Updated: May 23
As a plus size women myself, I had terrible anxiety surrounding the bridal dress shopping experience, which is why when I decided to open Ivory & Main I swore to myself that no one would have to feel that anxiety again, not in my shop anyway. My promise to all of our brides is that you will be able to try on gowns in our shop and you will be treated the way you deserve. So with that said lets get to the 3 things that should hear while wedding gown shopping as a curvy Bride.
1. I'm Nervous I wont fit into any gowns
When you enter a bridal store, you should be the happiest person! This is so exciting, you are getting ready to choose the gown you will wear when you marry your best friend! You are with family and friends who are there to support you, its a fun outing. We all want to think it's this posh experience like in the movies, but for us curvy brides that's not always the case. When you enter you should be greeted by an associate of the store introduced to your consultant and start to discuss what your wedding and gown vision is. Most good consultants will want to get to know you so they can get a feel for your style and be able to pick gowns that you will love. What sometimes happens is some Bridal shops only have a small selection of gowns for Plus size brides so even though the consultant can get an idea of what you want she is limited to the sizes of the gowns that you can actually try on that are available in that shop. If they have a large plus size section, than great, but if not, your vision may begin to fall short. Going to shops that specialize in plus/Curvy bridal eliminates that, because you should be able to fit into most gowns. When we purchase samples for the shop we make sure to order larger sizes, so larger curvy women can try them easily, and smaller curvy women can be clipped in. If you can try on the gowns, how will you know what looks good on you? This is a big purchase and you should be able to try on the gowns, unless of course you are doing custom, so there are exceptions.
2. There wont be enough gown options for you to try on.
Again this goes back to number 1. At a curvy bridal shop they specialize in Curvy Brides so you should have plenty of options. In our shop we carry close to 300 bridal gowns for our brides, and that number grows constantly. Having a large selection for women to try on is key. How can you get an idea of what you like if you can't try on different silhouettes or a multitude of gowns. From Sheath to Ballgowns, you should be able to have your pick. We are NOT saying you should try on 300 gowns, (that would be insane) what we are saying is that if you like Lace, off the shoulder, with a tulle skirt you should be able to have a choice from a few gowns to try on, not just 1 that fits in the whole store. Bottom line, options in a variety of styles is important.
3. I'm super self conscience of my body
WHOA do we get this one. There is nothing like going gown shopping as a plus woman and feeling like what if it doesn't fit or worse yet I get stuck in a gown. This can really do a number on our self esteem. BUT we get it, we are a curvy Bridal shop, we see plus size women all day long, we are curvy women. We have all been there, our consultant is there to make you feel comfortable and to ease your mind, not to make you feel less than, Since we have an array of gowns we will pull ones for you that we know are good for you and will fit.
Day after Day we hear brides come in and tell us stories from other shops. They DM us with experiences they've had, If you need proof check out our socials, you will see women writing in constantly with their experiences. If you begin to hear phrases such as "lets see what I have that fits you" "Maybe come back when you lose some more weight" or our favorite " This dress isn't that bad and is your best option" you should be running for the hills. I want to be clear, not all shops are like this, and not all consultants are like this, there are some very amazing bridal shops out there who just get it, but unfortunately there is a very disappointing mindset that the Bridal industry can't seem to shake apparently. This is not the way it should be. It's crazy to me that women are still having these types of things happening to them still. After I opened the shop, someone had said to me, "I never thought to celebrate plus size people" my mind immediately went to well what have you being doing? Talking down to plus size people? ignoring them? We aren't asking people to jump up and down YAY! You are PLUS SIZE! WOOHOO...We are asking for an ounce of respect, treat us like any other size, have options for us, have items for us to try on! It's 2020, not having options is unacceptable.