Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, May 5, 2014

Are You a Plus-Size Bride?

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Chris Obenschain, Guest Author

Let’s be realistic: Most wedding dresses aren’t made with plus-size girls in mind. Sure, there are a lot more options than there used to be, but the cut, length and embellishments of most modern gowns are designed for slimmer figures. Just because society is stuck on small doesn’t mean plus-size brides should have to settle for whatever fits.

Any bride, regardless of size, can find her ideal dress – she just has to know what to look for. To help you find the perfect plus-size gown, we’ll explain how straps and sleeves can be used to gain a slimmer silhouette and why wearing a full-skirted dress may give your body a perfect shape.

plussizeBrideIf you’re a plus-size bride, it’s important to choose a material that flatters your body. Fabrics that are easily ruched (ribbed, creased, folded, pleated or laced) such as silk dupioni, satin and taffeta, look great on fuller frames because they conceal imperfections and disguise heavier areas. Stay away from beaded materials and appliquéd details as they’ll most likely end up enhancing those spots you’d prefer eyes to avoid.

You’ve got curves, so use them! Many plus-size women choose dresses with V-neck or sweetheart necklines that cover the décolleté but still call attention to their figures. Don’t be afraid to show off a little bit more if you’re comfortable doing so, but beware of plunging necklines, as they have a tendency to make you appear top-heavy and rounded.

Strapless gowns may be in vogue, but most plus-size brides should beware this style, which tends to accentuate and widen shoulders and arms. Luckily, most bridal shops can add sleeves or straps to any dress, so you’re not stuck with what’s available on the showroom floor.

Dresses with horizontal lines have a tendency to visually widen the body and thicken the frame, so if you’re at all weight- or size-conscious, you should avoid these designs.

When selecting sleeves or straps, make sure the material doesn’t squeeze or bind your arms, shoulder or back. Avoid sleeves that start puffy and end smooth or fitted, as they have tendency to make arms look bigger. Instead, choose short capped or lacy sleeves, or a light, long-sleeved jacket that can be worn over the dress. If you’re getting married in the fall or winter months, you can opt for a classic bell-sleeved wedding dress.

Perhaps the most important aspect of any plus-size bride’s dress is the skirt. Choose a gown with a full-skirt or an A-line skirt with an empire or a dropped-waist seam that will elongate your midriff and flow away from your hips. This will give your body a curvy, smooth shape that all your female guests will envy.

This is your wedding, your dress and, regardless of your size, you should never have to settle. Salesclerks may try to convince you to select a gown that’s less than flattering because it fits and they have it in stock, but you should hold out until you find something you really want.

Wedding dresses typically run a few sizes smaller than regular clothes, so don’t be horrified if you can’t fit into your normal size.

Take a few friends with you to get some honest feedback and opinions, and don’t be afraid to call ahead and ask what sizes are carried in a store before you make the trek over there. Numerous bridal shops are looking for your business, so don’t give up until you find that perfect dress!

From TheKnot: Wedding Gown: Should I Buy It Before I Lose Weight?

Q. ~ I am trying to lose a lot of weight in time for my wedding (six months from now). The problem is that I feel pressured to get my wedding dress soon (because of the three to four months it takes for one to come in). I don’t want to have to buy a size that fits me now or get a style that would flatter my current shape. I’m embarrassed to even make an appointment at an upscale wedding dress shop (I’ve only gone to discount places where they leave you alone). My family and close friends are out of state, which is why I have to go alone. Help!

A. ~ Your concern and stress are understandable, and you’re right that it does take a while for a custom-made wedding gown to arrive in the store once it’s ordered. So if you want to go that route, you should start thinking about buying a wedding gown as soon as possible (you’ll need time for alterations too). Of course your other option is to wait until a month before the wedding and to buy a gown off the rack at one of those discount stores or at a department store, but then you risk not finding the wedding gown you really want.

To address a larger concern though, making your wedding date the deadline to lose a certain number of pounds may not be the best idea. That just puts extra pressure on you during the already stressful planning period. You shouldn’t stop eating healthfully and exercising. But keep in mind the fact that you’re marrying the man you love, and he loves you for you — not for your weight! Simply decide whether you want a wedding dress that’s going to take a few months to order, or you’re comfortable waiting until the eleventh hour. Then do what you need to do.

BONUS Articles: Wedding Planning as a Plus Sized Bride
Plus Size Brides – You CAN Find a Wonderful Wedding Gown!
Is Trying to Lose Weight forYour Wedding Realistic?

Copyright 2014 – Chris Obenschain. This article was written by Chris Obenschain on



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