(Closed) Calling all 200lb+ or 250lbs+ brides!!! Any advice?

posted 4 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
10452 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

At every store I went into they had at least a slip for me to wear under the dress so that I wasn’t just down to my underwear in front of the consultant. 

I just wore regular underwear and a regular bra. I could still tell what the dresses looked like even though you could see my bra staps, it really wasn’t a big deal.

Take some really supportive friends or family with her (absolutely no one critical) and try to just focus on having fun. You’ll try on some dress you hate, that’s okay, everyone does. And I promise you’ll try some dresses you love. Be open minded about what the consultant brings you, they really do know what they are doing. And if you get a bad consultant who makes you uncomfortable, demand someone else.

Post # 3
469 posts
Helper bee

Hey! My sis falls into your category, and her dress shopping experience went SO well. Let me explain:

Before you shop:

a. do your research – get on Bride to Bride or similar groups to see what other brides say. My sis was able to try on more dresses than I did, and I’m a size 10-12. But it was because she found stores that she knew would have plenty of selection in her size.

b. look at pics of brides (this site is helpful) who are plus size in their dresses. Of course, you will still want to see what looks best on you, but knowing what you do or do not want can help.

c. Request a bridal consultant who works with plus size brides. This made a HUGE difference for my sister. The woman was closer to her size, and while undressing in front of a stranger is never fun, she was more comfortable than she would have been had her consultant been a size 2.

When you shop:

a. Wear something you can slip on – my sis wore a sundress. Even if it were winter, she would have because she gets so hot trying on clothese (who doesn’t?).

b. Bring chafing cream, good support pieces. Don’t buy a new support piece because they can be expensive and may or may not work with the dress you end up with. Many of these dresses are built with support already, so use that. She just wore a strapless bra and panties.

When you buy:

a. She bought the dress off the rack, so that may be slightly different, but she’s having a corset back put in. I would not really ever recommend sizing down two sizes smaller as even with a corset back, that would likely be too small if you didn’t lose.

HAVE FUN! Like I said, she was nervous the process would be miserable but because she went into it prepared, she had a blast. She looked beautiful, and she found an absolutely wonderful dress. Good luck, bee!

Post # 5
257 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I was a plus bride as well (size 22). I went to an all plus size bridal store where all the dress samples were plus size. It was fabulous trying on dresses that were way too big and had to be clipped! Is there a place like that in your area?  If not, I did make sure to call around to other shops I went to before I went in to make sure they had plus size samples for me to try on. And I made sure to ask what size. One shop called their bridal size 12 plus size.  We all know bridal can run small. 

My other advice is don’t pay attention to the size number. Depending on the designer you may need to size up a size or two or even three.  Bridal can run small. 

I would advise getting a dress that fits now. It can always be taken in and its harder to let one out.  I was between sizes for my measurements in Allure and I ordered up. Good thing I did, bc it wasn’t that big when it came in. The shop samples do get stretched out. 

Post # 6
1890 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
ana2017 :  I am going shopping in just under 2 months, and I am hoping to loose weight before the wedding as well. However, I am not going to shop and buy a gown specifically in a smaller size. When I talked to the shop that I am going to they said to buy what fits now, it is much easier to take in a dress than it is to take it out!

Remember, you are beautiful, and dont worry about anything else. You will be gorgoeous on your special day!

Post # 7
136 posts
Blushing bee

I am a size 18/20 and I only did one bridal store- David’s Bridal in Los Angeles. Shopping online and taking dress numbers down + calling stores to see if they have a sample size that’d fit relieved my anxiety. I went early in the morning, not prime hours, because I wanted to have more attention from the consultant and less eyes on me. It was such a pleasant experience and I did find a couple of dresses that were pretty. Totally a good experience. 

I actually did try another bridal store outlet afterwards and while they did have some dresses in my size, it definitely felt a lot more picking the scraps…in a warehouse full of skinny sizes. 

Good luck! Bring supportive people. Not the family members who already give you grief about your weight. 

Post # 8
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

View original reply
ana2017 :  Have you considered Alfred Angelo? Every single one of their dresses comes in sizes 2-28. I’m lucky enough to have an AA store in my city, and they had tons of plus-size samples. I’m similar in weight to you but run at 16/18 since I’m crazy tall… I had an awesome experience and so did my best friend who is a 24/26 when she went dress shopping.

Definitely bring some shapewear with you (spanx) if you have some and I would look into a longline/corset style bra that will work under whatever dress you choose. I was honestly surprised how much of an hourglass shape the corset gave me when worn over spanx. Plus it ended up being really comfortable, even with my 40DD girls. Goddess brands is a good place to start there…

I agree with PP, in that the number on your dress doesn’t hold any value unless you let it. I honestly don’t know what size my dress was ordered in, because I felt beautiful in it and it fit me correctly… That should be all that matters!! Enjoy your shopping experience and post some pictures of your favorites!

Post # 9
954 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I had so much anxiety about dress shopping. Taking a friend’s advice, I went early to try on dresses. I am lucky enough to live in Chicago where we have a plus size dress shop. I took my sister with me and she Face Timed my parents who live in a different state. I had so much anxiety I cried when I got there – I was certain I wasn’t going to find anything that gave me that “bridal moment” and I would end up with a dress that was just, ok – like the rest of shopping goes for me. 

I was also certain I would end up with an a line – I researched the desingers the store carried and printed off dresses I liked – they were all basically the same a line gown. I wore some spanx and they gave me a bra to wear (I’m a smiliar size to you) which works really well. So I tried on the first a line and kind of felt the weight lifted from my shoulders – it was pretty and looked really nice. I tried on two more a line dresses. Then they pulled one for me – a mermaid/fit and flare with a ruffled bottom. I had seen it and others like it online and liked the style but thought there was no way I could pull it off – but before she even had the dress zipped, I knew it was the one. It makes my body look soooo amazing – I was focusing on how good I looked and not the areas I’m uncomfortable with (my arms!). I tried on one more, but didn’t buy anything that day. I went back a few months later when my parents were in town and tried on my runner up (more classic, what I always thought I would wear) and then my dress. Bought it. I’m going in for my third fitting next week and it’s still the right one. 

To answer your questions: 

  • The consultants don’t care about seeing you in your underwear. They don’t care and they’ve seen worse – it’s not like they are a bunch of seventh graders. Try not to stress about it. 
  • I totally suggest wearing spanx or imitation spanx – which I will wear for my wedding – it will make you feel more covered. But honestly, I had track pants on for my first fitting and they told me I could keep them on – big mistake though, I was so hot!
  • I’d call the places you have appointments and ask about bras – my shop gave me a bra to wear and that is super common. Between the bra and the dress which is super structured, I don’t need (and personally don’t care for) a corset back. I”m not going anywhere. 
  • Buy something that you love and feel amazing in now and order it in the size you are now. If you lose the weight you want to, they can alter the dress, but if something happens and you don’t lose the weight you want to, you’ll still feel amazing. 
  • I totally suggest trying something other than an a-line or ball gown. Search the Bee, there are several threads about plus size women in mermaids, you can see some real life examples. I personally think a fuller skirt looks better porportionally to kind of balance the body out. The a line dresses I tried on cut me at my widest part and I kind of looked like a beach ball. It’s not going to hurt anything to try different styles on and you never know. There are also tons of dress threads here where people say “I thought I wanted an [insert dress style here] and I ended up with something I didn’t expect. So keep an open mind. 
  • I hate my arms. Actually, I detest my arms. But I think sometimes putting on a lace topper or trying to hid them make them look bigger. There are threads about this on the Bee too, it may be worth checking out some pictures. I’m not having anything on my arms. Consider a veil, which can provide some coverage for you. 
  • And just try to relax and have fun. Maybe a drink or two before you go (that’s what I did)!

Here’s my dress on the model: 


Post # 10
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I am a 14/16, probably a bridal 20/22. I wore spanx and a strapless bra to shop so I didn’t feel naked in undies. I went to traditional stores and was able to get into most dresses! But going to a plus size salon was a life changer. I didn’t order from there, but trying on dresses in sizes that fit me (and needed to be clipped) helped me imagine the other dresses on my body once they were actually in my size!

I’m not trying to be harsh, but I’m realizing that even losing 15 lbs, I don’t see a huge difference in my sizing so I would plan on worst case scenario, ordering a dress that fits you at your CURRENT size. If you are confident on weight loss, make sure it’s a dress that isn’t solid sequins or something so it can be easily taken in. A great seamstress can take in any dress drastically.

Where are you shopping?

Post # 14
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

View original reply
ana2017 :  I’m a plus size bride as well (my dress is a size 18). I happen to love the way I look, and I have a lot of body confidence, so I can’t quite relate on that. But, I would honestly suggest not getting a dress 2 sizes smaller. While I support your weight loss, and I think it is wonderful, I also know that sometimes weight loss doesn’t occur as quickly as one would hope. It can become emotionally damaging to only lose weight to attain a certain size. That stress alone can hinder reaching your goal.I recommend finding something you love the way you look in now, while continuing to change your lifestyle. 

Post # 15
563 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I used to work in a bridal shop so I can speak to the consultant’s point of view.  We carried sizes 2-24 (bridal sizing) so I saw every shape and size in the book.  I can speak to myself and the other consultants that we worked with.  Size/shape does not matter to us.  Any good consultant wants to make their bride feel beautiful in the dress.  I firmly believe that there is not one shape/style that a “plus sized” bride (hate that term) should stay away from.  Try on any dress that catches your eye.  Also, in regards to the fitting room, we are all women and bridal consultants have seen it all.  One bride even compared us to doctors/nurses- a little extreme, but I understand the sentiment.  When all of us consultants were in the break room, we would not talk about brides’s sizes.  We would talk about how a particular bride looked gorgeous in a particular dress.  Another PP put it perfectly, bridal consultants are not mean middle school girls.  We have a job to do and are professional about it.  In regards to bringing people with you, I know you are bringing your mom to give her honest opinion, but make sure to form your opinion first.  One thing that I hate about David’s is that there are no mirrors in the dressing room so you are forming your opinion on the dress at the same time you are getting feedback from your family.  That can be hard sometimes.  The shops that have mirrors in the fitting room are great because you can take a moment alone to see yourself in the dress and if you like it or not, before you hear the other opinions.  Remember, you are the one wearing the dress, not your mom, not your sister.  In appointments, it was tough to have a bride say she loves a dress in the fitting room and then have her family/friends nitpick it and tear the poor bride down.  You will look goregous in your dress, make sure to update with pics when you find “the one”!

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