Shopping for wedding dresses can be stressful for any bride, but for the plus size bride it can be downright traumatic. We’ve all heard the horror stories of judgmental shop girls and embarrassingly small assortments that leave brides-to-be shaking in their bridal shoes. Thankfully, we’ve got the inside scoop to help you avoid becoming another cautionary tale. With the body positive movement has come a gigantic selection of plus size dresses from size 20 up to size 44, so you can be sure that you’ll find one that makes you look and feel like your baddest, most beautiful self. Below, we’ve laid out all you need to know about shopping for plus size wedding dresses, so sit back, relax, and above all, have fun!
1. Call ahead.
Most salons stock sample dresses for the “average” bride, which generally fall around a size 10. You’ll want to be sure that you can try on dresses in larger sizes, so call ahead of your visit to be sure they have a variety of plus size sample styles for you to try.
2. Find a specialist.
While you’re at it, request a specialist who’s well versed in plus size dressing to make the most of your visit. Look for someone who’s not only knowledgeable but is excited to work with you. Remember, you’re not just paying for the dress, but for your salesperson’s expertise, so take full advantage and ask plenty of questions. Take her advice to heart – she’s the expert, after all!
3. Ignore the numbers.
Pricier brands often use “couture” sizing (read: teeny tiny), so your bridal size will likely be significantly higher than what you would wear in your everyday duds. Your best bet is to ignore the number entirely and focus on the overall look and fit. If you find a gown that helps channel your inner Beyoncé, then who cares about the number?
4. Leave your comfort zone.
You may be married to the idea (pun intended) of an A-line silhouette, but if your bridal stylist recommends a fit and flare that she swears up and down will look gorgeous on you, then give it a go. She’s the expert, so keep an open mind and heed her advice. Worst-case scenario, you’re just not feeling it. Best-case scenario, you find the dress of your dreams!
5. Take cues from other brides.
Choose whatever frock makes you feel your most beautiful, stereotypes be damned. That said, there are a few tried and true styles that’ll help you begin your journey if you’re not sure where to start: A+ for the A-line. A fitted bodice helps mask any perceive imperfections up top while cinching the waist, while a slim A-line skirt effectively masks the hips and thighs without adding volume, thanks to the slender cut. And it’s not just for curvy girls – brides of all shapes and sizes adore this cut, as it’s flattering on literally. Dare to bare in the strapless Julietta by Mori Lee Micaela bridal gown, or choose a more modest style like the Maggie Sottero Phyllis, which boasts a slimming waist detail and straps for added support.