Wendy is a journalist who has been writing online since 2007 on topics such as plus size fashion, learning languages and traveling.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best wedding dress for your shape, places where you can buy them or order them made-to-measure, and lots of photos to bring inspiration for your dream dress.
Be the bride everyone will remember for her beauty.
It is every woman’s dream to look her best on her wedding day. Most women spend months looking for the perfect wedding gown, but if you wear over a size 14, or are curvy or overweight, the task of looking for the gown can easily become a nightmare.
You look at wedding magazines and in bridal shops and all you see are slim models. What about some “real shape” brides?
Surely not everyone fits into a size 12 or under dress, and surely not all brides feel like starving themselves before their big day. So what to do? Where to look?
Tips for Finding the Right Dress
Start your search as early as possible.
The more time you have to look for your dress, the less stressed you will be.
Instead of checking on wedding magazines, check professional photographer’s portfolios.
They do have photos of real brides of all shapes with all types of dresses so you can have a better idea of what would suit your shape.
Do not buy a dress in the hope that you will lose weight.
That will only stress you out and ruin the fun of preparing for your wedding day.
Try your wedding dress with the underwear that you are going to wear on the day.
A made-to-measure corset can make a dramatic difference to your shape. Having said that, do not try anything too drastic.
If you are not used to wearing a corset, then shrinking your waist two inches is acceptable but squeezing yourself to make your waist six inches smaller can end up with you bruising or even fainting during the wedding ceremony.
Make sure you are comfortable in your dress.
When you try it on, don’t just stand and look in the mirror, but also sit down in it to check that it is comfortable and does not bulge in an unsightly way. Can you move properly? Can you dance with your dress? Does it look nice from the back?
Try something different.
Informal wedding dresses look wonderful on plus-size women. They are simpler in style, fabric and detail than traditional gowns.
They are perfect for garden and beach weddings, although they can also be worn for more formal ceremonies as well.
Don't be afraid to break the wedding colour rules.
You might want to consider wearing a less harsh-coloured wedding dress. An all-white dress in a full-figured woman is not always flattering.
You might want to consider a combination of colours like the Scottish tartan wedding dresses, or “medieval combinations." If you prefer a more traditional look, you can always try shades of cream and ivory instead of a stark white.
1. Best Bridal Prices
Best Bridal Prices offers the most complete size range (1-Petite to 54W, plus custom-made) at the best prices.
They also offer professional advice to plus-size brides. Just have a look at their plus-size wedding gowns, I am sure that you will find what you are looking for!
2. Alfred Angelo
One of the most recognized bridal names in the America, Alfred Angelo is the oldest and largest family-owned bridal company in America. They can offer bridal gowns in sizes 16W to 26W USA; 30 to 56 European; 34 to 58 French; and 6 to 30 UK.
Their dresses follow the latest fashion trends, fabrics and embellishments to create unique collections.
At Curvety.com, dresses are custom-made to your measurements, ensuring the perfect fit.
Made-to-measure means you can have your perfect dress whatever your clothes size and with the perfect fit comes perfect accentuation of your glorious curves.
How to Deal With Problem Areas
Be honest with yourself, and embrace your body shape rather than hiding it. Know your best areas and work around them.
Here are some ways to enhance your best features and distract from others.
1. Chubby Arms
If you have thick, chubby arms, or if you have lost lots of weight and your arms are saggy, it is preferable to choose a dress with sleeves.
There are plenty of lovely long-sleeved wedding gowns that will help disguise thick arms. Loose sleeves made in flowing transparent material would be perfect.
- If you don’t want to wear long sleeves or if you are getting married in the height of summer and want to wear a sleeveless dress, the best option is to wear a cover up over your arms.
- You can still wear even a strapless dress if you team it up with a lace shawl. It will look classy and will disguise your problem area without making you too hot.
- A 3/4 sleeve lace bolero can also be a good cover up for saggy arms. Just make sure that the sleeves are not tight and the bolero does not have extra decorations such as sequins, embroidered pearls, plumes, or stones. A simple-cut bolero is better to draw attention away from your arms.
- Avoid spaghetti straps. A strapless dress or a thick-strapped dress is much better to disguise thick arms.
- Avoid very large pouf sleeves extending from shoulder to elbow.
- Avoid very short-fitted sleeves that just cover the shoulders.
2. A Big Bust
- If you are heavy at the bust, a plunging neckline will ease your silhouette.
- Wedding gowns that are simple, without a lot of frills, decorations and extra fluff, on the top area, are often good choices.
- Make sure you have the support you need under your wedding gown by wearing the right undergarments.
- Avoid shiny fabrics on the top of your dress.
- Empire-style dresses are perfect to disguise a bulging tummy. The waist just skims over your tummy area and the slim skirt elongates your silhouette.
- A-line dresses are also very flattering if you do not have a small waist.
- Avoid dresses that are too tight or figure hugging.
- If you are heavy at the hips but with a small waist, a full skirt might disguise your hips and enhance your small waist.
- If you have a slim top, you can benefit from wearing a princess-style dress. Enhance your top and disguise your heavy bottom part with a full skirt.
- Mermaid style dresses can also work for your shape if you are curvy as in an “hourglass shape” and not too heavy on the hips.
- If you are under 1.60m. and overweight you might want to consider wearing a short dress. You can choose different lengths to flatter your size, anything from under the knee to a ballerina ankle length dress.
- Wearing a short wedding dress does not mean that you cannot wear a long train to elongate your silhouette.
Petite and Plus Size Runway Show
And you, what size are you?
© 2009 Wendy Iturrizaga
Joyce Reynolds on September 23, 2014:
Still single. Love your wedding dress.
weddingair from CA on November 23, 2011:
Good post. It is important to know what kind of wedding dresses you are going to wear. Wedding Dress must be according to your size and it should be beautiful, you should look beautiful in this dresses, should carry it comfortably.
cheap ugg on October 05, 2011:
These tips are very useful!Thank you for your brilliant sharing
Wedding Planning on August 12, 2011:
Great Hub!!!!! This will definitely help bride who want plus size wedding gown.............
wowedding from USA on August 08, 2011:
These tips are very useful!Thank you for your brilliant sharing. This post is really awesome! I am looking forward to your next masterpiece in the very near future!
fashion on July 15, 2011:
Informative hub.Many brides will find this advice helpful. I really like your work.
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on June 20, 2011:
Kellye: The best thing to disguise extra skin on the arms with a beach wedding dress would be to team up the dress with a lace shawl wrapped over the arms and shoulders. The shawl can be kept on loosely wrapped around the arms for the photos, showing only back and shoulders.
It will look classy and will disguise the problem area without making you overly hot.
To give you and idea I found this: http://www.inweddingdress.com/style-bc401.html
Kellye on June 18, 2011:
I would like to submit that there is another use for this type of information and to me as I planned my own wedding and especially as I am helping a good friend plan hers it is even harder to deal with. My friend (as well as I) had gastric bypass surgery. While she has lost close to 200lbs and is probably a size 10 or so, she has the extra skin on the arms (batwings). Any suggestions how to deal with this at a beach style wedding? The upper arm needs covering with a sleeve but a plus size dress will not work nor a long sleeved dress. Ideas anyone? Thank you in advance!
pinesapples on June 08, 2011:
BY reading your hub, i know plus-size wedding dresses can also bring out brides beauty. I am confident now, because i need not to control my diet, and be fat, be happy.
Weber Genesis E320 on April 22, 2011:
Just proves that every bride is beautiful, jus like every person is beautiful despite the packaging
smcopywrite from all over the web on April 18, 2011:
terrific hub. the average american woman is a size 14. therefore, more and more choices and varieties are being provided because of this.
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on February 17, 2011:
we always want to look best on our wedding day, whether we are slim or not, and this hub has really helpful ideas.
perfectweddingdressfinder on November 09, 2010:
Great information to help the plus size bride pick out a wedding gown that will be complimentary for her figure.
mbt shoe on November 05, 2010:
camera to photograph you in the dress. Sometimes the dress looks great in the mirror, but not so much in the photos. You have to find one that works for
Wedding Trendista on October 28, 2010:
I love the dresses shown here, as well as the prices here. The tips for people with specific problem areas are priceless.
I would also suggest, when trying on dresses, to bring someone with a camera to photograph you in the dress. Sometimes the dress looks great in the mirror, but not so much in the photos. You have to find one that works for both!
TopUniverse on October 26, 2010:
Nice dresses. Some great tips to buy a plus size wedding dress.
plus size wedding dresses on October 19, 2010:
The article is very comprehensive.
Yeah, it is impractical for a bride-to-be to do a crash job of slimming. Choosing a nice plus sized wedding dress is the best choice.
Corset Wedding Dress on September 30, 2010:
Awesome Dresses, now a days most of the people are in search of plus sizes. This is a good hub to find such information.
TheWeddingSecret from Bath, UK on September 21, 2010:
Really interesting read - and those dresses are gorgeous!
lynnsuming on August 11, 2010:
Actually I will have my wedding this coming Sept. i am plus size too and I get my wedding dress from www.myecstock.com, the dress was customized without extra charge,just received the dress yesterday, fits me quite well.
masha on June 30, 2010:
Selecting and matching dress
Different people have different stature, how to choose their own dress? Now, we can give you several proposals.
Delicate petite person – They are suitable for High Waist, yarn surface, waist wedding dresses, in order to modify the proportion of body. You should try to avoid lower body skirt being too fluffy, rotator cuff design should avert overly exaggerated; the upper body can be more changes, waist proposed micro-low-waist with wedding dress in order to increase the slender sense.
Tall slender person - a natural sub-racks, any style of dress she can attempt, particularly in fishtail tight dresses are more display her posture.
Plump person - who are suitable for straight cutting of line, wear more slender. Lace flowers should use a thin flat lace, not select high-collar style; design of waist and skirt should avert too complex.
At the same time, different skin colors of person also have a different choice for dress .As follows:
White type: She can choose series of tender wedding dresses, should avoid selecting those much thick colors such as red and black velvet, otherwise it will feel significantly contradiction.
Healthy dark type: choose bright colors to match healthy image and show skin color. Indeed, she also can select black, many movie stars are wearing prom dresses walking on the red carpet! They are dazzling!
Jewelry: can choose pearl, sapphire, emerald, diamonds, high-quality accessories, including select man-made gemstones.
Shoes: high-heeled sandals with small loops or strong modification, matching high-heeled shoes with the wedding gown dresses, if the toes exposed, you have to make a facial, and the facial of face, hands should be modified simultaneously.
Package: exquisite, multi-use patent leather, soft leather, velvet, gold and silver blended material, producing with the mosaic, embroidery and other crafts, gorgeous, romantic , ingenious and decency is common features of dress with the package.
All the decorations are selected to create the best image for dress! What hesitation you do, make orders quickly!
FashionFame from California on April 06, 2010:
What a superb and realistic hub Princessa. Just loved your choice of topic and writing along with beautiful pictures. Would like to read more of your writings. Joining your fan's club and would like to invite you to join my fan's club. Keep up the good work.
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on February 22, 2010:
Sophie and Hairupdostyles: Thank you for your support.
IT_Studios: Thank you for the photo tips, I am sure many brides will be taking your advice for their wedding photos.
Hairupdostyles on February 20, 2010:
great photos and videos - a really helpful hub!
sophie on February 15, 2010:
Fab post. Some gorgeous wedding dresses in the pictures :) Its lovely to see a hub wedding page on plus size women for once :) xx
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on January 11, 2010:
allangering: really happy to read that you found your perfect wedding dress.
Isabelle22: Thanks to the internet plus size women have a great choice of very fashionable clothes.
Isabelle22 from Somewhere on the coastline on January 11, 2010:
It is great to see hubs for plus size women. The average size of most women is not stick thin. Beautiful dresses too. Thanks.
aefrancisco from somewhere down the road on December 27, 2009:
SO lovely! Its fits me ! :)
Loose diamond on November 18, 2009:
Each one has desire to look good and beautiful on her wedding day. Thanks for posting a great hub.
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on November 16, 2009:
wsp2469: Thank you for clarifying your point.
wsp2469 from Alta Loma, Ca on November 16, 2009:
I'm sorry. I must have confused you. I was referring to weight when I mentioned looking your best--not personality. A woman changing what she appears to be as a person is a whole different discussion.
I wasn't referring to social standards of beauty really. I was referring more to being healthy. (My baby-momma weights much more than she should for someone her height and age so she is losing weight. She has said she won't get married until she is at that healthy weight.)
She will feel more confident and happy when she is at a healthy weight. So when I said looking your best I was actually referring to looking your best in a more medical/factual sense.
There was once a time in the history of our world when they painted pictures of overweight women. That was also a time when people did not live very long. So, yeah, it's not good to blindly try to fit in with SOCIAL standards. That's very true!
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on November 15, 2009:
MAYRAPINK: thanks for your support and yes, of course ladies with extra weight can be as beautiful as any other women. I think that beauty is an attitude more than a look.
bodyshapers: it can be frustrating for brides to look for a suitable dress when they over a size 14.
martycraigs: thanks for commenting!
wsp2469: I have to disagree with you. Looking your best stops being looking your best when you are going to spend your time trying to be someone that you are not. Looking your best DOES NOT mean fitting in social standards of beauty. Looking your best means to mean to be confident and happy the way you are.
wsp2469 from Alta Loma, Ca on November 13, 2009:
Whatever happened to wanting to look your best and exercising and dieting so that you don't NEED a plus size wedding dress? I know that would totally make your hub and indeed plus size wedding dresses unnecessary but still . . . traditionally, women work and struggle to get in the best shape they can and don't let up until AFTER they have a ring on the finger.
martycraigs on November 13, 2009:
I agree with bodyshapers that this is a great hub with great tips so that a women looks great for her wedding.
Lose Belly Fat Fast on November 10, 2009:
Hmm that's an interesting topic there
bodyshapers on November 06, 2009:
What a great hub, and a topic that isn't mentioned enough. Weddings are special days and every bride should feel great about how they look on that special day. Great resources as well.
MAYRAPINK from texas on October 13, 2009:
the models on here are gorgeous..only goes to show ladies with a little extra are just as beautiful! :) I am not a size 12 but I do have a bigger chest and this makes it hard to find dresses that will look nice and not sleazy! I think a bride is sexy as long as they have confidence and love because nothing shines brighter than a bride in love :)
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on October 07, 2009:
I am happy you all like the dresses. I wanted to show that a plus size wedding dress is not limited to a "baggy do", there are beautiful designs that enhance a plus size figure. The only tricks are to be patient to look around and find them and choose a model that enhances your shape as opposed to hide it.
magdielqr on October 06, 2009:
Wow! I really love this hub. This is a great collection of links and cool videos.
Cheap Wedding Favors on October 04, 2009:
I like the assortment of dresses, good hub.
MaryD008 on July 13, 2009:
Nice Hub Princessa some really nice dresses
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on June 15, 2009:
Thanks for visiting and for all the comments girls. Don't forget to tell us if you have a favourite shop for fashionable plus size clothes.
Betsy Baywatch on June 15, 2009:
Great hub!Thank you for sharing.
Tips to Pregnant on June 07, 2009:
Any tips for pregnant bride to look amazing on her wedding day?
cheap wedding gown on March 27, 2009:
They looked amazing with those gowns! every bridal should be the most beautiful and happy. ^^
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on March 02, 2009:
SweetiePie: Nice to see you around :) I hope this hub can help find inspiration to many brides and make their wedding preparations more fun.
Thanks for the comment on my new avatar.
SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on March 01, 2009:
Excellent hub Princessa and I am sure many brides to be will find this advice helpful. I really like your new avatar picture by the way.
Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on March 01, 2009:
Laila, we always see incredibly slim and tall brides in the magazines, but some of us are neither slim or tall ! So we need to work with what we have to make the most of it. A bride is beautiful for her happiness showing in her expression, the dress is just an accessory, but a very important one.