A-line vs ball gown wedding dresses: which one to choose?

There’s little surprise that brides who want to feel like princesses on their wedding day choose A-line or ballgown dresses. These wedding dress silhouettes feature full, voluminous skirts, often made of layers of tulle or other lightweight fabrics that create a flowing effect.

Timeless and traditional, these princess gowns have always been the top choice for traditional church wedding ceremonies, grand venues, and the fairytale wedding theme.

Although they might look similar, A-line and ball gown styles are, in fact, different. So before you start your dream wedding dress hunt, knowing the difference between A-line and ball gown styles is essential. Long story short, let’s take a more detailed look at these two styles.

What is an a-line wedding dress?

So what is an A-line wedding dress? This is a dress fitted at the bodice and then gradually flaring out from the waist, creating the signature A-shape. A-line dresses can be made from a variety of fabrics, from airy chiffon and tulle to smooth satin or delicate lace.

A-line dresses can be combined with a chapel train, different neckline designs, sleeve lengths, and feature embellishments, such as beading, embroidery, or lace appliques.

A-line dress style examples

What is a ball gown wedding dress?

And what is a ball gown? This type of wedding dress has a fitted bodice and a full, voluminous skirt that dramatically flares out from the waist. Such a skirt helps create a sense of movement and fluidity as you walk or dance. Like the A-line silhouette, ball gowns allow for various neckline styles and may be adorned with lace, beading, or other embellishments.

Ball gown dress style examples

Difference between a-line and ball gown silhouettes

While both A-line and ball gowns are floor-length dresses and have close-fitting bodices, there are a few key differences between the two styles.

A-line vs ball gown wedding dress

A-line vs ball gown
An A-line gown is a floor-length dress that is fitted at the bodice and then gradually flares from your natural waist to the ground, resembling the letter A.A ball gown is a dress featuring a fitted bodice and a bell-shaped, oversized skirt that flows down to the floor.
An A-line dress is less formal than a ball gown.Ball gowns are the most formal dresses.
A-line gowns are generally more comfortable than most other wedding dress styles.Due to its structure, the ballgown silhouette is less comfy than an A-line dress.
Body type
An A-line dress works with virtually all body types.A ball gown is an excellent choice for petite brides as well as for pear-shaped figures.

Ball gown vs a-line: which of these two styles is best for you?

So which one to choose: a royal appearance of a ball gown or a romantic, flowy shape of an A-line dress? To find your perfect wedding dress, it’s best to consider your unique circumstances and needs, such as your body shape and the level of comfort you expect on your big day.

Choose a silhouette for your body type

Your dream dress should not only look gorgeous and present you as a fashion-forward bride — you should feel comfortable in it, with all your best features highlighted and flaws kept out of sight. In addition, each bride has a unique body shape which is critical to determining which silhouette will win the ball gown vs. A-line battle.

Choose a silhouette for your body type


An hourglass body shape means having a defined waist, a bigger bust, and broader hips. While your bust and hips are already well-balanced, avoiding adding extra volume to these areas would be better, making an A-line dress a better choice if you have this type of figure.


A rectangle body type features a straight silhouette with shoulders and hips of similar width and little to no waist definition. While brides with rectangular body shapes should avoid any figure-hugging dresses, either an A-line or ball gown can be your way to go. These styles have a fuller bottom to add more definition to your shape and make your body appear curvier.

Pear (triangle)

Your body is considered pear-shaped if your hips are wider than your bust area and shoulders. Therefore, a ball gown can do a great job hiding your hips under its voluminous bell skirt.

Inverted triangle

The most athletic-looking body type, an inverted triangle figure, features broader shoulders and narrow hips. More volume at the bottom can save the day by balancing out this body shape, making both A-line and ballgown silhouette a perfect choice.

Apple (oval)

You fall under an apple-shaped body type if you have a heavier upper body — broad shoulders and a bigger bust — compared to the lower part of your body. If you have an apple-shaped figure, consider getting an A-line dress. The flared skirt flowing through the waistline will create the illusion of a curvier, balanced shape.

To sum up, both A-line and ballgown dresses can flatter rectangle and inverted triangle body shapes. On the other hand, brides with hourglass or apple-shaped bodies should narrow their choice to A-line dresses. And if you have a pear-shaped figure, a ball gown is a better choice than an A-line dress.

Don’t forget about movement — you’ll need it

Another crucial aspect to consider when starting your wedding dress shopping is the freedom of movement you want on your wedding day. An A-line dress is a better choice if you plan to mingle and dance a lot.

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