You once dreamed of this day: the sweet sound of family and friends cheering as you take graceful strides down that aisle. The seductive smell of the most beautiful cake you’ve ever seen. The bright sight of flowers and elaborate designs. Let me guess: you’re a plus-size bride-to-be in need of her wedding dress! Today I want to share with you 7 essential tips on shopping for plus-size wedding dresses. Follow these tips to truly see shopping for that gown not as a negative, but rather a plus!
1. Stay confident and remember not to scrutinize size
Wedding dress sizes run under a strange system. They can be regular street sizes or couture (really tiny!) sizes. The number on whatever dress size fits is just that—a number. Remember, size does not determine beauty, and every size is beautiful! Keeping this truth in mind will help you enjoy your wedding day—and the days which precede and follow it—to the fullest.
2. Be picky when shopping for your dress
This is a day that you have likely dreamed of for a while. Even if you haven’t, it’s supposed to be special! Please do not settle for anything less than a dress that fits your dream. Do you see your gown with straps or without? As a chapel gown or a shorter one? I recommend shopping at chain dress stores for great dress ideas. These stores may not be where you choose to purchase a dress, but they do offer a wider variety than the smaller stores.
3. Work with an enthusiastic and enlightened salesperson
Your salesperson should seem excited about helping you find the right size, not annoyed. If she isn’t prepared (attitude or budget-wise) to work with you, then take your wallet elsewhere. You need to feel comfortable enough to ask questions—as many questions as you need to find the best dress for your magical day
Your sales rep should also be considerate of your individual taste and needs. If she’s overly pushy, that’s a negative (and we’re going for pluses only in your dress-shopping experience!). The last thing you want is a rep who pushes their opinions on you so strongly that you forget your opinion matters most. Yep, I said it: your opinion matters most. Who’s walking down that aisle again? Exactly.
4. Explore a variety of bridal gown types
A corset closure mermaid gown will accent your waist and hips; the criss-cross corset closure will complement your curvy shape. Or, perhaps, you might like a ballgown silhouette dress more. This dress generally flares from the waist down and is a great choice for brides with beautifully wide hips. If you have a great upper body, then a v-neck top with thin shoulder straps work well. And, as a general rule, dresses with a sweetheart neckline work well with any size. Pay attention to details as you choose a dress type.
5. Be bold and consider different dress styles
Plus-size beach wedding dresses are typically not cathedral gowns, but rather gowns that allow for movement and help keep you feeling cool. They are often short plus-size wedding dresses (the short length is cute and also helps keep you cool!). Beach wedding dresses made from tulle work especially well and help with circulation. Plus-size vintage wedding dresses are another amazing option. The retro styles and pastel colors spell classy forward and backward! Vintage styles abound, and you can shop this style for either bridesmaid dresses or your wedding gown. Fun! Which brings me to my next point…
6. Have fun shopping!
This experience of a lifetime is happening to you! That is the reason to celebrate and enjoy every step of preparation. Sure, certain parts of wedding preparations might not be as much fun, but shopping for a dress really should be enjoyable. With the right help, support from a few close friends or family, and an open mind, you will likely have fun. Some of us don’t really enjoy shopping period, but this is no ordinary trip to the mall. You’re shopping for one of the most beautiful items that will ever adorn your body. So please do have fun!
7. Consider price without letting the price hang over your head
Many cheap plus-size wedding dresses are out there. Shopping around will likely pay off if you’re looking for the best deal, especially if you choose to customize. Now I realize that customization comes at a price, but it might be worth the extra dollars when shopping for a plus-size bridal gown. You want your dress to not only look beautiful on you, but also to fit your figure comfortably. A plus-size wedding dress with sleeves, for example, might cost extra. But the addition of those sleeves might be the difference between satisfaction and regret. By shopping around and customizing if desired, your chances of being satisfied with that dream dress are much greater.
I hope these tips have inspired and equipped you to find your wedding dream dress. Remember, being plus-size is a plus—especially when it comes to finding your dream dress. It simply means your dream is bigger than the average one!
Betty Moore is a content writer for WeddingForward.com who is interested in a wide range of spheres from wedding design and fashion trends to wedding business and sharing her ideas. She is also an aspiring designer striving to bring design to another level like we all do. If you are interested in wedding design&business, you can find her on Twitter. Read and take over Betty’s useful insights!