A Curvy Bride’s Survival Guide

By Amelia Clements

We at Dabble Indesign absolutely love it when you post a comment or give us feedback on what you want us to write about. This post is inspired by one of our competition winners, who in a frustrated rage wrote to us about her issues finding a wedding dress to suit both her tastes and (shock horror) her size as well. This bride is only a size 14, which according to my research doesn’t even qualify her in the plus sizes. I thought, if she can’t find what she’s looking for, what sort of hope do size 16+ women have? Surely there are savvy solutions out there for every size? Don’t all bridal boutiques do made-to-measure?

Here is a list of the best places I’ve found, around the country, that cater to any women (well up to size 42 anyway). And if you aren’t in one of these capital cities they all have online sites.

SYDNEY – www.curvaceousbridal.com.au
For all you sexy shire brides you can’t go past Curvaceous Bridal in Miranda. They claim to have the widest selection of dresses in Sydney and from their website I believe them.

MELBOURNE – www.mineomelbourne.com.au
This boutique goes up to a size 34 and has some cute little numbers that are made to measure.

BRISBANE – www.plussizebride.com.au
Queensland ladies can order online or go into the boutique.

ADELAIDE – www.angeline.com.au
Really pretty website! These designs are also sold nationally.

PERTH – www.a-bridal-affair.com.au
Stock up to size 30 with 3 pages of curvaceous dresses to choose from.

HOBART – www.southerenbazzarbridal.com
This Tasmanian owned and operated business is focused on fit and quality. And claim to have a can-do attitude when it comes to finding the right dress.

INTERNATIONAL– www.thecurvybride.com
This U.S site stocks big brands such as Maggie Sottero and Casablanca and cater to sizes 6-34AUS. Their head office is situated in Texes, where supposedly ‘everything’s bigger’.

Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips once you get in the door…Bridal boutiques can be scary places for anyone (just check out some of the online forums…or maybe don’t!), so best show up prepared and ready for battle.

RESEARCH
You are about to invest a great deal of money and emotional energy into this so it almost goes without saying that you need to do your research. Before you hit the racks research your body shape, style and what looks great on you, as this will be the best way to narrow down your search. Hopefully you know yourself better than an overbearing sales assistant so know what YOU want before getting advice from others. Know what features you want to emphasize and the ones you want to diminish. Do you have amazing skin, killer cleavage or a scrumptious bottom? Then show them off! It’s your day!!

If you’ve got a bigger busts go for dresses with lower necklines such as V-necks or a sweetheart shape. Check out Mad Men’s sexy-screen-siren Christina Hendricks for examples of this. She proves once and for all that you can’t keep good girls down! Avoid tea-length dresses and full ball gown skirts, as they will only make you appear shorter and rounder then you are. Also A-line skirts can be the most flattering if you’re trying to hide some ‘down there’ weight. But really anything goes as long as YOU feel comfortable.

SUPPORTIVE LINGERIE
Just like the old saying – behind every good man is a good woman. Well, behind every great bridal gown is a fabulous set of support underwear! This is the one occasion when support briefs, body suits and bras are really going to come in handy.

OFF THE RACK OR MADE TO MEASURE?
Sometimes you are lucky and you find that dress right off the rack and it fits you perfectly. But this is more like the exception than the rule. Most bridal boutiques have an in-house dressmaker who can make alterations but don’t rely on them to be the cheapest. If you know a good tailor or seamstress, take it to them. Just make sure they have worked with bridal before. If they can’t tell you what type of fabric your dress is…run!

Your other option is to get the whole thing made to measure, which many brides opt for, as you can design and fit it to suit your taste and shape. This can be a far more expensive option though, depending on how elaborate the design is. Make time to have regular fittings and don’t do the final fitting until close to the date. One can never know what one’s body is capable of losing or gaining until one has spent months planning one’s wedding!

INHALE, EXHALE…REPEAT

My parting words are corny and perhaps a little clichéd. But remember to breathe, give yourself plenty of time and enjoy the process. You WILL look stunning!