15/01/2014 06:06 GMT | Updated 16/03/2014 05:59 GMT

The Rise of the Short Wedding Dress and 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Wearing One

In recent years there has been a rise in short wedding dresses on bridal catwalks. You might have noticed them in magazines, on royals such as the new princess of Luxembourg, and you might also have attended a friend's wedding where she opted for a short wedding dress. This has led some to believe that it is a new 'trend'.

The rise of the short wedding dress should come as no surprise. It is nothing particularly new as short wedding dresses date as far back as the 1920s.


23rd June 1927: The new Mrs Hampton wearing a wedding dress with a long lace train and embroidered headdress. © Sasha/Getty Images

If you are a fan of Coco Chanel, who in my opinion was the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century, then you will be thrilled to know that she is credited with introducing the short wedding dress in the early 1920s.

Short Wedding Dresses of the 20s were quite simple shift style dresses that ranged from above the knee to tea length and most brides paired their dress with a long dramatic veil.


© Hulton Archive/Getty Images


© London Express/Getty Images

I can completely see why Coco Chanel designed short wedding dresses in this style as they echoed comfort, being free from restrictions, and they created the opposite effect of the old-fashioned corsets.

I started working as a wedding dress designer in 2008 with my brand, Tobi Hannah. My father is a portrait painter and I grew up with a love of art, design and vintage style. When I started making occasion dresses, I designed one inspired by Degas's ballerina portraits, and from there moved into my first bridal collection. I thought: "Where will I feel valued working with people?" That drew me towards working with brides. I could see a gap in the market between what women want and what's out there. I knew I wasn't going to be designing meringue dresses. I started meeting brides and learning about body shape, how to work with women to make what they want.


The Tobi Hannah Illusion Dress © Garazi Gardner


The Tobi Hannah Wall Dress © Garazi Gardner

In my time as a specialist designer of short wedding dresses, I have learned a lot about what works and what does not. My new book The Short Wedding Dress: The Dress, The Bride, The Style covers everything a bride to be could possibly want to know about this beloved dress including its history, available silhouettes and sound advice about choosing a short wedding dress for your big day.


© Kat Williams

More and more brides are opting for a short wedding dress as it is a far more practical option for the modern bride.

Here are ten reasons why you should consider a short wedding dress

1. Far more practical for a beach wedding, especially if you would like to avoid a soiled train.

2. Short wedding dresses are very comfortable. Obvious, but true! You don't want to spend your big day battling a corset or lugging around a heavy train.

3. Ideal for a petite bride as a long wedding dress can be overwhelming on a small frame.

4. It is often considerably less expensive than a long wedding dress.

5. It is easier to transport if you are getting married abroad.

6. A great choice if you plan to throw some shapes on the dance floor.

7. You can go to the toilet without assistance.

8. You get to show off your amazing shoes and legs.

9. You can wear it again.

10. Perfect for an informal wedding as you can still feel like a bride without feeling like you are very over-dressed.

British Designer, Tobi Hannah is the author of The Short Wedding Dress. You can see more of her designs here.