Bridal dress length 101

white wedding dress higher at front

The perfect wedding dress is a combination of all the small details that combine to make a gown both dramatic and gorgeous at the same time. From the colour to the beadwork to the stitching, one detail that plays a big part in how elegant a bride looks is the length of her dress. Choosing between a full monarch length train, the popular tea length or a more playful knee length will completely define a look and immediately establishes the image the bride wants to portray.
So here’s some background on bridal dress lengths so you can make the right decision for you.

Wedding dress with long train
Monarch length dress

A bride wearing a dress this long will feel like royalty. The dress’s train may stretch up to nine feet long and will make one feel truly elegant. This dress style will certainly grab the attention of friends and loved ones as you approach the altar. However, it’s important to be aware that this length is difficult to wear and to walk in because of its length.


This wedding gown length is not as long as the monarch, but it still emanates opulence from top to the tip of the dress. Its train hugs a bride’s curves and brings out the best in their figure.

Full Length

This classic dress has been a common style for many brides for the past few decades. It’s a classic because it has a timeless look and appeal that exudes beauty and elegance. It measures just an inch above the ground and has a trail that is a work of art.
Floor length wedding dress

Tea Length

If you prefer a shorter dress, tea length is an ideal choice for short and medium height women. This is for brides who want comfort above other features because its length allows for free and easy movement. It doesn’t look as regal as a monarch or cathedral, but is comfortable without sacrificing style and is ideal to show off some well chosen heels. A popular version of this is the high low dress pictured below.
white wedding dress higher at front

Knee Length

This is one of the top choices when it comes to short wedding dress styles. They are a popular option for those who want to mix comfort and elegance. This is a good choice regardless of skin tone and height and is often worn for civil ceremonies or as a party gown that will allow the bride to kick up her heels on the dance floor.
Knee length wedding dress


This trendy slightly off the ground dress length is popular and worth considering. The Midi often incorporates a lace sheath covering to add greater detail and impact.  It suits brides who are slightly shorter and is popular with those who want to be able to move freely on their wedding day often incorporating the look of deco style gowns with a flapper flare.  It is an ideal gown to wear not just during the wedding, but right up to the reception and beyond.

These are some of the dress lengths to consider, but before you make a choice factor in which dress will work best for your height and the style of wedding you’re having. A longer dress is an ideal choice because of its regal appearance, it is not only for tall and slender brides, but also for those who want to hide their hips and accentuate their waistline. You don’t need a model’s height to wear a chapel, full length or monarch style dress. Shorter dresses will work well with more informal weddings and where greater movement is an essential.
To top off your look find the perfect pair of shoes that complement your gown, especially if you decide to wear a short dress. Tip: to ensure you maximise the illusion of height select a court shoe rather than strappy or peep toed shoe. 
Choose an established and reputable bridal store with their own workroom and they will customise the dress and make suggestions to ensure you get the perfect dress that accentuates your best features. 
For current samples of Modes bridal collections, browse our website .
If you’re planning a 2020 wedding, we recommend you book a fitting at least 12 months in advance.

Call us on 09-520-6070 to book an appointment or pop in and see us at Modes Bridal Boutique in Newmarket, Auckland.

Modes Bridal and Modes Eventwear are now both at 26 McColl Street, Newmarket.

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