Photo: Robert Mitra
They say that experience is the best teacher, and that certainly applies to everything wedding dress shopping related, especially if you're searching for something plus size. Sure, you might spend every lunch break browsing blogs, pinning looks, and reading expert tips — but nothing beats the wisdom of real brides who have been there, done that, and came out with their dream dress.
We consulted with a group of real brides, and asked them to share the most important lesson they learned in plus-size dress shopping, to help guide you to a gorgeous wedding gown of your own.
Research your stores:
First find a store is stocked well in the plus-size department, so you don't get discouraged before you even start. Call ahead and make sure they carry all different shapes and styles in more than just one or two sizes.
Find a consultant you trust:
Then make sure you find a consultant you trust, who is experienced with dressing your body type and knows what styles to pull. Be straightforward with your consultant about which parts of your body you want to show off and which parts you don't want to emphasize. It's their job to help you find the perfect dress!
When it comes to styles and fabrics, try everything and not just the looks you favor in every day clothes. You will be shocked by what looks good and what doesn't. One bride actually found that more fitted styles flattered her more than the empires waist looks she initially assumed she'd like.
Don't judge a dress on the rack:
One bride explains that she saw a dress on the rack, and turned it down multiple times since she was convinced that it wouldn't look good on her. She finally caved in and it was perfection.
Shop with supportive people:
Only bring positive people! If there is anyone who makes you feel miserable trying on clothes or likes to point out every flaw, leave her at home — even if she might feel slighted she didn't get to shop with you.
Wear the right underwear:
Wear your best bra and underwear — something you'll feel comfortable showing during your fitting session. If you're going to wear Spanx on your wedding day, bring that.
Get dolled up before you go try on dresses and remember that this is supposed to be fun. Make sure you feel beautiful before you even walk into the salon. This is not a time to feel self-conscious. The man you're about to marry loves everything about you and thinks you're beautiful — and that's what you should always remember.