Wedding dress style: Long sleeve or short?

Wedding dress trends change year on year. Whether you plan to opt for a cutting edge, super chic gown or go for a timelessly elegant number, one debate rages on – should you go long sleeved, short sleeved or get rid of the sleeves altogether and choose a strapless style?

Here we look at all your bridal options so you can go into the wedding dress shopping experience with your eyes wide open.

Long sleeves

Long sleeved wedding dresses are no doubt seen as the traditional style. But with the likes of royal brides Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle choosing long sleeved wedding dresses for their own nuptials, they’re firmly in modern day brides’ sights.

Timeless and chic, a long sleeved wedding gown offers a pretty and romantic look that is perfect for brides looking to dress more modestly or embrace a touch of sophistication. Long sleeved wedding dresses are also great for brides who aren’t so keen on their arms being on show.

Unbeknown to most, long sleeved wedding gowns have an elongating effect, which is beneficial for brides with shorter statures. Long sleeved wedding dresses come in a wide range of styles, colours and materials, so if you’re set on the long sleeve, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Those going for the long sleeve look may want to spend some extra time with their seamstress as sleeves generally have to be altered to achieve the perfect fit.

Short sleeves

Recent royal nuptials marked a whole new bridal style comeback as Princess Beatrice said “I do” in a borrowed gown from the Queen with a couple of added extras. Harper’s Bazaar offers a detailed breakdown of Princess Beatrice’s wedding day style:

“Per a Buckingham Palace press release, Beatrice’s stunning outfit is a vintage dress from the queen’s own closet. Designed by Norman Hartnell, the exquisite ivory dress is made from Peau De Soie taffeta, and is trimmed with ivory Duchess satin. Featuring organza sleeves, diamanté adornments, and a checkered, geometric bodice, the dress looks nothing short of stunning.”

Capped sleeves have been rising in popularity in recent years, with brides looking to embrace the vintage and bohemian themes often donning this distinctive style.

There’s an array of wedding dresses sporting capped sleeves and other short sleeve styles, from those made with delicate organza just like Princess Beatrice and lace to minimalist designs and sleeves with daring, dazzling details.

No sleeves

Sleeveless or completely strapless wedding dress designs remain the most popular styles for modern day brides. You’ll see a huge choice of strapless or sleeveless wedding dress styles as a result, from sleek, figure hugging fishtail cuts to sweetheart neckline, princess inspired ball gowns.

When it comes to choosing this popular style, it’s all about the underwear. Regardless of the style, cut or sleeve type, you need to feel comfortable and confident on your wedding day, and it all starts with what goes underneath your gown. Read our guide to choosing your wedding day underwear for more expert advice from our team.


If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


T: 01594 832 320

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