Ball Gown vs A-Line Dress - What's The Difference?

September 21st, 2023 Wedding IDEAS, INSPIRATION AND INSIDER TIPS


Bridal gowns come in many different styles and silhouettes, however, some are similar like the ball gown and A-line silhouettes. This can be confusing when you start the wedding dress shopping process because you may not know which style is which. What are the differences and similarities?

The ball gown and A-line designs have been around for decades and they’re two of the most popular wedding dress silhouettes among brides. Knowing the differences between these two can help in your search for the perfect wedding dress.

What is an A-line Dress?

An A-line dress, as its name suggests, is inspired by the shape of the letter "A". It is characterized by the silhouette of the skirt portion of the gown. An A-line skirt is fitted at the hips and gradually flares out from the natural waistline of the bodice towards the hemline giving the skirt the shape of the capital letter A. The silhouette can be paired with many different types of necklines and  lends itself beautifully to a wide array of fabric choices, from lightweight chiffons to more structured satins.

The A-line silhouette is a classic bridal gown silhouette and is known for being universally flattering. While this dress is flattering on most body types, it’s perfect for creating an illusion of height and curves for slender and petite brides. This silhouette can also slim down rounded figures and hide the larger lower body of any brides who are blessed with curves. The simplicity of its lines makes A-line gowns perfect for any ceremony, from a simple backyard wedding to a grand church wedding.

What is a Ball Gown?

Ball gowns, commonly referred to as princess gowns, are known for their royal appearance. The silhouette features a fitted bodice, often with a defined waist, and then dramatically flares out into a full, voluminous skirt. Typically crafted from luxurious fabrics like tulle, lace, and satin, the ball gown style exudes opulence and is often complemented by intricate embellishments. This design demands attention and is perfect for those wanting to make a grand entrance to their event.

When imagining a wedding, many people often picture a bride in a ball gown paired with a sweetheart neckline. This combination is a quintessential bridal look. Overall, ball gowns flatter every body type. The fuller silhouette accentuates the waist and hides the lower body. Keep in mind, for brides who are fuller on top, the full skirt may make you look larger overall. For petite brides, be sure to avoid going too big on the flare of your gown because the added volume of the skirt could make you look shorter.

This silhouette works well with grand venues or traditional church wedding ceremonies. On your big day, nothing makes more of a statement than a real-life fairytale ball gown wedding dress.

Difference Between Ball Gown and A-Line Wedding Dresses

A-line wedding dress silhouette compared to ball gown silhouette

Both of these traditional bridal silhouettes highlight the waist and offer a contrast between the fitted bodice and a flared skirt. However, their differences lie in the volume and flare of the skirt. While the A-line gradually widens from the waist down, the ball gown has a fuller, more voluminous skirt that starts immediately at the natural waist, creating a more dramatic effect.

A-line dresses, with their understated flare, often offer more mobility and might be preferable for brides who value comfort alongside style. In contrast, a ball gown, with its regal presence, is for those who dream of a statement dress for their big day. Both styles provide timeless elegance.


Some examples of popular Moonlight Bridal A-line gowns include:

Mikado A-Line wedding dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves and front leg slit

Style T112 - Off-the-shoulder A-Line wedding dress with leg slit crafted with luxurious Mikado fabric (available in black)

Style H1564 - Beaded floral bridal gown with a deep sweetheart neckline and an A-line silhouette

Style H1477 - Black lace A-line wedding gown with an open back and illusion sleeves


Some examples of popular Moonlight Bridal dresses with ball gown silhouettes include:

Ball gown dress with a skirt crafted from layers of organza

Style J6916 - Mikado and Organza ball gown wedding dress with a deep V-neckline

Style H1567 - Drop waist satin ball gown with a lace bodice and a dramatic semi-cathedral train

Style T984 - Pearl embellished ball gown wedding dress with a sheer straight-across neckline and a tulle pleated bodice

How to Choose

Now that you know the differences, choosing one silhouette or the other is completely up to your personal style preferences.

The beauty of both of these wedding dress styles is you can wear any style of shoe you want with them because the skirts are fuller and your wedding shoes will likely not show. This means you can wear the most comfortable shoes to dance the night away. One downside of these two silhouettes to consider is the inconvenience when going to the restroom. You will probably need your bridal party to help you every time.

Even with the small downside, ball gowns and A-line dresses remain as two of most popular silhouettes among brides on their wedding day. We hope to have cleared up any confusion you may have had between the two styles. To keep your options open, try on both silhouettes to decide which one fits you and your style best.

To get an even better visual and understanding of the differences in the silhouettes, browse Moonlight Bridal’s collection of ball gown wedding dresses and A-line wedding dresses. When you’re ready to start trying your favorites on, visit a Moonlight Bridal retailer near you. 

'Ball Gown vs A-Line Dress - What's The Difference?' Image #1


10/04/2017 15:0
I love the ball gown and I want more examples so I can choose...
03/13/2024 11:0
A big thank you to Moonlight Bridal for the insightful article comparing ball gown vs. A-line wedding dresses! This informative piece provides valuable guidance and inspiration for brides-to-be, helping them navigate the decision-making process with confidence.

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