Wedding Dress Photos by Glenn Guiao
Disclaimer: The photo above does not depict the couples mentioned in this article. It is included solely for illustrative purposes, while certain Reddit threads I discovered online have proven useful.
Anyone else hate wedding dress shopping?
This is just a vent, but I really never thought that shopping for a dress would be the worst part of wedding planning. I’m in my 40s and plus size and there seems to be nothing out there that is remotely appropriate. Dresses designed for someone young and trim made in bigger sizes just aren’t flattering at all and I feel stupid even trying them on. The best I can seem to find is “not awful” which is not how I want to feel on my wedding day. I have a vision of what I would like (tea length, natural waist, v-neck, with long sleeves, in a blush tone) but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to exist, at least anywhere that you can try it on.
Oh, and just a word of advice: do not buy from Marla’s Fashions, an online store. It turns out the only “refund” they offer (if you return within 7 days) is store credit, which is utterly useless if they have nothing else you want. I learned that the hard way and am out $800 for a dress that doesn’t fit. (The measurements are not accurate.)
Sorry, rant over. I wonder if anyone is/was in the same boat and how you managed to find something that made you feel pretty on your wedding day. I’m open to any hacks, but really don’t want to waste any more money collecting dresses I cannot wear.
Honestly I also didn’t enjoy dress shopping. I love clothes, and I’m also lucky to be close to sample size (bridal size 8ish). So many stores charge for appointments, don’t have dresses I wanted to try, and I’ve had multiple mean consultants.
I had a neutral experience at stores that had consignment and sample sizes and explicitly said they were plus size. I had a terrible experience at a custom gown place even though it said it was plus size friendly. Overall it was a weird and not super fun time, my friends did great I found a dress I love but overall I felt icky.
Im almost 40, queer, plus size and never thought about getting married until I found my partner so my overall feeling was that I wasn’t being a bride correctly and that I was in trouble. I haven’t had that experience with our other vendors thankfully but dress shopping wasn’t a fun time. The only way I can think do describe it is that I was in trouble for doing bride wrong. And when I tell people they’re like “no you’re great there isn’t a wrong way” which yeah I know that but the feeling the whole time was that I was doing it wrong.
It was very frustrating because I learned towards the end of my two neutral experience places that the person helping me was also a queer people and I was like WHY ARE WE ALL PERPETUATING THIS STEREOTYPE NONE OF US FIT INTO
As a queer person I also felt super uncomfortable dress shopping! The whole “vibe” of the places was all like gushy and saccharin and super super hetero. I ended up finding something I liked but it was hard and I also had that feeling that I was doing something wrong, or like I just didn’t belong (and didn’t want to).
i ordered my wedding dress from here! You can return items that don’t fit you, although I loved mine. I ordered it without seeing it in person but when it came knew I made the right choice. Quality, fit, it was all amazing. Highly recommend.
This! BHLDN and Jenny Yoo tend to run closer to true size, so there’s less guess work there, and they have some really good options IMO. I got my Jenny Yoo via Poshmark for $300 because this is my second wedding and I’m 38 and I just didn’t want to throw down thousands on a dress if I could help it.
He doesn’t disappoint. And no I’m not getting paid to promote this Etsy shop. I have no affiliation with them other than that I’m a two time customer. I’ll caveat that I’ve had to take both dresses to alterations to tweak a few things but nothing major! And probably because I did my measurements myself so not the most accurate.
Over 40, plus sized bride to be here… I hated my experience at David’s Bridal… but loved my experience at a well known, large bridal boutique in my state (other states brides go to it too).. had a fantastic time. Found the dress!
I called ahead to make sure they had plus sized dresses to try on before making the appointment. I literally told them I didn’t want to squeeze myself into a “too small” dress where I’d have to “imagine” what I’d look like.. they completely understood and had a great appointment with my mom, sister and a friend..
I'm a little older than you even and have had awful experiences with dress shopping. I currently own two dresses. One doesn't fit well and one I'm not crazy about. I had a vision similar to yours and couldn't find it either and settled. I encourage you to find a dress maker as others have suggested. Or keep looking. But don't settle.
We (mostly fiance) explained to the woman that I am a noob about it and do not know anything, and to take it slow with me. She was kind, patient, and she jumped on board with us trying every single one just to see how different shapes and elements and colors look on me.
Soon, I could look myself in the mirror and an hour later I was twirling and making jokes with them. She would calm me in the dressing room and we woyld logically comment how this fits what. I came to conclusion that my figure just fits specific sizes and shapes and I now know for a fact what that is.
And funny enough, I love the fairy princess theme, I like that it has more sholder cover, lace is a yes or glitter, pinkish hues are okay, long V cut, and front the waist a bit puffier. I have a figure for that specific cut. I am short, with curves and I want to feature that not my flaws.
She was bringing her own choices to me "just for me to see how everything fits so I will always know and not be afraid of my mind" Find what your body looks good at, if still not sure, textile designer students or fashion students could tell you as well. Every body is beautiful, and choosing the correct dress (not the one you saw on someone else) is what you will find the most joy with.
I’m mid 30s and plus size. I was having a terrible time dress shopping so I looked at where I typically buy my plus size clothes. Dia and Co have wedding dresses for plus size women/femmes. I ordered a bunch to try on so let’s see how that goes!
I found it very helpful that they had sizing info for each dress, so I ordered based on measurements rather than my typical size. Good luck! I’m hopeful you’ll find something that’ll match how wonderful you feel on your wedding day!
And the salesperson were always like : ‘oh, you look so well in that tight dress or in that cleavage’ .. but I fell so uncomfortable !! And since I am people pleasure I just complied.. I almost just purchase something I wouldn’t enjoy just to get it over !!
I hated it too! Agree that everything is geared for much younger brides (I'm in my late 30s). Also there is not much selection for shorter dresses, which was something I also wanted. I ended up going to a dressmaker and getting what I wanted made.
Not a wedding dressmaker, they are crazy expensive (unless you can afford that, I'm sure they will make a georgous dress). I found a tailor who did custom dresses. I found a dress that I liked on etsy, and also a pattern that I liked, and brought them to her.
She got fabric and made the dress. It was a basic cotten dress by looked amazing. It came out to about $1700 total, which really wasn't that bad considering I didn't need alterations.
She was also able to do some other things with the fabric, like make a tie for my husband and fabric to tie the bouquets and boutonniers with (same fabric as my dress). I'm in NYC, so I don't know how easy it would be to find a dressmaker, but I would definitely encourage it if that is an option!
So interesting to hear your perspective. I am very thin and somewhat tall and I thought I looked absolutely awful in almost all the boutique dresses I tried on. The ones that felt good looked like a night gown in pictures.
Mostly nothing looked good because the dress style was made for a more curvy figure and my boney shoulders sticking up just didn't work. (In the end, someone tipped me off that a local Goodwill got wedding dress donations and I found a gorgeous old-fashioned style dress that fits my body really well).
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