A floor-length princess dress is not the wedding dress of every bride's dreams; in fact, some brides may opt for a tea-length ivory wedding dress instead of the traditional white ball gown. Modern brides can choose a dress in any style or shape she wants, and a tea-length option might be her perfect style.
When to Wear an Ivory Tea-Length Gown
A wedding gown should fit in with the style of the entire wedding. A large evening candlelight adults-only wedding would require more formal dress than a backyard family affair or beach ceremony. Wearing a tea-length gown is the perfect choice for the following weddings:
- Outdoor weddings
- Garden weddings
- Beach weddings
- Destination weddings
- Mountain weddings
A tea-length dress is also appropriate second wedding dress for brides who have "been there, done that" with a more traditional floor-length dress. These dresses tend to be less ornate and may also appeal to a more mature bride.
Choosing a gown in ivory is different enough from white and off-white gowns, but still simple and classic looking. Ivory is a timeless color that may even look better on some brides than shades of white.
Buy a Tea-Length Ivory Wedding Dress
Tea-length dresses are often found in the informal section of a bridal boutique. Sometimes called "destination dresses" they also are frequently cheaper wedding dresses than the traditional gowns. If you are planning a destination wedding to a warmer climate in the middle of the winter season, your local bridal boutique may not have a large selection of tea-length dresses. Search out online retailers to get a better idea of what is available. Ask friends for recommendations, and get measured by a seamstress so you purchase the correct size.
Tea-length dresses are made by a number of popular wedding gown designers, and can be found at large bridal retail stores as well. Dresses and retailers to consider choosing include:
JJ's House has quite a few tea-length ivory dresses to choose from, along with almost any other style you could imagine. Consider:
- The A-Line/Princess V-Neck Tea-Length Tulle Wedding Dress With Bows, which has an interesting two-tone look, transitioning from a lighter lace bodice to a darker skirt. It's available in sizes 2 through 26W for less than $200. The bow around the waist adds a sweet touch and the illusion of curves on a ruler body shape. This will also look great on hourglass shapes.
- The A-Line/Princess Strapless Tea-Length Lace Wedding Dress With Bows is just under $150 and comes in sizes 2 through 26W. The A-line skirt will look good on any body type, but apple and pear shapes may especially love it. It has a lace bodice and a darling side-tied bow to highlight and draw the waistline in.
David's Bridal is a go-to store for many brides simply because of the seemingly endless array of dresses in almost any style you could want. They also have options for mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, and more. Need to accessorize your dress? They have you covered there, too.
- The Dotted Tulle Tea-Length Wedding Dress with Lace is a strapless, simple (yet still lovely!) option that's available in sizes 0 to 14 for around $250. If you like the idea of a shorter dress but don't want to miss out on all the beautiful detail work some of the longer gowns have to offer, you may fall in love with the lace at the bodice and hem of this dress. This style is flattering on most shapes.
- Looking for something that's pretty casual for a wedding but still has a formal, elegant twist? The Soutache Tank Midi Sheath Dress could be just what you need. At first glance, it may not even seem like a wedding dress, but the intricate ribbon design and flared skirt (reminiscent of the mermaid silhouette) makes this a definite possibility for the right kind of wedding and preferences. Expect to pay around $300. It's available in sizes 2 through 16. Ruler and hourglass shapes will like this one.
Jorma Bridal offers reasonable prices on everything you and your wedding party might want to wear. Mother of the bride dresses are also available, so it could be a one-stop shop for all the ladies involved. There's a variety of wedding dresses here, including colored dresses, tea-length, Euro styles, plus-size, and more.
- Teawd008 is a sleek strapless style with a tail hem that's longer in the back than in the front. The dip in the back will make your waist appear smaller and put your back on display. Get it in sizes 4 through 28 for around $150. Pear shapes may easily fall in love with this style, as it will highlight their best assets. Hourglass ladies will also love it.
- If you're having a garden ceremony, the Teawd007 dress will be lovely. It's feminine from top to bottom, with a sheer floral overlay and matching sash. This one is also available in sizes 2 through 28. It's right around $200. Because of the shape of the skirt, most body types can wear this one and look fantastic.
DH Gate has almost anything you could dream of, and that includes wedding dress styles. They offer wholesale pricing, but don't worry; they'll sell you a single dress.
- The Short Beach Lace A-Line Wedding Dress is under $80. Get it in sizes 2 through 28W. The neckline is scalloped all the way around for a vintage vibe, and the lace from bodice to hem ensure that no elegance is lost despite the shorter skirt length. Slim hourglass shapes will like the way this one skims their curves.
- Want something with even more of a retro feel? There's the Vintage Lace Tea-Length Sheer Wedding Dress with crystal beading and tulle. This one, even with the shorter tea-length skirt, has a modesty about it that a lot of modern dresses don't have. This one is sweet and innocent, and it costs right around $120. Any shape will look beautiful in this flattering silhouette.
Get the right style by following these tips:
- Try on a variety of styles before choosing your final dress. You may find that a different neckline looks better when paired with a tea-length dress than you originally imagined.
- While strapless dresses are popular and in wide abundance, add spaghetti straps or hunt for another neckline if you are uncomfortable showing that much skin with a shorter dress.
- If you're ordering online and looking at dresses on several sites, double check the style name and number before your finalize your order. Some of the dresses have very similar style numbers from one site to another, but those numbers represent entirely different dresses.
Tea-length wedding dresses can easily add a retro flair to a wedding, but they're also functional in many settings. If the bride doesn't want to change out of her wedding dress all night but she does want to dance for hours, she won't find herself uncomfortable or unable to move easily along the dance floor. She can travel in it if she's leaving for her honeymoon immediately after the reception.
An ivory gown is merely a matter of preference, though it does flatter some skin tones better, and a bride may feel that ivory looks better than white against the backdrop for her pictures because of the colors she's chosen for the wedding.
Bridal Dress Alternatives
Just because you are the "bride" does not mean you are stuck to shopping only in the bridal section of stores or in bridal boutiques. Instead of buying a wedding dress, consider purchasing a tea-length bridesmaid dress in ivory. Not only will it save you hundreds of dollars, but the simpler styling of many bridesmaid dresses may lend itself to be worn again.
Another alternative to a tea-length ivory wedding dress is to search out a style in the cocktail or formal wear section of a department store.
Look Radiant in a Tea-Length Dress
Choosing a tea-length ivory wedding dress will set you apart from the more traditional or trendy dress choices of today's brides. Whether you go with a more inexpensive alternative or choose a dress by a popular designer, you will look radiant on your wedding day.