On Being A Plus Size Bride

I have had a post in draft about this subject for a while now. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to address it or even if I should.

I was reading over at CreoleInDC’s spot and one of her post topics was about if it was insulting to tell a woman she’s pretty for a “big girl”.  The comment debate ensued from there but the topic got me thinking about my post that’s been sitting in draft for almost 2 months, which is a mishmash of my thoughts about being a bride who happens to be plus size.

For those of you who read the blog who don’t know, I am what is considered plus sized. I won’t tell my exact size but depending on the tag that is in the back of my clothes I could be anything from a size 16 to a size 22. Translate that to the bridal world and the sizes go up from there. It’s like bridal sizing (be it straight or plus sized) is in some bizarre alternate universe. In the bridal world, for the most part, a plus size bride is invisible. The larger bridal dress chains like David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo carry plus size dresses and have considerably expanded their selection for the plus size bride (and bridesmaid) but other than that I haven’t seen many (if any) plus size brides on prominent display in mainstream wedding media.

I read the wedding site Weddingbee on the daily and there is a Bee blogger who has talked about her efforts to find a dress at a mainstream bridal shop that wasn’t David’s or Alfred’s and how she finally decided to get a custom made dress. I feel her pain. That’s part of the reason that I went to David’s Bridal and found my dress there. (The other reason was my budget. I don’t have Kleinfeld’s Say Yes to the Dress type loot.) In fact, I think Weddingbee does better than most larger wedding websites because they actually have message boards devoted to plus size brides. However, I think it’s unfortunate that the wedding/bridal industry doesn’t realize that all types of women get married, be they slender or full figured, Black, White, Hispanic or Asian. A lot of the bridal advertising that is out there has the bride looking like a 12 year old prepubescent girl. No hips, no curves, nothing. There are a lot of wedding resources that are universal to all women, true enough. But it’s awfully nice to connect with people who look like you or are shaped like you. And every woman deserves to be celebrated and made to feel beautiful on her wedding day, of all days.

Please don’t get it twisted, this is not a pity party type of post. I am well aware of my size, my fiancé loves me in the package I currently come in and I am working on slimming down, not just for this wedding but because it needs to be a lifestyle change. But I’m not ever going to be a size 4, or a 6 and maybe not even an 8. But considering the average size American woman is a 12-14, you’d think the industry would get a clue.

But of course, that would be too much like right.

20 thoughts on “On Being A Plus Size Bride

  1. I know I am late but I just wanted to let you all know that you spoke and we have listened. I just launched a site for plus size brides, Pretty Pear Bride:Bridal Inspiration for the plus size bride.

    I too was a plus size bride and felt that something needed to be done to help represent us Plus Size Brides.

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  4. It is odd that the average woman is one size and the available dresses do not meet that need.

    Do you think its like the average shoe size is an 8, and that size is never there? It isn’t failure to appropriately stock but they can’t keep it in stock.

    I got my gown from a smaller carrier and I wore a single digit size. I had to try on a larger size. The lady pinned it up so I could see what it could look like. I ordered the dress. Even in the wrong size I loved it.

  5. My cousin went through recently. She’s a size 12-14 and it was impossible at all the small bridal shops to find anything that fit. It’s ridiculous like you said considering the number of women that size. I’m glad you found a dress you’re happy with!

  6. I e-floated over here from Monnie’s page and I understand your position. When I got married (an annulled) five years ago, David’s was the only spot I could feel comfortable in. My dress was beautiful and affordable. The sales staff was more concerned with what I liked rather than could I fit it. They showed me things that were reasonable for my size, body type and budget and I was quite pleased with the dress. I still have and appreciate the dress which is much more than I can say for the husband *sigh*. Congratulations and God Bless.

  7. Thanks to you, I tried David’s Bridal. As a matter of fact, that’s the only store I wanted to go to, LOL. My pants range from size 12 – 16 but because I’m bigger on the top, my dress is a size 20. I was prepared for that because of past experiences. At my local David’s Bridal they had plenty of dresses for me to try on, but I’m sure that’s because I got a bridesmaid dress. I’m not sure how it is for the wedding dresses – but I got great service.

    • I got great service at my David’s Bridal location as well and actually they had at least 5 plus dresses for me to try on. Being on a long quest for a dress was not something I was interested in so I tried on some, picked one and was done.

  8. You’re so right! I’m thin according to most folks, I typically wear a 6 or 8. But like you said, in bride-world…that’s like a 10 or 12. I bought a size 8 dress that I’ve had to diet down for…I’m unsure of why the sizing is the way it is.

  9. So true, I went to David’s Bridal and they were just rude with terrible customer service, plus when I try something on I want to be able to see how I look in the dressing room rather than come out to dozens of size 6’s in the only mirrored area. I ended up getting my dress made and liked it, but I never REALLY had that this is my dress moment/buzz that other brides have. Thanks for posting, I’ve definitely been thinking about posting something like this for a while as well.

  10. See, what I don’t get is why it’s not the opposite. Like if most women are NOT a size 6, why are all the dresses so small? Oh wait, I know why. It’s all a plot to try to make women feel ‘less than’ for being ‘more than’. Humph! Maybe I need to start a bridal line that starts at size 12!

  11. I remember a friend going through this when she was looking for dresses. She had the money but all the stores she tried never had anything in her size to try on. She had to have something specially ordered JUST to try it on. No one was ever rude or anything and she didn’t have to pay money…but it was inconvenient to her schedule to have to go back once the dress for her to try on arrived.

    I ended up using her situation as a character in something I wrote by asking a lot of very hard questions as to how I’d feel in her situation.

    I always wondered why they didn’t fix this. It’s like they are saying that only size 8 and below get married.

  12. You’d think they would, but they won’t. I had a hard time finding a wedding dress, but finally found a local shop that carried over a dozen Alfred Angelo plus size dresses, in house. There was nothing more frustrating than to visit a shop and them say, “All we have in house is a 10, but we can order it in your size.” Ugh! Really? You want me to spend several hundred dollars on a dress that I can’t even try on. Umm, nah, I’m gonna have to take a pass on that. I’m happy that you found the right dress for you!

  13. When a good friend of mine was going to get married (the wedding was eventually called off), I saw the angst she went through trying to get her dress. She’s a very curvy, very pear shaped, plus sized woman. Small upper body (large tops) and KAPOW bottom (all hips and azz! LOL! Size 16 or 18). She always says that God gave her two different bodies and then put them together. At any rate, I saw her shed many tears over the wedding dress. David’s hardly ever had plus sized sample dresses on the floor to try on. If she wanted them to order some, she would have had to pay for it upfront. However, David’s does do an excellent job of HAVING dresses to buy, but few to try on. Don’t even look at the small boutique wedding shops. The largest size you may see is a 10. It can be very frustrating.

  14. Great point…and for the record your not s plus size bride. Your a bride :)!

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