Bridal ads aren’t exempt from the negatives of Photoshopping, body exclusivity and whitewashing — no, not the dress. Real brides include brides of all ages, races, sexual identities, sizes, shapes and backgrounds.
Fortunately, many bridal boutiques now work hard to be all-inclusive in meeting the expectations of brides of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. You are beautiful, just as you are. Now, let them know it as you own it.
A Day in the Life of Being a “Plus Size” Bride
Meet Alex. She’s a 30-something business executive getting hitched to the person of her dreams, supposedly an hour-glass but her belly sticks out, too. Alex wonders if she’s an apple or hour-glass or whatever-the-heck you’re supposed to be these days as a plus size woman.
Now, she gets to endure an attempt to find a wedding dress she hopes will enhance her curves and accentuate all the woman she is, and Alex knows she’s a mighty fine woman! Spending hours stuffing yourself into clothes sometimes temporarily shifts that mindset, though. What about the great wide web of wedding dress images and the joys of Pinterest?
You can’t escape the trap of compare-and-despair online, either, since 90 percent of Google searches invoke that feeling, but 10 percent bring up some helpful “alternative bride” searches. Underneath those searches is a revolutionary body-positive movement for brides.
It’s tough trying to fit a size 14 into a size 10 sample — much less trying to fit a 44 into a 40 sample if you’re lucky enough to find one in the first place. Alex wonders how many years of her life she just lost to making calls and driving across the state. She learned to call ahead because nowhere was likely to have a size for her shape. If by some miracle they did, it’d be ugly, expensive or both. That’s sad status quo of being a plus-size bride.
If you’re lucky, you may find a boutique that carries typical plus sizes of 18 to 24. Lanie List, the founder of Lovely Bride, a plus line, recommends brides trust their stylists while trying on each gown and to choose the first one that makes them feel like a knockout.
Also, check out various brands and curve collection trunk shows for an exclusively body-positive experience. That’s right, you can go to a trunk show tailored to your body and style — one that truly embraces all women — or you can go right to the source, starting with the all-inclusive brand Ashley & Justin Bride.
Ashley & Justin Bride’s style guide allows you to find the dress that best suits your body type, and they work constantly to meet the needs of all kinds of brides through custom designs. Many of their designs fit up to size 30, and the designers are working to be more all-inclusive and body-conscious. Ashdon Brands, a 30-year-old bridal fashion house, creates its designs at many price-point ranges, so all brides can get the quality dress they deserve at a reasonable price and natural fit.
Think ethereal, vintage-inspired and modern silhouettes, with the freedom to move and feel your best in their many silhouette styles.
Brides like Alex deserve less hassle. They don’t want to get laughed out of bridal boutiques or an, “Oh honey, I’m sorry but what did you expect?” look when shopping for a wedding gown for one of the best days of their lives.
Fortunately, more bridal boutiques like Ashley & Justin Bride are stepping up to fit the woman, tailoring their designs specifically to the goddess-bride who walks in the store.
Dear designers — curves exist, have existed for ages and aren’t going anywhere!
For more advice on finding the perfect plus-size wedding dress, head to our Youtube channel!