Over the last few years my travelling for work seems to have increased. I’m not moaning, often this means I get 2/3 days of sun and sangria or at least a trip round a beautiful European city (I’m still waiting on the Vegas call). What this does mean though is I find I have the time to sit and wonder about what is affecting our brides at the moment……hmmm….???
Before getting on this current plane on route back from Spain, having viewed new collections and seeing what trends are on route to our brides this season (you just wait for the next blog!) I had the foresight to ask one of our gorgeous plus size brides if she minded being part of my next blog and being the amazing human that she is she agreed. I know how organised am I?? I am definitely getting better at “adulting”
One of my first ever blogs was regarding plus size bridal and its something in store we feel very passionate about providing. I’m not saying there is not room for improvement as that is NEVER true, literally never. You can always make more effort, have more styles, try to reassure brides etc but I do feel in store based on the brides we see and the percentage number of plus size brides walking through the door in comparison to “straight” sizes (designers terms not mine) then we are actually hugely more proportionally tailored towards size 18+ brides than we are size 10 and below – in fact we only have one size 8 in the whole store currently.
Over the last 5 years we have made massive strides in our plus size selection and the offering we have in store. Last count we had over 43 dresses in sizes 18-26 with more on route as I type/fly. Yet I find these brides are the brides I worry for as they often admit when booking their appointments that they are terrified to come in or have been putting the appointment off to try and lose weight. Bridal shopping should be THE most fun thing you can do and trust me you will have a blast if you just take the pressure off yourself and start to try and enjoy the experience. Think of the appointment as great fun and dress up time. Maybe book an afternoon appointment and have a touch of Dutch courage before you visit us but please come excited and happy to try on a bit of everything for fun! You just never know what you might like!!!
It’s difficult sometimes as those brides technically “plus size”, meaning size 18 or above according to designers, don’t like to share their experiences as they can feel ashamed or just would rather not be in the limelight. Our gorgeous Alethea has nothing to worry about. She is both beautiful, she made a stunning bride, but also need never feel ashamed as shes healthy and happy with her shape.
So enough of my rambling lets get down to what an actual bride thought of her time in store, and before you ask no I did not pay Alethea to be so gorgeous and she received not a bean of recompense for her lovely words. We are either just that good or shes the nicest bride ever, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which?
How did you feel, Alethea, before coming shopping?
I was so anxious about the idea of going wedding dress shopping. Even though I had lost weight leading up to the big day, I knew that I would still be considered a plus size bride. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to find my dream dress or whether there would be minimal options and I’d have to ‘make do’.
How many stores did you visit, did you have any concerns about booking your appointment?
I did my research online by looking at all the local stores and scrolling through their websites. I loved the fact that Aurora specified on their website that they had plus size dresses available. I only ended up visiting Aurora in the end for many wonderful reasons. When I initially rang up and explained that I would be looking at the plus size dresses, the lovely lady made me feel completely comfortable and congratulations on our engagement. Other places that I had rang up, I was met with mixed responses from, ‘Sorry, we don’t have any dresses that would suite you’ or just generally made me feel uncomfortable. We would drive by Aurora nearly every day for years so when we got engaged, I knew that I wanted to get my wedding dress from you and my dream came true!
What were the good and bad points you found you experienced during your appointment? Was there anything else we could have done to put you more at ease?
My mum and I first visited Aurora in April 2018 (our wedding was March 2019) just to have a quick look at the dresses and book my first appointment. I’ve never been so nervous. When I arrived, I felt completely at ease. The lovely ladies showed me all the beautiful dresses and suggested that I try just a couple on now to make me feel comfortable. I am so grateful looking back that you suggested that, although at the time I was petrified that nothing would fit! When we got engaged, I had a screenshot of a Stella York dress on my phone and knew Aurora stocked it, so straight away I said that I wanted to try that dress on. I liked it on, but I knew it wasn’t the one. The amazing store assistant knew straight away another dress to suggest and I couldn’t believe how good I felt in this dress, I was beginning to realise that every bride, every size, deserves to feel beautiful on their wedding day. All the following appointments just got better and better, even though I didn’t go for either of those original dresses, I felt like a princess on my wedding day and everyone at Aurora were such a significant part of helping me feel that way.
Did you feel relieved when you found “the one”?
I felt a mixture of relieved and confused to begin with! My first official trying on session in July 2018 I was with my mum, my mother-in-law and maid of honour/sister-in-law. I immediately wanted to try on the original dresses but then I was told that they had loads more dresses so in the end I must have tried on around 12 dresses. There were so many options that I hadn’t expected to have! I thought I would be limited and suddenly Aurora had given me all these beautiful dresses of so many styles, which one was the right one? I’m sure other brides will feel this way too, but with such an important decision, I go to my best friend… my fiancé for advice and I knew of course, that in this situation that was not an option! We narrowed it down to a couple of dresses and I booked in to go back a few weeks later with my mum, auntie and nan. I tried on these dresses again and straight away as soon as I put on my beautiful Stella York dress, everyone in tears and so emotional. I felt worthy to be me, a beautiful bride in a stunning dress. Relieved is an understatement!
Were you worried about your seamstress fittings or about the process right before the wedding?
I cannot thank Nini enough for working her magic on my dress. When it came to my fittings, I was worried that my dress wouldn’t fit but of course it did and then with Nina’s adjustments she made it perfect. I’d always imagined myself in a strapless wedding dress and that is what I went for but at the fitting, I panicked, I suggested that we add some lace sleeves as I was worried about my arms, everyone looked at me and said your dress is perfect and you look stunning, do not change a thing. I’m really thankful that they said that, looking back at photos, it was definitely the right decision.
Alethea was a gorgeous bride in store both in her presence and her personality so its not surprise she looked radiant on her big day. I know the questions and answers seem a bit of a love in and I can understand if you are sceptical but the point of this blog is not to get you to run into us in store and buy the first dress you try on hoping for the same magical experience. This blog however, is for brides all over the UK, hey I’m ambitious the WORLD even! Hoping that they read this and find an amazing store of there own and take the words of a formally nervous plus size bride to be and get a little comfort and fizzing excitement of their own to enjoy this amazingly fun and fabulous dress search.
I’ll leave you with Alethea’s own words as she can say it better than me – please just feel to substitute out Aurora Bride for your own store if you don’t live near us. Or hey get on a plane and come join us I promise you Easyjet don’t offer a bad Prosecco it might just be worth the trip!
There are no words to express how grateful I am to everyone at Aurora for making my wedding dress journey so easy and enjoyable. If I could say anything to another plus size bride out there, you are ENOUGH. You are beautiful and you are deserving of your dream dress, never ever settle. Aurora Bride made my dreams come true and they can do the same for you too!