Brides come in all different age brackets.
Some are first time brides with visions of big,
over the top fantasy weddings. Others are
older or second time brides who choose simpler
or more casual looks. Theme weddings are often
influenced by fantasy or period costume movie
and television events such as The Great
Gatsby, Downton Abbey, or Game of Thrones.
Vintage dresses with a Bohemian or retro 50's
style are among the most popular. With this diversity
in tastes and traditions, classic white is no
longer the only color of choice with more and
more brides opting for ivory, champagne or blush,
and tinted and
colored gowns. Even colors such as crimson
red and black are being worn. (For non-pastels,
see the other
plus-size evening wear pages.)
Plus-size brides still have a difficult time
finding wedding dresses to suit their needs, but
options are getting better especially for those
who are looking for more formal gowns which were
once virtually impossible to find. Most
formal dress shops can order larger sizes, but
waits can be up to 12 to 15 weeks. Direct
from wholesale sites that have sprung up on the
internet in recent years have shortened the wait
time considerably, giving brides plenty of time
for final alterations and fittings with a local
Please note that most formal evening wear is
sized in misses, rather than women's plus, and
can run smaller than to what you are used. Women's
(plus) sizing uses a "W" at the end of the size
number, while Misses does not. For example
size 14W is women's/plus and size 14 is Misses.
Misses sizing can cause you to need two to three
sizes larger numerically than women's sizing.
This is normal as they are different cuts, and
tailoring will provide the perfect fit for your
unique body shape.
Always check size charts, get someone to help
you with taking your measurements, and order the
size that matches most closely your measurements
where the garment style fits most snuggly to the
Formalwear also fits and looks best
when the right
shape wear is
One of the biggest contributions
to wedding shopping provided by the internet is
the direct access to factory manufacturers by
individual brides which can save hundreds of
dollars on dresses for the entire wedding party.
Most of these sites offer formal dresses and
gowns up to size 26W, with alterations for
petites and talls, and larger sizes available
for a small fee. Mainly displayed in either
white or ivory, many are available in other
colors and tints. They can also be an invaluable
bridal accessories such as
veils, gloves, shawls, and sashes.
Shipping times to the U.S.A. are often quite
quick and free. Some of the best include
Light in the Box,
Amor Moda, and
Plus-size brides planning formal
weddings will want to stop by one of the oldest
plus-exclusive wedding boutiques on the
Sydney's Closet. Committed to
designing styles that fit and flatter voluptuous
bodies and displaying options on full-figured
models, wedding dresses often come as large as
34W. Samples in size 16W - 18W go on sale for
deep discounts here, also.
Options from department stores
and internet formalwear shops can be options for
less formal brides. Available
off-the-rack, shipping times are quite quick
leaving plenty of time for alterations.
Often simpler and more affordable than more
elaborate formal gowns these can be good choices
for women who are planning more casual weddings.
Nordstrom has an entire
wedding department with dresses up to size 18,
many of those are available in-store only.
White and other color formal gowns can, however,
be purchased directly
department to size 24W and we
have from time-to-time spotted lovely options in
is a formalwear super-store with thousands of
gowns ready to ship. There is no wedding
dress department, but many of the white and
tinted gowns would make beautiful options. The
size finder only works up to Misses 18, but some
labels are available as large as 30 and this is
well worth the effort for more unusual options.
Some brands to look for available in larger
sizes include Terani, Alyce, Night Moves, Blush,
and Tony Bowles. Price points range from a
couple of hundred dollars to about one thousand.
Amazon is a
surprising resource bringing together both
large, well-known retailers and indie boutique
owners in one easy to shop place. Options
and brands are constantly changing but it isn't
unusual to find plus-size wedding dress styles
from places like David's Bridal ready to ship
For the more eclectic or vintage
bride some unusual spots to look Unique Vintage
which offers both Art Deco flapper dresses and
50's style New Look silhouettes in plus to size
often has softer, more bohemian style gowns with
a vintage flavor in sizes to 26W.
Second time and older brides
looking for evening suits will want check out
the options at
Women's Suits. Meanwhile,
indie plus designer
offers a small, but beautiful, collection
wedding dresses and gowns to size 32W.
Plus-Size Wedding Dress Trends and More Editor's
[Last Update August 2, 2014]