One of My Bridesmaids is Plus-Sized and Hates the Dress I Picked Out. What Should I Do?

Bridesmaids, Etiquette
Plus-sized bridesmaid dress etiquette

Photo: Corbin Gurkin

Choosing a bridesmaid dress that flatters and appeals to all of your bridesmaids can be tougher than picking out your wedding dress. How do you appease everyone, no matter their size? Our etiquette wedding experts answer your bridesmaid questions in our daily post.

One of my bridesmaids is on the heavy side and is unhappy with the dress I've picked out. She wants to back out of the wedding party. What's the best way to handle this?

The important thing to remember is that, like you, your gals will be on display for several hours—and they'll certainly want to wear something that makes them feel comfortable. If the rest of your bridesmaids have not already purchased their dresses, consider this popular scenario: You pick the color of the dress and your bridesmaids pick the style. This way they can all choose the dress that flatters their figure the best.

If the other girls have already bought their dresses, you can still offer up the style-change option to your bigger bridesmaid. However, there's a chance she'll reject that plan if she feels self-conscious about wearing a dress that's different from the rest of your crew. If this happens, suggest just making some minor alterations to the current style. (You can call the store where you ordered the dresses and ask about the possibility of adding sleeves or changing the cut; A-line and empire waist are two flattering choices.) Another thought is to add a beautiful wrap to all of your bridesmaids' ensembles. Have them wear the wraps during the ceremony and then they can decide if they want to keep them or ditch them at the reception. If your friend is still unhappy after running through these options, then certainly give her the choice to bow out of the "official" wedding party. After all, she can still play a special role at your wedding without donning said dress. If you give your friend a corsage to wear while handing out wedding programs, doing a ceremony reading or giving a toast, everyone will know that she's one of your VIPs.

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