Finding Your Dream Plus Size Wedding Dress: The Ultimate Guide to Locating the Best Shops Near You


Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! As a plus-sized bride, finding the perfect wedding dress can be both exciting and overwhelming. But fret not, because we’re here to help you navigate through the sea of options and locate the best shops near you. In this ultimate guide, we’ll dive into the world of plus-size bridal fashion and explore the best tips and tricks to ensure you find the wedding dress of your dreams. From understanding your body type to knowing which styles flatter your figure, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also reveal the top shops that specialise in plus-size wedding dresses, so you can be confident that you’re walking into a store that understands and caters to your unique needs. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to embark on this exciting journey of finding your dream plus-size wedding dress. Let’s make your big day even more memorable with a gown that makes you feel like an absolute queen.

Understanding the Unique Challenges of Finding Plus Size Wedding Dresses

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress as a plus-sized bride, there are unique challenges that you may face. It’s important to acknowledge these challenges and approach the process with a positive mindset. One of the main challenges is the limited availability of plus-size options in many bridal shops. While the industry is slowly becoming more inclusive, it’s still important to do your research and find shops that offer a wide range of sizes.

Another challenge is the lack of representation of plus-size brides in mainstream media and bridal fashion magazines. This can make it difficult to visualise yourself in different styles and silhouettes. However, it’s important to remember that every body is beautiful, and there are plenty of stunning options available for plus-size brides.

Lastly, it’s essential to find a shop that understands and respects your unique needs as a plus-size bride. Look for boutiques that have experienced consultants who specialise in dressing plus-size brides. These consultants will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you towards flattering styles and silhouettes that will make you feel confident and beautiful on your big day.

Researching Local Bridal Shops That Cater to Plus Size Brides

Now that you understand the challenges, it’s time to start researching local bridal shops that cater to plus-size brides. Begin by searching online for boutiques in your area that specifically mention plus-size options. Look for keywords like “plus-size bridal,” “curvy brides,” or “extended sizing” in their descriptions. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure that you’re visiting shops that have a range of sizes to try on.

In addition to searching online, reach out to friends, family, or coworkers who have recently gotten married. They may be able to recommend local shops that cater to plus-size brides and provide valuable insights into their experiences. Personal recommendations can be incredibly helpful, as they give you an inside look at the quality of service and the selection of dresses available.

Once you have a list of potential shops, visit their websites to gather more information. Look for photos of real plus-size brides wearing their dresses to get an idea of how the gowns will look on different body types. Pay attention to the range of sizes they offer and whether they have specific plus-size collections. Some shops may also list the designers they carry, which can give you an idea of the style and quality of the dresses they offer.

Tips for Navigating Bridal Shop Websites and Online Directories

Navigating bridal shop websites and online directories can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you’re looking for plus-size options. To make the process easier, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Use advanced search filters: When using online directories or search engines to find bridal shops, make use of advanced search filters. Look for options that allow you to filter by size range or specifically search for plus-size bridal shops.

2. Check for size charts: When browsing a shop’s website, look for size charts that provide detailed measurements. This will help you determine if their sizing aligns with your measurements and reduce the risk of ordering a dress that won’t fit properly.

3. Look for inclusive imagery: Pay attention to the imagery used on the website. Do they feature models or real brides of different sizes, shapes, and skin tones? Inclusive imagery is a good indication that the shop values diversity and caters to a range of body types.

4. Read the shop’s policies: Before making any appointments or purchases, read the shop’s return and exchange policies. Make sure they have a reasonable policy in case alterations are needed or if you change your mind about the dress.

Remember, finding your dream plus-size wedding dress is a journey, and it’s important to take your time and enjoy the process. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect dress right away. With the right research and preparation, you’ll be well on your way to finding a gown that makes you feel like a queen on your special day.

Reading Reviews and Seeking Recommendations for Bridal Shops

When it comes to finding the best shops that cater to plus-size brides, reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other brides can be incredibly helpful. Hearing about real experiences and feedback can give you valuable insights into the quality of service, the selection of dresses, and the overall bridal shopping experience.

Start by looking for reviews on popular wedding websites and forums. These platforms often have dedicated sections where brides can share their experiences and recommend shops they had a positive experience with. Pay attention to reviews from brides who have a similar body type or size to yours, as their feedback will be most relevant to your search.

Additionally, consider joining online communities or social media groups specifically for plus-size brides. These groups provide a supportive space for brides to share their journey and ask for recommendations. You can ask for suggestions for local bridal shops or even specific designers known for catering to plus-size brides. This way, you’ll not only get recommendations but also gain insights into the latest trends and styles for plus-size wedding dresses.

Remember, while recommendations and reviews are incredibly helpful, it’s still important to keep an open mind and explore your options. What works for one bride may not work for another, so always trust your instincts and choose a shop that aligns with your personal preferences and style.

Making Appointments and Preparing for Your Bridal Shop Visits

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential shops, it’s time to start making appointments and preparing for your bridal shop visits. Here are some tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience:

1. Call ahead to schedule appointments: Many bridal shops, especially those that cater to plus-size brides, work by appointment only. Calling ahead and scheduling appointments will ensure that you have a dedicated consultant who can focus on your needs and provide personalised assistance.

2. Share your preferences and budget: When scheduling your appointment, don’t hesitate to share your preferences and budget with the shop. This will help them prepare a selection of dresses that align with your vision and price range. Being transparent about your budget will also prevent you from falling in love with a dress that is outside of your price range.

3. Prepare for the fittings: It’s essential to wear undergarments that you plan to wear on your wedding day, such as a strapless bra or shapewear. This will give you a better idea of how the dress will look and fit. Additionally, consider bringing along any accessories you plan to wear, such as a veil or jewellery, to complete the look.

4. Bring a trusted friend or family member: While it’s important to trust your own instincts, having a trusted friend or family member by your side can provide valuable feedback and support. Choose someone who understands your style and preferences and whose opinion you trust.

5. Keep an open mind: Even if you have a specific style or silhouette in mind, be open to trying on different options. Bridal consultants are experienced in dressing plus-size brides and may suggest styles that you hadn’t considered. You might be surprised and find a dress that looks even better than what you had imagined.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your bridal shop visits and increase your chances of finding the perfect plus-size wedding dress.

Trying on Different Styles and Silhouettes That Flatter Your Body Type

When it comes to finding a wedding dress that flatters your body type, it’s essential to try on different styles and silhouettes. While certain styles may be more popular or trendy, it’s important to focus on what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying on dresses:

1. A-line and ball gown dresses: A-line and ball gown dresses are universally flattering for plus-size brides. These styles cinch at the waist and flow outwards, creating a beautiful silhouette. They are particularly great for brides who want to accentuate their waist and hide their hips or lower body.

2. Empire waist dresses: Empire waist dresses have a high waistline that falls just below the bust. This style is perfect for brides who want to highlight their bust or draw attention away from their midsection. Empire waist dresses also create a flowing and romantic look.

3. Fit and flare dresses: Fit and flare dresses hug the body from the bust to the mid-thigh, and then flare outwards. This style is ideal for brides who want to show off their curves while still maintaining an elegant and sophisticated look.

4. Sheath and column dresses: Sheath and column dresses have a slim and straight silhouette that skims the body. These styles are perfect for brides who want a sleek and modern look. They can also be a great option for taller plus-size brides.

5. Mermaid and trumpet dresses: Mermaid and trumpet dresses are fitted through the bodice and hips, and then flare outwards from the knees. These styles are great for brides who want to accentuate their curves and create a dramatic and glamorous look.

Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in the dress you choose. Don’t be afraid to try on different styles, even if they’re outside of your comfort zone. You never know which dress will make you feel like a bride.

Understanding Alterations and Customisation Options for Plus Size Dresses

After you’ve found the perfect wedding dress, it’s important to understand the alterations and customisation options available for plus-size dresses. Alterations are common for brides of all sizes, as each body is unique and may require adjustments to ensure the perfect fit. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Find a reputable tailor: Look for a tailor who specialises in bridal alterations and has experience working with plus-size brides. They will have the expertise to make adjustments that flatter your body shape and ensure the dress fits perfectly.

2. Be prepared for multiple fittings: Alterations typically require multiple fittings, so it’s important to factor in enough time before your wedding day. Start the alteration process as early as possible to allow for any necessary adjustments.

3. Consider customisation options: If you have a specific vision for your dress, don’t be afraid to discuss customisation options with your tailor. They may be able to add sleeves, change the neckline, or make other modifications to create a dress that is uniquely yours.

4. Be open to professional advice: Your tailor may suggest alterations that you hadn’t considered. Listen to their professional advice and be open to their suggestions. They have the expertise to enhance the fit and make the dress even more flattering.

By working with a skilled tailor and being open to alterations and customisation, you can ensure that your plus-size wedding dress fits you like a glove and makes you feel confident on your big day.

Budgeting for Your Dream Plus Size Wedding Dress

When it comes to budgeting for your dream plus-size wedding dress, it’s important to consider all the associated costs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

1. Dress price: Wedding dress prices can vary greatly depending on the designer, fabric, and level of customisation. Set a realistic budget for your dress and stick to it. Don’t forget to factor in alterations and any additional customisation costs.

2. Accessories: Accessories such as veils, jewellery, and shoes should also be considered when budgeting for your wedding dress. Decide on the accessories you want to wear and include them in your overall budget.

3. Undergarments and shapewear: Proper undergarments and shapewear can greatly enhance the fit and silhouette of your wedding dress. Include the cost of these items in your budget to ensure a seamless and comfortable look.

4. Preservation and cleaning: After your wedding, you may want to have your dress professionally cleaned and preserved. Research the cost of these services and factor them into your budget if necessary.

Remember, while it’s important to find a dress that fits within your budget, don’t compromise on quality and fit. It’s better to invest in a dress that makes you feel amazing than to settle for something that doesn’t meet your expectations.

Other Resources for Finding Plus Size Wedding Dresses – Online Retailers, Trunk Shows, and Sample Sales

In addition to local bridal shops, there are other resources you can explore when searching for plus-size wedding dresses. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Online retailers: There are many online retailers that specialise in plus-size wedding dresses. These retailers often offer a wider range of sizes and styles than local shops. However, it’s important to carefully read the size charts and customer reviews to ensure a proper fit.

2. Trunk shows and designer events: Trunk shows and designer events are a great way to explore a wider selection of dresses and often offer exclusive discounts. Keep an eye out for events in your area that specifically cater to plus-size brides.

3. Sample sales: Sample sales are a fantastic opportunity to find designer dresses at discounted prices. These sales often include sample sizes, which are typically larger sizes that can accommodate plus-size brides.

When exploring these resources, it’s important to be mindful of return policies, shipping times, and any additional costs such as customs fees or alterations.

Conclusion and Final Tips for Finding Your Dream Plus Size Wedding Dress

Finding your dream plus-size wedding dress is an exciting journey that should be approached with patience and an open mind. By understanding your body type, researching local bridal shops, and seeking recommendations, you can narrow down your options and find shops that specialise in plus-size bridal fashion. Making appointments and preparing for your bridal shop visits will ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.

When trying on dresses, be open to different styles and silhouettes that flatter your body type. Understand the alterations and customisation options available for plus-size dresses, and factor in the associated costs when budgeting for your dream dress. Finally, explore other resources such as