Timeless & Romantic Wedding Inspiration

Bridal Fashion

Wedding Wisdom – Top Tips on Finding the Most Flattering Wedding Dress by Paperswan Bride

I remember all too well the excitement of wedding dress shopping….. but I also remember the excitement was almost overpowered by an anxiety and pressure to find the right dress for me! Oh it wasn’t difficult to find 100 dresses I loved (in each boutique actually), but finding a dress that loved me, was a whole different matter. I am sure I wasn’t the first and I certainly won’t be the last bride faced with this quandary, and it seems the key is ascertaining your body shape and from there what wedding dress shapes are most likely to flatter you. Today’s wedding wisdom comes from the lovely Jennifer at Paperswan Bride – a lady who certainly knows best as she find the perfect dress for many a bride every week!

Finding the perfect wedding dress is top of the list for brides to be and with so many options out there, it is no wonder it can all become a little overwhelming. Knowing your body shape and what will flatter your figure will make your search that little bit easier – there are no right or wrongs but here are a few ideas to get you started……

Body Shape – Hourglass

~ One of the most flattering shapes for the hourglass figure is the mermaid or trumpet style gown. Both are somewhat figure hugging and will therefore show off those famous hourglass curves.  Try adding a belt to draw the eye in and accentuate your tiny waist.
~ Column style dresses can sometimes be less forgiving on an hourglass figure as they tend to hug in all the wrong places and can lack structure, but of course there are always exceptions to the rule!
~ Hourglass figures also look great in ball gown and A-line styles so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun when searching for your wedding dress.

Perfect Wedding Dress for an Hourglass FigureMullet from La Sposa

Perfect Wedding Dress for an Hourglass FigureMay by Jim Hjelm

Perfect Wedding Dress for an Hourglass Figure1808 from Mikaella


Body Shape – Pear

~ Pear shapes tend to be smaller in the bust area so try a sweetheart neckline which will add a feminine curve and give the illusion of a bigger bust.

 ~ For pear shaped girls try a gown with a structured bodice which sits on your natural waist. This will show off your petite upper body and if you’d prefer not to show off your curves then a ball gown skirt is a great option.

~ Sheath style dresses that lack structure can be tricky as well as mermaid styles which can sometimes emphasis the hips more than we want. If you’ve fallen in love with a mermaid dress then try adding a delicate cap sleeve to balance out your top half, this will work beautifully!

~ A-Line styles also suit pear shapes and adding a sparkly belt will emphasise the waist and help keep everything in proportion

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Pear Shaped Bride4363 from Paloma Blanca

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Pear Shaped Bride4416 from Paloma Blanca

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Pear Shaped BrideGarland by Jim Hjelm

Body Shape – Apple 

~ For apple shaped ladies try a gown with a ruched bodice as this will flatten and elongate your torso, giving you an even more svelte appearance.

~ Since apple’s tend to be busty think twice about too high a neckline or being too covered across the shoulders. Bare and beautiful is best! If you need to be covered then a delicate lace or tulle sleeve is a pretty option

~ Straight or sweetheart necklines work well on this body type, if you are very busty a straight neckline will offer more support and if not so busty a sweetheart will give you a soft and feminine look.

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Apple Shaped Bride


1710 from Mikaella

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Apple Shaped BrideFanal from La Sposa

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Apple Shaped BrideLuck Be A Lady by Stewart Parvin


Body Shape – Column

 ~ Column shaped ladies look great in draped floaty fabrics and generally don’t need as much structure as some other body types.

~ Some halter neck styles can look sporty on a column shaped figure and therefore make your shoulders look wide. Perhaps consider a one shoulder gown as the diagonal angels will give you a soft and feminine look.

~ If you wish to add the illusion of curves then this can be done through adding details such as embroidery, beading or flower embellishments.

~ Column figures look great in high necklines or long sleeves so have fun experimenting with different styles!

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Rectangle Shaped BrideDahlia by Jim Hjelm

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Rectangle Shaped Bride1802 by Mikaella

Perfect Wedding Dress for the Rectangle Shaped BrideVerona by Kelsey Genna

You can see all these dresses and more on my website paperswanbride.co.nz. Good luck! Jennifer X

Oooh so many lovely dresses I want to try them all! Thanks so much Jennifer for your words of wedding wisdom. So I supposed the first place to start is your body shape, if you don’t already know this is a great infographic from Countess Undercover.

Body Shapes

Body Shapes

I am an hourglass! But with ‘heavy’ legs as my charming gym teacher once announced in front of the whole class, I know designs for apple shapes flatter me more.