As our beautiful PLUS SIZE BRIDE’s wedding day nears, Renee is marking off her ‘to do’ list and one of the BIG ticket items is her WEDDING DRESS. If you need a quick catch up on Renee’s story so far click to find out how she met her fiancé Jason (and what I had to do with it). Read up on her amazing story on her destination wedding proposal, or maybe you’d like the insider info on wedding expos and bridal magazines . I also suggest you check out her Pretty Woman movie moment she and her gals had to endure for their bridesmaid dress fittings. You won’t believe what happened! Okay now you’re all up-to-date here’s Renee’s first day shopping for THE DRESS! ~Kelly
I was never one to day dream about my wedding, my future husband nor had I ever put any thought into what I’d wear. I figured if I was to get married, it would be an inexpensive knee length pretty dress that I bought online for $100. I thought that $100 was expensive for a dress!
With my Bridal magazine obsession in full swing I started to see hundreds of pretty dresses and after attending my first bridal expo, I found a pamphlet for a bridal boutique that had the most beautiful dresses I’d ever seen. They cater for plus size, making their dresses up to a size 26 which seemed perfect for me as a plus size bride.
My friend was in town and being a curvy gal herself, I thought she was the perfect person to come shopping with me as my “Maid of Dishonor” (as she calls herself). We made a list of a few boutiques and set out on what was to be both disheartening and amazing day.
SHOP # 1 – THE CONDESCENDING CLERK
A boutique along the bus route to work and an hours drive from home. I swear we needed snacks just to sustain ourselves for the long journey! I’ll admit we are both pretty clueless when it comes to fashion. You could say I don’t my Chanel from Gucci so labels are wasted on me. I certainly needed professional and supportive guidance.
As soon as we entered the sales attendant was all snotty speak: “oh daaaaahhhhling, do you have an appointment? No? You say you just want to look? Ok, then you should know you shouldn’t bother until the new year as there are the new lines coming out.There’s Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang and Kermit the Frog and Barney Rubble lines coming out soon….”
Blah, blah, blah. Bitch, please! Just let us look. This woman was so condescending and carried on about how all these girls come in and want to try hundreds of dresses on when essentially there are really only 4 styles but with different embellishment… YAWN, let’s go.
SHOP #2 – FAT & FRUMPY
This boutique was far more my style. The attendant was so friendly and immediately pointed me to the ‘big gal’ rack. I felt looked after. We pulled a few dresses to try and I noticed the very sparkly, very pretty and all the short dresses were only available in size 0 or size 0! Yep, teeny tiny dresses . The plus sizes were a bit boring and blah. I was a bit naughty and snuck a pic for you which is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN in wedding boutiques.
One thing I discovered is that I’m a bit like Carrie Bradshaw in that episode of Sex and the City. Remember the one where she gets a rash from trying on dresses? Sadly, my symptoms are a bit grosser as I tend to break out in a sweat. No idea what is going on there. The pressure to look “GORGEOUS DAAHHHLING” maybe? I really don’t know. This attendant was the first of MANY to tell me off for contemplating a short wedding dress.
SHOP #3 – SHORT CHANGED
This woman looked my friend up and down when we walked in as if Santa had dragged a steaming bag of dog poo into her shop. She was old, hideous and looked as though she also liked her fair share of the chocolate and chips (like me.) Hey Lady – don’t be condescending the fat girl if you’re fat yourself!!
She sniffed at us and even scoffed when I said I wanted a short dress. She flat out told me to get a bridesmaid dress in white if that’s all I wanted. So we walked out the door (not before taking a cheeky photo in the change room)
SHOP # 4 – MY DREAM COME TRUE
As soon as I arrived in Wendy Sullivan’s boutique… Brides Desire. I knew I had found my store! We were attended by a lovely lady called Marg who was so sweet and attentive and not at all condescending. She didn’t use words like “voluptuous” and “bigger girls” or “hey fatty!”.
Marg listened and had a good idea of what I was after – she let me down gently when she said there were no short dresses in the collection and “seriously, why do you want a short dress for your wedding Renee?” I explained that I am not a fan of long dresses and being the Sweaty Betty that I appear to be in a wedding dress. Perhaps short was going to be more comfortable? She said “Yes dear, but you wear this dress once in your life. You will not get to do it again, do it right the first time!” I believe her and even though I’m yet to have my wedding, I know she is right!
My Maid of Dishonor and I grabbed a few of the plus size gowns and these ones were all really beautiful (unlike some of the previous shops). Marg also hand selected a few that were nothing like what I had imagined myself in and suggested I try them. Despite my scoffing I was so glad I did!
Girls, if you are like me and have never really bought into the idea of a big white dress, I suggest you get strapped into a gorgeous gown and laced up in a corset so you’ll have a waist like Christina Hendricks from MAD MEN. Then take a moment to look at your beautiful self in the mirror. I challenge you not think your’e “all that” when you see the reflection! It really is that moment you’re been waiting your whole life for (even if you didn’t know it- like me)!
PLUS SIZE ADVICE
Yes, it took four different boutiques and then another four visits to Brides Desire before I found my perfect gown. It was actually from the collection by Wendy’s son, Jack Sullivan. I’m sharing these details with you because for me its my perfect dress and I am so in love with it. Maybe your dress is there. Maybe its not. But I hope you feel the way I do about my wedding gown. I kept trying dress after dress and just not feeling quite right then this one little diamond appeared from the new collection and I instantly knew. What they say is true! When you see the one, you know it’s the one. And no I don’t mean my husband to be …
I can’t show you my dress just yet, as I’m keeping it a surprise for the wedding day so you’ll have to wait for the big reveal.