Short wedding dresses: Fabulous contemporary styles for modern brides

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While still largely considered an alternative choice, the short wedding dress has in fact been a staple of modern nuptials since the 1920s, with famous fans including Hollywood royalty Audrey Hepburn, Keira Knightley and Raquel Welch, and actual royalty Charlotte Chasiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover. Also, an increasingly popular choice for brides on the hunt for something more fun and freeing for their reception, whether you’re after a vintage-inspired tea-length gown or a flirty, fashion-forward mini, read on for the best short wedding dresses for 2023.

Mid-length wedding dresses

Roland Mouret asymmetric dress

When it comes to short wedding dresses, savvy brides look to the runways as well as the bridal collections for inspiration. Coming from Roland Mouret’s SS23 ready-to-wear collection, this elegant asymmetric gown features a classic silhouette and modern neckline for the best of both worlds. If you’ve already picked something from Mouret’s dedicated bridal collection for the big day, we reckon this would make a great rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch option too.


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Zimmermann Wonderland dress

The perfect halfway house for those who like the romance and drama of a classic wedding dress, but are planning an event that calls for something a little more relaxed, a mid-length gown is formal enough for church ceremonies while still embuing a contemporary edge on your look. Alessandra Rich’s ruffled number features a flattering tie-waist, delicate floral detailing and floaty skirt that hits mid-calf for ultimate leg-lengthening.


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Blake Ida Gracie wedding dress

Part-1950s prom dress, part-cropped bridal gown, this whimsical dress from bespoke bridal expert Blake Ida hits all the right wedding notes without tipping into twee or basic. Silk? Check. Princess Di-style puff sleeves? Check. Full skirt? Check. Featuring a sweetheart neckline and voluminous tiered skirt, its asymmetric tea-length cut also makes it a great option for thrifty brides looking for a dress that can be adapted repurposed after the big day.


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Rosario bow-embellished dress

If there was ever a time to pull out all the stops, it’s your wedding – and Rosario’s absolute diva of a dress does just that. Cut mid-calf, but with a figure-hugging shape and back split that you may need to warn granny about in advance, it’s finished with a show-stopping bow guaranteed to wow in your wedding photos.


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Knee-length wedding dresses

Erdem Austin dress

Planning to eschew the veil as well as the floor-length gown? Erdem’s shimmering sequinned dress features a cape-effect silhouette, so you’ll still have the aesthetic effect of a traditional veil-and-gown without having to worry about fiddly hairpieces and overwrought updos. And we don’t need to tell you that all-over sequins are perfect for hitting the dancefloor.


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Halfpenny London Okotan separates

London-based bridalwear designer Kate Halfpenny has cornered the market for luxe separates, offering a range of mix-and-match tops, skirts and accessories (as well as full gowns) that give brides an experience that is as close to custom as possible without going fully bespoke. Happily, the range also includes a number of short options, such as this elegantly draped Okotan skirt. Pair with the matching Bardot-style corset for a bridal look that is simple yet utterly sophisticated.

Skirt, £2,450; Corset, £2,495

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Rixo Candice Dress

If you’re opting for a short gown as a second (or even third) outfit, you’re probably not looking to pay couture prices – but that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style. Rixo’s highly-regarded bridal collection offers an array of laidback gowns designed with thoroughly modern brides in mind. This Sixties-inspired shift is crafted in silk crepe and finished with a feathered hem for the most fabulous of costume changes.


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Mini wedding dresses

Self-Portrait beaded mini dress

Big name, small dress. Self-Portrait’s bridal line features the feminine aesthetic and attention to detail on which the British brand made its name, and is guaranteed to make you feel a million dollars. And what it lacks in length it more than makes up for in romance and whimsy: this beaded dress features delicate floral appliques and a scalloped hem ideal for wearing with satin heels, trainers or anything in between.


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Reformation Rehannin dress

If you’re only going to wear a dress once it probably shouldn’t cost the earth – figuratively or literally. Originally conceived as a vintage fashion resale brand, sustainability has always been at the forefront of Reformation’s collections and its burgeoning bridal range is no different. Created, one suspects, in a nod to the Stella McCartney halter design Meghan Markle wore for her own wedding reception, Reformation’s Rehannin dress takes 152 fewer gallons of water and creates 11 pounds less carbon dioxide compared to similar designs made using standard US clothing production methods. Oh, and did we mention the price?


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Bernadette Tilly mini dress

The ultimate in alternative bridalwear, this sculptural mini dress by occasionwear master Bernadette goes big on the romantic detailing with dramatic oversized roses and a cape-style cut. We can already hear the gasps as you walk down the aisle.


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Read more: The 2023 bridal trend guide

The post Short wedding dresses: Fabulous contemporary styles for modern brides appeared first on Luxury London.

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