The More You Know

The first bridal appointment is definitely unlike any other. You will be bombarded with information and options about your dream gown that you never imagined were possible. Before you begin your shopping it is always a good idea to do a little research.

Today, I am going to help you ladies out! Let’s talk silhouette’s (whose excited?!)

There are five “categories” of silhouettes in the bridal industry: Ball gown, A-line, Sheath, Trumpet, and Mermaid. Each silhouette was designed to accentuate a different part of the body. Before deciding on a silhouette think about what part of your body you’d like to showcase or what you’d prefer to stay hidden. And always keep in mind there is a reason all of these different options exist, every bride is different. If every single gown looked great on you, you would never choose. Hopefully I can help guide you to the right selection and make the process as easy as possible!

First, lets focus on the classic ball gown: aka “the princess gown”.

I think we all know this one well. Whenever one thinks of a bride, almost immediately the image that comes to mind is Cinderella. I like to describe ball gowns as the princess gown because it is this silhouette that little girls dream about their whole life. Aside from a sweet 16 celebration a girls wedding is the one and only time she can strut in something that large and lavish.

This classic silhouette is best on athletic body types, as the dress will cinch the waist and create (or accentuate) a curvier look. Traditionally the ball gown has a fitted bodice that cinchs at the natural waist, bringing all the attention to a small waist and great cleavage. (who doesn’t love that combination?!). What makes a gown a “ball gown” is the fullness. With this silhouette you’ll always have the tight fitted bodice look paired with a full, larger than life skirt.

Maggie Sottero’s “Esme” is a perfect example of the classic ball gown. Warning: level of fullness may be deceiving in photos! Notice where the gown falls on her waist. For most women, like myself, this is likely to fall right above the belly button. Retails for $1,600

There are many variations of ball gowns. So lets say you love the full look, but you want to show a bit more personality in your gown selection, try out a ruffled skirt like Maggie Sottero’s “Amelie”. Retails for $2,300

Or maybe you prefer something more timeless, elegant, and truly classic? Try out “Jamie” by Maggie Sottero’s, Rebecca Ingram. Retails for $1,000

Although beautiful, the ball gown is anything but practical. They are the heaviest and often times most complicated silhouette of the bunch. Not to dissuade you from choosing a ball gown of course, here are some cons (and pros) of choosing this style for your big day:

1. AMAZING, breathtaking photos: photos are one of the only things that will probably with stand the test of time, other than your love of course, you want to make sure they’re fabulous!

2. Being a princess for the day: who doesn’t want to feel like royalty for a day?!

3. Free legs! : Because of where the gown cinchs (at the waist) it leaves your legs free to move around as they please. If you’re a dancing bride, this is crucial!


1. Size: Without a doubt the number one issue with ball gowns is the size. Sometimes these gowns can weigh up to ten lbs! That is awfully heavy for a dress, no?

2. Bathroom Assistance: You will need help doing just about anything in your gown because of the size, including potty breaks. But hey, this is why you have bridesmaids!

3. Seating: No matter where you will be sitting there will be several layers of fabric surrounding you. So make sure your chair can accommodate your dress!

Ultimately the ball gown is and forever will be a timeless and elegant staple of the bridal industry. To me, there can be no bridal without the ball gown. However, that does not mean every bride should wear one. For me, this silhouette is one of the easiest to eliminate or pursue depending on venue. Before you bring out the check book, consider your location. Think about where you will have to walk, where you will be sitting and standing, and possibly what the weather will be like. If you’re getting married outdoors or on the beach in Florida, for example, this may not be the most suitable silhouette choice for you. The ball gown silhouette is best for indoor ceremonies, specially a church or grand ballroom.

The wedding planning process can be overwhelming however, that is why it is important to have your  Wedding Planner, A Beautiful Theme and Bridal Stylist by your side. To help you any way we can! All of the gowns I mentioned earlier can be seen in person at Lily’s Bridal, check us out at and book your appointment with me today ! I hope this helps you and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask <3

Xoxo, Justine