To hem or not to hem, that is the question! If you're new to wedding dress shopping, the concept of finding the right length for your dress can seem Shakespeare-level confusing. For shorter brides, just hemming your dress is an easy concept to grasp. As a tall bride, it probably seems a little more complex. If you're dreaming of a floor-length gown, you don't want your ankles accidentally peeking out under the dress! Here is everything you need to know about ordering your dress as a tall bride.
What is extra length?
Most wedding dresses are made to a standard length of a bride that is 5'9". For brides at or over this height, many designers will offer something called extra length. This will add a few inches of length to your gown. This is a safe option for every tall bride, because even if it comes in a little too long for you, you can just hem off the excess fabric! It will be way more stress-free than scrambling to find ways to alter a dress that is too short for you.
Are there other options besides extra length?
While we always recommend extra length as a safe and stress-free option, certain designers will also offer custom length using a hollow-to-hem measurement. This, simply put, is a measurement from the hollow of your neck (right above your collarbone) to the bottom of the dress. This often times eliminates the need for a big hem in alterations. Not every designer offers custom length, but it's a wonderful option if the dress you love happens to be by one of those designers!
(Pro-tip: we have two designers at Miss Ruby that offer custom length! Check out Robert Bullock and Zavana Bridal.)
(Viola by Wtoo)
Is there an additional cost for extra or custom length?
Because of the extra material needed, there is a cost for extra or custom length, varying by designer! While it may seem daunting to add an additional cost for something like length, it will ultimately cost less than elaborate alterations to fix a dress that is too short.
Can I still wear heels as a tall bride?
Absolutely! We do recommend bringing your ideal wedding shoes with you to your appointment, if you are hoping for a custom length gown. This will help you determine if the dress length is too short for you. If you are planning on doing custom length, it will also make the hem measurement as accurate as possible!
(Betty by Zavana Bridal)
Extra and custom length are truly nothing to stress over! Your stylist can talk you through all of the available options, and together you can pick the right option for you.