I started digging around online to find designers that I liked and that would have a dress in my size. Folks, we’re talking a 22/24 here, which is plus size for sure but it’s not like I was in a 36+! I couldn’t believe it. If I found a dress I liked, the upcharge for the larger size would add on hundreds of dollars! And I wasn’t going fancy; satin and a little lace for the most part. I was able to find my flower girls and junior bridesmaids dresses online and got a great deal, no problem. My bridesmaids were told to get a black dress and I had my coordinating wedding color (Kentucky Blue) in a wrap for each of the girls. Again, no problem.
But I was still without a dress and I was the frickin’ bride.
In all of my online searching, I came across a dress that met my basic requirements:
- Available in a plus size
- Plus size didn’t charge an arm and a leg
- Modest but still pretty
- If sleeveless, then would need to be able to alter it with sleeves or wear a matching jacket/wrap
- Within my dress budget including alterations
That’s it. Didn’t have to be a certain color or cut, little to no bling, nothing fancy or showy in any way.
Suddenly I found a dress that met the requirements. While it was sleeveless, it had a gorgeous lace “jacket” that covered my shoulders, down to the wrist and was the “train” of the dress itself! It was sold as a complete dress, not separately! It also came in my size range.
The best part? One store within 100 miles had it in stock!
It was 4pm on a Friday afternoon, and I expected the store to be closing soon if not already. But my mom encouraged me to at least call and see. I called the store and told them the dress I was looking for and if they still had it.
You know what? They had just unboxed it that morning, it hadn’t even been out of the plastic yet. AND it was the size I was looking for too. So my youngest sister and I hopped in the car and went to check it out.
And it was beautiful. It fit exactly like I was looking for, and the jacket had enough small details to be pretty even though the dress itself was plain by most standards.
Ha! After all the heartache, tears, bad moods, and well meaning encouragement, I had found my dress. On the same day the store got it in stock, in the 1 size I needed. And even with the underskirt, alterations, and garment bags for it all, still under budget.
You know the saying about you’ll know the dress when you try it on the first time? Well, turns out it was true for me. I knew once I had it on that I had found it. I went home with that dress and wore it proudly to marry my best friend, the man who is now the father of our child and the goofball who gets my humor.
The point of this whole ramble about my wedding story is…searching for clothes can be hard, even with more retailers carrying larger sizes than ever before. Searching for formal wear or a wedding dress is still very difficult! And it shouldn’t be, when their average sample size is a 4 and the average woman in the US is a 14/16. But…I think with some research, time, and even a little luck, all women should be able to find exactly what they want and how they want it to be.
Do you have a wedding dress tale to share with others? Tell us about it in the comments below!