The ultimate guide to plus-size wedding dress shopping

Updated Mar 28 2019
Guest post by Pisquared

While planning a wedding, I've noticed a lot of anxiety is centering around dress shopping — especially for the plus-sized. It's totally understandable. While decent plus-sized clothing has gotten a bit easier to come by, finding something stylish that you feel good in is still difficult, even for normal everyday clothes. Wedding dress shopping bumps the anxiety up a few notches.

I know for me, and I suspect a bunch of you out there, wedding dress shopping brought up a whole host of body issues and insecurities.

buy plus size panties on saleNow that I've been there, done that, I thought I would share my experience and show you that it can be a very happy and positive experience.

First off, I am overweight, there's no denying that. Sometimes I feel great about how I look. Other times I let a bad body image get the best of me. For a little perspective, I am 5'6", weigh 220lbs, and wear a street size 18 or 20, depending on the cut. Now, here's my guide to plus-size wedding dress shopping…

The models:

When you start your search for wedding dress inspiration, you will not see any large models, not even in plus-sized styles. Because of this, it's hard to picture what these dresses will look like on your body. It also had the undesired side effect of making me hate my body.

The internet is a great place to start looking and get ideas, just try not to fall into the trap of comparing your body to the models. I shed quite a few tears because I became convinced that there was no way I was going to find a dress that looks good on me, and I would just look ridiculous, and why does fiancé even want to be seen with me? It was a horrible downward spiral.

When you start getting that tinge of fear that you are horribly ugly and you're just going to look like an ugly girl in a pretty dress, it's time to turn off the computer and walk away. Seriously, don't torture yourself. Take a break from the internet and maybe all wedding porn for a while.

The shops:

The shop you go to, and the company you bring with you, is going to make or break the experience. I went to five separate shops, a couple of them more than once. Every one was a different experience, with some better than others. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Just because you have bad experience at one place, doesn't mean every dress will make you look like crap. Likewise, if the shop isn't treating you well, don't be afraid to speak with a manager or end the appointment.

How to prepare:

  • Wear underwear that make you feel good.
  • Bring some kind of strapless bra, if you have one. Some stores have bras you can wear while trying on stuff. Some gowns are structured enough that they don't require support garments.
  • If you have your wedding shoes already, bring those, too. If not, bring a pair of shoes around the same height that you intend to wear.
  • Also, if the store allows, bring a bottle of water. You'll be amazed how quickly dress shopping will dehydrate you.

Shape wear

I'm on the fence about shape wear. On one hand, you want to look your best, and I admit to wearing Spanx occasionally. On the other hand, you want to be comfortable. I lean more to the being comfortable side. My thought is that you will want to find a dress that looks great without the shape wear. Then if you want a little extra help, you can add the shape wear later.

There's an episode of The Simpsons (Simpson and Delilah, it's the one where Homer gets hair) where Homer is shopping for a suit with his secretary. Karl sees homer sucking his gut in while being measured. He stops Homer and says to him, "You. Let it out." Then turns to the tailor and says, "You. Disguise it." That's how I feel about wedding dresses. They should be cut in such a way as to make you look great, regardless of the presence of Spanx.

The clips

The first thing to know, is that dress shops only get samples in certain sizes. Don't be afraid, though. Most places will have enough samples for you to try on, and, as you can see,
zzey have vays of making zem fit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see the clips and ties they used to put me in this size 14 gown. Don't feel bad about the clips; smaller girls get them, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou'll also get the clip treatment if the sample dress is too big.

The best looks

Okay, with all of that out of the way, here's the dress-trying-on porn. I want to put some pictures of a bigger girl in different wedding dress styles out there so you can get an idea of what they might look like on you, and to allay your fears regarding dress shopping…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a slim A-line shape. I loved the material; it draped so well, and was soft, and felt like thicker lingerie material. I found the sweetheart neckline to be very flattering. Likewise, the ruching on the bodice. Those are two things I thought I'd stay away from. This dress is pretty much the opposite of what I thought I wanted in the beginning, so keep an open mind and try a bunch of different styles.

The corset back does't hurt, either. Here's me having an Oh-my-God-I-look-so-pretty moment. I found I looked the best in dresses with a corset back. You can cinch them up to give such great definition to your curves.

full A-line dressThis is a full A-line dress, with an empire waist and split front. Previously, I thought that combination would only make me look pregnant, but this dress is stunning. Check out the back!

Here is your standard princess ballgown. It's not too bad, but not great, either.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere's another ballgown. This one has kind of a criss-cross wrapping at the top and ruching. The top is actually pretty similar to the dress I eventually settled on. As you try on dresses, think about what you like and don't like about the dress. If you can narrow down specifics of what you like, then you can start to find dresses with those elements.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a more fitted dress. This is either a fit and flare or possibly a trumpet, I forget which. The David's Bridal bra they put me in fit a little funny. You can see it makes my boob look wrinkly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis dress is somewhere between fitted and ballgown. There is a lot in between very tight, and very poofy.

Compare the above dress to this much fuller ballgown. This dress was heavy. I also confess this was my top contender at David's Bridal. Personally, I really liked the full skirt look on me. I have pretty broad shoulders, and the poofy skirt balances them out nicely.

Here's another A-line dress. I wasn't crazy about the skirt, but I liked the top and the back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is an empire waist gown with a split front and A-line skirt. It's what I think of as "the Juliet dress." It was also just kind of meh, but it could be nice if you're going for more of a Renaissance or Medieval vibe.

This reminds me of a Grecian goddess dress. It's an empire waist. I loved the material, and the way it draped.

Another A-line, this time with straps! I thought I wanted sleeves, or at least straps, but it turns out I like the way I look strapless better.

This is a simple, flowy, empire waisted dress. If I was getting married on a beach, I would wear this. Well, that and maybe a slip, because you can totally see my underwear in that picture.

This is a drop waisted ballgown with a crazy skirt. Again, I loved the criss-cross bodice. The dropped waist shows off my hips nicely. I must like those elements because the top is similar to what I ended up getting.

fit and flare dressThis is a fit and flare dress. It's much more fitted than an A-line, but not as tight as a mermaid style. I found walking around to be pretty easy. This was the first form fitting dress I had tried on, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at the results.

trumpet style dressI believe this is a trumpet style. It flares at the hips. It's more form fitting than an A-line, but less so than a fit and flare. So, on the scale of "poofy skirt to form-fitting skirt" dress silhouettes go: ballgown, A-line, trumpet, fit-and-flare, mermaid. Oh, and I guess sheath is thrown in there somewhere, too.

tea length dressThis is a fun tea length dress. The skirt is still A-line. The majority of wedding dresses fall into the A-line category, probably because that shape is pretty flattering on just about everyone. This dress was fun, and if I didn't want a full length dress, it would be a top contender.

 

Here's one more ballgown. The shape is similar to what I ended up getting. The picture's at an odd angle, but I really liked the way the bodice crosses over the hips before going into the full skirt.

sexy mermaid dressI was feeling brave enough towards the end of my first appointment that I tried on a mermaid dress. This is a style I never thought I could pull off, being as big as I am, but, holy curves, this thing really did look stunning. This is a dress that is meant to be seen walking away. It's great in photos. Not-so-much for moving around, though. It's so fitted through the thighs that I had a hard time stepping up onto the little pedestal.

The less-than-flattering looks

Not scared yet? Feeling like you can find a style to fit you? Good. Now, let's look at some less-than flattering-dresses.

…It's okay, feel free to mock these with me! Not everything is going to be a winner.

Keep that in mind as you try on dresses and try not to let the losers dampen your spirits too much. It also helps to have a good friend with you to make you feel better and to mock the ugly dresses with you.

This is a sheath dress with a lace overlay. It is way too small for me. The nice sales lady is explaing about the keyhole back and how pretty this dress would look if it was in my size. I don't believe her.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that what you like in pictures won't necessarily look good on you. This is the Elsie dress by Maggie Sottero. I fell in love with this dress online and in the window of a local bridal shop. I was really disappointed that it looked so bad on me. Granted, it's a few sizes too small. but, really, it's doing the exact opposite of what I want it to do. Oh, well. On to the next one…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis dress completely disguises my curves and makes me look like a rectangle! Compare that to the nicer looking ones. Some gowns are just more flattering than others.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bodice on this princess dress makes me look really top-heavy.

Here's another dress I liked online. Not-so-much in real life. I didn't like the material, it kind of made me think of curtains. (By the way, the nice lady holding my dress up is my future mother-in-law.)

Here's something more fitted, but not really doing much for me. I think the split in the skirt starts at an unfortunate place.

I actually like the way this dress looks, and I really liked the look of the cap sleeves. What I didn't like was that the sleeves prevented me from moving my arms up. I was on the pedestal, laughing, and being all "I'm a T-rex!" The sales lady was not as amused.

Sometimes, when you ask for larger sized dresses, they give them to you. This might not be too bad of a dress if it had actually fit. It strikes me as odd that women are expected to purchase a garment as important and expensive as a wedding dress without having tried on a version that fits properly.

Bad dress shopping experiences

Finally, this face says it all. I had driven about three-and-a-half hours to try on this specific dress. When I was calling around to area bridal shops, this one told me that they had the dress in a size 14. It wasn't ideal, but it would be do-able to at least try on. When I got to the shop, the dress was a size 10. I am a street size 18 on a good day. We somehow managed to defy physics and get me in the thing, but it's not sitting right at all, and is nowhere near closing in the back. Not cool, dress shop, not cool.

Actually, that was one of my worst dress shopping experiences. If this had been my first time out, I would have left feeling very bad about myself. It helped that I had a few positive experiences under my belt at this point and could call BS on the shop.

Rocking the dress on my wedding day.
Rocking the dress on my wedding day.

As a small aside, I did end up buying that dress, from shop close to my home where the sales people had been nice to me, after I had tried it on in a size much closer to my own. I speak with my wallet.

Having a positive dress shopping experience

The good thing that came out of that horrible dress shopping trip was that I got to spread a little of the offbeat love around by showing off my awesome red shoes. This poor lady on the pedestal next to me was getting flack from her family because she wanted to wear blue shoes with her dress. I lifted up my dress and let them know I was going to wear red. They seemed to lighten up a little after that.

So, yeah, not everything will be a winner. It helps if you can keep a sense of humour through the whole process. Remember that you're beautiful! Also remember that your partner thinks so, too. It's hard to keep a positive attitude, especially when it comes to wedding wear. Unfortunately, I don't have a cure for that. I spent the night before my first major dress shopping excursion crying into my pillow. In reality, we had a lot of fun and, in the end, I did walk away happier with my body. I just needed to see in person that I could look very pretty in a wedding dress.

On a happy note, most of the shops I went to were very nice and all had stuff I could try on. No one made any negative comments on my size. David's Bridal can be hit or miss, but if there's one close to you, I would recommend it as a starting place to try on a variety of silhouettes.

  1. Thank you so much for this article!! I am plus sized. Quite similar to you except 5' 5" and give or take 5 pounds. Whether it's fortunately or not, I weighed less when I got married almost 4 years ago. But I was still about the same body size just less jiggly I guess? Lol. Anyway, I totally relate to this article. I didn't have the luxury of Pinterest or most internet resources they do now, but I cut out pages of magazines and brochures and lived on theKnot.com. When I first saw myself looking for a dress, I thought I needed something with straps, if not a cap sleeve or sleeves. Because I wasn't confident of my body or my arms. Oddly enough, I had no problem with my cleavage. It was so disappointing and depressing to get to my first few dress shopping appointments and not have a size that fits me. In my naivety, I just didn't think in advance that they wouldn't have plus sizes off the rack. I had one vision of what I wanted in my head, but once I got there, everything changes when you actually see the dress in person. You may think you want lace, but then see a really beautiful satin. You may think you want sleeves, when actually a sweetheart neckline of a strapless gown is what looks best on you. Which is what I ended up getting. I never thought I would pull off a strapless look! The lace up corset back helped pull in my torso and disguise some of my shape issues, but without looking constricted or like a popped out can of biscuits. And with the right combination of hair, makeup and accessories, I ended up looking and feeling beautiful on my wedding day. That dream day can be possible for anyone of any size! I thank you for your perspective and your advice and support. I just wanted to share my experience.

  2. This was a great article and very similar to my shopping experience. I was brave and tried on many different styles- some worked, some didn't. I think it is important to not just pick the dress you LOVEEEE but the one that looks best on you. I had this Davids Bridal dress in my head forever- it was similar to Jessica Simpsons dress when she married Nick Lachey. When I got to the store, the dress was very heavy, and looked horrific in a plus size. But then I tried on A line dresses, ball gowns, mermaid, every kind they had (as I only planned on doing this once) lol. Wedding dresses are much more forgiving than I ever thought possible. They give you a shape and show off your curves. I wound up picking a gorgeous drop waist gown that was poofy towards the bottom- fit and flare maybe? And I had the top of the dress made into a sweetheart. ,That is THE winning neckline if you are plus size, have broad shoulders or an apple shape. It took POUNDS off of me and didn't make me look like a line backer like all the other dresses with straight across necklines. ALSO- I decided to do a juice only fast in between fittings and then through to my wedding day. My dress had fit perfectly in the first fitting- when I went back a few months later it, was huge. They took it in again and told me to stop juicing. I didn't of course ,and the day of my wedding, my strapless dress was still big around the top and I was pulling it up all night. It was gorgeous though and the best night ever.

  3. I'm really like the "medieval" style dress. Does anyone know the name of that dress and/or if it was found at Davids Bridal?

  4. First of all I want to thank you for making this post. I'm actually the same size and height a you, except I'm a 1/2 of an inch taller 😉 Normally I'm good with fashion and dressing my body, I actually love shopping and it doesn't scare me. However this summer I am planing to go shopping for my wedding dress, I just got engaged in February to my wonderful soon to be husband Jonathan, and we are getting married June 20 2015. As of late I have been dreading the experience of trying on a wedding gown because I'm afraid of not being able to fit anything! But your post was uplifting and has made me feel so much better and calmer about the bridal shopping anxiety. To actually see these lovely dresses on someone who is actually a curvy women has helped me realized that I wasn't going to look like an over sized cow while trying on wedding dresses. Instead, I'm going to have a good time and celebrate my rocking curves and beautiful figure while putting on dresses. THANK YOU for your words of wisdom and encouragement!

  5. Im so glad I found this post LOVED all the pics! I'm 33 years old 5'3 and plus size. I have been married for 12 years and we want to do a vow renewal got married at the court house no dress no pics no NOTHING :0( so Im pretty excited when I look at dresses im looking for something simple and I especially liked the simple empire waist dress on you very pretty.Thanks for sharing :0)

  6. Wow thank you so much for this article! I'm scared to go wedding dress shopping because I'm looking for a cute, short quirky looking dress but not many designers will cater to me and my tastes since I'm plus size. Thank you so much for showing us your journey!!!

  7. Thank you so much! You could almost be my double, but with much more guts! I've actually been asked to leave two shops because of what I look like, and a lot of experiences that come close. The only times I go into a clothing shop other than a popular line of plus sized shops (here in Aus) is to hold the bags for my petite friends while they try stuff on, and I try to vicariously enjoy their experience.

    The photos and honest experiences you shared have helped me overcome my worst fears and I now have an action plan for my dress shopping.

    Thank you.

  8. This blog has helped me so much! I am getting married October 2015 and I wear a US pants size 20. I picked out a gown that is a mermaid/trumpet style and people in mine and his families were telling me I was too big for a dress like that. I have more of an hour glass frame even being plus sized, your blog has reasured me that I should get the gown I want! Thank you so very much! This link is to the dress I'm getting!
    http://www.goodorient.com/Graceful_Girl_Series—Forever_Snow_P28142

  9. Hello from South Africa. Wanted to say you are an absolute trooper! As a fellow size 18 (hopefully) the dread of dress shopping and the wedding day is hard to explain and to share with smaller size ladies… 🙂

    Your post has really given me courage to attempt the first fitting excursion. And it is awesome to see the dresses on a 'larger'figure. 🙂

    You looked so pretty by the way! And I love OffBeat Bride.

    Thanks!!!!

  10. You are my hero! Thanks so much for this post on behalf of all the broad shouldered, busty, big, beautiful, brides of the word! You've taken away so much anxiety for me, thank you thank you thank you!

  11. I just have to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this with us! I've recently started the online shopping phase of looking for a wedding dress and have been so disheartened. We have a beautiful venue already booked and I have a stunning engagement ring and wedding band and I've been feeling lately like I'm going to pale in comparison to everything (and everyone) else around me. You've given me a bit of hope that I might be able to actually find a wedding dress that will help me cover my less than gorgeous areas of my body and make me feel beautiful on my wedding day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. You are amazing!! Truly an inspiration not only to plus size women such as myself but to all shapes and sizes. To see someone with such courage and kindness to think to let us into their life and their story…it is astounding. You have given me so much confidence just in this one story. I myself am wedding dress shopping and find myself looking at photos with models in these dresses thinking "I'll never look that beautiful in mine". I am 24 years old, 5"6 and 300lbs. And now, I am not afraid to be brave and find the dress of my dreams! Thank you so much and God bless.

  13. I absolutely loved this blog. You are an excellent writer with a great writer's voice. I loved the fact that you showed pictures. I've been looking for a floor-length mother-of-the-bride dress and I haven't gone to any stores because I can imagine the experience of feeling depressed. Reading this gave me tremendous courage! Thank you!!

  14. I can't thank you enough for this post. I'm about to begin my dress shopping and I've been DREADING it! I expected to be standing there on a pedestal crying my eyes out with frustration. I've been wondering how I could possibly manage to look good in a wedding dress because my body is nothing like the models online (I'm a size 14). Now I know more of what I can expect and it's not all that bad – in fact, I may even be looking forward to shopping now. At least I can now say that I have a MUCH better attitude heading into this now because of you. Your tip about feeling comfortable regardless of the undergarments and the comparison to the Simpsons episode hit home (and made me lol). I feel a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 🙂

  15. Ladies I am recently engaged! We plan to get married in October of 2015. How soon should a purchase my dress. I plan on loosing some weight before the wedding. Ideas?!

  16. Hi!
    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this!!! I am recently engaged and have been dreaming of my wedding my whole life. Due to a recent weight gain I've been feeling awful about myself! I have been looking at dresses with girls in them who look like they haven't eaten in weeks and it's been very disheartning. I'm going dress shopping in a couple weeks for the first time and this gives me a great idea of what some dresses will look like on me. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  17. this was awesome! thank you so much!!! i feel like you saved me hours of possible fitting room depression.

  18. I really want to know what designer that dress was! And the number! I love that dress! I loved getting this information with my upcoming wedding and not really knowing what exactly will look good on my Plus-Sized body.
    What is the name of that dress? or the Designer?

    • Hello, Chantal. This is PiSquared, the author of the post. Which dress are you referring to? The dress I ended up with was the Isadora by Maggie Sottero. As a fun fact and shameless plug, that dress is still hanging in my closet and looking for a good home. If it was another dress, let me know and I'll do my best to try to remember the designer and model. You can send me a prive message through the Tribe to PiSquared.

  19. I just really want to thank you for doing this! I just got engaged, and I've been looking online for wedding dresses all week, but I rarely see models who look anything like me, so it's hard for me to even get an idea of what style or shape I want. I think you and I are about the same size, so this post gave me a really good idea of where to start when my mom and I go look at dresses! Thanks so much!!! 🙂

  20. Just to put in a word, as a former consultant at DB, if you are just starting out buying and are a bit apprehensive and IF you can afford to take the time off of work, a mid-week appointment would work to your advantage. Unless there is a snowstorm or it is out of season, DB on the weekends was a crazy busy place. Mid-week appointments were more fun for us. We could spend more time with the bride, we could encourage her to try something she thought she could "never get away with" (think curvy girl afraid to try on mermaid, then ROCKING it). If you can, do.
    But whatever you do, if your consultant, anywhere, is rude or condescending, don't put up with it. It is not worth the hassle. If you are in love with that dress and can't find it anywhere else, call around or find a different, more kind, salesperson to grace with the commission. Whether you are "too skinny" or "overweight" you deserve to feel your best. Always be true to you.

  21. This post made me feel so much better about when I go dress shopping, i've been so terrified I won't be able to find anything. Now i'm just worried about trying to find a store anywhere near me that carried more than just a couple plus-size gowns….

  22. I'm 14 years old, 5'4", and 220 pounds. I started searching for my Quinceanera dress recently and as you can imagine, its been really hard finding a place that carries my size. I've gotten a lot of looks from women and staff in the stores. So far it has been one of the most downgrading experiences I've ever had. At an early age I learned to accept my body and see myself as beautiful but this dress shopping feels like I'm quickly backtracking. I've seen some dresses that I like but none them seem like they're suited for a quinceanera, let alone a kid. I don't want some flat a-line dress, I want a beautiful quiceanera dress. Tomorrow my family is taking me to David's Bridal to see if I like anything there, but I'm afraid to go. This is supposed to be happy time, I don't want to feel sad anymore.

    • Victoria, you are amazing. I've been looking at quinceanera dresses as wedding alternatives, and here you are looking at wedding dresses as quinceanera alternatives! A big part of becoming a woman is owning your experiences and doing things that scare you. I hope your DB appointment went well, and that you are finding beautiful clothes for who you are. If you are still having trouble, find a dress you like. Read this article, I think it will help. http://offbeatbride.com/2011/11/is-this-bridal-enough-the-great-white-lie

  23. My best friend was getting frustrated with her dress shopping because she felt like nothing was fitting right. Luckily she found a few different shops that offered larger sizes. I really like the ballgown look in your photos. I wouldn't mind trying on something like that. I just need to find a husband first! Thanks for your article, it was very helpful!

  24. You are an absolute LEGEND for this post. I'm getting married in February and am going for my first dress shopping excursion in about an hour, and being on the large side, my anxiety levels are higher than the usual mild panic I find myself in. You really brought the sense, and humour into my little head.
    Thank you.

  25. So many brides come in my bridal shop + say, "I will only consider chiffon, a drop waist, a corset-back, and it can't have any lace….oh, and it has to be under $400." Sigh! Kudos to this bride for being open-minded + trying on a lot of different styles. Dresses often look VERY DIFFERENT on the hanger than they do an a person. Go to different stores. Try on a lot of different styles.

  26. I stumbled onto this post after a day of wedding dress shopping, I had a great experience with first shop and made to feel quite horrible in the second shop. It made me feel really dejected and it hurt my self esteem, so I'm so glad and thankful I found this post, such a comfort to read. I'm a size 10-12 Australian. I'm petite but I've always struggled with dresses because of how broad my back is.

    I went into this shop and explained to this lady that I have a really broad back and I doubt anything would fit properly, I already felt uncomfortable as there were these two other brides to be with perfect slim body types trying on dresses, this lady pulled out this couture dress and I thought I'd give it a go. As I tried it on she quickly realised it wasn't ever going to have a hope of zipping up so she quickly said "oh but you have a lovely face" I felt like it was a backward comment meaning my figure was horrible to her and she had to quickly pick something to make up for the fact I have a less than perfect body.

    I would of preferred it if she said that it was the wrong fit for me or suggest a more flattering dress. One of her shop assistants asked my bridesmaid if I was her daughter which I thought was a rude assumption, then she screamed at the other shop assistant for letting me try on the "couture" because I'd rip it because of my less then perfect figure, while they were pulling at me in the change room and saying it costs thousands to fix. I was made to feel so bad like and felt really horrible about my figure. So finding this post really comforted me with the struggles of finding a dress for the wedding. I'm still upset by the experience and was feeling hopeless about the situation, this post has given me some hope. It's so kind of the author to share her experiences I really appreciate it and feel braver to keep trying.

    • Holy geez that's horrible! Thank you for sharing this. I'm so sorry you had to experience all of that. You said that you had a good experience with the other shop. What made it good? and did you find the dress you wanted?

  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this blog. This is exactly what I needed going into dress shopping. I am about the same size as you and as much as I'm "excited" about finding the dress I'm scared shitless. It's so nice to see photos of what these dresses look like on a real woman!! Thank again!!

  28. Thank you so much for sharing! I literally was on the verge of tears and typed into google "where do fat girls buy wedding dresses" and then found this post. Probably like most women I think your size looks good on you but mine doesn't look good on me. I'm 5"2 220lbs but I have a year to drop a few (hopefully) before needing a dress. I am so glad I found this post, there are little to no plus sized women in wedding dresses on the internet. You are a godess!! I am looking forward to shopping now and know exactly who I'll be taking with me! Thank you so much again for sharing!

    • David's Bridal was a godsend to me! They have lots in the 18-22 range. If one is close to you, try them out.

  29. Thank you for posting this! I'm terrified of dress shopping, but seeing a gorgeous lady (with a body like mine) rocking all these outfits is such a relief.

  30. I don't care how old this post is, it's still amazing and oh so relevant!! Trying to find plus size, and not just what the fashion world considers to be plus size, images of what wedding dresses could look like is a nightmare! Honestly, if a company states that they do have dresses in plus size, why not make the effort to picture the dress in a plus size?! I know the model won't actually be in my size but I'd rather see it on a curvy girl than to just "hope for the best". Thank you for posting this and giving me hope as well as letting me know that I'm not the only plus size bride going through this mess. I decided earlier on to just avoid any stores that didn't have a wide selection of plus size dresses. I'm already not that body confident, the last thing I need is to feel even more ashamed by being told over and over again that they don't have a dress in my size. Whether you're fat, skinny, short or tall, all brides deserve to have a great experience when shopping for THE dress. Thank you for helping me feel less like a crazy woman and love the pictures!

    • "! Honestly, if a company states that they do have dresses in plus size, why not make the effort to picture the dress in a plus size?!"

      Sing it. And we do – every model we have is a real person (not pro) and they are all shapes. I can't stand how most bridal designers show nothing but women who look like under-aged crickets.

  31. I credit this post, and my amazing trio of mom and maid/matron of honor with making my experience a happy one. Work stress had taken me from a 14/16 at engagement to a solid 18 by the time of wedding dress shopping, rather than my initial fantasies of being a 10-12. This post, while showing styles that fit different shapes beautifully, helped me feel beautiful and confident right where I was – such is a feat for me, wedding or not. When they gave me the bell to ring and signal I had chosen the dress, I burst into happy tears.
    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you.

  32. Thank you so much for this post!!!!!!!!!!! Please know your bravery of posting pictures in a few unflattering (and many very flattering) dresses is almost magical to me! It's so helpful to hear the words of encouragement and wonderful tips you discovered! Thank you, truly I thank you!

  33. These comments make me love you all! (well, most) I love the support you are all showing towards each other. This is what the curvy community needs! I would love to keep in touch 🙂 Reply if you would like to join a Curvy Ladies group on FB so we can keep in touch and possibly get together, if you are in California.

    Also, check out Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Jose, CA! Chrystal is my friend and has GREAT lingerie for Plus Size Women!! I model in a fashion show for her each year.

  34. What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this. The thought of wedding dress shopping is mortifying to me and realistically, I'm sure I'll be in tears at some point when something does fit or just looks awful. Being able to see different wedding dress shapes and types on a real and normal woman, opposed to a stick-thin model, is so helpful. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your photos and thoughts.

  35. I totally loved your piece. Sooo inspiring. I worry about shopping for my dress too. This article definitely helped.am a size 22

  36. Thank you so much for this!!! It lifts a weight on my heart…
    Yesterday was the first run at a wedding dress for my next year wedding…and I had shopped on pinterest before, just forgetting how my body had nothing to do with the models we see on these pictures…
    I felt cheated and decieved (by myself mostly). Icame back smiling and laughing with my mom and aunts and cousins not to let them see that I hurted so much that what I found beautiful on others couldn't fit my silouhette…
    Reading you helps so much…It gives me another perspective…And, I think, it will help me rethink all that wedding dress shopping.
    Thank you for your generous post!!!!!

  37. I'm a little late to the party – found your blog via pinterest surfing. I'm just starting the search for my wedding dress, and this blog is AWESOME. THANK YOU!! I have an appointment at David's Bridal on 7/2 and I'm nervous. I'm 6' and 260+. I want sleeves.

    Do any of you know of plus sized bridal shoppes in the Philly/Harrisburg area?? Love all your comments and information.

  38. Hi I am a plus size bride and live in Thanet and there isn't many shops around and very worried about finding a dress as I am a size 26-28

  39. Thank you thank you thank you! What a truthful and wonderful story. You have given me the confidence and excitement for my upcoming appointments… I've spent the last few weeks with butterflies in my belly x

  40. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am in a puddle of gratitude tears right now.
    You looked beautiful and have sent me on the right path.
    You look beautiful!!!!

  41. Sorry, I got ahead of myself. I love that you have color in your necklace and the red shoes! Is your bouquet dried flowers?

  42. Thank you for writing out this article. I felt more inspired to get my wedding dress and not feel shameful of myself. I am a plus size asian lady and curvy girls stick out like a sore thumb in our country. I already have issues finding street clothes and was shamed in more than 2 shops when i try to pick my gowns. I almost wanted to cancel my wedding because i felt like a monster. Thank you for sharing

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