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What is the difference between a princess wedding dress and a ball gown?

Choosing a wedding dress can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience, with so many styles, cuts and fabrics to choose from. Two popular wedding dress styles that are often confused with each other are the princess wedding dress and the ball gown. While both dresses have a similar shape, there are some distinct differences between the two styles.

Princess Wedding Dress

A princess wedding dress is a classic, timeless style that has been popular for decades. The dress is fitted at the bodice and then flares out into a full skirt. The length of the dress varies, with some ending just above the knee while others are floor-length. Princess wedding dresses can be made from a variety of fabrics, including lace, tulle, and satin. They often feature embellishments such as beading, embroidery, or sequins.

The most defining trait of a princess wedding dress is the way the skirt falls. A princess dress has a high, defined waistline that accentuates the waist and flows into a full skirt that flares out from the hips in a gentle A-line, creating a gentle, subtle, and elegant silhouette. This style of dress is perfect for those looking to create a romantic, feminine look on their special day.

Ball Gown

A ball gown is a grand, elegant style of dress that is typically associated with formal events and, as the name suggests, ballroom dances. A ball gown is often made from luxurious fabrics such as satin, chiffon, and tulle. They tend to feature elaborate embellishments such as ruffles, lace, and beading. These dresses are typically longer in length than a princess dress and can reach the floor.

One of the defining characteristics of a ball gown is the fullness of the skirt. Unlike the princess wedding dress, which has a skirt that flows gently, a ball gown skirt is typically voluminous, and its skirt flows outwards. The dress has layers of tulle or netting underneath to create a full effect, giving it a dramatic and glamorous appearance.

Key Differences Between Princess and Ball Gown Dresses


The most obvious difference between a princess wedding dress and a ball gown is the silhouette. A princess dress will have a more relaxed, gentle A-line shape, while a ball gown will have a fuller, more voluminous skirt.


Both princess wedding dresses and ball gowns can be made from a variety of different fabrics. Princess dresses are often made from lightweight satins or softer tulle fabrics, while ball gowns tend to be more formal and made from heavier materials like silk and tulle.


Both styles of wedding dresses can include embellishments, but they differ in how they are utilized. Princess wedding dresses will often feature a minimalist look with a delicate lace or beading on the bodice, while a ball gown will have more intricate embellishments throughout the dress, such as layers of tulle or ruffles.

Which Style is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing between a princess wedding dress and a ball gown, the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, there are considerations to make.

If you are looking for a more subtle and understated look, a princess wedding dress may be the right choice. This style is perfect for brides looking for a more relaxed and romantic feel.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more dramatic, grand and glamourous look, then a ball gown would be the perfect choice.

No matter what type of wedding dress you choose, it’s important to select a design that you love and feel confident in, and that will make you look and feel beautiful on your special day.


Both the princess wedding dress and ball gown are beautiful styles of dresses that can make you look and feel like a princess on your special day. While they may be similar in some ways, they do have some distinct differences that set them apart. Choosing between the two styles comes down to personal preference, but whichever style you choose, it will undoubtedly make you look and feel like a vision of beauty on your wedding day.


Who should wear a ball gown wedding dress?

When it comes to choosing a wedding dress, there are countless styles available that can flatter different body types, personalities, and preferences. However, if you want to look and feel like a true princess on your wedding day, a ball gown wedding dress might be the perfect choice for you.

A ball gown wedding dress is characterized by the combination of a fitted bodice and a full, voluminous skirt that flares out from the natural waistline. The skirt design can vary from a classic A-line shape to a more dramatic and puffy silhouette, depending on your preference and the amount of glam you want to display.

So who should wear a ball gown wedding dress? The answer is that any bride who is looking for a romantic, dreamy, and regal vibe can pull off this style. It is particularly suitable for formal weddings held in grand venues, such as ballrooms, cathedrals, or historic estates. However, that doesn’t mean that a ball gown wedding dress cannot be worn in other settings or themes, as there are various adaptations and modifications that can make this style more personalized and versatile.

One factor to consider when choosing a ball gown wedding dress is your body type. If you have a pear-shaped figure with a smaller upper body and wider hips, a ball gown can provide balance and emphasis on your waistline. Similarly, if you have an hourglass figure with curves on the upper and lower body, a ball gown can enhance your feminine silhouette and show off your waist. However, if you are petite or have a fuller figure, you might want to avoid an overly voluminous skirt that can overwhelm your frame or make you look heavier.

Another consideration when wearing a ball gown wedding dress is the level of comfort and mobility you want. While ball gowns can be breathtakingly beautiful and striking, they can also be heavy, bulky, and challenging to move around in, especially during the reception and dance party. Thus, you might want to try various styles and fabrics to find the most comfortable and practical option that still reflects your sense of style.

A ball gown wedding dress is an iconic and timeless style that can make any bride feel like a fairy tale princess. As long as you choose a design that flatters your body type, matches your venue and theme, and makes you feel confident and radiant, you cannot go wrong with this classic and elegant wedding dress style.

What makes a dress a ball gown?

A ball gown is a type of formal dress worn to gala events such as balls, soirées, and black-tie events, and is typically made of luxurious materials like silk, satin, or taffeta. There are several characteristics that set a ball gown apart from other formal dresses.

Firstly, a ball gown usually features a full, floor-length, or ankle-length skirt that is voluminous and may include layers of tulle or crinoline to achieve a dramatic effect. This style of dress typically flares out dramatically from the waist and can be quite heavy due to the amount of fabric used in its construction. The skirt may also be adorned with decorative elements such as ruffles, lace, or beading to add more visual interest.

Secondly, ball gowns often feature a fitted bodice that is cut off the shoulder, with a low-cut neckline to show off the décolletage. The bodice can either be form-fitting or loose, depending on the wearer’s preference. Some ball gowns even have a corset-like structure to cinch in the waist and emphasize an hourglass silhouette.

Thirdly, a ball gown can be distinguished by the materials used in its construction, which are often of the highest quality. Satin, silk, and taffeta are some of the most common materials used in ball gowns, and they are often adorned with intricate detailing such as embroidery or beading.

Lastly, a ball gown is often paired with accessories such as gloves, a clutch bag, and high heels. The jewelry worn with a ball gown is often more elaborate than with other types of dresses, featuring gems, diamonds, and sparkling stones.

A ball gown is a formal dress that is characterized by its full skirt, fitted bodice, and luxurious materials. It is often worn to special events such as balls, soirées, and black-tie events, and is designed to make the wearer feel elegant and glamorous.

Do ball gowns make you look bigger?

Ball gowns are an elegant and timeless choice for formal events, weddings or other special occasions. But, when it comes to choosing the perfect dress, one of the most common concerns among women is whether ball gowns make them look bigger or not. The answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on different factors.

ball gowns flatter every body type. The fuller silhouette accentuates the waist and hides the lower body. The fitted bodice and voluminous skirt create an illusion of an hourglass figure by cinching the waist and flaring out the hips and legs. This design enhances curves and creates a proportional look for women with apple, pear or hourglass figures. Also, the dress’s fullness can make you look taller, as it elongates the silhouette.

However, for brides who are fuller on top, the full skirt may make you look larger overall. In this case, it is suggested to choose a ball gown with a more structured top and less volume on the skirt, as this will balance the overall silhouette. Alternatively, if you have a straighter figure, ball gowns with more volume in the skirt can create the illusion of curves.

Furthermore, the fabric choice can have an impact on how the dress appears on your body. Thick fabrics like silk or taffeta hold their shape better and do not cling to the body. On the other hand, light and flowy fabrics like chiffon or organza may not be as forgiving, especially in the lower body area.

Ball gowns can make you look bigger or smaller, depending on various factors such as body shape, dress design, and fabric selection. However, with the right fit and careful consideration of the dress design and fabric, ball gowns can be a flattering and stunning choice for women of all sizes.

Is a ball gown too formal for a wedding?

Whether or not a ball gown is too formal for a wedding depends on the dress code and the specific style of the gown. In general, ball gowns are considered the most formal type of dress and are typically reserved for black-tie events. However, some weddings, including formal evening weddings, may call for the elegance and sophistication that a ball gown provides.

When deciding whether to wear a ball gown for a wedding, it is important to carefully consider the dress code on the invitation. If the invitation specifies black-tie or white-tie attire, a ball gown may be appropriate. However, if the dress code is less formal, such as cocktail or semi-formal, a ball gown may be too dressy and out of place.

It is also important to consider the style of the ball gown. While ball gowns are typically considered formal, some styles can be more appropriate for weddings than others. For example, a strapless ball gown made from shiny material and adorned with sequins may be too flashy for a wedding, while a more classic ball gown with a modest neckline and simple embellishments may be perfect for a formal evening wedding.

The decision to wear a ball gown to a wedding depends on several factors including the dress code, the specific style of the gown, and personal preference. As a general rule, it is always better to err on the side of being overdressed rather than underdressed. If in doubt, it is best to ask the bride or groom or consult with other wedding guests about appropriate attire.