Wedding Wear for the Non-Standard Bride

For those Brides-to-be who aren’t average sized, finding your dream wedding dress can turn in to a nightmare. When buying brand new, most wedding dresses are made to be altered to fit each individual unless you’re purchasing a budget, ready to wear dress from a highstreet chain store such as Bhs or Debenhams. Even then, it’s likely your dress will have been designed to be shortened to meet the requirements of the more petite Bride. But what about those with different needs?

Plus sizes are available in ready-to-wear; Debenhams, for example, goes up to a size 20 in some of its range and Littlewoods to size 24, but the range is small. More well-known plus size clothing stores don’t even offer wedding dresses for their targeted demographic. So where do you go if your size just isn’t on offer?

Fashionable plus size wedding dress by Igigi

Ever After Wedding Gown bi IGIGI in Plus Sizes: 16 -36 & Length: 59" - 62"

For ready-to-wear gowns, if nothing suitable can be found on the highstreet, try looking for plus size specialist boutiques in your area whose range of dresses are designed to flatter those with a fuller figure. You might be able to find something off the rack, or in a sample sale, that you won’t then have to pay to be fitted.

Petite Bridal Dress

Wedding Dress Style 1648 By SG Couture - In sizes 2 - 36 regular, petite or outsize

Of course, if you can afford a fitted gown there are slightly more options available to you. Most wedding boutiques will cater for plus sizes but it’s worth checking before you start falling in love with the dresses on offer in case they break your heart.

Bespoke Bridal Dress

From the bridal range at Elaine Closs - all her dresses are made to measure for the perfect fit

One way to get around the problem entirely is to get your dress made for you from scratch. Depending on the style, fabric and complexity of your chosen design, a good seamstress can create and fit your dress for you and the cost may not end up being much different to a new dress bought and fitted at a boutique.

This option would also be a good work around for those women who stand taller than the average. Whilst almost all wedding dresses are made to be too long for the average person, if you’re wearing heels, want a dress that will not swing around your ankles and are over 5’7” then you’re probably going to have a bit of trouble finding something that works for you.

One thing to remember when searching for the perfect dress, if you’re tall then your body length will also be longer. Finding a dress with a longer skirt might solve the ankle problem, but result in the waist becoming an under-the-bust seam instead.

There are shops and websites out there that cater to tall women, just as there are for plus sized women. Talk to other women with similar requirements, ask where they got their dress from. Don’t know anyone? Join a forum on a wedding related site and ask there. Finding them may be frustrating and painstaking but ultimately worthwhile as the gowns they offer will be custom designed to suit your needs and should suit every budget.

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