Post # 1
Having gotten engaged this past August, I was so very looking forward to going out and finding a fabulous wedding dress! I’ve been a longtime fan of all things fashion forward, so I knew I wanted something different than your “average wedding dress.” Something absolutely-mega-fabulous.
Fast-forward to about two months ago when I actually started looking. I knew I wanted something designer. However, when I started going to bridal salons my “Say-Yes-to-the-Dress!” dreams were quickly squandered.
I knew that I would have some trouble squeezing into some sample sizes (I’m a hippy street size 12), but at each bridal salon the experience was absolutely horrific. I want something sexy and fitted (to show off those curves I’m so proud of), but most of the dresses I was trying on wouldn’t even budge past my lower waist. We tried stepping in, going over the head, mega spanx… The only trumpet/mermaid style dresses that fit weren’t at all what I was looking for (read: plain, expected) or just weren’t “the dress.”
Now I’m at a complete loss. I’ve tried on the ballgown and a-line styles, but they’re simply not for me. But how am I supposed to purchase a $4,000 gown without ever even trying it on? There are styles that I definitely like on the hanger, but in my search for photos of real-world brides wearing them I can’t find anyone with anything close to my body shape. Add that to the self-esteem squelching experience of getting to a bridal salon with your family and friends and having to tell them that your ass is too big for the dresses there, I’ve all but lost the excitement of finding that perfect dress. On two occasions, the consultants had me try on only three dresses before they promptly ended the appointment saying that they didn’t have anything else they could show me (read: your ass is too big for our dresses.)
I’ve watched the bridal shows and seen brides my size and larger being put into the designer dresses I so love! But I’ve exhausted every store in the Portland and Seattle area, and there’s not one that I’ve found that carries these dresses in a size that I can squeeze into.
From the dresses I have tried on, I KNOW that the trumpet/mermaid style is definitely the right silhouette. But I also know that in the wrong fabric or cut, that shape can go oh-so-wrong for a girl with some hips. So bees, I’m at a complete loss! Any advice on how to move forward? Do I purchase a dress without trying it on? Am I not looking hard enough? Any advice or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
@beaverbride: I’d maybe take some road trips to some salons a little further away and see what they have. Call ahead to make sure they have samples in your size.
A street size 12 is about average in the U.S. Why on earth wouldn’t they have gowns to accomodate an average sized women? Especially an average sized women looking to drop $4,000 on a designer gown.
I’m glad you are taking your money else where.
Post # 4
@beaverbride: At your pricepoint you shouldn’t just expect a fabulous gown but fabulous customer service as well. I’d call ahead to boutiques and ask them if they have samples in your size range. If when you get there they aren’t supporting your vision, walk your fab self out of there.
I’m also a full size 12 and I wanted a dress that showed off my body. I’m so happy I didn’t compromise.
Post # 5
I would do the ring around then do the road trip!
Post # 6
I live in Las Vegas, but found my dress via road trip to LA (mom’s idea to go to the garment district, but ended up buying my dress in Koreatown!)
It’s worth the road trip. I am about the same size as you and we didn’t have too much trouble trying on samples that fit me.
I feel like the stores that have treated you so badly are really missing out a la pretty woman faux pas – “BIG MISTAKE!”
Take a little road trip to clear your head ( LA may be a bit far) and go and have some fun! Try on dresses in a city/town/neighborhood you wouldn’t imagine would have what you want – that’s how I fell in love with my dress!
Go get ’em. CURVES ARE AWESOME!
Post # 7
I was also going to suggest to call first. And my other suggestion is not taking everyone with you. I would go alone or with 1 trusty friend and then if I found something I liked, go back with more people. I actually found it easier to find my dress with less people were around anyway. I’m surprised at a street size 12 you’re having trouble. I’m a street size 10 and while the dresses didn’t all close on me, they were able to get them over me and clip them in the back. Granted, the sample sizes were usually a 12 (meaning, they fit street size 6-8). You’re going to have to ask if salons carry bridal size 16 – always go 2 sizes up when bridal gown shopping. Sorry I don’t have a better answer – even when the dress does fit and it’s clipped int he back, you’re always going to wonder if it’s really goin to look right once you get it or if it’s going to be different once it’s in your size and altered. Best of luck!
Post # 8
Have you thought about going custom? I see you’re in Portland (I live here, too) and I would recommend checking out Cocoon Silk. I had a friend who had her dress done there; she showed them a photo of what she wanted and they made her dress at a fraction of what it would have cost. She was so pleased with the quality. http://www.yelp.com/biz/cocoon-silk-portland
Post # 9
@nocleverbeepun: You look so gorgeous in your dress! Glad to see another fabulous bride in something outside of the norm.
I’ve called ahead for most of my appointments to ask if my size is going to be problematic. Each time they assure me that it will be totally fine! When I get there they try to put me into their a-lines or ballgowns because the trumpet styles aren’t fitting.
Here’s me in a Maggie Sottero Giovanna – I loved the silhouette, but I wasn’t really in love with anything in this line. (sorry about the mega picture)
Really the issue is when I’m trying on designers like Lazaro or Monique Lhuillier – With their sample sizes (10, sometimes 12 if I’m lucky) there’s little chance of getting them on. One bridal salon even tried to get a Lazaro I liked in a larger sample size, but apparently couldn’t.
Post # 10
@beaverbride: i am curvy as well (hips and boobs) and i did notice that some designers fit “women figures” a bit better than others. it was a bit depressing when you put on a dress that would fit a 12 year old boy. pronovias dresses were perfect for me. seriously, every one i put on fit me. have you tried on pronovias?
Post # 11
Yeah, I’m a full 12 too and even at 6′ I had so much trouble with this. I ended up in a ballgown shape but the best fitted dresses I found were at Priscilla of Boston, have you looked there? I’m sorry, this can be so discouraging. But I absolutely LOVE the drama of dangerous curves in a fitted dress. You will look amazing.
Post # 12
@beaverbride: That has to be so frustrating. I see you’re on the west coast. Come down to LA there appear to be ten thousand bridal shops as well as some flagship stores for designers. Also, I know we’re strangers but I’d be more than happy to come along and boss around the sales assistants. 🙂 It makes me an angry bee when people won’t give women what they want for their weddings.
Post # 13
@beaverbride: I know you said this wasn’t the one but you look FABULOUS in that dress. You have a killer figure, definitely don’t compromise.
Post # 14
@beaverbride: Did you try La Belle Elaines in Seattle? I bought my dress there and had the best experience. It felt like “Say Yes to the Dress!” I’m a little fuller than you and didn’t want a full-body formitting dress, but my consultant had me try some on for comparison. It almost made me change my mind about silhouette! She had no issues finding sample dresses to fit, but my price point was lower than yours.
P.S. I’ve been lurking on Weddingbee ever since I got engaged in August, but I never thought I’d join. I finally created an account because I identified with your post and thought I might be able to help since you mentioned shopping in Seattle 🙂
Post # 15
@beaverbride: sounds like you are going to teh wrong stores. find some designers online and find another store they carry the samples.