My first experience looking at wedding dresses in the flesh wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped it would be. I was only in Sydney for two weeks, but had one of my bridesmaids in town from inter-state and decided to her them for a peek inside some bridal stores. Two out of my three bridesmaids came along for the ride.
We started off at a small local store, A Bride’s Blessing. You’d think we would have been put off by its slightly cheesy name, but no; it was close by, so we decided to take a peek inside. The girls flicked through the racks of bridesmaids dresses, keeping an eye out on any styles that took their fancy and for either green or grey shades that looked promising. I wandered over to the bridal gown section to flick through, but wasn’t that impressed; most gowns looked like they were in tattered condition (even for floor-dresses) and the selection of gowns were all NOT what I was after. The girls found a few styles that they liked, like this Alfred Angelo number.
Personal photo: My MOH isn’t headless in real life, I promise.
Afterwards we moved on to another store, Sweethearts Bridal. This store looked much nicer, cleaner and more relaxed, except for one thing: it had pushy staff. We walked in the door, making a beeline for the bridesmaids’ and formal wear selection, but were still instantly hounded by a saleslady asking who the bride was.
I should have prefaced this post by admitting that I was definitely not looking for my dress that day—I was hot, grumpy, slightly jet-lagged and wearing completely inappropriate underwear to try on formal wear. Unfortunately, the woman chose to ignore all of my protests and went about selecting a handful of gowns that she thought I’d like. Now’s about the time that you have to picture me literally being herded into a changing room by a teeny tiny saleslady, while my girls watched on with their mouths hanging open. It was not really the bridal fitting session I had planned out in my mind, but off we went.
Here’s the thing I noticed pretty quickly during this experience: the choice of gowns for plus-sized brides was very limited. I wasn’t expecting to be able to try on everything in the store; geez, I wasn’t even really wanting to look! But when every single dress she brought over was strapless and A-line, I got frustrated pretty quickly. They wouldn’t allow me to take photographs, but this was the dress that looked the least horrific on my body that day, even though it was strapless. This is ”˜Lillian’ by Maggie Sottero.
The dress was beautiful, but honestly? The saleslady was so pushy about it that it completely turned me off the dress at all. It wasn’t anything like what I’d told her I was looking for, but it was one of the few size 18 dresses that fit me, so I think she was just working with what she had and really pushing for me to make her a sale. That’s fine, but it wasn’t the one—there was no magic for me. I left the store soon after that, wondering if this was how all wedding dress experiences were supposed to go, and feeling more than a little nervous about how I was going to find my perfect gown.
Plus sized brides: are you/were you nervous about finding gowns in your size at bridal salons? How are you preparing for the experience?