Petite-friendly wedding gowns: Reader edition

Happy early wedding Wednesday! I've been compiling this post for a little while, and it's a special one. When I first blogged about my wedding gown search, several gorgeous readers from all over the world shared their own dress photos with me on my Facebook page. I loved seeing the range of designs / silhouettes on a variety of body types, and especially enjoyed reading their accompanying stories and tips! With each bride's permission, I've re-shared their photos below:

Name: Roxana
Dress: Inbal Dror "VIP"
"I remember wedding dress shopping (we are around the same measurements) and almost everything would have required alterations off the rack. After much searching, I bought my dream gown designed by Inbal Dror." Roxana also kindly shared a tip to help the "girls" : "I searched for a dress that had defined cups in the corset instead of having a strapless neckline without sewn-in cups...I also highly, highly recommend the backless silicone gel bras sold in Victoria's Secret stores. The size A version fit me well."
Roxana - Inbal Dror VIP wedding gown

Name: Melissa
Dress: Maggie Sottero - Alana 2
Self-described body type: 5'2" petite straight-cut
"A-line/mermaid was the most figure-flattering silhouette for my frame...don't be too swayed by all the trends you see out there. Simplicity, figure-flattering silhouettes and subtle details make a classic and timeless look."
Melissa - Maggie Sottero wedding gown

Name: Cara
Dress: Her mother's!
"I wore my mothers gown from 1962 (organza with alencon lace details) and had it fitted to me and a bit of the volume taken out as it would have been a tad overwhelming. But there's no reason a petite person can't wear a ball gown...I was 5'1." Here is a pic of my parents with my mom wearing our dress in 1962. Mind you - she was 19 years old there and I was 40 when I got married. I also used her tiered crystal crown to hold my bouquet. It was quite something." (photo by Teness Herman)
Cara - her mothers wedding gown
And here is another beautiful reader Kristen who was able to wear her mother's wedding gown with absolutely no alterations!! So special...her mom is on the left, and Kristen on the right:

Kristen- her mothers wedding gown

Name: Betty
Dress: Monique Lhuillier Scarlet
Self-described body type: 5'1" hourglass shaped
"I think it's important to not get fixated on one particular dress and to be open to trying different styles...another thing I found important was to trust your own judgement and not let too many of your friends and families opinions get in the way. I went shopping by myself and purchased the dress by myself."
1. Betty Monique L dress

Name: Melissa 
Dress: Essence of Australia Style D1688
Self-described body type: 5 ft tall and 00P
"I am very petite, and I opted for a form-fitting gown with slight flare at the bottom. I actually had the straps removed during alterations. 2. Other alterations just included taking up the length quite a bit, removing one of the tulle underlays to make it more form fitting, and taking in the waist."
Melissa - Essence of Australia wedding gown

Name: Blair
Dress: BCBG
"I'm also very petite (4'11 100 lbs) and was on a tight budget for my wedding. I actually wore a $300 BCBG gown for my wedding and loved it! I happened to wander into the BCBG section of the mall and saw this gown - in pink. On a whim, I tried it on and imagined what it would look like in my size, and white. I may have been crazy, but I ordered it without getting anyone else's feedback...I still had some alterations done to take it in a bit and of course, shorten, but I was really pleased with an affordable dress that I may actually be able to wear again!"
Screen shot 2015-03-31 at 10.59.43 PM

Name: Amanda
Dress: Badgley Mischka Odessa Style # 28923803 from BHLDN
Self-described body type:  5'4" pear-shaped with a shorter torso
"The best part of dress-finding story is that I went to BHDLN and tried it on by myself....My gown still required quite a bit of alterations to fit my frame, but that was to be expected. My dress fit like a glove, thanks to Nhu!" (Houston-based tailor, for anyone interested)
Amanda Badgley Mischka Odessa1

Name: Anna of Min Edition
Dress: Made by herself - so talented!
Self-described body type: 5'3" with small bust and waist; a bit pear shaped.
"The dress is an a-line with a sweetheart neckline. The main dress fabric is silk taffeta which I chose because it's crisp and light (it was 106 degrees on my wedding day!) I used silk organza on top of the taffeta to add an airy layered effect and the bodice is made of silk chiffon ties that create the ruching effect. I hemmed the entire length of the silk chiffon by hand"
Anna handmade dress

Name: Jessica
Dress: Suzanne Neville
"I'm 5'2 and I had a really hard time finding something that I felt made me look tall and elegant, which was my vision for a bride. I fell in love with Suzanne Neville. Her dresses are handmade out of London and I customized mine to lower the back. Highly recommend her dresses!"
Jessica - Suzzane Neville wedding gown

Name: Ruth
Dress: Vera Wang White at David's Bridal
"I'm just under 5ft and choose this dress...just trust your instincts and you can't go wrong. I ordered the dress in size 0 and I had to have the dress taken up a few inches and the way they 'shortened' the dress was by pinning the ruffles up which I though was very clever! It meant none of the dress had to be cut!"
Ruth - Vera Wang White wedding gown

Name: Jan
Dress: Nouvelle Amsale #929349
"I immediately gravitated towards this style and material - lo and behold, the designer, Amsale, is Ethiopian (my husband's family's ethnic background). I couldn't afford her regular dresses and searched for similar styles from other designers to no avail...she subsequently released an affordable line partnering with Nordstrom and this dress was love at first sight. I also made my purchase a triple point day AND had it tailored in the bridal suite at Nordstrom at a discount as I am a card member. Nordstrom was amazing - they even held my dress for almost a year under lock and key so I didn't have to worry about storing it (and the other half seeing it) until the wedding. It was steamed and pressed and ready to go the day before. Choosing this designer was an homage to my husband and his family. " 
Janet - amsale wedding gown

Name: Belinda
Dress: Reem Acra Tianna 4915 (selling pre-owned here)
"I personally tried on many different designers/brands but I found designer Reem Acra styles were well suited for petite frames. The dress I ended up going with, was actually the first dress I tried on! My dress was size 2 and altered to fit. My seamstress put in built in cups and I also wore a nu bra."
Belinda - Reem Acra wedding gown
Thanks again to the beautiful brides above who shared a part of your wedding day with me! I would love to see and read about more of your dresses (petite and taller ladies alike) - please feel free to share a photo and a blurb about your dress in the above formats on my Facebook page, or you can Facebook message me via my page!


  1. These gowns are all beautiful and so are the ladies wearing them! Love this makes me want to have another wedding! Xo

  2. What a great post idea - love seeing the wide variety of styles especially impressed by the vintage and hand-made dresses - wow!

  3. I personally love Jessica's and Jan's..simple, elegant, and beautiful! Lovely post...


  4. I enjoy seeing all the lovely brides! Thanks for putting this together, Jean! :-)

  5. Everyone looks so lovely! My fave is Blair's BCBG dress - it appeals to my minimalist aesthetic. Great post!

  6. I always love looking at wedding dresses, everyone looks gorgeous!

  7. Lovely post! :)

  8. I love this post Jean! I wore a Carol Hannah Downton gown and loved the process of having it custom made for my petite frame (the benefit of purchasing direct from Carol's NYC studio). I hope you don't mind me mentioning that I'm selling my petite-friendly dress via Tradesy and Once Wed if any of your readers are interested.

  9. All pretty, particularly love Amanda's.

  10. Loved this post! I'm also searching for great petite wedding gowns and this was helpful and inspiring. I loved that Cara wore her mom's dress (so beautiful!) and I'm now thanks to Belinda's tip, I'm looking into used dresses too.

  11. What a lovely surprise! Can't wait to see yours Jean. For more pictures or inspiration, check out


  12. HATED dress shopping but ended up going with this drape-y, slightly column-y thing (VWang Evelyn) that (with heels) made me look so long and lean (especially from the back even though I'm under 4'11" and kind of pear shaped. Plus, the fitting took something like 10 minutes which I definitely appreciated after sitting through a friend's fitting that took over an hour (WHAT).

    1. My fitting appointments were long as well. But it was all worth it. You lucked out!

  13. I love this post and the idea of featuring some of your lovely readers' wedding dresses! All the dresses are beautiful and I am particularly impressed by Anna that she created her own gown!!

    xo, Suzie Q

  14. I adore both Melissas' and Betty's. The laces are gorgeous on them.

  15. Jessica's crossover detail is so flattering! Never heard of Suzanne Neville before so thanks for this post.

  16. Hi there Jean, I've been a lurker in your blog for sometime now and haven't mustered courage to say hello, until today. I love your petite friendly posts and I wanted to share with you a wedding designer that I think you might like since your hubby to be is part Filipino. You should check out Veluz - Google should point you to her website. Can't wait to see photos of your big day xo

  17. Oh I LOVE these. So inspiring for a shortie (5'2(and a half)). Anna's is *incredible* I wonder if she'd made mine...

  18. Hi Jean!! Will you make an updated post on budgeting your fashion related purchases? I loved your previous ones and would love to hear about how your budgeting techniques have changed or if the previous ones still work for you! Thank you :)

  19. All these dresses are amazing!!

    xo, Alice / House Inconnue
    The Blog || The Shop

  20. This is really helpful tips! Thanks so much for all the pretty brides and Jean for sharing it!


  21. The Maggie Sottero Alana dress is amazing...that is my dream wedding gown right there. The neckline, the hemline, the straight fit and the long long train. I love how she kept her hair natural. So very pretty.

  22. Absolutely gorgeous each and every one. I love that the women are wearing the dress and the dress isn't wearing them.

    XoXo One Stiletto At A Time

  23. Cara's dress is the best. Her mom looks elegant and classy. The dress is gorgeous and timeless, and Cara is beautiful- would not guess that she was 40 years old in that photo.

  24. Ooooh, amazing gowns here!!! I esp. like Betty & Jessica's- think these would (someday) suit my body type.

  25. Wow! It’s really amazing to see and read every girls dream date’s outfit! The excitement and radiance with which each of the wives there blushed is well read between their lines. Wearing mom’s the exact way she did is the best way to show how much you love her. The ‘Made Herself’ profile is also my favorite.

  26. A great resource for getting a dream couture wedding gowns is at like the Monique Lhuillier dress:

  27. I'd also love to share my wedding dress with your readers but the message function on your Facebook page doesn't seem to be working! Petite bride CAN wear ball gowns haha, I did exactly that! Cheers to you for making this wonderful post, such a great blessing for all the petite women out there!

  28. "I hemmed the entire length of the silk chiffon by hand"

    Fabulous! I once hemmed a bridesmaid dress for myself that had an 18ft circumference chiffon skirt... I am duly impressed that Anna did it all by hand!

  29. Hello there, i was just browsing, because i had a question. I am not getting married anytime soon, but thought id ask, i'm about 4'10 but very busty... and have NO IDEA what kind of dress would make me NOT look so short, but also would hold up my big bust ( I am about a DD) but so short, and all the dresses i see may be for petite girls, but not with big bust.
    Is strapless good? Or not good for busty woman? I do not want to overflow out of the dress.

  30. I was so upset when looking for my wedding dress last summer. I am only 5’2 but I love ball gowns, who can resist a princess wedding?! But I tried so many and all I felt like the dress wearing me instead of I was wearing them until I found Papilio Boutique (, I felt in love with their lovely inner corset designs and sophisticated embellishments instantly! And My hubby said I looked perfect!!! Highly recommend Papilio if you are also a petite girl!!!


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