Monique is the author of Oh Darling Bride, a South African wedding blog for down to earth brides. Oh Darling Bride features real weddings, engagement shoots, DIY wedding décor projects and inspiration. When she’s not blogging, Monique enjoys long walks, picture-taking, patio gardening, exploring Cape Town and hanging out with her Mr. (And the lovely Monique not only agreed to guest blog post for us but she will also be featuring my wedding on her blog soon soon).


After zipping me in, my mother stood back and gasped, “It’s the one!” It was the first wedding dress I had tried on. I bought the dress.

Now I’m short, pear-shaped with a tummy and a butt than would make Bridget Jones feel skinny so finding my wedding dress was partly an answer to prayer and knowing what style to best suits my figure. And for me, that meant a strapless A-line dress with a detailed bodice.

I’m no fashionista, but if you’re looking for your wedding gown (or just a great dress), here’s my advice for finding a dress to suit your shape…


Go through old photos and take note of the best dresses and those cringe-worthy styles that still make you blush. Knowing what best suites your shape, and what doesn’t, is a great starting point.

Follow Form

There are many gorgeous wedding gowns gracing glossies but unless you’re a 6ft tall skinny model, it’s not realistic interpretation of how a dress will fit. Instead look at what real brides wore and keep an eye out for brides who have similar figures to yours (have a look at Oh Darling Bride’s featured real weddings).

Know your type

Let’s face it, most us fall into one of these camps –we either feel self-conscious of upper body (tummy and/or arms), want to hide lower body (hips, thighs and butt) or feel like a stick-insect.

If you have a tummy, go for an empire line or Grecian style dress which is fitted around the bust and flows out gracefully from just under the bust.

An A-line cut, which clinches in at the waist flows over hips and thighs, is a flattering style for pear-shaped girls.

If you have an hour-glass figure, you could wear a mermaid style dress, pull off full skirt or play it safe in an A-line dress.

wedding dress


(Grecian style dress by Catherine Deane (

A-line wedding dress by Ivy & Aster (

Marchesa (

The Final Test – If you think you’ve found the one, sit down, stand up and dance around the change room in the dress. If it’s strapless number, jump up and down- it’s a super way to test a dresses ‘staying-up-for-the-party’ factor. I’ve heard people say wedding dresses are supposed to be beautiful, not comfortable. I don’t buy that – a bride should wear the wedding dress (not the other way round) and love every minute in it!

If the dress passes this final and very serious test, makes your want to swirl around and practice your princess wave then darling, I think you’ve found the one!


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