How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress for Your Body Type

Our expert guide to scoring a wedding dress that flatters your figure

Updated 08/08/17

Photo by Tida Svy

By the time you're ready to start wedding dress shopping, you've probably amassed a pretty nice-sized wish list about your dream gown. But how do you find the best wedding dress for your body type? Most bridal shops will only let you book an hour-long appointment. And, while one hour is plenty of time to try on dresses, if you can narrow down your options before stepping foot in the dressing room, you're in for a much more pleasant, laid-back shopping experience.

One easy way to limit your options is to choose the best wedding dress for your body type by finding a silhouette that will highlight your best-loved assets and conceal your less-favorable traits. To start, figure out which of our five featured body types best defines your figure: Petite, plus size, busty, hourglass or lean and straight. And remember, you may not fit squarely into one category — most people don t! Take Kim Kardashian: She's petite, busty and has (insane) hourglass curves. And, her wedding dress (ahem, the Givenchy Haute Couture one she wore a few years back to marry Kanye West) with its sheath silhouette, modest neckline and waist-baring cut-outs, was the perfect complement to her shape.

Along with finding the right gown for your body type, there are a few other things that can help make your wedding dress shopping experience as easy as possible. First, trust your consultant and don't be afraid to try on gowns he or she suggests that fall outside of your traditional comfort zone. Also shop with a supportive crew! Miss Negativity does not deserve a sacred spot on the "yay-or-nay" team. And finally, do your makeup and hair. It will be much easier to imagine wearing one of these gowns on your wedding day if you don't look like you just rolled out of bed.

Well, what are you waiting for? Book your appointment and start reading to see how to find the best wedding dress for your body type!

Wedding Dresses for Petite Body Types

Petite brides should avoid overwhelming their small frame. Choose airy sheaths and structured trumpet styles over big, frothy ball gowns.

Courtesy of Rivini by Rita Vinieris

A form-fitting shell underneath a gossamer tulle skirt is the perfect way to wear a more voluminous silhouette. Wedding dress by Rivini by Rita Vinieris

Courtesy of Christos

For petite brides, simple reigns supreme, and this chic silk crepe number is minimalism at its best. Wedding dress by Christos

Photo by Rodin Banica / Indigital.tv

The substantial straps on this plunging V-neckline gown draw the eye upward elongating your frame. Wedding dress by Theia

An empire waistline is a great style for petite figures. It creates the illusion of long legs. Wedding dress by YolanCris

Courtesy of Victoria Kyriakides

A dropped-waist or mermaid silhouette isn't off limits. Just opt for slim, more structured skirts over wide, poofy ones. Wedding dress by Victoria Kyriakides

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When done right high-low hemlines can be an asset, and may even make your legs look longer. Wedding dress by Marylise

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Skip 3D accents — like luxe blooms — in favor of intricate embroidery, light beading and one-dimensional appliques for design details that won't overwhelm. Wedding dress by Rosa Clara

Photo by Gerardo Somoza/Indigital.tv

This trumpet gown with draped lace ruffle and tulle skirt feels ball-gown-grand, while still maintaining the lengthening lines of a sheath. Wedding dress by Blush by Hayley Paige

Courtesy of Amsale

A sheath's continuous line creates the illusion of height. Plus, it's super easy to hem! Wedding dress by Nouvelle Amsale

Wedding Dresses for Plus-Size Body Types

Whether you want to create the illusion of a smaller frame or celebrate your curves, we've got you covered (or uncovered).

Courtesy of Watters

An empire waistline creates a lengthening effect while these fluttery chiffon sleeves act as the most ethereal cover up. Wedding dress by BHLDN

Courtesy of Kleinfeld Bridal

A lace illusion neckline is equal parts daring and demure, and it’s an especially slimming look when paired with a cummerbund-style waistline. Wedding dress by Anne Barge

Courtesy of Stone Fox Bride

Minimize your waistline with design details that draw the eye inward (think bodycon seams, but with crystals). Wedding dress by Stone Fox Bride

Courtesy of Watters

A high neckline, sheath silhouette and slight train are the ultimate trio to help you look long and lean. Wedding dress by Watters

Courtesy of Maggie Sottero

A high neckline, sheath silhouette and slight train are the ultimate trio to help you look long and lean. Wedding dress by Maggie Sottero

Justin Alexander Spring 2018 Wedding Dress
Gerardo Somoza/Indigital.tv

A dark colored sash is a simple way to make your middle look trim. Wedding dress by Justin Alexander

Courtesy of Pronovias

Intricate silver embroidery adds infinite allure but not a bit of bulk to a simple silhouette. Wedding dress by Pronovias

Justin Alexander Spring 2018 Wedding Dress
Gerardo Somoza/Indigital.tv

A scoop neckline shows off your voluptuous shape and lets you avoid a strapless bra! Wedding dress by Justin Alexander

A basque waistline enhances an hourglass figure. This modern, less severe interpretation gets it right. Wedding dress by Maggie Sottero

Courtesy of David's Bridal

Strategic draping on an unembellished gown can add drama and define curves. Wedding dress by Truly Zac Posen at David's Bridal

Wedding Dresses for Busty Body Types

If you're a busty bride, you've got two choices: reveal or conceal. Either way, finding the right gown starts with pinpointing the perfect neckline.

Photo: Rodin Banica / Indigital.tv

A square neckline looks great on almost anyone, but it's especially great for the well-endowed because its not too revealing. Wedding dress by Lela Rose

Strapless gowns can be tough for brides with a larger bust, but the straight-across version actually minimizes your assets. Wedding dress by Oscar de la Renta

Photo: Gerardo Somoza/Indigital.tv

If you're set on a sweetheart neckline, try one with straps and a full skirt to balance your busty frame. Wedding dress by Anne Barge

Courtesy of Christos Bruna

Another sweetheart idea we love? This "modesty" lace detail that keeps your cleavage in check. Wedding dress by Christos

Photo: Edward James / Indigital.tv

This structured off-the-shoulder neckline offers a subtle curve that minimizes a large bust. Wedding dress by Marchesa

Photo: Edward James / Indigital.tv

Plunging V-necklines are typically too risquè for big-busted girls, but this more subtle dip gets it right. Wedding dress by BHLDN

Photo: Gerardo Somoza / Indigital.tv

Generally slinky material is a no-no for larger busts, but the draped cowl neckline makes this 20s-style gown more of a go-to. Wedding dress by Savannah Miller

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A subtle dip won't hide your curves completely, but it will soften your sex appeal. Wedding dress by YolanCris

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Illusion "skin-baring" details are a big-busted girls bestie. This sheer scoop neckline is every bit ethereal. Wedding dress by Marylise

Wedding Dresses for Lean-and-Straight Body Types

Because floor-length gowns were made with your model stature in mind, you've got lots of options to choose from. But, if you're hoping to create the illusion of curves — we've got a few tricks.

Photo: Edward James / Indigital.tv

A voluminous peplum skirt acts as a stand in for curvy hips. Wedding dress by Viktor & Rolf

Photo by Rodin Banica/Indigital.tv

This sheath gets some added allure from intricate geometric design details. Wedding dress by Naeem Khan

Photo by Rodin Banica/Indigital.tv

Bodycon goes bridal with contouring seams that create "imaginary" curves. Wedding dress by Watters

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A sheath will accentuate your statuesque frame. Wedding dress by YolanCris

Courtesy of Alyne by Rita Vinieris

Consider a wedding dress with a slit to show off your great legs. Wedding dress by Alyne by Rita Vinieris

Photo: Gerardo Somoza/Indigital.tv

A high neckline paired with a full, A-line skirt showcases and balances your height at the same time. Wedding dress by Savannah Miller

Courtesy of Pronovias

The illusion neckline details on this gown, which leave just a hint of skin bare, highlight a swan-like neck. Wedding dress by Pronovias

Lucky you! Not everyone can pull off the most eye-catching trend in bridal gowns — crop tops. Wedding dress by Limor Rosen

Go for an over the top ball gown (we love this ballerina-inspired style), it won't overwhelm your tall figure. Wedding dress by Oscar de la Renta

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With daring illusion panels, this lace sheath will let you flash a hint of those enviable legs. Wedding dress by YolanCris

Wedding Dresses for Hourglass Body Types

Work your womanly curves in a bodycon bridal gown or hide your hips in a big ball gown — either way, your gown should show off your trim mid section.

Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco

A glitzy belt detail is a glamorous way to highlight your tiny waistline. Wedding dress by Alexandra Grecco

Courtesy of Victoria Kyriakides

This ethereal fit-and-flare dress accentuates hourglass curves. Wedding dress by Victoria Kyriakides

Photo by Edward James/Indigital.tv

An exaggerated dropped waist and oversized tulle skirt keeps all eyes on feminine form. Wedding dress by Sachin & Babi

Photo: Edward James / Indigital.tv

The cinched waistline of this Marchesa stunner plays up your small midsection in the most subtle way. Wedding dress by Marchesa

Photo: Gerardo Somoza / Indigital.tv

It's clear why this dress is a winner. Seriously, it's the sheer midriff that gives this gown an edge. Wedding dress by Lihi Hod

Fit-and-flare are three words you should get very familiar with. It's a curvy girls go-to silhouette. Wedding dress by Amsale

Photo: Edward James / Indigital.tv

Hourglass is one of the only body types that can pull off a true mermaid silhouette — a style that flares out just below the knee. Wedding dress by Sareh Nouri

Photo: Rodin Banica / Indigital.tv

For an unexpected take on a dropped waist design, asymmetrical tiers are a fun, yet glamorous choice. Wedding dress by Monique Lhuillier

Marlise Wedding Dress
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We love the idea of long sleeves and a curve-hugging floor length skirt with only a hint of skin at your skinniest bit showing. Wedding dress by Marylise

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