How to Confidently Find a Wedding Dress as a Curvy Bride

As a newly engaged Bride-to-be, the prospect of finding something to look and feel beautiful in can be a daunting prospect. Dress shopping is hard for any Bride, and if you got curves chances are that you will find it even more nerve-wracking. Don’t despair – we got you covered!

As well as reading up on the standard wedding dress shopping hints, there are some additional truths that can empower those who have a fuller figure.

First of all: don’t think that you have to wear certain silhouettes just because of your body contour. You can wear anything you want! Whatever you feel hot and beautiful in, is what you should wear.
There are so many dress styles, so it is handy to have an idea of what you pulls your attention. In the jungle of styles there are many amazing dress options, so stay positive and you will find your dream gown!

Allow yourself plenty of time when looking for your dress – ideally start a year before your wedding date or as soon as you are engaged. This will calm the process down and allow you to discerningly shop around without panicking.

 

Find the right bridal salon

Firstly find out where the plus size dresses are available. The established and well-known salons usually stock sample dresses in larger sizes – so it’s a good idea to head there first. Smaller boutiques samples usually only come in sizes up to 12, so they might not have anything on hand for you to try – which is the whole point of the trial, isn’t it.

If you look around you might find a specialist plus size bridal salon. It could be worth travelling out of town to find one, as they will have all the latest dresses in your size and can accommodate you in the special way you deserve.

The appointment

When you contact the salons to make a booking, request to be seen by a consultant who is already experienced with plus size wedding dresses. Their professionalism should help to put you at ease, making this a smooth and productive appointment.
If you want them to do their job exceptionally well, remind them to in advance pick out all the dresses in your size, bringing them to one place where you can look through them together – it will save time from rummaging through dresses that are not in your size.

Should the dress be too small, be advised that wedding dress consultants have a way of making dresses fit in the dressing room, with clips with elastic straps. You might have to walk out with an undone back to show your guests, but that happens for many regular sized Brides too.

The silhouettes

Many dress guides suggest an empire gown if you are curvy. An empire has a raised waist, and is fitted under the bust with a loose fit over the rest of the body – which might sound perfect if you are looking for disguise.

But why hide? Empires are really cute – but don’t feel the need to submit to the “curvy norm” just because you are plus size.
The right fitted dress might actually be more flattering! Ultimately, the gown that makes you feel most amazing will also be the one that looks most amazing – makes sense doesn’t it?

The A-line gown is great for all shapes, timeless and magic in the way it flatters the waist. But if you have curves, don’t be afraid of showing them off, even as a larger lady.
The fitted styles known as Trumpet and Fit & flare are more comfortable than the Mermaid, and more forgiving too.

Please remember: picking a dress is not about choosing according to what is flattering and appropriate. Only you can be the judge of what feels right and looks right for you. This is your moment, so choose gown with your heart and personality in mind as well.

Paying attention to dress silhouettes is useful for every bride regardless of size. Remember it is not you that has to be right for the dress – it is the dress that must be right for you. There is a difference! Not only is this something you consider because of shape, but according to wedding style, your personality and style preference too.

Never settle on a gown that isn’t 100% in line with your vision, just because it what recommended according to size.

Consider custom size

If you struggle to find your dream dress in your size, it is possible sometimes to ask for it in a made-to-measure size. You will need to be patient and trusting if you haven’t been able to actually try the dress before you buy it – but the reward is wearing a gown that is tailored exactly to your body.

If you are purchasing a custom size gown, factor in extra costs of fabric and pattern cutting in your budget, as designers might charge more for bigger sizes.

Never buy a dress in the wrong size. It would be extremely stressful if you didn’t loose the weight you intended to. A dress can always be taken in so buy a dress which is comfortable now, then deal with the adjustments nearer the wedding.

The perfect fit

When you come for your second fitting, it is your salons seamstress job to ensure the gown will fit your perfectly. Here’s how to prepare for the best result:

Firstly, ensure you buy the size that fits the widest part of your body, to then be tailored to fit where needed. For example, your chest is 22 but hips are 18 – buy the size 22 dress and the seamstress will make it fit perfectly everywhere.

During your fitting, communicate with the seamstress to describe exactly how you feel so she can ensure the most comfortable fit.

Dresses can be more or less supportive, so if your dress doesn’t feel supportive enough on its own, having a comfortable and supportive bra when you go shopping is a great start.

The power of built in support and supportive undergarment should not be underestimated, so invest in a comfortable set and wear it to your dress fittings as it will transform the look from underneath.

Boost your dress confidence

Arrive to the salon feeling awesome. Avoid alcohol and bloating foods the day before. Be hydrated, relaxed and try to leave insecurities at the door step. Be kind to your body and nurture your self-esteem. This way you can arrive to your dress appointment feeling cool and excited about this memorable day.

What areas of your body are you proud of? Show them off! Discuss with your consultant so she can help you find a dress that highlights your best features.

If you don’t like what you are seeing in the mirror, get into the next dress immediately before you have time to pick faults. Whatever the case, avoid self-loathing and blaming. You are the Queen today! Be patient and steady until that moment arrives.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to adore and enjoy what you are seeing in the mirror. You deserve this!

 

Make the most out of your appointment

Be sure to chat to your consultant about your ideal look, and also share your concerns (without getting into a fret). This will help her to understand your goal and what dress will fit your vision.

Trust the process. You might not think that you will look any good in a certain dress on the hanger. But it might be not what you think – so always keep an open mind.

Don’t let your entourage control the appointment. They are there to support your decision, not make it for you. Ask them to take a back seat and not pull so many impossible dresses!

If you start to feel frustrated, overwhelmed or anxious – remind yourself of the amazing feeling that you are getting married, that your groom loves you, and adores every part of you.

Some days are just not the day – for any Bride. If you feel tired or uncertain, simply come back another time when you are rested and with a clear head.

Some plus size Brides have reported feeling discriminated and not taken seriously at wedding dress salons. This is unacceptable and disgusting!
If you get the slightest inclination of this at your appointment, speak to the manager, and ask for your money back if you paid for the appointment. Walk out the door and find a friendlier place that deserves your business, and don’t hesitate to shame and blame the salon publicly and online.

Lastly

Please don’t submit to a Big Bride stereotype by shopping 100% according to the “do’s and don’ts”.

If you are about to purchase the x dress because that is what the curvy bride article suggest – stop yourself and ask: is this what I envisioned myself in?

Choose a dress that reflects your fashion style and goes with your personality. If you want to be a glamorous bride, then be. If you wan’t to wear a pink dress with flowers and tulle ruffles, then do! No need to be ashamed for anything on your wedding day. This is your show – so be your amazing self!

Have as much fun as possible. Enjoy dreaming about and looking for wedding dresses, along with all your other bridal preparations. Getting married is a significant, memorable and joyous time, even if everything isn’t 100% perfect all the time (nothing rarely is by the way)! Allow yourself to have the time of your life even if you wear a plus size dress. Some things are relevant to your wedding and some are not – such as your size.

Dare to feel just beautiful how you are. There is so much joy surrounding your wedding day, so immerse yourself in it and absorb every bit of happiness in it.

Go girl!

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Editor

Jo is dedicated to all things bridal. When she is not supporting and inspiring brides through Sheer Bride, she can be found designing bridal wear with the help of her three cats.

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