Post # 1
I don’t know how many plus sized (and I don’t mean size 16, I’m talking 20s and up) brides are on this site, but I wanted to share my positive experience after hearing nothing but horror stories before going in.
I wear a street size 26-28 to be perfectly honest, and I spent MONTHS agonizing about the dress because this is obviously a much larger size than average. I assumed that stores would have nothing for me to try on and looked into getting a custom dress from etsy. I found a great dress and was ready to make a deposit, but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to try the dress on and sad that I was going to miss that experience. On top of that, I heard horror stories of places like David’s Bridal outright denying brides in my size from trying on gowns, and of course rudeness left and right, something very common towards women in these sizes. And then of course you hear about wedding dresses running small, or large, or whatever, so I assumed if a size 6 girl is getting a size 12 dress, there is no way they would have anything in my size.
However, there came a point when I decided I was going to bring my bridesmaids and just try to see if David’s bridal had any dresses at all that I could try on. I was still planning on buying the custom dress and I wanted to make sure the color and neckline were correct before I put down my deposit. Deciding to try on a dress was the best decision I ever made!
David’s Bridal had more dresses in my size that I would have even wanted to try on, I think there must have been 10+ dresses in their largest size. I think I ended up finding five dresses to try in the style I liked. I went to try it on in a 26 expecting that it wouldn’t fit, and it was too big! I am certain that I wear a 26/28 so I was shocked, but in the end we had to go down to a 22. The same thing happened at Alfred Angelo, I couldn’t believe it. It changed my whole wedding experience, I was so amazed. I ended up with Alfred Angelo 2023W (probably one of the most flattering pieces of clothing I’ve ever worn in my life!). On top of it, the sales people at Alfred Angelo were AMAZING, they were all so nice to me. The only negative thing is that there are no plus-sized jackets/boleros to try on at the store but considering I thought they wouldn’t have dresses in my size at all, I can’t complain!
So even though this was kind of embarassing to talk about, I wanted to share my story in case there are other brides like me who are worried about trying on dresses because of our size. I was almost to the point that I wanted to elope because I was so stressed, but in the end I had fun and was treated like any other customer.
Are there any other brides on this site that had similar problems or fears?
Post # 3
I haven’t even started looking yet (just got engaged!) but I am nervous as I’m jeans size 20/22! I have a very hourglass figure and am more like a 16/18 on top so I’m curious how this is going to go. Thanks for your experience, I hope mine is similar!! I’ll have to check out Alfred Angelo, I’ve never heard of it! Glad you found something beautiful for your big day!!
Post # 4
My figure is mostly similar to yours (except larger) and I think that also worked in my favor since most gowns are built to be larger on bottom than on top. Ball gowns in particular are very forgiving to someone built like me.
Post # 5
I wish y experience had been that good. Sigh. I went to an AA in Austin and I’m a street size 16 and I couldn’t even zip up anything in the AA store. It was a huge dissapointment.
Post # 6
I ended up with a great dress by Maggie Sottero but I also had a good experience at the Alfred Angelo salon in Lancaster, PA. They did have plus sized boleros in stock, so I got to try them on and I ended up buying one!
Post # 7
@ texaslawgirl I’m sorry to hear that! They didn’t have any plus sized dresses at all?
Post # 8
what a great dress story – and im so glad you found your dress!!!
Post # 9
They had maybe 5 that were in Bridal sizes 22,24, and 26. Five total. NONE in bridal size 20, which is what I would need. I was so dissapointed. I couldn’t really tell what anything looked like in the mermaid style dresses because I couldn’t get them over my hips (they were very fitted and the biggest size they had was a Bridal size 16, which is probably more like a street size 12). I had to just hold stuff up in front of me. There were a few corset style dresses in Bridal size 14 that I wiggled into, but they couldn’t be laced up and I couldn’t get an idea of how well supported my bust would be. Sigh. I may hit up David Bridal next, although dealing with them was a nightmare 2 years ago when I was a Maid/Matron of Honor. Wish me luck!
Post # 10
I ended up ordering mine from a local bridal salon, but didn’t try it on or anything-in fact, I didn’t try anything on. I’m an encore bride though and was absolutely sure that I wanted something very simple. I ended up with an Aurora d’Paradiso in a heavy ecru chiffon over satin-floor length.
I do have horrid memories from my first wedding though when it came to trying on dresses-I had things pinned to me, clips all over to give me “an idea” of what it would look like. That was over 16 years ago-things have come a long way since then.
My biggest challenge now has been finding an appropriate undergarment.
Post # 11
The bridal industry has come a long long way in the last 15 years. When I started managing a salon in the late 90’s, there were very few quality dresses in plus sizes. Most manufacturers made dresses up to a size 24, or what was called a 42/44 but the fit was just awful. The shoulders were way to wide, the bust was really way off.
Alfred Angelo was one of the first company to come into the market with a true plus size bridal gown that was actually fashionable. Also, Mon Cheri. P C Mary’s too. One by one, each company has realized that the plus sized market is an important customer. It has been up to the bridal salons to carry more samples in these sizes. The salon that I worked for from 1997 – 2002 carried the most plus sizes in our area. The owner and I were both plus sized and so I guess we were sympathetic.
Girls, love your curves. Get the best undergarments that you can. I reccomend Goddess. Their bras are not the prettiest, but they have the best support.
If you bought your dress at an Alfred Angelo salon, check about your alterations and see if they are done locally, or sent out. From what I have heard from my former employer, not all the AA stores do their alterations in house.
Post # 12
I’m a street size 20-22 and went to David’s Bridal. I was a new bride and hadn’t heard such stories yet. They were GREAT! I seriously tried on about 25 dressed that zipped all the way up and some that were TOO big and had to use clips to secure. My dress is from their designer collection, an Oleg Cassini and they had that in my size as well which was so fabulous. I don’t think I could have bought a gown without wearing it!
I will say I think it depends on the DB location – I went to one in Richmond, VA and then my alternations and things are taking place in Louisville, KY. I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but both of these towns seem to have better attitudes towards plus size women, than say NYC or LA or another trendy city. Just my opinion though – for all I know DB in those cities could have the same plus size selection!
Post # 13
I’m a street size 12 (bridal 16) and maybe it’s just the area I live in but I couldn’t find any store which had a good selection of larger sized gowns. So I got on the phone and started calling bridal stores outside of my area and found a shop called Debbie’s Bridal and WOW they were amazing! It took almost 3 hours to get to this shop but it ws worth the drive.
The store had at least 15 dresses in my size (perfect fit) in all price points and styles. After 2 hours of trying one dress on and then another, I found “the one” and it cost less than 1/2 of my dress budget!
Just don’t give up looking and be open minded to traveling outside of your area to get a wider selection.
Post # 14
I had some of the same anxiety as you did before I went dress shopping!! I am a street size 16-18 and was nervous that I wouldn’t find anything I would love. I was thriilled to find that Jim Hjelm made the dress I fell in love with in my size (and bigger) and I got to wear a couture gown for my wedding day! All that worrying for nothing….I wish I had known.Thanks for sharing your story…hopefully it will comfort some other brides going through the same anxiety 🙂
Post # 15
Here’s a link to my dress-this company does quite a bit in the plus sized gown department:
Post # 16
I want to second Damselfly–I have a Mon Cheri and it is FAB! I’m a 24.
Also, Aurora D’paradiso is good too! Theirs are plus only!