I’m a size 26/28 and found my dress at the beginning of the month. My mom and I went to Alfred Angelo and I spent a couple of evenings going over their website and favoriting dresses that looked interesting. They go up to a 26 in every style at no extra charge and everything can be altered up to a 28 (and their bridesmaid dresses go up to a 30), so I wanted to check them out, but the closest one was in Indiana, while I’m in Chicago. Since it was such a long drive, I called a couple of weeks in advance of the appointment and requested a few dresses I really liked so that they would have them in store on the day of my appointment. Alfred Angelo actually set the ones I’d requested aside, with my name on them. One of them was what we ended up purchasing, and I absolutely love it. The point of this is just to suggest looking at websites of designers you like and then calling to request those dresses in your size. Give them enough time for the dresses to come in.
David’s Bridal, as mentioned above, does carry plenty of plus size dresses, but only a few of them go past a 26, which was a problem for me. I don’t know what size you are, but keep that in mind. Both David’s and Alfred Angelo run street size, as opposed to bridal size, where a 26 might actually only fit a 16.
Different designers that don’t have their own shops will usually list shops that carry their lines on their websites, so that’s an option.
Go with people you feel comfortable with, who know your style, and who will NOT mock you or tell you that you’re “too big to wear that”.
Bring clothes that are easy to get in and out of in a small space. Not every shop has expansive dressing rooms. The three that I’ve gone to were more like closets.
Try on other silhouettes that you may be iffy on, since you may like it better on you than on the hanger or model. Every body is shaped a little differently, so clothes will fit a little differently on every body. A friend of mine was dead set against a big poofy dress, but her best friend insisted she try one on, just for fun, when she wasn’t having any luck and was getting frustrated. It turned out to be the one.
This sounds like complete bull, but trust me, it works. BRING A BOTTLE OF WATER. If you start feeling overwhelmed and about to cry and don’t want to, take a drink. It is physically impossible to cry while you’re taking in fluid. One of my chefs told me about this when I told her about how I had a panic attack during a job interview and, amazingly, it works. Besides, it’s a little tiring to be getting in and out of dresses and you’ll want something to drink.
But just remember that you will find a dress. Everyone finds a dress, even if it takes a little time 🙂