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What's Your Dress Style? Our Guide to Wedding Dress Styles and Shapes.

Your wedding day is a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. As you prepare to walk down the aisle, one of the most significant decisions you'll make is choosing the perfect wedding dress.

Finding " the one " can be exciting and overwhelming with such a huge array of styles available.

Don't worry - we are here to help! Grab yourself a cup of tea (or a little cheeky vino!) and we'll take you on a journey through different styles of wedding dresses, each type representing a unique blend of tradition, modernity, and personal expression.


The Classic Ball Gown: Nothing says fairy-tale wedding quite like a classic ball gown. This style features a fitted bodice and a full, voluminous skirt that creates a dramatic and enchanting silhouette.

Inspired by the elegance of royalty, the ball gown exudes timeless charm and sophistication. Brides who dream of feeling like a princess on their big day often opt for this style.

But if too traditional isn't your bag - the ballgown can still be for you.

Some of our designers are really amping up the modern vibes with their ballgown designs.

Check out Addison pictured below - ballgown shape - but so fresh and modern with her skirt split and ruching to the bodice.

Just perfect.

Ballgown Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration, Jasmine by GAIA Bridal, Addison by GAIA Bridal, Lily by GAIA Bridal, Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay
Ballgown Wedding Dresses at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Some of our gorgeous Ballgowns

Jasmine by GAIA

Addison by GAIA

Lily by GAIA


The A-Line - Effortless Grace: The A-line dress is a versatile and universally flattering option that suits a wide range of body types.

It gently flares from the waist down to form an "A" shape, elongating the body while offering a comfortable and forgiving fit.

The A-line is all about understated elegance and is a wonderful choice for brides seeking a balance between sophistication and simplicity.

These gowns are usually lighter and therefore more versatile than a ballgown, and are a popular choice for destination weddings, more festival-style ceremonies, and outdoor big days.

You can get married in an A-line dress in a field, forest, beach, or hotel and you will feel free and comfortable all day.

Think swishy skirts, romantic vibes, and a gloriously flattering fit and feel.

ALine Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration, Jo by GAIA Bridal, Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay, Romantic Wedding Dresses
A-Line Wedding Dress Styles at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Jo by GAIA (Currently in our Sale event)

Sienna by Millie Grace from our Curve Collection

Lorelei by Allure Romance - Off-the-Rail


Sheath - Modern and sleek bridal looks: For brides seeking a modern, chic, and minimalist aesthetic, the sheath wedding dress is an excellent choice.

This style features a slim, straight silhouette that skims the body, emphasizing natural curves.

Often made from lightweight and flowing fabrics, Sheath dresses often feature strongly in Boho bridal collections. These dresses give you the freedom and comfort needed for unusual venues, while still showcasing your figure and giving you that fitted look.

From romantic applique, to stunningly simple crepe through to pure cottage core lace, the options with sheath dresses are literally limitless - perfect for your unique big day.

Sheath Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration, Wren by GAIA Bridal, Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay
Sheath Wedding Dress Styles at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Monica by Allure Romance - available Off-the-Rail

Frankie by Allure Romance - available Off-the-Rail

Wren by GAIA - Available Made to Order from Our Boutique


Bohemian - Free Spirited Romance: Bohemian wedding dresses embrace a carefree and boho-chic vibe, perfect for the non-traditional bride.

With their relaxed and ethereal designs, these dresses often feature lace, intricate embroidery, or flowing layers of fabric.

Ideal for outdoor or beach weddings, the bohemian style exudes an effortless and romantic charm.

We are so spoiled for choice for rustic and boho-style venues in the South-West and you can continue that free-spirited vibe with a dress that encapsulates the true you.

Bohemian and Boho Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration,  Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay
Bohemian Wedding Dresses at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Scout by Wilderly - Available Off-the-Rail

Haddie by Wilderly - Available Off-the-Rail

Marlowe by Wilderly - Available Off-the-Rail


Mermaid - Embracing your Curves: If you want to showcase your curves and create a captivating hourglass figure, the mermaid wedding dress is the epitome of sensuality and allure.

This style hugs the body from the chest to the knee and then dramatically flares out, resembling the silhouette of a mermaid's tail.

Mermaid dresses capture a real glamorous and red-carpet-worthy look, but are also very versatile.

The Mermaid style isn't for every bride but the super structure of a mermaid dress can be uber-flattering for the curvier lady, plus can also showcase an hourglass figure on ladies who don't usually feel they rock the curves.

Mermaid Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration, Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay
Mermaid Wedding Dress Styles at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Letita by Pretty Smithy - Available Off-the-Rail or Made to Order

Lila by Millie May - Available Off-the-Rail or Made to Order

Genoa by GAIA - Available Off-the-Rail or Made to Order


Vintage-Inspired: Nostalgic Charm: Transport yourself back in time with a vintage-inspired wedding dress.

Drawing inspiration from different eras, such as the glamorous 1920s or the elegant 1950s, these gowns incorporate classic elements like lace, illusion necklines, and intricate beadwork.

Choosing a vintage-inspired dress allows you to add a touch of nostalgia to your special day.

Think Gatsby 20's style fitted dresses oozing glamour or 50's style t-length wedding dresses - the world of vintage bridalwear is vast, and all so beautiful and full of detail.

Vintage Style Wedding Dress Styles and inspiration, Gatsby Wedding dress, Art deco style wedding dress, 1950s style wedding dress, T-length wedding dress, Bridal Boutique Devon, Paignton, Torquay
Vintage Style Wedding Dresses at Pretty Smithy Bridal

Sloane by True Curve - Available on a Made to Order Basis

Frieda by Brighton Belle - Available Off-the-Rail or Made to Order

Mae by Brighton Belle - Available on Made to Order Basis

Choosing a wedding dress is a beautiful journey of self-expression and individuality.

Whether you envision yourself in a fairytale ball gown, a sleek sheath, or a bohemian dream, remember, the perfect dress is one that makes you feel confident, beautiful, and true to yourself as you embark on this magical journey... You're getting married!!! (Yay!)

Thanks for reading our guide to wedding dress styles and shapes, we hope this introduction to the types of gown you can have for your wedding has really given you some ideas and inspiration to think over before you start coming out on your wedding dress appointment/s.

Remember the more information or ideas you have to talk to us about when you come in for your appointment, the more we can tailor our service to making sure you are trying styles you love the idea of.

Get your Appointment Booked...

We operate our boutique by appointment only - and you get exclusive use of the space for you and your bridal party. We literally lock the door - pop some music on and focus on you.

Appointments are two hours long, with a sit-down bridal consultation at the beginning of the appointment, we use our friendly expertise to help you on your wedding dress journey.

We listen to the ideas you already have about your dress, your vision for your big day, plus any element/s you don't want to see on your dress (sometimes it's easier to tell us what you don't like the idea of!)

We help you pick your first set of dresses to try and then once you have experienced a few on, we can really come into our own and pull more dresses, now we both know the styles you are loving and suit you.

If you aren't quite finding the style you like - we will pull some wildcard dresses, so you can experience some new looks so we can break the mould and find something you love, or maybe something you weren't expecting to like - this can open up a whole new array of dresses for you to fall in love with.

The main focus of the appointment is you, and us together with you finding the style and shape of dress you love - narrowing down through all your options to find your dream dress. That dress that really makes your heart sing (and that you feel super excited to be wearing on your wedding day!)

You and your guests are spoiled with drinks and snacks during the course of your appointment with us.

As a size-inclusive boutique, we have dresses in every size between 6-36 waiting for you to try on. With over 200 dresses here to try on your dream dress awaits at Pretty Smithy Bridal.

We charge £19 for our Appointments - this fee is refunded against your dress purchase with us.

Book your appointment through our live online booking system below.

We can't wait to meet you,

Love Amy, Pretty Smithy Bridal x


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