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A tea-length wedding dress is one that we think of for a civil ceremony at City Hall or a retro-inspired wedding day look and for a good reason. The classic short wedding-dress silhouette has a storied history and is synonymous with one very famous bride: Audrey Hepburn! This is all thanks to her designer relationships with Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Balmain. When thinking of a tea-length wedding dress, it’s almost impossible not to picture the actress in her iconic bridal costume from the film Funny Face, where she wore Givenchy’s bateau-necked tea-length creation. Or, her real-life tea-length wedding dress by Balmain, which featured a high-neck and voluminous sleeves. Both looks were instant classics from their inception, and now, the tea-length wedding dress is one that’s ideal for modern brides craving a slightly more casual, but still-classic wedding day look.
Tea-length wedding dresses most often feature a full skirt, nipped waist, and feminine detailing like lace, embroidery, or bows. There are also impeccably-cut versions with an ultra-minimal look to them. We love this if you’re the type of bride who wants to embrace the traditional look of a tea-length dress, but with modern flair à la Zoë Kravitz’s sleek Alexander Wang creation. Or, you can interpret the look with a slightly more modern edge and choose a style that still hits below the knee (ideally at mid-calf or just above the ankle) but features a different cut or silhouette (slimmer skirts and more minimal designs fall into this category). To make this type of modern tea-length wedding dress look a little more traditional, consider adding in a tea-length veil as Audrey Hepburn did with her Givenchy wedding dress (it was completed with an adorable wee bow!), or classic accessories like gloves, timeless pumps, or an elegant pair of flats.
Ahead, keep scrolling for 26 tea-length wedding dresses for every bridal aesthetic from budget-friendly versions to designer styles.
ASOS EDITION Chelsea Off Shoulder Lace Wedding Dress
For the bride on a budget, this short lace wedding dress is another modern interpretation of a timeless tea-length silhouette. Voluminous off-the-shoulder sleeves and fishtail hem create a modern and feminine look that’s still reminiscent of the 1950’s shape.
Isabelle Armstrong Quiroga Wedding Dress
For the bride looking to make a statement with her tea-length wedding dress, look no further than this voluminous design. Three-dimensional floral appliques line this strapless silhouettes with a boned bodice and an ultra-voluminous skirt that references the ‘80s.