Recently we have had a lot of calls from brides and/or their family and friends explaining the nerves and worry over trying gowns on. This isn't unusual, us brides are worriers it comes with the territory but recently we've had a lot of these calls from brides mainly upset and anxious because of their size.
It makes me genuinely sad to think that there are brides out there who aren't excited by the prospect of trying on dresses. So for this reason about 3 years ago we started adding to our collection by creating a specific Plus Size selection of dresses which didn't take long to grow to over 30 gowns with another 8 more due in the late Spring early Summer.
Wedding dresses are not cheap, as you brides well know, so it's not easy for us stores to stretch our buying budgets making it possible to get all shapes and sizes on the rails. Yet we felt it was 100% necessary to ring fence some money and put that aside to ensure no bride came into store and couldn't at least see something she could try on.
We did some research and from the start we avoided those designers that only made plus size gowns or designers that provided ranges only in plus size. We never wanted a separate collection of gowns, for a start it felt like we were saying oh you can't wear this how about these "special dresses" - it just felt wrong. What helped was that we actually thought our current designers offered better designs, structure and support anyway - so we got ordering!
Now we had a plan, and boy do I love a plan, off we went to shows and catwalks and found our most favourite dresses and then ordered 2 of each making sure to include sizes 18/20/22/24 and 26. This meant our brides could still peruse the rails of gowns for things they liked and then we could just pull out the slightly bigger style for comfort or at least something similar.
Occasionally we get some hilarious and funny brides who come in and just ask to be pointed to the bigger sizes, they are embracing their figures and making it light hearted and a giggle during the appointments and for those brides we direct them straight to the size 18+ gowns but sometimes you just want to browse which was why we went down the duplicate ordering road rather than "specials" so you can check all gowns and hopefully something you love in a smaller size we will have duplicated for you to try!
Don't get me wrong we haven't always got it right - It's such a sensitive area for some brides so we appreciate the challenge ahead. I mean I'm pretty sure I haven't been a size 8 since I was 8 yrs old but neither am I plus size and therefore I cannot relate to the struggle of a bride who is truly uncomfortable in her body. We are trying and every day I think we get a little better at understanding and helping create those special memories.
I think 75% of our brides have body issues, whether this be bums, belly's, thighs, c section scars, the most worried about "back cleavage" or my personal struggle the chubby arms! Nearly everyone size 8 to 28 has an issue they don't like. When you remember that this is a "girl thing" and not a "plus size thing" it can make you feel a whole heap better. Brides barely ever try the perfect size on in store (be you a size 8 or 28) so remember to worry less about the fact that not everything will fit you perfectly because of your size it's more because you are a bride and that is how bridal works.
Its not ideal I would love to try gowns on brides in the perfect size but until I divorce the hubs and marry a Billionaire we don't have the budget in store to offer such a wide range in all sizes and therefore we work on trying to accommodate as many brides as possible be it with a dress slightly too big or slightly too small and then hopefully you can still see how amazing it will make you look in the end!
We are also joining forces with our designers to request more images of plus size brides in their gowns. I'm admitting we didn't help the matter here by ordering non plus size specific designs in the first place - we went with our in-store favourites instead. There are a number of only plus size labels out there creating some fabulous images and giving all our brides some amazing inspiration. Slowly it will get better and we applaud those trying so hard now and hope to watch this space for more details and images soon!
Our advice for nervous plus size brides - book a late afternoon appointment and hit the pub for the dutch courage first if needed (I'm a big advocate for Prosecco bravery) then come to us for "play time". A good idea is when booking appointments just double check that the store you are visiting carries a wide selection of sizes so you are not blindsided if they only carry size 8.
I cannot stress enough that we will never judge you for being fuller figured, if you are happy and healthy we couldn't care less on your size. So embrace your gorgeous self, someone out there loves you enough to buy you a gorgeous engagement ring and want to have you walk down the aisle towards him/her so remember to love yourself a little bit more too.
During a busy day if a bride mentions she is plus size when booking most of the girls in store would jump at the chance to help in that appointment rather than a standard size 8/10 for one amazing reason - we can make you look fabulous and put a proper grin on your face! Quite often a nervous bride who is plus size comes in and doesn't necessarily want to try much on - we have so many different shapes and styles now we can show off those curves better than you probably ever have before and make you feel a million dollars! Once we get that smile and show you how amazing you can look we just feel amazing too! You are the reason we do this job after all - if you are willing to put your appointment in our hands and play with all sorts of different shapes and styles we can keep going all day long!
We look forward to meeting you all in store soon - anyone from a size 6-36 but remember to enjoy yourself. If you are nervous and want to chat first just give us a call - we can talk you off the ledge and into something fabulous just give us or another store a chance before you worry yourself to hardcore Pinterest bridal death!
Embrace those curves and knock him/her sideways on the big day! He/She knows and loves you already but let's get the guests appreciating you too - "She's so gorgeous" tears all round please!!
Visit us on www.aurora-bride.com/plus-size to view the gowns we have in store now and watch this space for some of the gorgeous new arrivals this Spring on our Facebook or Pinterest page then get booking those appointments with us or somewhere else!