Download the WeddingBazaar App!

Explore curated ideas, plan weddings & book vendors

Get App

It’s no secret: shopping for a plus-size wedding dress is hard. 

Shopping for a wedding dress is almost like a rite of passage. It’s something you may have dreamt of since you were young. But if only finding the perfect dress was as easy as it was in our childhood daydreams, right? 

Growing up, we don't think we've seen a lot of plus-sized brides in movies, advertisements or tv shows, save for a few occasions. We had seen plus-sized brides more in real life than in the media. And that's why many plus-sized brides find it tough to imagine what their final wedding look would look like. Unfortunately, many plus-sized women are often told to lose weight to look their best. Body inclusivity is an issue for many brides-to-be: if you are curvier, more petite, or taller than the average sample size, there will be fewer options at many stores. But we're here to tell you that that's not true at all!

Never let your dress size dictate your happiness, especially when it comes to your wedding. That’s not to say that even the most confident curvy bride-to-be can’t get the jitters when thinking about the bridal shopping process. So, to make it as seamless and stress-free as possible, we've compiled some of the best tips and advice for plus-size brides on wedding dress shopping!

So, scroll down and take note of these 13 tips for plus-size wedding dress shopping!

13 Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping Tips 

1. Know Your Body Type

Before you even begin shopping, the first thing you need to do is understand your body shape and type. It is always best to buy your wedding outfit based on your body type, so that you're comfortable throughout the ceremony. Plus-size women mainly come in four body types – top-heavy or apple-shaped, bottom-heavy or pear-shaped, midriff heavy and an overall round body. However, there can be variations. 

- If you're heavier on the top, then that can be balanced by opting for a heavier, voluminous lehenga giving you a leaner and longer appeal.

- If you have a heavier midriff, then picking an appealing choli design with a well-designed neckline that will accentuate your bust line is a good way of taking attention away from your midriff. Similarly, a flared lehenga will help in the same way. 

- If you have a pear-shaped body, then apt for an A-line silhouette, which is a minimal flared lehenga. A saree is also a good choice for pear-shaped bodies. Also, make sure you get a choli that is well made and embellished as it will balance the overall look.

2. Look For Bridal Shops/Brands That Specialize In Plus Sizes

Credits: Shawn MenezesRecall Pictures

No matter what size you are, shopping for your wedding outfit is inherently stressful. But, when you're a plus-size bride, it's even more intense. So, it's always best to go with a brand or store that caters to your size category. They're most knowledgeable and understanding of a plus-size bride's needs and desires and, of course, they'll have the best selection of sizes for you. Still, if you don’t have a plus-size wedding dress shop near you, there are plenty of online stores and brands that ensure your shopping experience is good.

3. Book Your Appointments Ahead

We know that the idea of a plus-size bridal wear brand is amazing. But if it's not located near you, then it can be a problem. So, if you're going out of your way to visit a store like that, it's best to call ahead and book your appointment. Designer brands like Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra are known to cater to all size categories, but if you're gonna visit them, then booking an appointment is necessary. Furthermore, if you don't know if the store caters to larger sizes, then call them ahead of visiting and inquire if they have the sizes you need. doing a bit of research can go a long way in avoiding uncomfortable situations when going shopping for your big day. Make sure when you do email or call to give them your clothing size to let you know if they have dress options for you. Another great question to ask is if they have plus-size-friendly chairs and fitting rooms! 

4. Be Selective With Your Shopping Entourage

When you're shopping for your wedding outfits, it's important not to feel too pressured by the people around you. So, be very selective of your shopping gang. Make sure its people who have best wishes in their hearts for you, are honest about what looks nice and what doesn't. But also ensure that you're not surrounded by negative Nancys who constantly nag you about your style or size. Furthermore, let your shopping gang know beforehand what you're looking for and establish boundaries. Unfortunately, some folks don’t even realize they are engaging in fat-phobic language and behaviours, so giving them a heads up will not only help you but hopefully them, as well. Let them know that while constructive criticism is okay, hurtful comments are not welcomed. 

5. Pay No Mind To The Size Of The Dress

Girls, don't focus on your dress size! Keep in mind that often a brand's sizing may not match up to the size you're most used to wearing. It's very common for people of all sizes to need a size or two bigger than what they're used to wearing. Remember, it’s all about how the dress fits your beautiful body! You want to get an outfit that will fit you and all your curves. The size doesn’t matter.

6. Shop With An Open Mind

Credits: Nikhil PaulAkshat Jain

When it comes to wedding shopping, we know you've done a ton of research on the most flattering silhouettes for your body type. That's fantastic, sure. But you have to go in with an open mind as well. Many brides-to-be hold back when they're trying on different styles, mainly because of body image issues. However, while you try the dress type you've thought of, don't be afraid of trying on something outside of your usual comfort zone. If you have a stylist, let them make suggestions and be open to things you may not have considered. Who knows? Maybe you'll end up finalising something completely new and off-beat!

7. Keep In Mind The Details

Are you planning on wearing shapewear on your wedding day? Well, when you're shopping for your bridal lehenga, bring it along. Keep in mind that shape-wear is NOT a requirement to look your best on your special day. If you do not want to wear [shape-wear], then ditch it! Many brides look better without the undergarments than with them, mainly because the cholis come with inseamed cups. The name of the game, though, is to show up how you would for your wedding to give you the best visual. Equally important to what’s underneath your lehenga is what's over. So, give some thought to other details you’d like on your wedding day, and be sure to represent them during fittings. Wearing your hair up? Throw it in a ponytail for your appointment. Looking to rock a bold lip for the wedding? Grab your best smudge-proof lipstick. It's amazing how something simple can change how you feel in a dress. 

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Your Dream Dress!

Source iNav

We cannot emphasize this enough. Many plus-sized brides hesitate when shopping for their bridal outfits. But seriously, don’t be afraid to ask for the dress of your dreams. There are so many non-traditional ways of obtaining the perfect dress. If there's a budget barrier, then consider renting your outfit. If you're not able to find your preferred outfit with one designer, move on to another. If you liked a previous bride's outfit, don't be hesitant to contact her and ask her the details of how she got it. Do your research about various ways of procuring your outfit. 

9. An Extra Dupatta Will Become Your Friend!

Source Gaatha

There's no denying that by adding a second dupatta to your ensemble, you end up lifting your overall look and bringing it close to perfection. It's always practical to have double dupattas with your outfit when you wish to sport a shoulder drape and a head veil. Your two dupattas can be used separately without putting too much burden on your overall outfit. A second dupatta helps camouflage areas you wish to hide. Whether it's your shoulders, your stomach or even your back, a second dupatta can help hide that area through good styling. Plus, it gives a vintage look. What's not to love?

10. Fabrics Do Matter

When it comes to plus-size wedding dresses, it is important to know the kind of fabric it's made of. Different kinds of fabric flatter different kinds of body types. Opt for light and flowy fabrics like georgette and chiffon which perfectly drapes around the skin making you look slimmer. Fabrics like silk and velvet lend a heavier look and you should only go for them if you're hundred per cent sure. 

11. Join Plus-Size Bridal Communities For Inspiration & Support

Credits: Recall Pictures; Brooke Silverman

Social media can be a wonderful place where it can connect you to different communities and people. You can have a support system of fellow plus-size brides to seek advice and gather inspiration from at your disposal. Representation is so important, and to see brides that look like you makes such a difference—especially when you see how drop-dead gorgeous they all look in their wedding dresses. You can also choose to follow hashtags like #CurvyBrides and #PlusSizeBrides for dress inspiration, and to find plus-size wedding dress designers, too. We're sure you're going to find tons of socially conscious and sound-minded content to help you deal with all that there is when it comes to weddings!

12. Blouse Hacks For Plus-Size Wedding Outfits You Should Note

Whether it's a bridal lehenga, sharara or saree, when you're shopping for a wedding outfit, there are certain tips you should keep in mind while finalising your blouse design:

A. Opt for a long blouse design or a high-waisted skirt: Covering the stomach area always does wonders for brides who have a heavy midriff. So, you can go for a long blouse design like a peplum blouse or jacket-style choli. However, if you don't want to go for a long blouse, you can also choose a high-waisted skirt. 

B. Avoid heavily padded blouses: If you have a heavier bust, avoid blouses with very thick or heavy pads as they further add to the look rather than diminish the effect. In fact, if you're okay with it, you can skip the pads completely.

13. Have Fun With It!

Source Pinterest

Take a deep breath and remember: this is all about celebrating the love between you and your future spouse. Make dress shopping and fittings a festive and happy occasion. Get glam and enjoy these special moments. You deserve to feel gorgeous, loved, and celebrated throughout this process. 'Cuz once it's over, you're going to look back and should only remember the good parts. 

Final Thoughts

Every bride looks beautiful on her big day irrespective of her body type. Wearing the right kind of outfits at your wedding only helps you flaunt your curves. You will surely make a stunning impression on your spouse and the guests when you add confidence and a smile to your style. So, don't be afraid and just keep it chill while you shop for your wedding outfit!



The Ultimate Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping Guide For Brides!

by Shivani Singh

The Ultimate Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping Guide For Brides!