007: Plus Size Brides w/ Shafonne Myers of Pretty Pear Bride

This podcast episode is all about plus size brides! I’m joined by Shafonne Myers who is the owner and CEO of the word’s only magazine for plus size brides, Pretty Pear Bride. Shafonne is a certified wedding and event planner and has a biology degree so she knows the real science behind love too!

During this episode chat about the best place to find plus size wedding gown, what to consider when trying on gowns and thinking about sizing and alterations. We also talk about bridesmaid trends, tips for plus size posing, shape wear vs lingerie and the ultimate tips of plus size brides. There is so much great info in this podcast you don’t want to miss it!

 

Big Curvy Love Podcast

Links Mentioned 

Pretty Pear Bride

Tam’s Wedding (previous post)

Tam’s wedding on Pretty Pear Bride

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You can ask your questions, comment below, or call the Big Curvy Loveline on 505-67-CURVY and leave a voicemail at any time. I’ll play your question and answer it on the show! Let your voice be heard. Send it to contact@bigcurvylove.com

Plus Size Bride – Tamara Baldwin

My dear friend Tamara has shared her wedding pics with us  so I wanted to post them as inspiration for plus size brides to show how amazing you can look on your day. This beautiful plus size wedding dress is a one shoulder taffeta gown with cascading organza ruffles, self fabric flowers and feather accents, semi-cathedral train from Alfred Angelo Disney plus size range. ‘Ariel’ style 210.  

Plus size bride

I love Tam’s accessories too. Blue shoes and lots of classic hollywood bling that don’t overpower her look (or pull focus from the wedding gown.)

Plus size bride accessories

Don’t you just love the look on Kenny and Jack’s faces?  A proud Dad and Step Dad seeing Tam all dressed up in her wedding gown for the first time!  Plus size wedding dress

The cathedral train was pinned up after the wedding ceremony so Tam was able to be comfortable and party with Jaret and her guests.

Plus size wedding

I just love this dress! There is not one thing I would change its just pure perfection. I’m so glad she said yes to this dress. Plus size wedding

The happy bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs Mangus! Officially married.

Plus size bridal gown

Bride: Tamara Baldwin

Groom: Jaret Mangus

Location: The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo

Photographer: Kate DeCoste Photography 

PLUS SIZE BRIDAL BOUTIQUES – THEY DO EXIST

Until now plus size bridal boutiques have been as rare as hen’s teeth. I’ve even heard of plus size brides having no gowns to try on  at the store due to the sample sizes being far too small.  These curvy brides have been forced to literally hold up a wedding dress in front of their body and blindly order a size without actually having a real sense of what it would look like on their plus size body. So other than having your dress custom-made the question is:

WHERE TO FIND PLUS SIZE BRIDAL BOUTIQUES?

I was faced with this question a few weeks ago since one of my closest friends Tamara is engaged, I’m helping source bridal stores. Tamara is a beautiful plus size bride-to-be  and rather than being excited to try on wedding gowns, she was really nervous because she thought the sample sizes either wouldn’t fit her or would be hideous potato sacks.

It hadn’t occurred to me that plus size bridal boutiques would be so hard to find. I’d seen plenty of gorgeous curvy brides so figured  there were places to buy Plus size wedding dresses. Wrong. Turns out bridal boutiques that ‘specialize’ in plus size gowns are rare, however, I was really excited to discover Della Curva Bridal. They’d only been open one week so I e-mailed and made a Saturday morning appointment at the ‘salon’! Let me say, it really isn’t your average chain or department store feel at all.

Della Curva has their original downstairs store that runs to a 14 and an exclusive salon for plus size brides with samples beginning at size 16 and their range running to a size 30. Tamara had no worries trying her dresses to get a true feeling of what the actually look like on. Apparently bridal gowns run smaller, so you’ll be two sizes above what you normally wear say you’re usually a size 22 then you’ll probably be trying on a 26 at the bridal salon. When you take a look at Tamara in the frocks you won’t care what the number is. We all know its when it comes to plus size brides its about how the dress looks and the fit.

Plus size wedding dresses

Della Curva- Plus Size Bridal Salon

Each bride has a changing suite to themselves with plenty of room. A few people could comfortably fit in but I left it up to Tamara and her lovely consultant to put the dress on so I could watch the ‘reveal.’ In this pic you can even see through the frosted glass at some of the other dresses Tamara had lined up to try on. I’d say during the booking she wore 10-15 plus size wedding gowns that all fit her.

Plus size wedding dresses

Della Curva – Plus Size Bridal Gowns

Honestly, I felt like we were on an episode of  Say Yes to the Dress (except without the family issues) it was just a relaxed time where Tamara could try on dresses without stress. P.S TLC if you want to make a “Say Yes to the Plus Size Dress” you should consider Della Curva!

Normally watching someone try on clothes for hours screams boring to me but I loved every minute of this experience. I’d never been to a bridal store before so the entire experience was new to me.

Plus size wedding dressPlus size bridal gown

Appointments at Della Curva are set for 90 minutes (not sure if that’s industry standard?). During your booking you get your own personal bridal consultant looking after you. Tamara and I went in with an ‘open to suggestions’ attitude and tried on wedding gowns that we originally thought wouldn’t suit her and did. Other styles we thought would look perfect on her looked terrible and didn’t suit her body shape. If you’re making your own plus size bridal boutique appointment I’d suggest trying on loads of different styles and really listening to your consultant.

Plus size wedding dresses

Della Curva – Plus Size Wedding Dresses

As far as I know, DellaCurva is the only plus size bridal boutique in California. I’ve heard of a few others around and am hopping a lot more will pop up over the coming years in major cities. Tamara had a perfect experience and instead of going home disappointed and a choice of ‘best of a bad bunch’ it was the opposite. She found at least four dresses she loved and couldn’t choose between them! FYI the dresses in this post aren’t the finalists (that would spoil the surprise). So if you like these ones imagine how amazing she looks in the others!

Plus size bridePlus size bride della curva

 So that was our morning at Della Curva. Have you discovered any plus size bridal boutiques you want to share with us? List them with your feedback so we can check them out and let other curvy brides know.

 

 

PLUS SIZE BRIDE – The Honeymoon

Another installment from Renee Kelly our Plus Size Bride as she prepares for her October wedding to fiance Jason. To catch up on her story so far from her meeting Jason to the proposal and choosing her wedding dress click here ~Kelly

One of THE most exciting parts of planning a wedding is deciding where to go for your honeymoon.   Depending on your budget, you can make it as simple or as involved as your pre-marital heart desires. Traditionally, the groom is meant to organise the honeymoon (as a surprise for his bride.)  Neither my fiance Jason nor I are  traditional and to be honest didn’t even know about that tradition role of whom chooses the honeymoon location until after we’d booked our trip!  It wasn’t a hard decision… I have to almost sell a kidney to be able to afford it (terrible joke, sorry) but… we are going to… wait for it… TAHITI!!

So excited. Tahiti is the sort of place that if I imagined it a few years ago, I would have had a little bit of vomit in my mouth from the thought of being surrounded by lovey-dovey couples, canoodling by the pool and being sickly romantic.  My inner 18 year old hates me for it, but now I’m happy to say,

“I can’t wait to be one of those disgustingly loved up people lounging on their own private deck on their over-water bungalow with a big coconut shell cocktail in hand. “

Bring. It. On!! Of course, this brings up an extremely important question… what is a Plus Size Newlywed woman to wear in her post wedding paradise?

I’ve recently found the courage to start wearing dresses.  As a plus size girl I’ve NEVER been comfortable getting frocked up as I thought they showed off my belly and arms too much.  I decided to get over that fear and now wear sexy dresses all the time.  They are actually more flattering to a big girl (in my humble opinion) and who cares what other people think anyway.  I wish I had  come to this realization years ago when I was a tour guide in Greece; instead of a big backpack full of long shirts and shorts, I could have swanned around with a small wheely suitcase with just a few dresses.  Ah, hindsight.

No that  I’m older and wiser I’m thinking lots of pretty sundresses (hopefully the sun will be out – we’re going in October so it’s not the rainy season) but my dilemma of course is the swim wear.

Do I think of my fellow honeymooners and wear the typical plus size swimsuit (long tank, shorts, sarong) or just say STUFF IT and buy a bikini and actually just wear that  for the first time in my life?  I’m thinking the latter.  It’s my honeymoon and I’ll have my belly on display if I want to. I guess these days they’re called FATKINIS.

Really in the grand scheme of things, if this is the worst thing I have to worry about in life I am damn lucky.  I remind myself of that every day by looking at pics of Bora Bora’s over water bungalow… and think about the kidney I’m going to miss, but wow, it will be worth it. Me my hubby and my Fatkini ~Renee

MY PLUS SIZE SWIMSUIT INSPIRATIONS

 

PLUS SIZE BRIDE – What to Wear ‘AFTER’ the Reception

Renee Kelly, our beautiful PLUS SIZE BRIDE to be is getting married in October and  slowly ticking her ‘To Do” list.  Here’s the latest Big Curvy Love installment on what she’ll be wearing after the reception ~Kelly 

*To catch up on Renee’s Plus Size Bride journey so far catch up here

renee2Today has been an exciting day in my wedding preparations… I  had the final fitting of THE DRESS and paid the balance off.   I’m even going to have a long veil!

My friend came with me and took some photos  (that I can’t reveal yet but the excitement is obvious in my face.)  I think my dress is absolutely beautiful and if you head to www.jacksullivanbridal.com you too can have a look at all the pretty dresses!

My gown  is long but not overly heavy, however, some of these dresses  are like lifting a tonne of bricks.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a “Sweaty Betty”… my light weight dress is worrying me as it is about getting all sweaty and yuck on the day but I can only imagine what it would be like hauling one of those heavy dresses around with dozens of layers filling out the skirt.  P.S My DD’s are enough to lug around all day  on sexy stilettos let alone adding another 15 kgs in a dress!! 

I want to get as much wear out of my bridal gown as I can, after all its cost a fair bit of money and probably the most expensive thing I’ve bought (I’ve had cars that have cost less!  Yes… dodgy beat up old cars, but still).  However, I’m not like most women where at the end of the reception I plan to leave at 11.30 and be whisked off to the honeymoon suite with my new husband… oh no.  MY husband is going to be with ME and  I am going to PARTY the night away!! Lightinthebox

In all honesty, I’ll probably be so exhausted I’ll end up throwing that idea out the window and will go home and pass out in my husband’s arms.  But at this stage, I have every intention to hit the tiles in Brisbane city and celebrate for the rest of the night.

Of course… I’m going to need an brand new outfit for this.  Any excuse to shop!!  I don’t want to wear my beautiful wedding gown  to nightclubs so I’ll buy another fancy frock  from somewhere like www.lightinthebox.com – sure it’s a risk buying something online as you don’t really know what you’re going to get, but I’m willing to take the chance to get a sexy “going away” dress… even though I’m just going across the river to the pub!

lighinthebox2
This is my compromise to myself for having a long wedding dress.  I originally wanted a short wedding frock but finally got talked into the long traditional gown as mentioned in previous blogs, but as a bigger gal I think it’s important to accentuate your best features and mine, in my humble opinion, happen to be my legs.  Even one reader commented on them from our engagement photos!! 

So I’m going to get a cheap, short, sexy white wedding dress and wear it out on the town.  Some might think that sounds weird… to me it sounds like heaps of fun.  Bingo wings will still be on display but who cares, right?! I’m a plus size bride and I’m proud! ~Renee xoxo