What length should a bridesmaid dress be?

It might not seem like too much of a big question compared to the other key decisions you’ll be making throughout your wedding planning. However, there is more to dress length than meets the eye and it’s important to consider length when weighing up different bridesmaid dress styles. The length can play a significant part in the comfort of a dress as well as how it looks. Let’s explore the options for the length of a bridesmaid dress and the factors you will need to think about when choosing which one is right for your day. 

Bridesmaid dress lengths 

There are three main types of bridesmaid dress lengths: long, short, and midi/tea-length. 

Long bridesmaid dresses 

Long or maxi bridesmaid dresses are certainly the most popular and commonly used in a wedding. They are designed to fall to below the ankle and possibly even touch the floor slightly. The main reason why long bridesmaid dresses are featured most over the other options are they’re very versatile. A long dress can be more or less formal depending on the exact style, colour, and accessories you choose whilst always looking amazing in photos. 

Longer dresses never look out of place no matter what season the wedding is taking place in – and there is the added benefit of being long enough to hide the shoes. So, if your bridesmaids want to take a break from heels during the day it won’t impact the look of the dress to switch to flats and give their feet a well-deserved rest. 

Short bridesmaid dresses 

Short bridesmaid dresses sit at around knee-length and even though they aren’t at the same level of popularity as long dresses, they can still suit a specific style of wedding very well. If your wedding is going to be a casual and relaxed affair, then shorter dresses might be more appealing to your bridal party. Especially if it is taking place in the summer or abroad where the weather will be quite hot.  

The short length definitely helps with movement as there isn’t a risk of stepping on the ends of the dress and damaging it or falling over like there is with longer dresses. However, if your wedding does have some degree of formality even if it isn’t a completely black-tie type of wedding, short wedding dresses wouldn’t work with the tone of the day. So, it is important to think carefully about your wedding and whether short dresses are right for the overall aesthetic. 

Midi/tea-length dresses 

These dresses sit below the knee and just above the ankle, making them the perfect middle ground between long and short bridesmaid dresses. They can be a great option for shorter bridesmaids who are worried about standing on a long dress. Also, mixing and matching between long and midi dresses has become a popular trend at modern weddings.  

This could be because it provides a nice contrast and makes the bridesmaids stand out without giving them completely different colours, fabrics, or necklines. A sense of formality can still be achieved with midi dresses without it being too formal if your wedding is going to be somewhere in the middle of that scale. However, they aren’t right for all types of weddings and there’s no hiding feet if the bridesmaids want to escape their heels. 

What factors to consider when deciding on dress length 

  •  Location – is your wedding going to be outside on grass, a sandy beach, or in the snow? If so, you’ll want to make sure that the bridesmaid dresses aren’t going to drag on the floor and become damaged or dirty. This can be achieved even if you want to have long bridesmaid dress as the hem can be altered to ensure it works with the height of each bridesmaid. On the other hand, if the wedding is going to be indoors you might prefer a long hem that will touch the floor a little bit to give that extra feeling of romance and formal elegance. 
  • Shoes – if you have agreed with your bridesmaids that they’re going to wear high heels on the wedding day that might influence the style of dress you want them to wear. Equally if your bridesmaids aren’t comfortable in heels and are going to be wearing flat shoes you might want a long dress to hide that. However, alterations will need to be made to ensure they aren’t at risk of tripping over. 
  • Formality of the event – we touched on this earlier, but this is a key factor in determining the most suitable dress length for your bridesmaids. Short dresses are very casual and would look out of place at a very formal wedding so take care and really think about the other elements that will make up your day when choosing bridesmaid dresses. 
  • Season – this goes hand in hand with formality as if you’re having a small, casual wedding on a beach in the summer, short or midi bridesmaid dresses would work well. Whereas in the autumn or winter when the weather is cooler, shorter dresses don’t work with that vibe and will leave your bridesmaids feeling the chill! 


Typically, bridesmaid dresses are long with alterations made to account for factors like the height and body type of each bridesmaid and the location of the wedding. However, short and midi dresses can still look amazing for certain types of weddings, but the limitation is you’re restricted with where they will work. Long dresses are versatile and work at any type of wedding. 

Maids to Measure stock a wide range of long, fitted bridesmaid dresses in various colours and fabrics. So, if you’re looking for the perfect dresses for the special ladies in your life explore our collections today. Contact us if you have any questions.