15 Plus Size Brides On What They Wish They Would Have Known Before Going Wedding Dress Shopping
Wedding dress shopping is an odd thing. It serves a practical purpose, yes, but it's also often an event in and of itself. You're expected to bring an entourage, drink champagne, and burst into tears when you find "the one." But if you're a plus size bride looking for a wedding dress, the spectacle of it all can be anything but fun. First, there's the issue ofwedding dress sizing to consider. For a lot of bridal dresses, a size 20 is more like a street size 16, and so on. This sizing discrepancy is, unsurprisingly, not prominently advertised by most bridal stores, meaning that even if a store has samples in your usual size, there's a good change they won't actually fit. But even if a store does have options that fit (there are more stores than ever that do, though still not enough of them), that doesn't necessarily guarantee that the experience will be comfortable.
Some consultants can inadvertently body shame you while trying to find the best dress. Others will struggle to make too-tight samples fit with uncomfortable clips and fabric. And then, on top of all of that, there's the fact that if you're the only plus size person in your bridal party or family, there may not be many people who understand what you're going through even a little bit. The process of finding a dress can still be an event, sure, but that doesn't mean it's fun.
A major part of the problem with plus size wedding dress shopping, though has to do with the fact that there simply aren't as many wedding planning resources for plus size brides as there are for straight size brides. But as isolating as the experience of dress shopping as a plus size person can feel, every bride should know that they are not the only person who has been through the process. And there are ways to make it positive, even if it doesn't feel like it at first. Below, 15people who've survived the experience of plus size wedding dress shopping share their tips for feeling confident, staying body positive, and of course, finding the dress.
20 Gorgeous Plus-Size Wedding Dresses
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No matter your size or shape, your wedding dress should make you feel beautiful and confident. But shopping for your dream dress can be overwhelming–especially when it comes to finding the right silhouette that not only celebrates your curves but your unique sense of style, too. Luckily, we've done the work for you, and found the best plus-size wedding dresses on the market.
When it comes to wedding dress shopping, you'll want to find a style that flatters your figure while spotlighting your favorite assets. Silhouettes like A-line, mermaid, and sheath are flattering on many different body types while certain necklines such as halter, off-the-shoulder, and plunging are great for highlighting your shoulders, décolletage, and back. And don't forget: not all wedding dress fabrics are created equal. Some fabrics like satin are more supportive while others such as chiffon and organza will have a more fluid fit.
Read on for the best plus-size dresses for every style and budget.
Most Romantic: Willowby by Watters Jura Gown
Whisps of soft tulle and delicate flutter sleeves make this ballgown an utterly romantic choice for a fairytale wedding. Sweep hair into a loose updo and accessorize with a floral crown or tiara.
Best for a City Hall Wedding: By Watters Swiss Dot Dress
What could be sweeter than this playful By Watters frock? Flocked with swiss dots and finished with wide grosgrain straps, this tea-length number is perfect for a courthouse wedding.
Best Off-the-Shoulder: Torrid Lace Dress
The oh-so-trendy off-the-shoulder style is here to stay and with good reason! Wear yours with shoulder-grazing earrings to spotlight the alluring neckline.
Best Back: Melissa Sweet Puff Sleeve Plus Size Wedding Dress with Low Back
The back of your dress is just as important as the front of your dress. You'll be sure to stun at every angle in every photo in this jaw-dropping dress featuring a low open back.
Best Allover Lace: Chi Chi London Curve Floral Embroidery Dress
This allover lace dress boasts a supremely flattering combo of a V-neckline and a V-back. The fitted waistband will highlight your waist without being too constricting.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: David's Bridal Collection Off-the-Shoulder Dress
If the royals have taught us anything, it's that a slightly off-the-shoulder neckline is incredibly classic and elegant. This style from David's Bridal features a tapered and waist-cinching bodice that flows seamlessly into a structured and regal full skirt.
Most Modest: TavifaBridal 3/4 Sleeve Wedding Dress
A blouson-effect dress is comfortable and effortless. This light and airy style also features a plunging-V back offering you the chance to show off your back.
For a Summer Wedding: Show Me Your Mumu Ruffle Wrap Dress
If you're saying "I do" on the beach or in your backyard, a short and sweet dress is the way to go. This romantic style from Show Me Your Mumu features a flattering wrap silhouette and a flirty ruffle trim.
For the Boho Bride: BlushFashion Bat Sleeves Lace Maxi Dress
Complete with gauzy 3/4 length sleeves and a simple slip, this divine lace dress was made for a garden or country wedding. We love it with nature-inspired accessories and a bouquet made from wildflowers.
Best Sheer Sleeves: Kiyonna A-Line Pleated Gown
Expertly placed pleating and unique details make this gown flattering and unique. Waist-defining pleats are kind to the midsection while soft sheer tulle sleeves provide the perfect amount of coverage for cool evening breezes at a summer wedding.
For the Sexy Bride: Galina Signature Flora Illusion Bodysuit Dress
Dare to bare in this exquisite illusion gown. This bodysuit-style dress hugs you like a glove and comes with the option of pairing it with a tulle overskirt for added drama.
Most Vintage-Inspired: BlushFashion Lace Long Sleeves Tulle Dress
In a gorgeous champagne tone, this handmade allover lace dress is a boho bride's dream. Add a simple grosgrain ribbon to add a personalized touch to your wedding day look.
Most Flattering Neckline: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Tierney Gown
A plunging V-neckline will always be flattering and elongating. This corded-lace and body-skimming gown hugs you in all the right places and flares out into a gentle a train for added romance.
Best Mermaid Silhouette: Torrid Mermaid Wedding Dress
Not only is this body-hugging mermaid wedding dress insanely flattering but it also features a back bow train that's removable for two looks in one—win, win!
For a Garden Wedding: ASOS EDITION Curve Lace Crop Top Wedding Dress
We can't help but envision this lacey two-piece set floating down the aisle at a garden wedding. Just add a fresh flower bouquet and a berry lip to complete your ethereal wedding day look.
Best with Long Sleeves: Tadashi Shoji Long Sleeve Gown
If you're a bride-to-be who loves a sleek silhouette with a touch of drama, opt for this dress by Tadashi Shoji. Modern, sexy, and curve-defining–you'll never want to take this gown off.
For the Bold Bride: Ahluwalia Sparkle Gown
For the bride unabashed by colors and patterns, this Ahluwalia is a fitting choice for bold aesthetics. We love this sparkly style with drop earrings and metallic sandals.
Best Separates: Catherine Deane Bodice with Skirt
Minimalist brides will love the simplicity of this beautiful bodice and skirt combo. The versatile sweetheart bodice can be worn with or without the delicate straps.
Best Strapless: David's Bridal Collection Strapless Button Front Dress
Minimalist brides rejoice! This strapless and structured number has your name written all over it. A modern take on an updated classic, this gown features body-skimming fabric and super chic fabric-covered buttons.
What to look for in a plus size wedding dress
No matter your size or shape, it's important to find a wedding dress that celebrates your figure and fits you perfectly. Before you start your search, it's helpful to identify what dress silhouettes work best for your shape and what features you're looking to highlight. If you're not sure where to begin, look to universally flattering silhouettes like A-line, mermaid, and sheath dresses. Certain details like high-necklines and high-low hems are also great for elongating the figure and spotlighting your shoulders and legs. And lastly, don't forget to take fabrics into account. Supportive fabrics such as satin are perfect for a structured fit whereas lightweight chiffon and organza fabrics are best for a more relaxed fit.
Online retailers like BHLDN, David's Bridal, and Torrid (to only name a few!) offer beautiful plus size wedding dresses at every price point. If you're planning to shop at a bridal salon, make sure to call the salon to make sure they have your size lined up before your appointment.
No matter your size or shape, we suggest brides wear undergarments like seamless underwear or shapewear.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, guests, wedding parties, and more.
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SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE
Used wedding dress
Once the confetti settles and the last of the guests drive away, that same wedding dress goes into the dress bag and towards the back of the closet, never to see the light of day again. Meanwhile, at the other end of the city, a bride-to-be is hunting for her perfect wedding dress, she has a few special wedding dress styles in mind, but everything off-the-rack is far from the perfect fit for her vision as well as her wedding budget. Who knew that her perfect fit lies in the back of the closet somewhere, waiting for another chance to shine? If only there was a way they could help each other out. If only there was a perfect match. Oh wait, there is!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Buying and reselling a pre-owned wedding dress
At Borrowing Magnolia, we want you to feel extraordinary on your wedding day, no matter if it’s a wedding on a budget or a wedding you are splurging on. We realize that both brides and ladies who own used wedding dresses have a unique gift and opportunity to help each other. We are just the mere matchmakers of connecting the perfect used wedding dresses to the perfect new owner, and the rest takes care of itself. With a listing process so easy that anyone can do under 15 minutes, there is no room for doubt or discrepancy. At Borrowing Magnolia, we appreciate a simple, straightforward, and practical approach as much as our brides.
A dream dress to more than one
A wedding dress might be one of the most expensive and special garments that you’ll ever buy. So why confine that beautiful dress to your closet?
We'll help you list & sell your gown fast for one flat fee. No commissions. No hidden fees.
An easy choice for selling, Borrowing Magnolia has cost savings in mind for both sellers and buyers. Your search ends here!
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You'll always have a special place in your heart for your wedding dress, but these are modern times, and you're a modern bride. Make money off of the heirloom-quality gown you have tucked away in your closet.
An expansive bridal marketplace
Your wedding is approaching shortly and wedding planning is on a roll. You have your heart set on buying a second-hand wedding dress. An expansive bridal marketplace with designer wedding dresses from renowned designers across the world, Borrowing Magnolia is a treasure chest for a bride on a dress-hunt.
Buy your dress
Borrowing Magnolia is as transparent and easy as it gets, making shopping for second-hand dresses online that much easier. With simple, hassle-free steps, you’ll be able to buy that dream dress in a blink, just as you would buy any other dress online, and being open to the prospect of cheap wedding dresses, you will have saved a ton of money!
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Sustainability is a cornerstone of our brand
We are not mindlessly feeding into the endless loop of consumption, leaving a trail of social and environmental impact along the way. Our brides are modern-day, environmentally conscious women who are intelligent buyers, consuming mindfully and responsibly. We at Borrowing Magnolia want to ensure that every wedding dress is not a one-and-done deal, but rather a possibility for another beautiful day. These ethical wedding dresses are not only lighting up the faces of many brides throughout their lifetime, but they also leave minimal carbon imprint on their way out.
Talk about an environmentally, feel-good, responsible thing to do! We hope you’ll join us and add to the wave of the resale revolution.
Why Borrowing Magnolia for preowned wedding dresses?
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At Borrowing Magnolia, we want you to feel extraordinary on your wedding day and feel at peace with the purchase that you made. We are here to connect the buyers and sellers, bringing two women with similar styles together, as they have a unique opportunity to help each other. We think every used wedding dress is a potential addition to someone’s dream wedding. It’s merely about bringing those potentials together.
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Dress 18 wedding used size
How (and Where!) to Buy or Sell a Used Wedding Dress
If you're in the market to sell your wedding dress or looking to buy a used one, you may be tempted to turn to large online marketplaces like Ebay and Craigslist. While these popular websites are great for listing and buying everyday purchases, a website specifically for used wedding dresses can probably offer you a better deal and a more user-friendly service for this very niche (and important) wedding day purchase. Check out our tips for buying and selling a preowned wedding dress— plus our reviews of the best used wedding dress sites—below.
In this article:
Tips for Selling Used Wedding Dresses
Whether you aren't the sentimental type or you're just savvy, selling your used wedding dress is an easy way to recoup some money from your wedding. If your dress is in good condition, consider listing it online over selling it to a thrift store, where the piece will reach a greater volume of potential buyers and can be more easily shared and promoted.
A used wedding dress in great condition and under two years old can usually sell for 50 percent of the retail price. And, if your dress is by a more recognizable brand like Oscar de la Renta or Vera Wang, you could make closer to 60 percent of its retail value. Some consignment websites also offer tools to help you decide what to charge.
Since there's a large demand for all kinds of secondhand wedding dresses, a designer label doesn't necessarily mean your dress will sell faster. But presentation does matter. Put your best foot photos forward to show off how amazing the garment really is. And consider getting it professionally cleaned—Nearly Newlywed, a leading used wedding dress resale site, says it could sell twice as fast. (We recommend Wedding Dress Preservation by the Knot's Wedding Dress Cleaning Only package.)
Tips for Buying Used Wedding Dresses
Buying a used wedding dress can be a bit of a gamble, but as long you're cautious, it's a thrifty way to snag a designer wedding dress for half the retail value. Plus, if you get lucky and buy a preowned wedding dress from someone with a similar body type, you may not have to make too many alterations, which also cuts down your costs. Did we mention buying used wedding dresses is eco-conscious, too? It's an excellent way to reduce and reuse.
As long as the gown you found looks to be in good condition (if you can't see it in person, make sure photos show it clearly from all angles or ask to FaceTime with the seller to get a better look), a used wedding dress can be a terrific deal. A few tips: Since your dress will probably have to be custom-tailored to your body regardless, a larger size is easier to work with where alterations are concerned. Fabric can always be subtracted, but adding more fabric that perfectly matches the rest of the gown can be difficult (not to mention expensive). And because you're getting the wedding dress for a steal, you can put some of the money you save toward making sure it fits like a glove (and some extra dry-cleaning if necessary).
More words to the wise: Look carefully into your site or salon's authentication and return policies before committing to anything. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect in the event your dress is damaged or misrepresented.
Where to Buy and Sell Used Wedding Dresses Online
The Knot Editors' Pick for Buying and Selling Used Wedding Dresses
Nearly Newlywed: Part used wedding dress boutique, part inspirational blog, Nearly Newlywed saves sellers time and stress by handling all buyer interactions and shipping. The application process is quick and easy: Sellers just submit their measurements with a wedding dress description and photos of their gown. If their listing is approved, Nearly Newlywed takes it from there, answering any buyer questions and shipping the dress directly. So, sellers can sit back and relax while the website's experts do the grunt work. Bonus: The website also sells wedding-related jewelry and accessories.
Review: Why do we love Nearly Newlywed so much? This innovative marketplace makes putting used wedding dresses for sale (and buying them!) as seamless as possible. If you're purchasing a used wedding dress, the thorough authentication process ensures you're paying for the real deal and not a counterfeit wedding dress. And if you're selling, once your application is approved, your work is done. Be aware that this website charges a $25 listing fee, and once your dress is sold, you'll earn 60 percent of the final price. But you're paying for unparalleled convenience and a truly trusted customer service team.
Other Websites to Buy and Sell Used Wedding Dresses
Tradesy: A fashion-forward website geared toward designer brands, Tradesy offers a streamlined interface with a quick listing process. The website is curated like a high-end retailer site (think: NET-A-PORTER or Shopbop for preowned wedding dresses and other brand name items). Users can search used wedding dresses by label, size, style (think: "formal," "retro" and "destination") and more.
Review: Tradesy takes roughly 20 percent commission on sales, and promises prompt payment. Be aware Tradesy covers shipping and returns for most fashion items, but used wedding dresses are not included. If you're buying, Tradesy comes with a money back guarantee if wedding items are inauthentic, taking some of the worry out of the used wedding dress buying process.
Still White: A marketplace specifically for used wedding dresses, Still White may not look as fancy as other preowned wedding dress websites, but it offers a wide range of used wedding dresses, from Vera Wang and Pronovias to Essense of Australia and Maggie Sottero.
Review: This straightforward website gets down to the nitty gritty and lets users browse by dress condition, taking the mystery out of the secondhand wedding dress buying process (after all, a sample dress is usually more worn than something brand new). Sellers can create a listing for $20 or upgrade to a premium listing for $30—that means their dress will be promoted on the site. While it's an initial fee to create a listing, the website takes no commission, meaning sellers keep pretty much all of their sales.
PreOwned Wedding Dresses: Boasting tens of thousands of used wedding dress listings, PreOwned Wedding Dresses has been around since 2004 and offers a super-large selection. Sellers can list their used wedding dresses for a flat fee of $25, and can negotiate the price directly with potential buyers. But there are also some fees to use the site's recommended, protected forms of payment.
Review: The trick to selling on this website is making your wedding dress listing stand out, since the quantity of secondhand dresses on the site can feel daunting. Though it can be more difficult to navigate than other secondhand wedding dress websites, PreOwned Wedding Dresses has some extra perks: you can also buy and sell wedding party dresses, and there are lots of helpful wedding dress FAQs available, as well as an inspiration blog.
Want to buy or sell in-person? Search for local consignment salons in your area.
And since I am an independent girl, I could be left alone. Therefore, I moved from our country house to the city. I didn't have a boyfriend, although I always looked very impressive. I can stand in front of the mirror for hours, enjoying my beauty.
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