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One crucial thing to know about bridal party dresses? They 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 for your crew. Not to mention, a shorter style will likely allow your favorite people to move freely and comfortably throughout the celebration. As many couples continue to prefer more intimate, welcoming, and relaxed affairs, a short dress helps to ensure that the most special people in your life soak up the day—and are less concerned about a wardrobe malfunction.
Not all short bridal party dresses are created equal, of course. There are above-the-knee silhouettes that are perfect for petite shapes; a long skirt can really overwhelm their frame, making a mini a super-flattering choice. 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!
Despite the idea that short bridesmaid dresses are less formal, there are plenty of unique ways to make the look feel elevated and special. Break the rules a little bit—no shame in the game! 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.
From sweetheart, one-shoulder, and off-the-shoulder necklines to pastel colors, pretty prints, and rich jewel tones, here are our favorite short bridal party dresses for every aesthetic and budget.
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.
For a Tropical Wedding: Reformation Floral Mini 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.
Most Feminine: Show Me Your Mumu Samantha Ruffle Wrap Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XXS - 3X | Materials: Satin
This luxe satin dress in rose gold 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.
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.
Best Fabric: BHLDN Kinsey Midi Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 0 - 16 | Materials: Burnt organza
Perfect for a spring or summer affair, this lavender burnt organza midi exudes romance and effortless luxury. We love how the simple silhouette keeps it classic while the eye-catching fabric creates dimension.
Best Budget: Boohoo Shoulder Pleated Midi Skater Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 4 - 14 | Materials: Woven fabric
We can picture this pastel blue dress on an entire bridal party in the spring or summer. We’re thinking of a cliffside wedding overlooking the ocean or for a ceremony in the sand.
For a Spring Wedding: Wtoo by Watters Short Bobbinet 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).
Best Floral Print: Fame and Partners Cherry Bloom Blush Dress
Runs: Large | Size: 0 - 22 | Materials: Light Georgette
This romantic and supremely sweet floral dress is a no-brainer for a spring or summer wedding. What's more, this style can be customized to your ideal length so you don't have to worry about alternations once you receive it.
Best Slit: Dessy Collection Bustier Crepe A-Line Dress
Runs: Small | Size: 0 - 18 | Materials: Crepe
We’re in love with this bustier-style dress that enhances curves and nips in at the waist. The high front slit allows for more than a flash of leg but natural movement when the reception kicks off.
Most Sophisticated: 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.
Best LBD: 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.
Most Classic: Azazie Heidi Strapless Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: A0 - A30 | Materials: Chiffon
We love a sweetheart neckline for a romantic bridal party look, and this strapless style is a timeless take that feels simple yet fresh. With varying heights in mind, this gown is designed with extra length so you can easily alter it for a perfect fit.
For a Black-Tie Affair: ELLIAT Cassini Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - L | Materials: Hammered satin
If you're not quite loving pattern 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.
Most Contemporary: Babaton '90s Slit 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.
Best Scoop Neckline: Michale Costello x REVOLVE India 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.
Most Relaxed: Plum Pretty Sugar Preston Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: XS - XXL | Materials: Rayon
Easy, breezy, and flirty, this light purple tiered dress features a delicate pink floral print. The tie-bow straps add a splash of drama to this effortlessly pretty little number.
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.
Most Playful: 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.
Best Lace: Self-Portrait Grosgrain-Trimmed Guipure Lace Mini Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: UK4 - UK14 | Materials: Guipure lace
We picture this beauty paired with other solid mini dresses in cream or soft pastels. Perfect for a more relaxed outdoor affair in a garden or by the sea, this intricate lace feels effortlessly luxurious and feminine.
Most Romantic: 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.
Best Wrap Dress: BHLDN Louisa Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 00 - 26W | Materials: Satin charmeuse
A wrap-style dress is never the wrong choice. Universally flattering, this satin charmeuse midi is ultra sleek and chic.
For a Garden Wedding: Bronx and 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.
Best One Shoulder: BHLDN Audrie Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: 0 - 16 | Materials: Satin charmeuse
One-shoulders are a great way to incorporate a look that feels both timeless and fresh. This jeweled-tone stunner is paired with satin charmeuse for a piece that is elevated yet easy.
For a Winter Wedding: Azazie Rubie Velvet Dress
Runs: True to size | Size: A0 - A30 | Materials: Velvet and lace
This deep-red mini looks incredibly elegant and formal despite its length. With its velvet body and delicate lace sleeves, this look is ideal for a romantic winter wedding.
Most Effortless: 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 pink hue of this satin charmeuse fabric. Plus, the side slit allows for optimal movement down the aisle and around the dance floor.
What to Look for in Short Bridal Party Dresses
Now that you have some inspiration, here are a few things to remember before your "I do" crew chooses their looks. The length of bridesmaid dresses can be established by the formality of your wedding. 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.
Still 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. 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 leg for a more cohesive look.
And, now for the fun part. When it comes to short bridesmaid dresses, there's more than meets the eye—and by this, we mean the shoes! 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. At the end of the day, it may be you 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 dress?
What are some short bridal party dress lengths to consider?
Keep it playful with a mini or err on the side of tradition with a knee-length frock. Calf-grazing midis and tea-length dresses also come in a variety of styles and silhouettes. Looking to make a statement? Slits and high-low hemlines are an easy way to add some pizazz to your dress without adding length.
What are some factors to consider when deciding on the length of your bridal party dress?
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.
Why Trust Us
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.