Finding your dream plus-size wedding dress should be one of the most exciting moments of any girl’s life, and thanks to forward-thinking designers and boutiques, curvy brides have more choice than ever before!

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3151, Julietta by Mori Lee

We love plus-size brides here at Wedding Ideas, so we’re always promoting new designers and collections that are specifically created to make the curvier among us feel amazing! Over half the UK female population wears a dress size 16 or over, so we think it’s only fair that all brides get to find the wedding dress of their dreams, no matter their shape or size! This is why we introduced a Best Plus-Size Dress Collection category to the Wedding Ideas Awards, which receives more and more votes every year as the top designers gain more recognition.

Gone are the days where larger sizes weren’t even manufactured, let alone stocked – these days bridal designers are wising up to the fact that not every bride is a size 8, and are creating beautiful, flattering dresses for sizes 18 and over. Some of our very favourite names in the bridal industry have increased their range of sizes so that larger ladies can rock their stunning designs: Alfred Angelo, Maggie Sottero and True Bride all cater for plus-size brides, with UK sizes going up to 30, 32 and 36 respectively!

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913541, Sonsie by Veromia

Sometimes though, simply scaling up a dress meant for a petite bride just won’t cut the mustard, so we love to big up collections made exclusively for plus-size girls! Designers like Jason Jennings, the genius behind the multi-award winning Sonsie collection from Veromia, know exactly how to cut a gown to fit and flatter your body best. Jason felt that most dresses for curvy girls were uninspiring, so in 2009 he created Sonsie – the internal corsetry and fantastic fit gives plus-size brides sleeker silhouettes and added support.

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Allegra, Wtoo Curve by Watters

There are loads of other show-stopping plus-size collections to choose from, no matter what style of dress you’re looking for. If you’re a girly girl looking for a true princess dress, then check out the fabulous Julietta range from Mori Lee – the brand’s signature sparkling embellishment is perfect for highlighting your best assets! We also love the romantic designs and ballgown shapes in the Wtoo Curve collection for Watters, and the delicate lace dresses at Callista.

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W342F, Woman by Allure

Are you a fashionista bride who doesn’t want to sacrifice her style? Take a look at the stunning gowns in the Woman collection for Allure Bridal – their fashion-forward designs are cut beautifully to highlight an hourglass figure and make you feel fantastic! We also love the collections at Sincerity Plus and Benjamin Roberts’ Gorgeous With Curves.

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4560, Sincerity Plus

One of our tweet mates, Nick from Sincerity Bridal, has this advice for plus-size brides: “Feel confident about your size when looking for wedding dresses. Our plus-size stores know and understand what you want. Choose a shop that has a good selection of plus sizes in stock, not just the odd one or two, and ask for a private dressing room to try on different sizes. When it comes to dress styles, look at lace-up backs, as these can often give you a better shape. And finally, don’t buy off the internet – it’s a recipe for disaster!”

Top tips for plus-size wedding dress shopping

  1. Choose your fabric wisely. Chiffons will skim over lumps and bumps, while heavier satins and taffetas can be ruched for a flattering effect.
  2. Use what you’ve got! The brilliant structuring of dedicated plus-size gowns means you can really work that hourglass shape – don’t be scared of curve-hugging silhouettes like the mermaid!
  3. Think about clever accessories. A well-positioned sash and brooch will draw the eye to the smallest part of your body, and will help to balance out your top and bottom halves.
  4. Speak up! Don’t be afraid to end the appointment if you feel that you’re not being treated well – you deserve to feel fantastic during your wedding dress shopping!
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3370, Femme by Kenneth Winston

Real-life dress shopping

What about the real brides’ dress-buying experiences? Here are what some of the girls on the Wedding Ideas forum had to say…

“I went to The Big Day UK in Castleford, and they were simply amazing. The first thing they did was put me in a basque and underskirt, pushing me in at all the right places.”
Amanda, Yorkshire, size 24, wearing Sincerity Plus

“I have found the whole process deflating, frustrating and demoralising. I’m not going to change my size 20 body just because it’s the done thing. I am this shape! In one shop the assistants ignored me and talked to my size 8 friend who wasn’t even getting married!”
Hayley, Nottingham

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Capri, Callista

“I went to a specific shop for larger sizes. I hated going to the ordinary shops, I just felt they looked down on me. The staff really wanted me to look amazing and didn’t let me settle for one just because it fitted.”
Natasha, Gloucestershire, wearing Alfred Angelo

“The ladies in the shop actually told me to lose weight for my wedding!”
Nikky, North Wales, size 28 wearing Amanda Wyatt

“The ladies in the shop kept on handing me more dresses to try, and they told me if one was too small to try on. I appreciated that.”
Fiona, Manchester, size 22 wearing Romantica of Devon

Are you a plus-size bride? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation on our Facebook page and Forum – or check out more fantastic plus-size wedding dresses here!

37 COMMENTS

        • Angelique Lamont behind the St Enoch Centre are fabulous! I got my dress there and the staff were wonderful and made you feel so special! I would recommend them to anyone! They had some lovely dresses and have no worries about what size you are! They also do not palm you off with any dress just to get money off you! They want you to look your best for your big day! I was stuck between an £800 dress and a £400 dress and the girl told me that the more expensive dress did nothing for my shape and that the cheaper one looked wonderful on me and when I showed my mum and Chief BM she was totally correct! I love my dress!

      • Hey im getting married in 7 monthes and not braved wedding dress shopping yet! I love and my hubby to be also loves my size 20 curves so i should feel thats all i need to care about , but when iv been into bridal shops and they tell me they go up to a size 14 and look at you like your gross its so of putting! i live in cambridgeshire , do you know of anywere around me!? im willling to travel a little? thanks x

  1. I had both terrible and brilliant experiences in even trying to try on plus size wedding dresses! Feel so strongly about this subject but for the purposes of this will try and be concise – don’t go anywhere where they don’t stock sample dresses over a 16 but expect you to imagine how it would look hung over your head on the hanger! I had brilliant experiences both at the big day in castleford and daisy love in datchet who have over 50 sample dresses in over size 18 from many designers! Do not be disheartened, I refuse to believe us curvy girls should have anything less than any other princess on her big day!

  2. as a plus size lady myself i always try and stock a wide range of sizes and order a substantial amount of gowns in sizes over an 18 right up to a 30 but as a retailer its just as frustrating for us , the plus size girls who come in first off always want to try the small size gowns and vice versa , also they all want to lose weight [this rarely happens] so won’t buy the dress in plenty of time as they don’t know what size they will be , this then leads to them coming in on too short a time scale for a special order in a panic and having to take the gown ‘off the peg’ depleting our choice of gowns for the future plus size ladies , we can’t just grab replacements our stock takes the same length of time to come in the same as a special order for a bride would , so my advise is , look early , purchase when you love it , don’t worry about losing weight he loves you as you are , if you do,you do if you dont he wont love you any less , also if u feel good in a dress the way you are and not how ‘you may’ look why put yourself through the stress of a diet when your going to be stressed enough as it is , so to recap , buy early , buy what you love , love yourself as you are xx p.s all my staff are over a size 16 too which can make the girls feel better as we have the wobbly bits too lol xxx

  3. Hi, can anyone recommend a plus size stockist in the Norwich area. Getting married June 2014 & starting to think about looking for the dress

  4. Hello! Can anyone recommend a plus size stockist in the Cambridgeshire area ?? Getting married in SEPTEMBER 2013 and don’t have a dress yet !

  5. I’m a plus size bride and have spent a lot of money on my dress which I’ve ordered and not even been able to try on!! It’s so hard, I couldn’t find anywhere that I could try any kind of dress that would fit me in any way shape or form.

    If I had the money I would defo set up my own boutique for plus size brides and bridesmaids!!

    My bridesmaid tried my dress on in the size 10 that’s in the shop so I could see how it fitted but that’s the closest I have to seeing it on!!

    I went to tiffanys wardrobe in Crewe and the ladies are fantastic and I felt so comfortable with them!! I want to say a massive thank you to them and I can’t wait to try my dress xx

  6. I went to Stella’s in Didsbury, a fabulous woman n so helpful. Some dresses were even too big! I did visit another shop where no dress fitted n I did feel quite humiliated even when I said one wouldn’t fit n the lady said give it a tug! There are def not enough plus size wedding dress shop but thanks to Stella at least I have my dream dress x

  7. Mine was from monsoon, didn’t want a big poofy thing, made me look even bigger and although I’m usually one for showing off my curves I don’t think it’s appropriate for weddings so took me a while to work out what I needed, although it was only the second dress I tried on (due to the fact none of my local stores had anything to fit me) it was perfect 🙂

  8. Can definitely recommend amore plus bridal in dunchurch, rugby I was dreading trying dresses on but I went there and every style they had to try on were at least a size 20 some were even too big!! The staff were lovely not patronising and had all the time in the world my dress was beautiful and even tho I only wore it 10 days ago I feel sad im not going to wear it again !! Sad I know lol

  9. Village brides of long compton in Oxfordshire have dresses up to size 24 on there rails there a amazing shop and make you feel comfortable – although my dress was a 8 they were showing me all there dresses and explained to me that even there biggest dress at 24 can be taken out or in by 2 sizes and zip back changed to corset back ect there amazing there also on fb

  10. I have to admit being a bigger bride I was really worried when it came to wedding dress shopping! However I only went to one place and found my perfect dress. I would thoroughly recommend Cathedral Belles in Worcester. All the staff there could not have been nicer! It was a lovely relaxed environment, we weren’t rushed and nothing was too much trouble. I was also able to accessorise my dress beautifully with a tiara, veil and fur also purchased from the same shop! Brilliant experience and I cannot wait for my actual dress to arrive!

  11. I never went dress shopping, I ordered mine online and hated it.. our wedding was planned and done in such a short period of time and we just had t go with it… would love to renew my vows and get the fancy dress I wanted

  12. Had a really good shopping experience. There were dresses that I couldn’t try on but was expecting that. The advisers were really helpful and friendly and found me my dream dress by Mia Solano. Couldn’t be happier!

  13. The wedding collection in Beverley. Dresses in all sizes to try on and buy off the rail and recommended alteration ladies. Very helpful staff, good selection of veils and hair pieces and great prices too. I was really pleased with my purchases and also managed to get bridesmaid and flower girl dresses from there too.

  14. Had an amazing experience choosing my dress from brides by solo Newmarket who stock all sizes and cater for everyone. Can’t wait to go back for my final fitting in July and can’t wait for the big day to wear my beautiful dress. I recommend Romantica of Devon for a plus size designer, beautiful dresses that suit all body shapes.

  15. I got my dress from a place called curves and couture in essex!! They only sell plus size wedding dresses, and the ladies made me feel so special! You’re the only person in the shop at the time and they therefore devote their time to you entirely! Was an amazing experience! X x x

  16. i was so upset when finding a dress i am a size 16 …18 depending on the fit and i was told in a bridal shop i was a very large bride and they did not stock anything over a 12 i was truly gutted and just dented my confidence and i felt so upset. my auntie found a place in manchester who stocked all plus size gowns we traveled almost 100 miles to visit the shop and it was amazing it was a pleasure and a enjoyment trying the dresses on but all the dresses were to big for me and had to be completely pined in.they also were very flared and roused which i wanted a fitted dress to show off my curves. The lady told us i was one of the smallest brides they had ever had. so if your a 16-18 you can not really win your too big for regular shops but to small for plus size we ended up having a dress commissioned by joanne fleming only two weeks until i am able to wear it!

  17. I get married in 10 days and have purchased my wedding dress from Embrace Bridal boutique. This shop was the only shop in a 50 mile radius from my house that had dresses I could get on. I got into 9 dresses 🙂 being a size 18/20 this was miracle! The service has been brilliant! I have recommended embrace to everyone who talks to me about weddings.

  18. Renewing our vows in 2015 and have my size 22 dress from china bespoke and made to measure for only £75 risky I know but I took a chance and it paid off its beautiful and fits like a dream xx

  19. I found my dress in Casiamiento in Barnsley. The range of sizes of dresses were fantastic and the staff could not have been more helpful. I went to 2-3 other bridal shops and found that 95% of the dresses were a size 12 or less. I was told in one shop “hold the dress in front of you to get an idea” which was not very helpful!

  20. Being a plus size lady, I had a fab experience with a plus size specialist bridal shop in South Wales they made me feel at ease. With the dresses specially designed for curvy ladies, I loved everything I put on and eventually found ‘the one’. The girls were amazing and couldn’t have made me feel and more special.

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