Choosing a wedding dress style is a very important decision – your choice will set the style for your overall look on your wedding day. Though the styles of dresses are quite numerous, there are five basic wedding dress styles: Princess, Empire, Mermaid, Ball Gown and Column. Each offer different silhouettes, but they all come with a variety of options (like lengths, fabrics, necklines, etc.), so there are plenty of designs to choose from.

Princess (also known as A-line) style is a classic, simple style that features a tighter, form-fitting top, or bodice, becoming more fluid and open toward the bottom. This style is seamless and makes an A shape. This style of dress is flattering on almost any body type, as its long lines can create the illusion of height as well as having a slimming effect. Also, this A-line style can both hide curves on the lower body or create the illusion of curves on a narrow frame. It's no wonder this style is so popular amongst wedding dress choices!

The Empire style is basically a raised waistline which lays just below the bust line. sleeve length and necklines vary on this versatile style. The empire dress works well on many body types, just like the A-line style. It works well for brides with smaller busts as well as larger busts, as it tends to draw attention to the square neckline, and away from the bust area. It also conceals the lower body well, so it works for women seeking to cover up short legs, a pear-shaped figure, or even a belly.

Mermaid styles consist of a slimming, form-fitting dress from the chest to knee, with a flare at its bottom. The style accentuates the curves of the bride's body and has many options for necklines, sleeve lengths and skirt styles. The mermaid style is not suitable for every body type, as its best worn by slender women or brides who are comfortable accentuating their curves.

The Ball Gown style is known for its fairy tale look – it combines a form-fitting bodice with a full skirt. It is considered a fairly traditional style with many options to create feminine and elegant looks. This style works best on slender or pear-shaped brides, but may work against petite brides

Lastly, the simple and classic column style is a straight, narrow shape that flows from the neckline to the hem. Its frame-hugging shape clings to the body, showing off any and all curves. This style is best suited for narrow frames at any height. The long frame can add height for petite women, but does not do well to hide problem areas without decoration or additions to the dress. The style, while classy and elegant, also restricts movement, which is something to keep in mind.

It's a good idea to have something in mind before you start shopping for your ideal wedding dress. Think of styles you enjoy, styles that you know fit your frame and body type. At the same time, however, it's also a good idea to try new styles. You never know when you'll find that perfect dress, that "This is the one," moment. Be open and you'll find it.

Source by Tonia Jordan