How Real Brides Wore Short Wedding Dresses

short wedding dress couple standing field
Madeline Kate

Who says you have to wear a floor-length gown on your big day? Short wedding dresses can be just as appropriate as more conventional gowns—plus, they're more popular than ever before. Whether you're throwing a casual celebration or just want to make a fashion statement, you've got plenty of options when it comes to wearing a wedding dress that falls above your knees or ankles. To prove it, we've rounded up some of our favorite examples of real brides who donned short looks to their nuptials.

Not sure what style of short wedding dress to buy? You've come to the right place. The following short white wedding dresses (and one blue one, too!) showcase a range of different designs. A popular fabric choice is lace, but you can definitely wear tulle, satin, or chiffon, as well. There are also plenty of silhouette options (from fit-and-flare to shift) and plenty of sleeve types (from long to off-the-shoulder).

As for when to wear a short wedding dress, it really depends. Some of these brides chose their numbers to elope, while others wore them throughout their more traditional weddings. Still others picked short second wedding dresses, which they slipped into for their receptions.

No matter your desired vibe—be it bohemian or elegant—there's a style in this roundup to inspire your bridal look. Click through to find out exactly how to style and wear a short wedding dress on your special day. This bride's pretty tea-length garment by Babushka Ballerina is just the start!

01 of 23

Short Wedding Dress with Long Sleeves

short wedding dress bride veil
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

This mod lace wedding dress by MacGraw featured a high neckline, flared sleeves, and a skirt that fell just above the bride's knees.

02 of 23

Sheer Short Wedding Dress

short wedding dress black shoes hat
Días de Vino y Rosas

Self-Portrait designed this bride's chic garment. The mix of sheer and opaque fabrics made it both elegant and sexy.

03 of 23

Short Beaded Wedding Dress

short wedding dress
Alisha Tova

This bride sparkled in her C. Madeleine's wedding dress, which was embellished with metallic beads and shimmering sequins. She actually bought it long and has it shortened herself!

04 of 23

Short Wedding Dress with Empire Waist

short wedding dress couple waterfall
Natalie Puls Photography

This couple found their boho wedding dresses at Francesca's—the bride on the left wore a long garment, while the bride on the right picked a short one.

05 of 23

Short Wedding Reception Dress

short wedding dress couple kissing
Art Is for Lovers

If you're searching for a second wedding dress, try a short one. This Parker style was worn during one couple's send-off.

06 of 23

Beaded Midi Wedding Dress

short wedding dress beaded
Kayla Rocca Photography

Going vintage is actually a great option when it comes to buying a short wedding dress. This bride scored her beaded midi gown from The Cat's Meow.

07 of 23

Short Wedding Dress with Pleated Sleeves

short wedding dress bell long sleeve
Ibay Photography

For her elopement, the bride chose to wear a little white sheath with long pleated sleeves.

08 of 23

Short Feather Wedding Dress

New Years eve wedding bride groom dance
Alison Conklin

This short "dress" wasn't actually a dress. Instead, the bride paired a BHLDN camisole with a feather Carol Hannah skirt for her reception.

09 of 23

Short Elopement Wedding Dress

short wedding dress turquoise shoes couple
Gaby J Photography

This bride chose a short-sleeved lace wedding dress for her pop-up elopement planned by Flora Pop.

10 of 23

Short-Sleeved Short Wedding Dress

short wedding dress short sleeve crown
Jacoby Photo & Design

This short-sleeved lace wedding dress featured a mock neckline.

11 of 23

Short Floral Wedding Dress

short wedding dress boat neck
Jessica Lorren Photography

Floral beading adorned the top of this bride's short, vintage wedding dress.

12 of 23

Voluminous Short Wedding Dress

short wedding dress short sleeve tulle veil
L&L Style Photo

Maria Mendez and Patrícia Viera teamed up to create this wow-worthy wedding dress. Its floral appliqués and a dramatic back definitely turned heads.

13 of 23

Fit-and-Flare Short Wedding Dress

bride groom cake cutting
Kristen Kilpatrick

Long sleeves and floral lace made this A-line Oscar de la Renta wedding dress a head-turner.

14 of 23

Short Casual Wedding Dress

short wedding dress high neck short sleeve
Rochelle Coote Photography

This bride chose a Sandro number that had flouncy sleeves and sheer panels for her wedding day.

15 of 23

Off-the-Shoulder Short Wedding Dress

lisa louis wedding couple pink flowers
Michael Radford

Your hemline doesn't have to be uniform. Consider a high-low wedding dress that's short in the front but longer in the back. This bride stepped out in a Sachin & Babi gown with the modern skirt style and an off-the-shoulder neckline.

16 of 23

Lace Midi Wedding Dress

We love how fresh ankle-grazing garments look. This bride opted for a vintage one with a V-neckline and barely-there cap sleeves.

17 of 23

Short Blue Wedding Dress

blue short wedding dress pink shoes long sleeve
This Modern Romance

This bride may have broken with one wedding tradition (a long white dress), but she honored another: her Garden Study look became her "something blue!"

18 of 23

Custom Short Wedding Dress

lgbtq bridal inspiration studio xiii
Studio XIII

Here's more proof that if you're both wearing dresses, mismatched silhouettes can help you each stand out. The bride on the right had her short number custom-made by French Knot Couture.

19 of 23

Elegant Short Wedding Dress

bride wearing short wedding dress
Katy & Co.

This bride's bow-accented Valentino dress was the definition of elegance.

20 of 23

Unique Short Wedding Dress

Landon Jacob

Lovely Bride designed this whimsical spotted sheath, which was the bride's second wedding dress.

21 of 23

Fitted Short Wedding Dress

off the shoulder wedding dresses the light and color
The Light + Color

This bride's body-hugging Missguided wedding dress fell off the shoulder and ended just above her ankles.

22 of 23

Short Wedding Dress with Detachable Train


This bride donned a limited edition Anoushka G. gown with a detachable train for her wedding. She accessorized with Jimmy Choo heels and a bee necklace from Alex Monroe.

23 of 23

Simple Short Wedding Dress


This bride wore a simple-yet-elegant shift to her wedding, along with a veil she borrowed from a friend.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles