Short wedding gowns are here to stay [PHOTOS]

Short wedding gowns were formerly reserved for older or remarrying brides, but all of that is changing now as more brides now opt for midi dresses.

Short wedding gowns are back in vogue for brides

Aside from brides-to-be going short, luxury brands like Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa, as well as other affordable offerings are now displaying this style in bridal stores.

Gone are the days when the short looks are just stand-in dresses intended for bridesmaids or cocktail parties. Designers now offer a greater range of shorter styles since more brides are breaking from tradition to personalize their weddings.

"A lot of people are doing more intimate settings, so a shorter dress just feels more appropriate. If they do the big wedding, some change into a shorter dress so they can dance and have a good time," Lhuillier said.

How short the dress will be is entirely up to the bride. There are minis, high-low hemlines (high in the front and lower in the back), knee lengths, tea lengths below the knee and so-called 'transformers,' where a long train or sheer skirt detaches to show off a short dress underneath.


Designer, Zac Posen put his own sister in one of the convertibles — in red — for her 2004 wedding. "Her huge train came off to become a mini and she took it off to Judy Garland's 'Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,'" he said. "It covered the grandeur of the ceremony and the fun of the party."

Long gowns still remain the clear majority of the $2.6 billion-a-year bridal gown market, noted Darcy Miller, editorial director for Martha Stewart's bridal site. But "more and more brides seem to be seeking no-fuss, lightweight and easier silhouettes," she said. Some "want a dress they can run on the beach in or travel with to their destination wedding."

Posen creates luxury short looks but also includes a few in his Truly Zac Posen collection at David's Bridal. He said red-carpet trends influence some brides, and these days they're seeing more short, fancy dresses.

Vera Wang also makes short gowns too, in a range of pricepoints. "I think you should wear what you feel most beautiful and most comfortable in, and also what is most you, most individual," Wang said.

Shorter dresses can be less expensive. But embellished, hand-sewn, custom short gowns aren't necessarily cheaper, depending on the materials and designer.

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