Ever since Kate Middleton stepped out in her amazing Alexander McQueen gown in 2011, wedding dresses with sleeves have become more and more popular with our real brides. No matter their length, sleeves add a little more coverage for self-conscious brides, and can be very flattering and elegant. We’ve rounded up 17 of our favourite designs to inspire you!

So which type of wedding dress sleeve is right for you?

Long, sheer sleeves down to the wrist are super elegant, and work well if you’re planning a traditional celebration in  church or a winter wedding when you might need a little more coverage. However, some brides find the full-length sleeve restrictive and a little old-fashioned.

If you want the elegance of a sleeve without feeling too covered up, another fashionable choice is the three-quarter length sleeve. Very popular with English country garden brides, this is a flattering length that stops just below the elbow and shows off the slimmest part of your arm.

Even shorter sleeves include the t-shirt cut, which stops mid upper-arm, and the cap sleeve, which is shorter than a regular sleeve and just adds a little bit of fabric to your shoulder straps. These short sleeves look particularly beautiful when they’re embellished.

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Jen and Adam's Cornish countryside wedding © alanlawphotography.co.uk

If you’re not sure about having permanent sleeves, why not opt for a lace bolero or jacket? Or, to be really clever, you could follow the example of our real bride Jen. She wore a stunning Benjamin Roberts style 2302 dress, which had a short-sleeved lace overlay that was completely removable.

‘The whole of the lace layer, including the long train, came off to reveal a silver fishtail, sweetheart dress – I made the change just before our first dance so I had a more traditional, romantic look for church then something less fussy for the evening,” explains Jen.

Still not convinced? We’ll let these gorgeous designs do the talking instead!

Wedding dresses with sleeves

Check out all the latest wedding dress trends from the catwalk, or see more beautiful wedding dresses here!