If you were one of those little girls who dreamed about her wedding, then chances are you were imagining yourself in a ballgown. A true fairytale princess dress, the ball gown is a classic shape that suits a lot of body types and looks incredible in photos.


You can recognise a ball gown from the fitted bodice and very full skirt – often the mantra of ball gown brides is ‘bigger is better’! Unlike an A-line dress, which flares gently from around the hip, the volume of the ball gown usually comes straight out from the waist, which is what gives it the Cinderella shape.

This makes it the perfect dress for an hourglass figure, as it highlights a natural slim waist, and gives a more athletic body shape the illusion of curves, particularly if it also has a sweetheart neckline. Plus, if you’re a pear who’s self-conscious about your hips, legs or bum, then why not hide it with a gorgeous full skirt? The only brides-to-be who should probably steer clear of a ballgown are petite ladies – if you’re on the shorter side, you might be swamped by a dress this large. Remember that you should wear the dress, not the other way around!

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It’s always worth bearing in mind the overall feel of your wedding day when it comes to buying your dress, and choosing a ballgown is no exception. A dress this show-stopping suits large, traditional ceremony venues – if you’re in a small chapel or ceremony room, you may struggle to fit your large skirt down the aisle! We also, for obvious reasons, don’t recommend a ballgown if you’re marrying on the beach!


The key to styling a ballgown is to remember that it’s the most formal of all the dress shapes, so you can go to town if you really want to! A lot of our real brides choose to wear their ballgowns with a voluminous updo, and we think this looks incredible – to get the true princess look, why not accessorise with a glittering tiara or traditional elbow-length glove?

If you’re looking for ballgown inspiration, then look no further than these gorgeous dresses from the latest 2014 collections!

20 of the best ballgown wedding dresses