Finding Plus Size Wedding Dresses

Cheryl Cirelli
Plus size bride

When shopping for a plus size wedding dress, don't skimp on style. Today's designers know what women want, including beautiful details and a dress that flatters the figure. You can get these elements and more from your bridal gown.

Options for Plus Size Wedding Dresses

You've got the ring, now it's time to find the dress that will take his breath away. Luckily, the fashion world is hip to the fact that women above a size 14 want to look beautiful too. There are several places you can go to begin your wedding dress search.

Visiting the Bridal Shop

Before beginning the search for your plus size wedding dress, call the local bridal boutique. Ask the boutique if they carry plus sized gowns. Many boutiques can order plus size gowns, but few carry samples in stock for women to try on. Finding a boutique that does offer larger sample sizes will make your shopping experience more pleasant than if you only shop at places that carry small samples that you need to be clipped into or hold up.

After finding some area wedding shops and salons with plus size gowns, make an appointment to view available dresses and work with a wedding gown consultant to narrow down your favorites. During your appointment, share with the consultant which features you want to accentuate and which ones you want to downplay. This will help the consultant find the gown that flatters your figure and may alleviate some of those wedding day jitters. Some bridal boutiques allow you to make a deposit to hold a specific dress for a certain amount of time before paying it off. Boutiques usually charge for alterations, but they are necessary for a well-fitting dress. Be prepared to go for additional fittings closer to your actual wedding date.

Online Bridal Shops

Believe it or not, the Internet is an excellent source for plus size wedding dresses. You'll have to do a little more work on your end, like sending measurements or having measurements taken. Online sites go by the size and measurements you send them. Some stores offer brides a few alterations, but you'll likely get better results if you find a local seamstress to make the changes for you. Many bridal stores have collections for plus sizes or carry gowns in larger sizes. You can visit one of the following wedding stores online to find your dream gown:

  • David's Bridall: Classic gown purveyor David's Bridal has an extensive wedding dress line up. In David's Bridal Plus Size section, you can find dresses done in chiffon, satin, and even silk with a variety of bodices. At David's Bridal, you also get free shipping on wedding gowns, which results in great savings.
  • Alfred Angelo: Alfred Angelo's gowns are stunning and dramatic. There is nothing boring or ordinary about these dresses. This designer offers all gowns in sizes up to 26W. Alfred Angelo has no added charge for extended sizes and creates designs that take the curves of a woman's body into consideration to produce gowns that flatter any figure.
  • JJ's House: This online retailer carries bridal wear for the entire party. At JJ's House, you can find traditional styles as well as styles with a modern twist and a pop of color. Plus size bridal dresses come in sizes 16W to 26W, as well as in custom sizes. Most dresses are priced around $200.

Specialty Stores

If you want a store that caters specifically to the larger lady, consider an online specialty bridal retailer.

  • Sydney's Closet: The motto of this company is "We Size Up Glamour." Sydney's carries bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and evening gowns for women size 14 and up. They also have a line of shape wear to help women shape and control their figures. Another bonus of this site is that they offer free ground shipping.
  • Kiyonna Bridal Boutique: This online boutique carries gowns in sizes 10 to 32. Kiyonna offers free shipping and returns on all orders over $150. Expect to find styles ranging from long to short, and made from chiffon, lace or silk in your choice of ivory or white.

Conceal Common Concerns

Many women feel like they have a "little more" than they should in some areas, and plus-sized women are no exception. Here are a few suggestions for minimizing "problem" areas.

Large Breasts

Large breasts can cause fitting problems for women who want to wear a sleek gown on their wedding day. If you have large breasts, skip the strapless gown. You will want a style that will de-emphasize your bust while balancing out the rest of your shape. Styles with an open neckline will draw the attention away from your bust and focus it upwards.

  • Square Neck: Unlike a traditional v-neck style, the square neckline will keep your bust in place and allow for movement.
  • Off the Shoulder: This style looks similar to a strapless, but without the fear of your breasts not staying in place. Many off-the-shoulder styles offer more support and stability.
  • Halter: Halter bridal gowns boost the bosom by lifting and separating the breasts. The halter style is flattering and can conceal the bust while creating an overall flattering appearance.

Wide Hips

If wide hips are a concern, stay away from low-waisted bridal gowns. Flapper style gowns are not for you. Try the following options.

  • High-Waisted Empire: This dress style hits above the waistline and has a flowing look that will create the illusion of slimmer hips.
  • Renaissance Style: With this style, the fabric folds fall from the waist. This will hide the size of your hips, but not sacrifice your style.

Thick Waist

With a wide waist or straight figure, you'll need to emphasis the bust area. Avoid silhouette gowns that play up your least favorite feature and opt to take the attention off your wide waistline by trying the following dramatic styles.

  • A-line: An A-line style creates the illusion of a smaller waistline.
  • Fold Over: A side-draping dress done in a light fabric will whittle down your waistline and create a dramatic look.

Find Your Dream Dress

Every bride should look her very best on her wedding day. The full-figured woman is no exception. Don't settle for any dress just because it comes in your size. Take your time. Browse online shops and brick and mortar stores for a dress you will be proud to wear. As you journey down the aisle, all eyes will be on you and your amazing dress.

Finding Plus Size Wedding Dresses