Dress Shopping Tips from A Plus Size Stylist

Shopping for your wedding dress should be one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding, but for a lot of plus brides working with boutiques can be disappointing. As a plus size woman and a bridal stylist I always want to make the shopping experience for my plus brides as fun and easy as possible. Here are a few ways to make sure your search for the dress is a good one!

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Learning the Language of Your New Family

My family is comfortable with silence. A dinner with small talk is perfect and an evening watching television together is quality time. Growing up, I felt uncomfortable spending time over friends’ houses whose families chattered on about their personal lives. I had no understanding of how much or how little of myself to give in conversation. Learning to feel comfortable connecting with people on a deeply personal level was lie learning to speak a new language.

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Abi & Ross’s Sweetly Personal Scottish Town Hall Wedding

Abi and Ross met during college when Abi was doing a semester abroad at the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland. They first clapped eyes on each other in the dining hall, where Ross quickly convinced Abi to join the Sitrling University Drama Society (SUDS for short). Abi fell for the funny, charismatic redhead quickly after seeing him perform and she tried a few subtle flirtations to win his favor, but Ross remained blissfully oblivious to these advances until Abi teasingly stuck her icy, cold hands down the collar of his shirt. Somehow that did the trick and Abi’s cold hands warmed Ross’s big heart.

They never dated in the traditional sense. “It was more like, we hung out once and then I just never left his side,” explained Abi. “There was a deep and very real connection there.”

After that, things happened quickly. “On Monday we were just two people and by Friday I was calling the admissions office and arranging an extension of my semester abroad,” said Abi.

They never looked back.

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My Big Fat Blonde Musical's Real Life Love Story

Theresa and Bobby went to elementary, middle, and high school together. Bobby was in band with Theresa’s brother so they were “aware” of each other, but they were not friends. After college, their mutual friend, Donald (who later officiated their wedding), got them both involved in a local production of Gilbert and Sullivan's, "The Mikado." After rehearsals, Donald, Bobby, and Theresa would grab dinner and drinks and just hang out. They did this for about a month before things took a leap out of the friend zone.

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Michelle & John's Route 66 Cabin Celebration

Michelle and John first met in 2012. John asked to buy the cute blonde a beer when they bumped into each other on the street outside the oldest bar in Ithaca, New York. They had a beer together, but did not exchange numbers and went their separate ways. However, it must have been fate because a month later Michelle was passing the same bar after work and decided to have a quick peek inside. John was there. They had another beer, exchanged numbers this time, and within a week they both knew it was love.

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The Inspiring Fat Girl Learns to Love Someone Else

I had once made a vow to never leave the house without lipstick. At 17, I was ready to commit to my persona. I would gather my small paycheck from working part-time in a popular mall to spend it all on MAC lipstick bullets. I was comfortable using conventional beauty in full-forced defense towards the oncoming, inevitable judgement in the thoughts of each passerby.

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Sarah & Gabriel's 1930s Hometown Wedding

Sarah and Gabriel first met in high school. They had Economics together and Sarah had a crush on the cute football player with the gorgeous brown eyes and amazing afro, but it was not until they left those fluorescent-lit, locker-lined halls that they fell in love. The couple reconnected  during a dance class that they were taking at a local community college. Sarah's dance partner dropped out and Gabriel waltzed back into her life.  Five years later, Gabriel proposed on their anniversary and they married on September 30, 2016. They chose to have their wedding at a historical venue connected to their favorite Italian/American Watsonville, Calif. restaurant.  "We love the history of our hometown and chose to celebrate in a place that respected the history of our home," Sarah explained. They were the first couple to celebrate their wedding in the gorgeous, fully-restored 1930s ballroom. 

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Jessica & Kevin's Traditional Maryland Celebration

Kevin saw Jessica on Plenty of Fish in 2013. Their conversation faded, but fate stepped in on Facebook three years later, where they bonded in a football fan group. After exchanging numbers and texting, Kevin didn't want to miss another chance, and took her out to see a movie. Later that year, Kevin presented her ring during a quiet night at home. She was surprised, but elated to say yes.

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