Are Long Bridesmaid Dresses a Better Option Than Short Ones?

Today’s guest post is from Lesly at She’s delving into the age-old question: Should you choose long or short bridesmaid gowns for your wedding? There are lots of things to consider!

The choice of bridesmaid dresses is a struggle for many brides. You must take into account many factors including your wedding format, style, color scheme, location, and personal taste. And you have to think about your bridesmaids and find the dresses they will like and feel comfortable in.

Many brides prefer long bridesmaid dresses as they look more elegant and festive. Undoubtedly, long gowns are always a good idea and they may be good for any type of wedding as there are many possible designs and styles. But are long dresses more suitable for weddings?


The Reasons to Opt for Long Bridesmaid Dresses

So, why should you opt for long gowns for your bridesmaids?

1.     Long dresses always look elegant and classy. They can make any bridesmaid look feminine and stylish.

2.     Long gowns are the best option for formal occasions like black-tie and white-tie weddings. Since guests are expected to come in evening attire and the role of a bridesmaid is so important, black- and white-tie weddings are those rare occasions when longs dresses for bridesmaids are a must.

3.     With covered-up legs, bridesmaids don’t have to worry about pale legs or skin imperfections. So long dresses can assist in hiding the lower half of the body.

4.     Long dresses also cover the shoes. This means that it’s not required to wear high heels and each bridesmaid is free to choose a comfortable pair of shoes, even if they feature no heels at all.

5.     The variety of long gown styles is extensive. There are various colors, designs and embellishments available. You can select dresses with sleeves, strapless ones, simple as well as heavily embellished gowns. There are dresses for any type of wedding and for any budget.


What Are Advantages of Short Dresses for Bridesmaids?

Short bridesmaid dresses look fun and cute while still being stylish.

1.    Short dresses are sometimes easier to wear than long ones. Some people wear long clothes daily and so some women may feel uncomfortable and even awkward in a long gown.

2.     Short dresses are a great opportunity to show off beautiful shoes. Choose an accent of beautiful shoes and showcase them by wearing a short dress.

3.     They will be appreciated by your bridesmaids if you are going to get married on a hot summer day. Even if the dresses are made of the same fabrics, shorter ones will always feel lighter and more comfortable for hot weather. Additionally, if you plan a beach wedding, short and tea-length dresses for bridesmaids are a great idea.

4.     Short gowns may be more flattering if your bridesmaids are of different heights. While petite women may feel they drown in a long gown, taller ones may not be able to find extra long dresses. In order to avoid that problem, opt for a shorter style.

But, note that the dresses shouldn’t be of identical height. It will look more cohesive if they are proportional to each girl. For instance, each dress can be a couple of inches below the knees of each bridesmaid no matter what her height is. As a result, the dresses will have various lengths but will look identical when your bridesmaids are dressed.    

5.     Darker shades don’t look quite as gloomy on shorter dresses. Today, deep dark colors are pretty popular, so going with a shorter style can lighten up the stark contrast of a long gown in the same color. For instance, a black floor-length bridesmaid dress can look very stark while a short variant in this color may look more festive.


Things to Consider Before Choosing the Bridesmaid Dress Length

1.     The formality of the event. Traditionally, long dresses set a formal tone for a wedding, but they can be worn for semi-formal celebrations as well. There are so many different styles of gowns that you may find long but very simple dresses.

On the other hand, short dresses are considered a suitable option for daytime weddings and casual ceremonies. To make them look more festive, you may opt for some cool accessories and make statement shoes the main accent.

2.     Weather conditions. This factor is very important if you are planning an outdoor wedding. Take care that your girls feel comfortable no matter what season you are getting hitched. Short dresses can be a better option for hot weather as well as for a rainy or snowy day. If you have an indoor ceremony, long maid of honor dresses are suitable.   

3.     Your bridesmaids’ heights. As mentioned above, shorter dresses are a great idea if your bridesmaids are of various heights.

4.     Dress styles. The dress styles may look absolutely different in various lengths. The general rules of choosing a bridesmaid dress’ are:

a) Curvy figures look the best in belted dresses or styles with a defined waist

b) Empire waist looks great on women with apple-shaped figures

c) Broad shoulders work well with A-line dresses;

d) Rectangular bodies can look more feminine in draped dresses;

e) Fit-and-flare gowns are a great silhouette for women with smaller tops and wider hips. 

The bottom line is the majority of dress styles go well with both long and short lengths. Just make sure that the style you choose will look great in the length you want and be flattering for your bridesmaids.  

5.     Your bridal gown and wedding theme. You’ll want to make your bridesmaids look harmonious with your ceremony and reception overall. Also, the styles of your maids’ dresses must complement your own bridal look and not be more luxurious than your own gown.


What Are Stylish Alternatives to Floor-Length Bridesmaid Dresses?

Dresses with Slits

A long bridesmaid dress with a slit may be much more intriguing and sexier than a classic long dress. A dress can feature a slit at one side, both sides as well as on the front or back of the gown. It can be just a small slit which goes from knee to the hemline or you are free to opt for more dramatic variants with high slits. Bridesmaid dresses with slits look fresh and interesting, but make sure that the gowns aren’t too revealing.

Tea-Length Gowns

Tea-length gowns have almost become as traditional as long ones. Today, they can be worn even for formal weddings and are available in very luxurious designs. They also go well with different types of necklines and sleeves. Tea-length gowns are a fantastic alternative to long dark burgundy or navy bridesmaid dresses because they tend to look much brighter. The plus side is that tea-length dresses suit many body types.

Knee-Length Dresses

Knee-length dresses are suitable for a lot of occasions, including weddings. They are less formal than long ones but are less provocative than mini dresses. And as they suit girls of any height and body type, you are free to order identical dresses for your bridesmaids.

Knee-length gowns go in vast number of styles and can be pretty simple as well as heavily embellished. So, your bridesmaids may look luxurious not only in long gowns but in short as well.

Michele + Aaron | Wedding at the Barn at Woodworth in Onarga

The best wedding days are the ones where little things go wrong, but no one notices because 1) everyone works together to solve problems, and 2) everyone is so happy for the couple that they don’t care to notice. Michele + Aaron’s wedding was one of those days. We had not 1 but 2 bridesmaid dresses break (thank goodness for safety pins!) and no one remembered Michele’s veil before she went down the aisle. But you know what? None of that mattered. Because at the end of the day, they were married And apparently, it was #AboutTimeSchoolman. LOL — love that hashtag.

Michele + Aaron have two beautiful children who were involved in every part of their day. We made sure to take some family photos, and it was adorable with their son walked up to the altar during the ceremony and then shushed the crowd. :) Both kids snuck in during the first dances too!

I was especially excited leading up to their wedding too because it was in a new-to-me venue, the Barn at Woodworth, near Onarga. It was a super cool barn with a loft, and a separate house for the wedding party to relax and get ready in. It is always nice to have everything in one location too as it makes the timeline go smoothly, and it gives me a chance to get reception details before the reception.

I am so happy for you, Michele + Aaron. I hope you’re enjoying your honeymoon!!

Ceremony & Reception | The Barn at Woodworth, Onarga, IL

Catering | The Last Call, Penfield, IL

Cake | Cream and Flutter, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Florist | Heaven’s Design Floral, Watseka, IL

DJ or Band | Pitch Perfect Productions, Bloomington, IL

Officiant | Gary Minard

Bride’s Dress Retailer | Elite Bridal, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Bridesmaid Dresses | Michelle’s Bridal, Urbana, IL | Instagram

Shoes | David’s Bridal, Champaign, IL | Instagram

Suits/Tuxes | Michelle’s Bridal, Urbana, IL | Instagram

Hair & Makeup | Taylor Glazik & Mattie Duits

Jeweler | Helzberg Diamonds | Instagram

Invitations/Programs | Minted | Instagram

Photographer: Holly Birch Photography, Illinois-based photographer available for destination weddings

Courtney + Jessica | Downtown Champaign + iHotel wedding

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Courtney + Jessica for my friend Rebekah Albaugh, alongside her associate photographer Jennifer Council. The whole day was so much fun!! I started up in one of the suites with Jessica while she got her final hair and makeup done. We did their First Look in the lobby of the iHotel before heading to the Japan House area for photos.

The couple’s wedding also happened to fall on Pride weekend in Champaign, and the ladies had talked about visiting the festival area for a few quick photos. We didn’t know if the crowds, traffic, and parade would be a problem, but I was determined to give them a fairytale moment that they’d never forget so we made it happened. Our driver Shawn from Elite was a BOSS and got us exactly where we needed to be and even got close enough to pick us up again when we were done.

You guys, it was magical! The bystanders cheered for Courtney + Jessica, and they got all kinds of applause and well wishes. A couple people were standing nearby waiting with rainbow flags and I asked them to wave them in the background. And so I was able to create the image that had been formulating in my head. <3

Then after a few more portraits of the couple and wedding party, we headed back to iHotel for the ceremony and reception. I loved their super elegant cake, Courtney’s dad tearing up during his speech, their throwback hashtag (is that an oxymoron?!), and the day-long laughs. It was a beautiful, perfect day full of love, family, and friends. Congrats on your new marriage, Jessica + Courtney!!