Finding the dream wedding dress can be a challenge for any bride, but if your dress size is bigger than most of the store’s samples, you may be having sleepless nights. Luckily, our first-hand experience of plus size wedding dress shopping means that we can pass some of our wisdom onto you so you’ll have the upper hand when the time comes.
Make sure to call ahead
Phoning stores before you get there will save you any unnecessary stress when you find out they don’t have your size. When you call, tell them your size and ask if they’ll be able to work with you. Most stores will only carry one sample gown in an average size so they might not have your chosen dress in a size that fits you. You also want to look out for a dress shop that will be confident and excited to work with you so if you don’t get that vibe, move on.
Don’t be swayed by the salesperson
Your wedding day is your day, and the salesperson should never try to sway your decision. They are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you might have, but err on the side of caution if they’re trying to highlight the advantages of a dress that’s ten times your budget. You need to choose something that fits correctly, that you feel comfortable in and, most importantly of all, that you love.
It’s not always about the size
Size is but a number, and this has never been truer when it comes to dress shopping. You’ve probably had plenty of experience with plus size dresses being different in each store you go into, and this is no different in stores specialising in wedding attire. Also, the pricier you go, the more likely you are to run into “couture” sizes. That is, sizes that have been made for smaller runway models. Ignore the number on the tag and go with what fits.
Remember: dresses can always be altered
If you’re someone who’s never been sold on strapless ball gowns, then keep in mind that wedding dresses can easily be altered post-production. If you want thicker straps, have them. If you want sleeves, get some made. Dresses can also be shortened and have added support if that’s what you’re going to feel comfortable in. Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you have in mind. After all, you’re the one who’s going to be paying for the alterations, right?
Keep an open mind
There are pros and cons to knowing exactly what it is that you want. While it’s good to have some sort of idea before you seriously begin shopping, it’s likely that you’ll set unrealistic expectations. These expectations will either blow your budget out of the water, or you’ll begin to fantasise about a dress that simply doesn’t exist. In that case, it’s important to keep an open mind and perhaps try on a few dresses that you wouldn’t usually consider. If absolutely nothing works for you, go custom. This doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank, just make sure you do your research first.