For many brides, choosing a wedding dress is an emotional experience. You want to look your absolute best, and you may even have fallen in love with a few selections from various catalogs.

Yet the dress that looks great on a size 2 photoshopped model might not be the dress that ultimately looks fantastic on you. You have to dress for the body you have, not the body you wish you had.

Slim & Petite

Huge ballgowns will swallow you. Go for smooth, classic lines that conform to your smaller body. Try to keep your gown simple in cut. You don’t have to go simple in composition though: lace, embroidery, and beads on the gown itself won’t detract from your look.

Plunging V-necks will give you the illusion of a slightly larger bustline. If you don’t have many curves you can use flared skirts to give you the illusion of hips.


If you’re dressing a larger body don’t be afraid to reach for a corset or for shapewear to help you adjust your proportions. This will let you give your body the classic “hourglass” shape. You can aid this with wider skirts and empire waistlines.

You don’t have to try to minimize your size. Your spouse-to-be loves you in the body you’re in, so emphasize your curves if you want to.

Big Busted

Avoid high necklines: go for scoops, squares, sweethearts, and dips. High necklines will give you the dreaded “uniboob” effect.

Wider skirts help big busted girls too, because they help to combat the perception of top-heaviness. Avoid Vs because they tend to show too much cleavage.


Don’t be afraid to show off your legs! They’re often the best features of a tall woman. You can go with a daring slit or a knee-length wedding dress and you’ll look great where other women might look dressed down.

Grab a higher heel for an even more dramatic look.

Bonus Tip: The Confidence Factor

Choosing a wedding dress is about a lot more than following a bunch of dry fashion rules. None of them matter if you don’t feel absolutely amazing. There will be subtleties in shades of white, in shape, in adornment. One of them will make you feel like a million bucks. That’s probably the one you should choose.

Precious Davis, who was on Say Yes to the Dress, suggests spending some time alone with yourself in your dress first, so you can really sense how it makes you feel before your girlfriends start weighing in. After you know how you feel about it you can ask them for opinions on the ways it works with your body.

Remember: if your dress isn’t quite right for your body type you can always have it altered a little. What’s important is that you feel happy on your big day.