You found each other, you found a venue, and now it’s time to find a wedding dress, which as any bride-to-be will tell you is no easy feat. This can be true regardless of your size, although plus-size brides also often face additional challenges, from limited sizing to unwelcome “advice” from others. If you’re searching for the dress of your dreams, this guide has everything you need to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
Finding Your Bridal Style
Establishing the bridal look you want to achieve is as much about what suits your personality as it is about the styles you love, whether that looks like figure-hugging fishtail gown or a delicate maxi-length dress with beautiful sleeves (if this sounds like your style, Dainty Jewells have some beautiful options to choose from).
Before you set foot in a boutique, fire up Pinterest, gather your bridal magazines and gluesticks and get inspired by creating a moodboard of your favorite looks. Seek inspiration from time periods, movies, fabric swatches, colors and anything else your heart desires.
Wear What You Love
At one time, plus-size fashion had a reputation for looking somewhat frumpy. Thankfully, there’s now a whole closet of body-inclusive clothing choices designed to feel good and look amazing, which is never more important than on your wedding day.
A key tip is to ignore limiting fashion tips advising plus-size brides against specific styles and keep an open mind: whether you love the look of slinky satin or layers of fairytale tulle, go ahead and try it on.
Keep Your Cool
While some aspects of shopping for bridal attire can be fun, it can also be a somewhat stressful experience. Fortunately, there’s a number of ways to help make your shopping experience less troublesome.
- Give yourself plenty of time to pick your dress, not just on the day, but well in advance: a year if possible, eight months at minimum.
- This will also help if you’re buying online (always check returns policies first so you can try before you decide).
- Set a budget; not only will this help narrow down your choices, but it also helps to avoid any unanticipated expense.
- Contact local boutiques and bridal shops to ask about their range of sample sizes (keep in mind that wedding dresses tend to run small, so most people need to size up).
- In addition to their size range, check for positive reviews from customers: this will also help you decide whether to book an appointment.
- Cast your net wide: in addition to the usual stockists, take a look at secondhand or vintage boutiques, and if you’re looking for “something borrowed”, you can also find wedding dress rentals.
Another important tip is to keep your shopping entourage small: one or two at most, and choose people who are likely to offer constructive feedback if and when you ask for it.
Remember: no matter your size, you’re already wedding-dress ready, just as you are. Lastly, if you’re seeking support, consider dispensing with the shapewear, and instead seek online communities and creators offering body inclusive representation and practical advice.