18 Short Wedding Dresses for Your Ceremony, Second Look, and Beyond!

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Best Short Wedding Dresses

Brides / Chloe Jeong

Short wedding dresses have been giving floor-length gowns a serious run for their money and it's easy to see why. From modern silhouettes to allover lace minis to sequin and beaded styles, these leg-baring beauties are versatile and undeniably statement-making. Whether you're considering wearing a short dress for your rehearsal dinner, ceremony or afterparty, a little white dress is always a stylish addition to any bridal wardrobe.

No matter where you're tying the knot – be it on the beach, at the courthouse, or in your backyard – there's a short wedding dress out there that matches both your venue and your bridal style. Plus, the cropped length makes them a versatile part of your wardrobe, meaning, you definitely won't wear this dress just once! For the minimalist bride, there are short dresses crafted from sleek fabrics in unfussy silhouettes. For the classic bride, impeccably tailored mini dresses and allover lace details. And for the fashion-forward bride, there are scores of statement-making styles from blazer dresses to designs with detachable trains.

Ready to show off some serious leg? Read on for the best short wedding dresses to complement every bridal style, body shape, and budget.

For a Formal Wedding: Carolina Herrera Bow-Detailed Silk Faille Strapless Mini Dress

short white dress

Courtesy of Moda Operandi

If you want all the glamour and sophistication of a classic gown, but with an unexpected twist, consider this silk mini. It has all the elements of a ballgown, minus the obstructive length.

Most Versatile: Sachin & Babi Archie Dress

bow back dress

Courtesy of Reformation

We love a dress that boasts two looks in one and this Sachin & Babi design is no exception. It features a dramatic bow train that can easily be detached for a more pared-backed aesthetic.

Most Unique: Rotate Puff Sleeves Ruched Dress

puff sleeves dress

Courtesy of Moda Operandi

Off-the-shoulder neckline, puffed sleeves, ruched bodice—what trend doesn't this dress show off? With such a relaxed fit, it's perfect for the cool-girl, no-fuss bride.

For a City Wedding: Reformation Wrap Dress

short dress

 Courtesy of Reformation

Whether you wear this to your engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or on your wedding day, this sweet dress deserves a spot in your bridal wardrobe.

For a Bridal Shower: Self-Portrait Floral-Embroidered V-Neck Dress

short dress

Courtesy of Farfetch

While we love this mini dress for a trip to the altar, it also has bridal shower written all over it. Between the polka dots, floral and lace trim, this gown is as sweet as ever for the feminine bride.

For the After-Party: Retrofete Sparkly Mini Dress

sparkly dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Every wedding needs a party dress! We love this flirty number for its effortless silhouette, elegant neckline, and allover shimmering sequins.

Most Embellished: Elliatt Pearl Embroidered Mini Dress

Short Dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

We think it's time to bring flapper dresses back (but with a twenty-first-century twist), and this strappy mini dress is the ultimate comeback. With all-over embroidery and pearl details, this is the look for fun and flirty brides.

For the Daring Bride: Rime Arodaky Embroidered Tulle and Crepe Midi Dress

sheer bodice dress

 Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

From French bridal designer Rime Arodaky, it's no surprise this midi dress is both romantic and chic. The illusion bodice is daring, yet tasteful—what modern bride doesn't strive for that?

For a New Year's Eve Wedding: White by Vera Wang Sequin Plus Size Mini Dress

short dress

Courtesy of David's Bridal

For the bride that craves a little sparkle, this mini dress is completed by a crystal belt, which creates shape and definition at the waist.

Most Dramatic: Nookie Two-in-One Dress

detachable train dress

Courtesy of Revolve

News flash: Dramatic trains work with short dresses too! Wear the detachable bow trainl down the aisle then remove it when it comes time to hit the dancefloor. Technically, you're getting two gorgeous looks for the price of one (score!).

For the Whimsical Bride: Theia "Love" Embroidered Shift Dress

short dress

Courtesy of BHLDN

Engagement party, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, post-wedding brunch—this dress works for literally every wedding-related occasion. This dress and weddings have something in common: They're both all about love!

For a Summer Wedding: Lela Rose Plus Size Lace Hem Knit Dress

short dress

 Courtesy of 11 Honore

This bright and sunshine-y knit dress is flocked with tiny yellow fabric embellishments. Wear this cheery citrus number to your summer or destination wedding.

For a Courthouse Wedding: Erdem Cape Dress

cape dress

 Courtesy of Matchesfashion

This cape dress marries business and bridal is the chicest way. Perfect for the modern bride, this Erdem style would make an utterly romantic choice for a courthouse wedding,

Best High-Low Silhouette: Caroline Constas Lace Dress

high/low dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

Thanks to the high-low, you technically don't need to choose between a long and short gown with this pick. It's party in the front and bridal in the back!

Most Conservative: Roksanda Tulle-Trimmed Cady Midi Dress

short dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Something about this dress screams modern city wedding and we are here for it. With a tulle-trimmed high neckline, this is definitely the perfect pick for more conservative brides–and the puffed sleeves are full-on fashion.

Best Shift Dress: ASOS EDITION 3D Floral Embellished Dress

sparkly dress

Courtesy of ASOS

Shift dresses are getting a major upgrade with this embroidered number. We suggest throwing this in your honeymoon carry-on last minute with a pair of sandals for a casual dinner outfit with your new spouse!

Most Retro: Rasario Silk-Satin Mini Dress

short dress

Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

This playful mini dress featuring a puffball skirt feels like a modern take on an '80s-inspired silhouette. We love it with platform heels and a bright red lip.

Best Blush: Self-Portrait Chiffon Lace-Trimmed Dress

pink dress

Courtesy of Farfetch

Another hot trend for 2021 brides? Corset bodices. Thanks to the pleated chiffon and lace trim, this blush midi gives the sultry bustier a feminine finish.

What to look for in a short wedding dress

Whether you choose to wear a short dress for the ceremony or change into one for the after-party, there are so many stylish options to choose from when it comes to little white dresses. These leg-baring silhouettes are especially fitting for spring and summer weddings and come in an array of lightweight fabrics perfect for warm-weather venues. Short dresses are also a fun and statement-making option for your second look. If you're planning to slip into a different outfit for your reception, consider choosing a short dress that feels completely different from your wedding gown like a sleek and modern midi silhouette or a beaded mini dress.

FAQ
  • Can I wear a short wedding dress for my wedding?

    Yes! Short wedding dresses are just as appropriate as floor-length gowns. With so many options to choose from, you'll be sure to find a short wedding dress that matches your bridal style and venue.

  • Can I change into a short dress for my reception?

    Absolutely! Second looks have become increasingly popular and are a great chance to showcase your personal style.

  • What shoes can I wear with a short wedding dress?

    While your wedding shoes might be hidden when wearing a floor-length gown, with a short wedding dress, your shoes will be front a center so it's worth investing in a pair that you really love. From statement-making stilettoes for a formal wedding to casual wedges for a beach or backyard wedding, there are tons of shoe options out there to complement any short wedding dress style.

Why Trust Brides

Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal party, and more.

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