are some factors to consider when deciding on the length of your bridal party dress?
"You definitely want to think about the venue, weather, and dress code," Coleman advises. "If the dress code of the wedding is cocktail attire the dress can be more on the midi side. If the dress code of the wedding is formal, the dress can be a little longer and be a tea-length style with maybe a high-low detail on the skirt."
For an outdoor summer wedding or a destination wedding in a tropical locale, shorter dresses are more likely to keep you cool. Depending on your height, the length of your dress (mini versus midi) may also come into play. This especially rings true if you plan on showing off your shoes.
What type of weddings are short bridesmaid dresses a good fit for?
"Short bridesmaids' dresses are perfect for nearly any type of event—they are great for less formal weddings and for weddings taking place in the Summer when the weather is warmer," says Coleman. "But short dresses are not just for more casual weddings, there are plenty of ways to elevate the look—for example having your bridal party wear Midi-length black dresses and adding more dressy accessories."
How can I make short bridesmaids' dresses look more formal?
Despite the idea that short bridesmaid dresses are less formal, there are plenty of unique ways to make the look feel elevated and special. For instance, your crew doesn't necessarily have to stick to just one color. Opt for an array of shades that complement one another, allowing each person to stand out. Or, add some visual interest with a cool pattern.
If you're looking to keep a monochromatic bridal party style—that's okay, too! Instead, play with fabrics to create a more organic and modern look that still feels classic. While the color will keep it cohesive, the dimension and texture will create an effortlessly luxurious and fresh look. Long story short—there are no rules, and you should create a lineup that feels true to you and your bridal squad.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing author Laura Lajiness is a writer and editor covering all things fashion, accessories, and fine jewelry. With a bachelor of arts in journalism and as the former senior fashion editor at the Zoe Report and PopSugar, she has extensive experience sourcing and researching the best fashion items.