Choosing a Wedding Dress to Suit Your Style, Size or Budget

Wedding dresses look stunning in the magazines with the wafer-thin models wearing them, but most women buying a wedding dress will have a slightly more varied figure than that. How do you choose a dress that suits not only a regular person but that specifically suits you?

When we are faced with choosing a wedding dress it can seem intimidating for many and downright restrictive for most. These dresses are stunning, but they are hardly a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. What if they don’t fit you or don’t look any good on you, or really suit your personal style? They don’t fit within your budget? What if you are not really a long white dress kind of girl?

When you have curves or flabby bits or things you want to play up or pull attention away from, how do you choose a wedding dress?

What if you want to express your personal flair? Why on earth wouldn’t you? But not be hemmed in by the traditional colour or style of a regular wedding dress?

What if you have budget limitations – how do you buy a traditional wedding dress then?

Gwen Stephani wedding dress

Your personal style

There are no rules anymore when it comes to choosing a dress for your big day…..except maybe to just stay true to yourself. You don’t even have to wear a dress if you don’t want to, with modern brides embracing separates, maxi skirts, suits and even jumpsuits on their special day.

You can also do whatever you like with style and colour even if you do choose to stick with a wedding dress. Embrace boho like Kate Moss did at her wedding or harness an inspired use of colour the way Gwen Stefani did with her stunning pink ombre gown.

If a certain vintage look suits your style or your body shape or both then definitely highlight this on your big day. Some vintage looks that are perfect for real female figures include the drop-waisted ‘flapper’ dresses from the Gatsby era, the cinched waist and full skirt of the feminine 1950s and beautiful textures and patterns brought to mind by the maxi dresses of the 1970s.

There are some incredible modern designers making waves into the wedding industry and really turning it on its head. You can be comfortable and happy in your wedding dress, as well as beautiful.

Your shape

There are a number of different body shapes for real women, and any shape can look wonderful in a wedding dress. You just need to find the right one (or more than one – why restrict yourself?)

Here are the most commonly recognised feminine shapes and the dress styles that are most flattering for them. This is obviously just a place to begin your search. Remember there are no rules and you should wear whatever makes you feel good. Not follow anyone’s guide.


Women with a similar width in their hips and bust and who come in at the waist are generally better suited to mermaid styles, princess or A-line styles and sheath style dresses.


Women who are rounder up top and lean of leg are suited to A-line or princess dresses, ballgown style or empire-line gowns.


Women with a smaller bust but generous hips and thighs are suited to A-line or princess dresses, ballgown style or empire-line gowns.


Long and lean women with a more athletic build and who are more evenly proportioned are suited to mermaid style dresses, sheath style and ballgown styled dresses.

Larger figure

Women who are gorgeously generous of size look great in A-line and princess style dresses as well as empire-line gowns.


Women who are shorter and slighter of build are suited to sheath style dresses, A-line or princess dresses and empire-line gowns.

Choosing a Wedding Dress to Suit your Style, Size or budget

Your figure

This is the best possible time of your life to embrace all of the wonderful assets that you were blessed with. You won’t love everything about your figure. But chances are there are a few things that you are quite proud of, and the right dress can play this up.

If you love your shoulders, for example, then strapless, one shoulder, off the shoulder and even halter looks can play up this asset if you want to show them off.

If you want to accentuate your womanly curves such as your lovely chest or hips, then look for a dress that plays up these features. A-line dresses and anything fitted will show off a curvy figure beautifully. But an empire line can play up the curves you like and still hide some things you might not love quite so much. Such as a little puddin’ belly.

If you want to disguise some of your bits that make you feel a little bit self-conscious then there is a dress out there for every need as well.

Women who aren’t fond of their arms can choose stunning lace sleeves like Kate Middleton wore. Or even a jacket or wrap channelling the Regency times of Jane Austen. Cap sleeves and ¾ length also work if it’s just your shoulders or upper arms that you don’t like.

An illusion neckline is another stunning way to cover up and appear uncovered at the same time. Which can be great if you aren’t a fan of your neck or décolletage.

Your budget

With the average Aussie wedding now costing around $60,000, you might be going a bit pale at the idea of the bills piling up around your nuptials. But you can budget and spend nowhere near this amount. Or you can cut costs in some areas and splurge on others, like the venue and honeymoon.

Your wedding dress can be one such way to save money and stick within a budget. When you consider that you will only ever wear this dress once in your life, it might make more sense to you to buy secondhand or even hire a wedding dress.

For some stunning preloved wedding gowns that will give your budget the freedom it deserves, as well as suit your shape, style and figure, then check our the gallery at Only Dream Dresses.


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