Keep Your Wedding Dress Short and Sweet

Not every woman feels like pulling a train at her wedding. Fortunately, one of the hottest fashion trends of 2009 is the short wedding dress.

Short dresses have long been the perfect thing for a tropical or beach wedding. What bride hasn’t had a daydream or two about walking down a warm, sandy aisle in a breezy little white slip dress?

But the short bridal dress is becoming more and more welcome indoors. In the past several decades, a short dress would be unthinkable in anything but a very informal – as in Vegas drive-through informal – ceremony. But this year designers have been sending such divine little numbers down the catwalk that it may be hard to resist inviting your knees to your wedding.

And it’s hard to call many of the new short styles informal. Beautiful fabrics, lush, soft layers, and chic lines lift you up out of casual and drop you straight into Coolest Bride Ever territory. A sleek fit with tiny, elegant details will give you the high-fashion look, but a cocktail-length dress with a close-fitting bodice and a ballet skirt or flowing folds will give you a gorgeous, fun look.

You may want to try a dress with a 50’s swingline look. You’ll have a fun, twirly skirt for your reception, and 50’s-era styles are wonderful for showing off your curves – think Mad Men. (And you might drive your groom a little mad too…) Swingline dresses work well with sweetheart, halter, or square necklines, so you can flatter your figure in every possible way.

There are plenty of good reasons for trying a wedding dress with a short skirt that go beyond mere fashion. For one thing, there’s dancing. A sweeping gown lets you look lovely as you sway a tiny distance from side to side, but a knee-length dress lets you really cut a rug at your reception. On the other end of the coordination spectrum, remember that a bridal gown that’s tea-length or higher dramatically reduces your chances of taking a header as you walk down the aisle.

Or you may just want your future descendents to know that Grandma was a heap of fun in her day, not to mention the owner of a pretty fine set of gams. Sometimes the little whippersnappers need to learn not to make assumptions.

Still sitting on the fence? (Try doing that in a floor-length mermaid skirt…) Fortunately, you’re a modern woman who knows how to pick and choose the very best elements to create her own style. Adding a long, flowing veil to a cocktail-length dress and you’ve got the best of both worlds – the sweetness of a traditional bride, without giving up your fun, modern spirit… Not to mention a touch of sexiness thrown in.

There are some beautiful gowns out this year featuring hemlines that are long and short at the same time: They are knee-length in front, then flow to trains in the back. It’s a look that’s intriguing without sacrificing prettiness – a nod and a wink to both ends of the fashion spectrum.

Finally, if your budget allows it, you can always get two dresses – floor-length for the ceremony and a short companion piece for the reception. Using the same fabric, bodice, or color highlights and design touches will keep your look unified.