Seeing a lot of wedding related posts got me thinking about my wedding story. While it should be one of the happiest times of your life, searching for a dress when you aren’t a size 4 can be difficult to say the least. I thought I’d share my story with my readers and hope some of you will share yours as well.
First off, how did I meet my husband? My mother met him first actually. Long story short, she met him in a class they were both attending, and she told me immediately about this guy she met and how we were very similar (single and sarcastic) and that we should talk. Honestly? I blew it off; I had a lot of things going on in life and just wasn’t ready to try dating again.
But, within a few months we were dating and not much longer we were engaged (with our family’s blessings) and married the following spring.
So I can tell you that it worked out fine! But…shopping for a wedding dress was one of the worst experiences of my life.
I’ve always been a big girl. Even in elementary school, all through college and even as an adult. My weight has fluctuated but I’ve never been skinny or even in the normal range. So clothes shopping in general was never much fun, but man…shopping for a prom dress or any type of formal wear, for a size 12+? Forget about it!
I was honest with myself that I probably would have some trouble when I started my wedding dress search. So I started looking early, in case I couldn’t find what I wanted right away or needed to order it online, etc. Like most brides do, I went to a few local bridal boutiques to at least see what they would have in stock.
Um…yeah. I won’t use names, but the chains I went to are well established around the US, not small businesses in any way.
The first shop I went into to try on dresses and get an idea for what I wanted? Virtually ignored. I had my mother and a few of my younger sisters with me (who would also be my bridesmaids) and while I was told up front they carried nothing larger than a 16 (said with a sneer), I could at least get a feel for the dresses and see if they could be ordered in “extended sizes”.
Do you know the sales girl spent 95% of my appointment getting dresses for my little sisters? I mean, these 2 were 9 and 10 when this was going on. And what she did bring me? I didn’t feel they were anything like I told her I thought I’d be interested in.
And the worst part? She didn’t even help me in the dressing room. She hung them up and left. Even after my mom helped me into them and I came out to look in the mirror? The sales person was no where to be found. Needless to say, no one bought anything that day and in fact, the only reason I ever went back was one of my other sister’s was getting married and that’s where we had to order our dresses from (side note: I was a plus size girl AND pregnant for that wedding!!).
I cried most of the way home and was upset for a few days after, a little angry and hurt but mostly disappointed that in the search for a dress I’d wear to marry my guy in front of all our friends and family and this is what is was going to be like?
The second chain store was a few weeks later after I researched more online and got the courage to go back into another store. Now, at this place they were more helpful, though still limited on what sizes they could offer. I will say that the sales person did help me try the dresses on (using the clips to hold them shut in the back) and offered suggestions for modesty coverings and sleeves when the dress didn’t have any. But she acted bored, I’m guessing because she thought she wouldn’t be making a sale? I dunno.
I was so bummed. My fiance and his buddies had already been fitted and ordered their tuxes and were done. And most of them weren’t exactly dainty little flowers either!! But no problem; had their appointments, got fitted and come back the day before the wedding to pick them up. (Continued on page 2 below)