Petite Bride Expert Tips

TV's Pippa Rees shares her top tips on wedding dresses, wedding hair and more for petite brides

Petite Wedding Dresses



Brides come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be difficult to define your wedding-day style if you’re at one of the extremes. So just for you smaller nearlyweds, we got TV style guru Pippa Rees to give us her top tips for petite brides-to-be…


Tiny on top: If you have a small bust, a tighter bodice will make it look bigger.

Beautiful ballgowns: Take care with fuller, fairytale skirts as they could swallow you up and make your bottom half look unbalanced compared to your top.

The perfect cut: The empire line is one of the most flattering cuts for smaller women. It underlines the bust and makes it look bigger, and the length – the distance of fabric without a horizontal line – will make you look taller. Like the empire line, a column dress will add height.

Sleeving away: Overlong sleeves will make your arms look unnaturally long compared to your shorter body, so a half or three-quarter length sleeve is as long as you should go.

Capped, off-shoulder or puff sleeves will widen narrow shoulders, and spaghetti straps are great for petite women because as they are smaller, they are in keeping with the scale of your body as a whole.

Y&YW Loves…

Little ladies can try Alfred Sung, Sincerity Bridal and Veromia for wedding dresses starting at a UK 6, with some available in shorter lengths (though it’s often for a fee; check with your stockist). Alfred Sung in particular can shorten their dresses by two, four or six inches at a time, while many of Maggie Sottero‘s bridal gowns come in a three-inch-shorter length than their regular ones.

Phil Collins Bridal, Benjamin Roberts and D’Zage can provide shorter lengths too, and D’Zage’s standardised price for the alteration means whether you’re losing an inch or a foot you’ll pay the same; great for brides who want to take a lot off to fit their favourite design!

Another option for ensuring that figure-hugging fit is a made-to-measure gown. Benjamin Roberts, Alan Hannah, Suzanne Neville, Hollywood Dreams, Le Spose di Gio, Sassi Holford, Ritva Westenius and Stuart Parvin all have gorgeous gowns they’ll prepare to your precise petite size. If you’ve fallen for Claire Pettibone’s stunning wedding dresses, try Blackburn Bridal to get your dream dress made to order.


Top tip: David Fielden followers don’t despair! Though his edgy wedding dresses start at a size 10, it’s a smaller-than-average one, so you could still be in with a chance if you’re around a size eight; and they can do shorter lengths to boot…