Tuesday, June 20

Short or Long Bridesmaid Dresses? - A Guide on How to Choose

You’re planning your wedding, and one of the first major decisions you have to make is “Which dresses will your attendants wear?” You will consider many different styles based on as many factors, including the ever-important debate over dress length.
Floor-, cocktail-, or tea-length bridesmaid dresses? What factors should you consider when trying to decide which length works best for your wedding?

Floor-Length Gowns

Floor-length dresses have long been associated with formality. Many houses of worship require modest styles, and length is generally a criterion. If your wedding is in the evening or in a formal setting, you should definitely choose floor-length bridesmaid and junior bridesmaid dresses.
Bridesmaids of all body types look great in floor-length dresses. They are also appropriate for any height if ordered correctly. Submitting accurate measurements is critical, especially for your shortest and tallest bridesmaids who can look very awkward in poorly tailored full-length gowns.
While truly formal events essentially require floor-length dresses, you may choose them for any celebration as long as the length doesn’t offer your attendants any kind of practical problems (they’re not ideal if terrain is really rough, for example). They are well-suited for cold weather fall and winter weddings, in particular, but are acceptable year-round.

Tea-Length Dresses

Tea-length dresses fall to the mid-calf or shin. They are considered more modest than cocktail length, but less modest than floor-length. The shorter skirts help prevent tripping among younger ladies, like your junior bridesmaids and flower girls. They are best for hourglass figures, but fitted properly, most women can look great in tea-length dresses. Their shorter length makes them great choices for spring or summer weddings, but they can work for mild cold weather as well.

Cocktail-Length Gowns

Falling mid-thigh, cocktail-length dresses demand a certain maturity, and may not be suitable for all junior bridesmaid dresses. Ultimately, the overall silhouette and style must be considered to determine if a dress will work for a particular attendant. Cocktail-length dresses are feminine and fun, and are comfortable in warm outdoor weather. While they won’t work for traditional formal events, they are options for nearly any other type of wedding, as long as they meet venue standards.


It is perfectly acceptable, and actually good practice, to allow your bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids to choose gowns that look great on them, even if those gowns don’t match. Choose a color, a fabric, and perhaps a few different styles, and invite your attendants to make their own fashion choices. You may very well end up with gowns that are three different lengths and possibly three different shades, and that’s okay. Just make sure that you give enough guidance to ensure that all dresses have enough unifying characteristics to create a cohesive look. Having the opportunity to make their own choices will ensure that you have happy bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids ready to stand up for you in style on the wedding day.
Of course, length is only one component of any gown. The color, fabric, silhouette, neckline and sleeves are all factors as well. It is an important characteristic, however, and familiarizing yourself with your options will help you make the best decisions for you and for your attendants.


Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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