Image via Love Found True Bridal Cocktail Dresses
There are so many options when shopping for plus size wedding dresses – almost too many! I visited nine stores and tried on 30 dresses before finding the right one for me. There are a few things that I found useful along the way which I hope will help you enjoy this special time:
1. Research, Research, Research!
I made the decision early on not to look at websites because they don’t often show ‘real’ plus size brides – so what might look good on screen doesn’t always work in person. You should still do your research though at least to see which boutiques offer plus size gowns.
Things to look for:
- Sizing – what size do they go up to?
- Plus size surcharge – some boutiques may not charge for alterations but check with the designer to ensure you keep within your budget and don’t get any nasty surprises!
- Availability – is the dress you like available locally? Is the sample available? What size is the sample?
- Timing- how long will it take for my dress to be made ? Don’t forget to allow extra time for alterations.
You are the company you keep so when shopping try to limit the amount of friends or family members you take with you. If you have multiple appointments it might be good to coordinate and have your loved ones alternate.
When I was shopping for my gown, I asked my mother to accompany me to every single appointment and then alternated appointments between my three bridesmaids as each one then had an opportunity to attend. Remember each person you have is another idea or opinion you’ll have to deal with and in this situation it can already be very overwhelming!
Make sure the person you bring with you is someone whose opinion you value; as a plus size bride avoid ‘yes’ people because you want someone with you who will be honest about how your cleavage looks or if the dress does not fit properly.
3. Be prepared.
So you’ve made your appointment! Now what? It might be a good idea to invest in a decent strapless bra, a lot of dresses do have inbuilt bras but often don’t provide as much support for larger busts.
Another concern I had was getting dressed and undressed in front of someone I didn’t know. When trying on all the different wedding dresses, you will probably have a consultant with you in the change room who will help you in and out of all those ruffles! I chose to wear some nude shape wear which gave me some shape and hid anything I wasn’t comfortable showing. The main thing is you need to be comfortable as it will allow you to make the best decision about your dream gown!
Wedding dress sizing is very strange! Forget everything you know about regular clothing sizes – you’ll find that some dresses run small, some run true and others are just all over the place!
Remember you’re not actually buying the dress you’re trying on so it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t zip up! You will need to have a bit of a visual imagination especially since a lot of sample are between a size 10 and a size 16. I am a size 24 and I was able to comfortably get into a size 18 dress with it being laced up, which was very confidence boosting!
5. Alterations and Budget.
Some designers charge a plus size surcharge so be prepared and know what your final your budget is. Have an idea of what you’re willing to spend on certain things as you will need to factor in any alteration charges. I was quoted around $300 – $700 from different boutiques – so this is good to keep in mind.
The most important thing when trying on all your dresses is to remember to have fun! Don’t be self-conscious – dance in your dress, swish around and be silly!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Wow – some really sensible advice. Shopping for your dream gown needs to be enjoyable and unforgettable!
About Lana1709: I am 24 years of age and a bride to be! I have known my fiancé since I was six years of age; our mothers have been good friends since they were in their twenties. We have been together for seven and a half years and we own five Pomeranian dogs. I work in the public sector and he’s a rigger. Our wedding is six weeks away just after our eight year anniversary! I would say I am someone who loves to plan to make plans to plan – I am always throwing parties for friends, organizing parties or planning parties. Lots of fun!!